Couple made famous travelling across China told motor home ‘illegal’

Young couple have more than 672,000 followers on social media after their adventures touring the nation in a converted minibus

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 1:46pm

A young couple who gained fame online after travelling around China in a minibus converted into a motor home have been told by police the modifications are illegal, a newspaper reported.

Gao Zhen and Ting Ting worked as a video producer and a photographer in Guangzhou in Guangdong province before they decided to take a year off to travel, Hong Xing News reported.

The couple bought a minibus and spent three months converting it into a motor home with a bed, wooden floor, cooking facilities, soundproofing and insulation, plus cross-country tyres, according to the report.

But after the photographs of their trip became an internet hit, China’s ministry of public security said in a statement most of the modifications on the minibus were illegal based on current regulations.

“All modifications must be done under the premise that it’s safe and legal,” the ministry’s traffic management bureau said in a statement issued on social media last week.

The couple also needed to obtain approval from their local traffic authority to change the colour of the vehicle, it said. The minibus was resprayed light blue and white.

The statement did not say if the authorities would be taking any action against the couple.

Head for the great outdoors in these stylish campervans

The pair travelled more than 45,000km (27,962 miles) over a year from Tibet and Xinjiang to the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, making videos and taking photographs along the way.

The couple even adopted a stray dog in Inner Mongolia.

“We went on the trip to learn more about China, accumulate material for creating videos and photos, and see and get inspired,” Gao was quoted as saying.

The couple now have more than 672,000 followers on the social media platform Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.