World Cup gambling suicide fears lead Chinese housing estate to barricade the rooftops

Entrances closed until stock market rebounds and World Cup returns to normal after surprise results, management says

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 July, 2018, 5:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 July, 2018, 6:38pm

A housing estate in eastern China has locked its rooftops, saying it did so to prevent suicides by people who had lost money betting on the soccer World Cup or investing in the stock market.

The estate in Weifang, in the province of Shandong, locked entrances to rooftops with iron chains, a clip on PearVideo on June 23 showed. An employee of the building’s management told PearVideo it was “in case some residents were obsessed with negative thinking”.

The estate’s management also posted an announcement stating that the measure was due to the “recent stock market slump and World Cup surprises”, and that rooftops would remain closed until “the stock market rebounds and the match results of the World Cup are back to normal”.

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“It is good that the management has thought of the possible problems,” said one resident of the housing estate.

Phrases such as “see you at the rooftop” have gone viral in China, with memes featuring people looking at the ground from tall buildings, suggesting that they might jump after a team they supported lost a World Cup match.

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In the eastern Jiangsu province, the official social media page of the Jiangning branch of Nanjing police, known for its sense of humour, joined in by telling Germany fans “don’t jump” after the defending world champions’ surprise defeat by Mexico.

In the first half of the month-long World Cup in Russia, soccer lottery sales in China were close to 20 billion yuan, nearly twice the total for all of the last World Cup in 2014, according to the official website of China Sports Lottery.