All copies of the Beijing Times are sold out — the greatest mei you ever.
So the Sunning Electrical Appliance Store bought a huge color ad in the Beijing Times, just in time for the National Day shopping extravaganza. But a competitor launched a freakishly well-organized campaign to send minions out to every Beijing Times-selling kiosk in the city. These minions were assigned kiosks and sent to buy out every single copy of the paper, even if that meant paying double the selling price. They were also sent to follow the delivery trucks to seek out any stores that might have been missed.
Then, the minions tossed out Sunning’s ads, substituted their own, and found locations to hand out the modified papers to shoppers, free of charge. Seems like a rather expensive venture, all in all, but quite effective as a means of blocking Sunning’s ads. Good money for the Beijing Times folks, who made up and sold an extra print run, at any rate.
Sunning execs, who were notified by gloating anonymous text-message of the scheme (how mafia is that?), say they’re seeking legal action. I don’t know if anything illegal has happened here. Seems like buying a paper and tossing away ads are legal activities, and I think handing out papers and adverts in China is so legal it’s almost mandatory. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
The full (English translation of the) story is here, thanks to EastSouthWestNorth.