Angry and sad people go online to vent their problems - for a fee
SHANGHAI - Online anger-release "stores" have become extremely popular with young netizens, as shop owners are paid to listen to complaints, confidential secrets and even scoldings from customers.
"I was inspired by my female friends who like to confide their troubles about family, study and work. I prefer to call my store a 'recycle station' for pressure and annoyance," said Wang Ping, a female owner of an anger-release store in Shanghai.
More than 400 online stores are offering anger-release services, according to a keyword search on Taobao, the major domestic online market in China.
Depending on the price, the service offers a customer the chance to complain to the worker within a limited period without any boundaries as a way of releasing anger or stress.
Customers typically pay with a debit or credit card and store owners guarantee anonymity.
Different stores offer a price list categorized either by time or requirements.
Normally, it costs about 1 yuan (15 cents) for a 10-minute period, in which the customers are allowed to say and complain about anything they want, even saying curse words.
The advertisements for the online stores highlight "Get rid of high pressure", "Enjoy scolding", "Best way to relax" and so on to attract netizens as a new way to deal with the stresses of the daily life.
"I was so curious how it would work that I paid 1 yuan for the service," said 20-year-old Guo Qing, a second-year university student from Guangzhou.
She explained that she prefers talking to strangers about her troubles.
"I'm scared to tell my anxieties to my good friends as there is possibility that they would use that against me in the future," she said.
Guo said she expressed frustrations about her stressful university study life to the store owner, who responded by making suggestions. Guo said she would like to try it again.
According to Wang, the generation born after 1980 forms the majority of customers at her store.
They are suffering troubles on careers and families - two of the most essential components in daily life. The troubles include problems between couples and their relationships, work pressures, and family relations between newlyweds and in- laws.
"I think it is a good way for me to express my anger and frustration. Sometimes my supervisor blames me for trifles and I cannot lose my temper easily in front of a girlfriend or close friends," said Lang Lihan, a 25-year-old male white collar worker.
Store owners say they are glad to help young netizens deal with their increasingly stressful lives.
"To comfort them, I always give out my own opinions and suggestions by the end of their talking, complaining or even angry scolding. Hopefully my service can help them resolve their troubles, " said Wang.
The Luxembourg Pavilion and the Finland Pavilion have joined the Netherlands Pavilion and the "We are the World" Pavilion to open easy-access entrances for low-carbon emission travel cardholders.
The easy-access entrances will be open during the week between Aug 22 and 28.
The price of the low-carbon transport cards is 40 yuan ($5.80), half of which covers to the cost of the card, and the rest is donated to a project on lowering carbon emissions. The donation from one such card can reduce one ton of carbon emissions.
The card is available at dzpw.com, yihaodian.com, Home Inns and the "We are the World" Pavilion.
More night events
Expo organizers have prepared more events to entertain visitors at night, as more of them tend to tour the Expo Garden during late hours to stay away from the sizzling sun during the day.
The Baosteel Stage has been hosting a series of theme parties featuring Chinese cultural elements. Visitors can make artistic crafts together with Chinese masters of intangible cultural heritage and other craftsmen of traditional arts to have a better understanding of traditional Chinese culture.
At the African Square, each visitor can be a dancer and a drummer by dancing with African artists and playing exotic drums.
Big screens in the Expo Garden will promote the events on a daily basis.