Tuesday, 25 November 2008

On the Webb: Dan-NO-wei!

The Peking Order worries that some of the readers of Danwei.org - the indispensable online guide to China's media - are not as intelligent as the people behind the popular website.
Danwei recently posted the following audio recording of a Chinese telephone operator of a Shanghai food delivery business being berated by an angry American customer:

Just as entertaining as the recording are the comments left on this usually high-brow website. Many are no more than idiotic anti-American rants. Take, for example, this wisecrack from Mr Sweden:
Typical American! He wanted extra burger for the same price so he could be even more FAT. Eat less you wankers.
And people criticise Chinese online opinion for being small-minded!
However, most suprising was that not one of the hundred people who left comments raised suspicions that this could be a hoax - a clever piece of viral marketing on behalf of the restaurant mentioned in the clip. This is why The Peking Order smelled a rat:
  1. While the names of the beleaguered employee and the company she works for are removed, Blue Frog's name is mentioned three times very clearly.
  2. If I was either of those two people my voice would falter. The customer is speaking loudly but he hardly loses his composure, something you might expect from such a man. Likewise, the girl sounds quiet but she seems a little too cool considering the nature of the abuse she is receiving.
  3. Do food delivery places actually record conversations? And if so, would they really disclose them to the public, especially considering that it is such a harsh critique on their service and is an unfavourable comparison to one of their competitors?

What do the discerning readers of The Peking Order think? We are awaiting a response from Danwei as to the source of this suspicious recording.


Wainwrizzle said...

I don't reckon it is a hoax mate. I reckon that guy is a tool, like many a foreigner in China who think they know how the Chinese should behave. Plus, he was lecturing her on rudeness- is "fucking bitch" not rude in Americana?

Sam P said...

If that is real he is an absolute bastard but I see what u are saying, seems unlikely for all the reasons u mentioned..

syz said...

Maybe I'm not insane! Or you're as loony as I am...

Disbelief was my first reaction too -- just happened to comment on Imagethief instead of Danwei. To be repetitious, here's what I said:

"I'm trying to keep an open mind. But wouldn't Occam's razor tell us: 'assume a fake unless confronted with significant evidence to the contrary'?"

k. yu said...

sounds like the girl sort of understands what he's saying but she doesn't really know what to say in return. and the guy doesn't know that. looks like what's really happening here are two people who can't communicate communcating.

i've seen china chinese commenting on articles written on american websites (the economist, and such), they're very prone to hyperbole. but of course, i only read comments when comments are exciting (i.e. regarding anti-chinese articles)

btw occam's razor states that explanations should make as few assumptions as possible.