The video, which was posted on Chinese video social media sharing platform Douyin (also known as TikTok) in early December, starts with a customer in a store trying on a piece of jewelry, then making a dash across the room toward the exit.
Without knowing the circumstances, a store employee’s initial assumption was that the customer was trying to steal the jewelry, so then the employee is seen leaping over the counter to chase after the thief. But it is actually a prank: The customer stops to either check out another piece of jewelry or look at herself in the mirror, usually near the store exit.
After realizing it’s just a prank, the store employees laugh at themselves in embarrassment.
The jewelry-stealing prank video is believed to draw inspiration from a viral “show-stealing” prank video in Malaysia. In that video, Indian Malaysian YouTuber Harvinth Skin pranked a clueless sports store employee and uploaded the video to his social media account on November 26. The video received 24 million views on his Facebook account.
In the video, Skin tried on a new pair of sneakers, then slowly moved around to test the shoes before bolting for the store exit. The action prompted an immediate chase from the store employee, who later realized that it was just a prank as Skin sprinted back to the store.