The man who exposed China’s hotel hygiene horrors is receiving death threats

Society & Culture

Beijing police have launched an investigation into death threats sent to activist blogger “Boss Hua lost the Monkey King’s magic wand” (@花总丢了金箍棒 Huāzǒng Diūle jīn gū bàng, hereafter Boss Hua). Boss Hua became a collective enemy of China’s hospitality industry this year after he posted a viral video (in Chinese) showing insanitary conditions at several luxury hotels in the country, such as the Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria.

On December 15, Boss Hua took to Weibo to expose a random internet user who sent him a barrage of hate comments on the platform. A screenshot of the conversation shows that an anonymous perpetrator started the dialogue by writing to the blogger, “Soon.” Confused by the cryptic message, he replied with a question mark. This was answered with a threat: “Your death is imminent.”

Boss Hua was not intimidated: he challenged the internet user to “threaten me again.” In response, the person doubled down on his threats by saying, “Send me your lawyer’s letter haha. I’ll find you and kill you. You have such a bad rap in the hotel industry. Do you know that Mr. Wang wanted to hire a killer to end your life?”

Boss Hua later announced (in Chinese) on Weibo that Beijing police had initiated a probe into his complaints.

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In November, Huazong single-handedly sent the whole Chinese hotel industry into a crisis of public trust after he shared hidden-camera footage that revealed unhygienic cleaning practices at 14 brand name hotels. In the nauseating 12-minute video, housekeeping ladies can be seen using dirty towels to wipe glasses and sinks, and using the same sponge to clean shower stalls and in-room glass and mugs.

The video raised widespread concerns about sanitary conditions in Chinese hotels, which, Boss Hua says, is a long-standing but often-overlooked problem in the industry. In response, several international hotel chains, such as by Hilton and Marriott, issued apologies and vowed to rectify their practices.

But it is unclear who is behind the threats to Boss Hua, and how far the retribution will go. The Paper.cn reported (in Chinese) that following the scandal, an unidentified source leaked his personal information, which was then widely circulated among managerial staff at hotel chains in China. As suggested by some screenshots (in Chinese) of internal conversations among hotel staff members, Boss Hua was flagged as an unwelcome guest who should be denied services under certain circumstances.

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