Published on November 27th, 2013 | by Jake Robinson

These Chinese People Are Surprisingly Non-resistant, Smiling and Friendly

If you go to China and steal umbrellas from people’s hands, what kind of reaction do you think you will get?

Andrew Hales, my favourite YouTube prankster, did this. And it turned out that the Chinese were amazingly complying. They got confused but just watched him steal their umbrellas. Many of them just laughed and didn’t even protest. They were more amused than upset or angry.

Their reactions were somewhere unexpected to me because my image of Chinese people was quite different. But I would have to say I was very unfair to them.

This took place in a city called Chengdu. Unlike some of the major cities in China, it was not a touristy town. So maybe people were so friendly because they weren’t used to visitors.

Hales talks about his experience going out in Chengdu and how people love white guys. He went to a local nightclub with his friends and as soon as they got in, everybody noticed and wanted to say ‘hello’ to them. They were even offered free shots by random Chinese guys. And apparently, they got the same kind of treatment everywhere they went.

“At another club, this girl behind me kept telling her friend (the guy behind her who knew decent english), to tell me she thought I was very handsome. We kept using this guy to translate/flirt with each other back and forth. He was happy to do it too, because I was a foreigner, and whoever hangs out with the foreigner has a higher social status. That’s what it felt like anyway. Random girls would stop by Joel and I and just hand us drinks, “Hello!” laughing after.”

Sounds like he had a lot of fun in China.

But, are Chinese people exceptionally complying? What would happen if you did the same thing in the States?

I found this other video where Hales was stealing people’s cell phones in the States. And, guess what, American people were also very complying. This is amazing because cell phones indubitably are more valuable than umbrellas: they are not only more expensive, but also have your personal information.

It’s kind of nice to see that people are not that confrontational. They don’t immediately yell at you or punch you in the face.

But then again, the place where he did the experiment seems quite peaceful and low-key. I wonder what would happen if you did this in a very seedy American neighbourhood.


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Jake Robinson



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