On Feb. 17th, a Japanese young man lost his bicycle in Wuhan, China. He has a dream to travel around the world on his bicycle and has been to more than dozen countries. Two days ago, he came to Wuhan, China. But, unexpected thing happened. His bicycle got stolen. He felt very depressed and then asked for help on Weibo.com. He posted：“This bicycle is like my girlfriend. I’m so sad for losing her. Hope Chinese friends here could help me to find her back.”
His post made a big splash on Sina Weibo. Tens of thousands of Chinese netizens forwarded his story and tried to help him find back his bicycle. Meanwhile, most people made serious self-blame, like “why such things only happen in China”, and “One Japanese lost a bicycle, but we Chinese lost out faces”. A netizens in Wuhan commented：“I feel really bad. After such thing happened, what would people think of Wuhan? What would international people think of my hometown? I feel shameful.”
Luckily, two days after, with help from thousands of common people, Wuhan policemen found the bicycle on black market and returned it back to its owner. The local media put this news on headline.
Thief A: “Did you find out owner’s information?”
Thief B: “No yet, but this bicycle is so awesome, let’s steal it first, don’t think too much!”
Thief A: “Are you crazy?!! What is it belongs to a foreigner, we will be caught very soon!”
However, this accident didn’t thus have a happy ending. Fiercer arguments have arisen on the Internet. People began to ask why Chinese need to feel ashamed about it. One post on Weibo claimed: “Every country has thieves. It’s just a minor accident which could happen everywhere in the world. Why should we Chinese look down on ourselves? We are always afraid of others to think less of us. When can we overcome our inferiority? We really need to be more confident!”
But more people swung their fury to Chinese government. Many netizens questioned：“why the policemen became so efficient when an international friend lost his bicycle? What were they doing when so many Chinese people lost their bicycles?” A netizen named “absolutely anonymous” posted on Tianya, “I lost three bicycles, a motorcycle and a scooter in last four years. The surveillance camera even caught the thief stealing my scooter. I went to the police station, reported the crime and went back home waiting for news. But, news never came.” This post attracted more attentions and was soon put on the front page.
Some Other condemnations were even harsher, such as this cartoon. They compared Japanese bicycle with Chinese life and their implication was very clear. This cartoon was forwarded widely on Sina Weibo. In order to avoid being deleted, netizens made no comments on it but only a label: “an automatic forwarding by the system”.
The Japanese young man will never expect his minor accident to cause such a storm in China.
Title: In China
First picture: “After a foreigner lost his bicycle…”
Second picture: “After a group of Chinese people lost their lives….”