18 January 2020
Taikoo Li Sanlitun: favorite hunting ground for the paparazzi. Photo: Bloomberg
Taikoo Li Sanlitun: favorite hunting ground for the paparazzi. Photo: Bloomberg

That Oscars red carpet moment at Sanlitun

These days, the pretty ladies who shop or work at Taikoo Li Sanlitun – Swire Properties’ fashionable shopping complex in the heart of Beijing’s Chaoyang District – must be vicariously feeling like Hollywood stars walking down the red carpet during Oscars night.

That’s because there’s always a bevy of photographers clicking away with their cameras as the ladies walk by, according to Beijing News.

Indeed, the hip mall has turned into a favorite hunting ground for these amusing – and/or annoying – paparazzi.

All shoppers and pedestrians are fair game, regardless of whether or not they want to be instant models of these camera bugs.

The ladies probably wouldn’t mind so much if these photogs keep their distance, but oftentimes their actions are nothing short of harassment, training their lenses just a meter away from their targets.

They would shout at whoever they fancy, “Give me a shot!” or “Smile!” and chase their poor victims until the ladies relent and pose for them.

Sure, some of the ladies like the attention, a vindication that the long minutes spent in front of the mirror to decide what makeup and attire to wear had not been in vain.

But many just happen to be passing by and simply want to reach their destination on time.

It’s not only embarrassing for the ladies who don’t want the attention, but a clear invasion of their privacy.

Some ladies do want the attention, and would even bring their own photographer just to have shots to post on their own Facebook and Instagram accounts.

But once they start posing for the camera, they will soon find dozens of other photographers feasting on what is supposed to be a private session.

Some of the shops in the area have posted security guards outside to ward off the eager-beavers, but they do nothing about the unauthorized photo shoots.

So who are these photogs? What do they do with the pictures they have taken? What is the purpose of their activity, which they conduct with such gusto and dedication, regardless of the heat or freezing temperatures?

There must be some financial reward for all their troubles. Well, there is.

Thanks to the surge of social media sites such as Tik Tok, WeChat and Weibo, there is a huge demand for content, and fashion is much sought after.

Also, with the growing popularity of Taobao and other e-commerce sites, consumers would like to know what’s in in the world of fashion. So they happily gorge on pictures that tell them the latest trends and look for them online.

As long as there is demand for content, there will always be photographers and models at Sanlitun.

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EJ Insight writer