It started simply enough—with an argument in a Chongqing restaurant over whether or not a bag was lost there.
It led to one of the most polite, effective protests of all time.
Ever since May 21, the Quanju restaurant in Chongqing’s Yubei district has had a regular supply of customers coming in.
Normally this would be a good thing, but in this case each customer takes up a separate table, and orders the cheapest item on the menu, fried peanuts or just order a beer. They then hang around for hours in an effort to cost the restaurant money.
After the protests occured three nights in a row, the restaurant manager called the police, who actually arrested seven of the customers and sent them to prison for five days.
According to the police report, however, the customers were not arrested because they were being disruptive. Instead the police just happened to find illegal knives in each of the patrons’ vehicles.
According to a lawyer familiar with this case, customers are not required by law to spend a minimum amount of money in restaurants, as per even the most recent consumer protection laws in China.