Publisher fined $29,000 for blog saying Beijing office complex had bad feng shui | World news | The Guardian

A blog operator must pay $29,000 to a real estate developer for “defamation”, a Chinese court has ruled after alleging a building complex had bad energy. Published on the WeChat social network in November, the text said an office complex in Beijing brought bad luck to its business tenants because it does not respect feng shui principles. Feng shui is a technique and belief inherited from ancient China that aims to maximise the energies of a place for the wellbeing, health and luck of those inside. Although somewhat in decline, it is still widely used to determine the placement and layout of buildings. The “S Shenkunju S” blog took aim at the Wangjing Soho complex in the north-east of Beijing – a group of three buildings that resemble large rounded pebbles and owned by developer Soho China. Hong Kong: the city still shaped by feng shui Read more The article compared the structures to “pig’s kidneys” and predicted the business of companies inside will suffer a “Waterloo” – Napoleon’s army’s crushing defeat in 1815. According to the blog, which called on businesses to leave the premises, the proof that these “outlandish” constructions are generating negative energy is the financial difficulties of the firms based there. The article was widely shared online and garnered more than 100,000 views before being take down. Lodging the complaint, the developer argued the post had a harmful impact on its business. Beijing’s Chaoyang district court on Wednesday agreed, ruling the feng shui “superstition” was used to defame the real estate group. The company behind the blog was ordered to pay the developer 200,000 yuan ($29,000) and apologise publicly. The building complex was designed by award-winning Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016.