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Chinese blogger fined for saying Zaha Hadid office complex had ‘bad feng shui’

Zha wangjing soho

A Chinese blogger who wrote that a Zaha Hadid Architects’ Beijing office complex had bad feng shui has been ordered to pay £22,000 in compensation 

A blog post published by Zhuhai Shengun Network Technology last November on the WeChat social network claimed that the Wangjing SOHO development brought bad luck to its commercial tenants.

The principles of Feng Shui, the ancient technique that aims to maximise the energies of a place, is commonly used to determine layout and positioning of buildings in Chinese architecture.

The post claimed that ZHA’s trio of undulating towers, designed for major real estate company SOHO China, resembled ‘pig kidneys’ and that the buildings’ shapes created negative energy.

The article was widely shared online and gathered more than 100,000 views before being taken down. 

SOHO China filed a complaint and sued Zhuhai Shengun for libel, alleging the post had infringed its reputation and harmed its ’customers’ psychology’.

In its ruling, Beijing Chaoyang Court ordered the blogger to apologise to SOHO China and pay a fine of 200,000 yuan (£22,800).

The 115,393m² Wangjing SOHO complex comprises three towers of 387,417 and 656 feet, designed to look like ’interweaving mountains’. In 2014 the project was awarded the Emporis Skyscraper Award.

SOHO China and ZHA have been contacted for comment.


Readers' comments (2)

  • I wonder if a feng shui consultant was employed to advise at the concept design stage? That should surely have been a no-brainer given the location in China, the size of the development and the obvious fact that SOHO China employed ZHA in the full knowledge that the architecture would be the opposite of unassuming.

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  • Normally, mere opinion isn't actionable under a libel suit. People are allowed to voice their opinions that a building is an ugly gaggle of pig kidneys. It's only statements of fact that can be libellous.

    Feng Shui isn't based on observable fact and so saying a building has bad feng shui should not be libellous. If a feng shui consultant was appointed by ZHA and they disagreed with the defendant in this case, how would the court determine who was right?

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