A online photograph of an furious Chinese man - dressed only in yellow swimming trunks with a rubber ring around his neck - has gone viral on the mainland after local government workers took away his clothes and bicycle while he was swimming in the sea, mainland media reports.
Bi Guochang, 65, a retired former head of China National Radio in Heilongjiang province in northern China, was caught out by officious urban management workers last Friday as he was taking a regular afternoon swim beside a beach in the city of Sanya, on Hainan Island.
He posted the photograph online himself and described the actions of the workers, known in Chinese as chengguan, as an insult, the mainland news portal Sina reported on Sunday.
He had seen no signs warning people not to leave bicycles and belongings inside a covered area so that they were sheltered from the rain, the report said.
When Bi returned from his regular 50-minute swim his bicycle and all his belongings were missing.
He initially called police, but then passer-by told him that chengguan had removed his belongings, the report said.
Bi angrily called the mayor’s hotline for help, but without success.
After failing to hail a taxi, the increasingly angry Bi decided to walk home, still dressed only in his yellow swimming trucks with the black rubber ring around his neck.
On the way home he passed by Sanya city government offices, and went inside to call the mayor’s hotline again. But after waiting an hour without anyone coming to help him, he headed home again on foot.
“From Sanya Bay to Sanya government offices to my home is at least four to five km,” Bi wrote in his online post.
“The mental anguish I felt after all this cannot be expressed in words. A 1.86m-tall man like me, walking around almost naked in public -- if it was not for that rubber ring around my neck, people would have taken me for someone that had escaped from a psychiatric hospital.”
Bi arrived home at about 9 pm and on Saturday morning, after repeated requests by Bi, chengguan representatives drove to his home to return his clothes. But they failed to give him his glasses or his bicycle.
The chengguan representatives left him a note saying he could collect his bicycle on Monday, but made no reference to his missing glasses.
Outraged, Bi posted a blog his experience online, along with the photograph of him in his swimming trucks, which was spotted by numerous Chinese media organisations and quickly went viral.
“Even I get only one yuan in compensation, I want the chengguan to issue an official apology in a major newspaper in Hainan,” he said.
On Monday the Sanya government issued an apology to Bi and said that thechengguan responsible for removing his belongings had been suspended and the incident was being investigated.