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A book-sharing event inspired by Harry Potter actress Emma Watson's own efforts in London has seen ordinary citizens and even celebrities leave their favorite books in subway stations throughout China.
Since starting on Tuesday, the campaign has become an extremely hot topic on Chinese social media.
After emailing the organizer of the London campaign and getting Watson's permission to use her idea, The Fair kicked off what it calls an "upgraded version" of the campaign on Tuesday.
The campaign involved more than 100 celebrities, including actors, writers, TV hosts, singers and Internet stars, leaving 10,000 free copies of books throughout subways, airports and taxis in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province.
However, unlike the praise that Watson received for her efforts, Chinese netizens took a decidedly negative tract when it came to the campaign.
"During rush hour in Beijing, it's hard to even stand up, let alone read a book," Chen Zu, a Beijing-based office worker who has studied in the UK, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"Since Beijing has really good Internet in the subways compared to London, why not leave codes for the books that could be scanned by mobile phones instead of huge heavy print books?" Chen asked.
Ma Danmeng, a Shanghai-based bookworm, said that after she read the article she felt it was too commercial.
"I definitely would not read one of these books if I found one. It's obviously just a marketing campaign."
Looking through the several well-known Chinese online forums on media sites such as douban.com and zhihu.com, it's easy to find similar comments casting a chill over the campaign.
According to an article by news site thepaper.cn, criticism toward the campaign can be summarized to five basic points: Chinese people do not have a habit of reading print media in the subway; the crowded nature of China's subway systems; the low quality of the books chosen by the campaign; the "copycat" nature of the campaign and the feeling that it was all just a "marketing stunt" The Fair was using to advertise itself.
As for me, I agree with the netizen's responses this campaign is more ike a marketing activity, the books shared by stars are those well-known books I won't read them