Fainting bracelet breaker denies disappearing act, promises to pay

Updated 2017-07-09 12:56:37 CGTN
A woman faints after breaking an expensive jade bracelet at a jade market in southwest China’s Yunnan Province on June 26.

A woman faints after breaking an expensive jade bracelet at a jade market in southwest China's Yunnan Province on June 26.

In the two weeks since a tourist fainted after accidentally breaking a jade bracelet priced at 44,000 U.S. dollars in a jewelry shop, she has been conspicuously off the radar, suspected of laying low to escape paying compensation for the breakage.

This week, she is back in the spotlight, clarifying that she does not refuse to pay for the broken bracelet, but was out of contact because of family issues.

The tourist, surnamed Fei, fainted after trying on – and breaking an expensive jade bracelet at a jade market in southwest China's Yunnan Province on June 26.

The video showing her passing out in the shop soon made headlines across China and around the world. On Chinese social media, the two big questions were: should she have to pay for the broken bracelet, and if so, how much should she pay? The bracelet's price tag which caused Fei to swoon was 300,000 yuan (44,100 US dollars).

Local authorities intervened and tried to help the two parties come to a settlement, but an agreement could not be reached, according to Sina's report on June 28.

Two days later, the shop owner published a statement online, saying Fei had gone missing. They could not reach her by phone. The public was shocked by the statement, and even more so when a video showing Fei on a boat with her friends was posted online the following day.

In the video, Fei smiles to the camera, with her friend joking that "this is the lady who broke a 300,000 yuan jade bracelet. She decided not to pay the compensation, and she is running away by boat."

The video soon sparked condemnation online. Local newspaper Yunnan News eventually reached the man who shot the video. He clarified that he had been joking in the clip, and that Fei was very distressed. The video was originally sent to his mother, and he had not realized that it had been made public online.

Fei shot a video last Thursday, clarifying that she accepted the blame for breaking the bracelet, and that she would pay for the damage, but the amount to be compensated was still under negotiation.

She also told Yunnan News that she had flown back to her hometown in eastern China's Jiangxi Province the day after she broke the bracelet as her mother was ill, but she had not been trying to run away from paying compensation.

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