What would people do if they see a box full of coins unattended? Recently, a kind of self-service coin box was put into use in multiple cities throughout China to find out.
The boxes are placed near the bus stops and metro stations, with a sign besides the box usually reading "If you need money right now, please pick up a maximum of five yuan (about 1 U.S. dollar). If you have some spare money, please donate and help others."
As it turned out later in the footages recorded on hidden cameras, the vast majority of citizens have followed the rules.
In Hefei, the capital and largest city of eastern China's Anhui Province, no one took away more than 5 yuan. While in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, there was even an extra amount of 20 yuan at the end of the day.
"My colleagues often forget to bring enough coins to take the bus, so we decided to put aside some coins in the office for the group. That's how it's started and I wanted to try it out at the nearby metro stations and bus stops," Cao Yi, the initiator of the events, told Yangcheng Evening News.
Cao's idea was supported by his company called YDNewmedia, a Shenzhen-based new media company, which then organized a series of events in over 20 cities.
"During the 5 hours while we were there shooting, we have not encountered a single case of people taking money more than allowed," said Cao, who was almost sure he would lose all 500 yuan in the box.
The events have quickly triggered heated debate on the Internet. Most netizens voiced support for their goodwill, saying such kindness between people will be spread across the society. But many also suspected the company held the events only for exposure.
Besides, there are increasing comments questioning the degree of rigor regarding the designs of the events.
"So many cameras on the open road side. What if you put them in some remote places?" @xiaoyuluguo wondered.
"One yuan coin doesn't make sense. Try 100-yuan or 20-yuan note. They'll be gone within a few minutes," @xunzhaodiguGGC commented.
Do you agree?