Student stays in Beijing for three weeks without spending a cent by disguising himself as a socialite

How to live in Beijing for FREE: Student spends three weeks in Chinese capital without spending a cent by disguising himself as a socialite

  • Art student conducted experiment living in Beijing for three weeks
  • Zou Yaqi, 23, wondered if she couldn’t afford to live in the capital after graduation
  • She was wearing a counterfeit designer handbag, a fake diamond ring and a velor track suit
  • Her disguise meant she received luxurious treatment in hotels and luxury shops


An art student disguising herself as a wealthy socialite and carrying a fake Hermes bag could stay in Beijing for three weeks without spending a dime.

Zou Yaqi, 23, conducted an experiment as part of a performance art project where she wanted to shed light on capitalism and consumerism and see if she could live in the Chinese capital once she graduated from university.

The student, who attends the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts, said she is “poor” but wanted to “break the rules” and enter the “world of the rich” as a mingyuan, which means socialite in Mandarin. .

Zou Yaqi, 23, (above) who attends Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, disguised himself as a wealthy socialite and was able to stay in Beijing for three weeks without spending a dime

She claimed she wanted to

She claimed she wanted to “break the rules” and enter the “world of the rich” as a mingyuan, which means socialite in Mandarin.

Yaqi spent hours on Instagram watching socialites dress and then bought a fake Hermes Birkin, known as the most expensive handbag in the world, a counterfeit diamond ring and a designer velor tracksuit.

She wore red lipstick and straightened her hair with flat irons to get the perfect look and fool others.

“I’m more careful and casual in everyday life, but I had to present an elegant, haughty and confident image,” she said. sixth tone.

On her first day of the experiment, May 1, Yaqi was given access to a VIP lounge with a forged entry pass that was valid for three hours.

She could stay for three days and relied on the various buffets in the lounge for her meals, putting the food in a free Gucci paper bag she picked up from a store to help her socialist disguise.

Yaqi also walked into a nearby Louis Vuitton store where she was greeted by two sales assistants who abandoned the customers they served.

She was shown a £1,000 handbag and offered an exclusive invitation to an exhibition for the luxury brand.

On her first day of the experiment, May 1, Yaqi was given access to a VIP lounge with a forged entry pass that was valid for three hours.

On her first day of the experiment, May 1, Yaqi was given access to a VIP lounge with a forged entry pass that was valid for three hours.

In a free VIP lounge, the student stuffed food into a free Gucci paper bag she got from a store to help her socialite disguise (pictured)

In a free VIP lounge, the student stuffed food into a free Gucci paper bag she got from a store to help her socialite disguise (pictured)

She also attended an auction, to which she was invited by a friend, and had the chance to try on a beautiful emerald ring that later sold for thousands.

She also attended an auction, to which she was invited by a friend, and had the chance to try on a beautiful emerald ring that later sold for thousands.

Yaqi said, ‘I played the part all day long. I soon got used to the contrast: my body was dirty and slimy, but others saw me as a beautiful and rich woman.’

The student managed to gain access to the public toilets, sauna and steam room of a famous high-end hotel by using multiple false names and the excuse that she had “just checked out.”

She also attended an auction, to which she was invited by a friend, and had the chance to try on a beautiful emerald ring that later sold for thousands.

At the end of the three weeks, she presented her project with videos she recorded of her experiences and her Gucci paper shopping bag, filled with stale bread and other foods she hid during the experiment.

Since then, she has received much criticism for her work, but she maintained that she is only an artist with honest intentions.

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