Our favorite roadshow philanthropist is at it again! Billionaire and rogue disaster relief respondent Chen Guangbiao (陈光标) made headlines again this week when he mercilessly bashed a perfectly good Mercedes-Benz to smithereens with a giant robotic arm, all in the name of the environment!
On September 16, Chen smashed the car at his company headquarters, bought 200 bicycles for his employees, proposed that parking and licensing fees increase, and that oil prices be raised 50%! The gesture was made in the name of “going green” and in anticipation of this week’s “Car-Free City Day” (September 22). He advocated that all money raised by upping oil and parking fees go to improving public transportation.
As always, his dumbfounding audacity is so entertaining we find ourselves forgiving him the small, shall we say, discrepancies to his credo. Leaving aside the insane oil proposal (transportation costs for things like food are already wreaking enough havoc on the Chinese economy) it’s almost impossible to believe he can’t see how environmentally unfriendly smashing a perfectly functioning automobile is. (We can still hold out hope that every piece of that Benz was somehow recycled into air filters for orphans or… something.)
Video and Chen’s Weibo statement after the jump…
Chen has responded to criticism via his Weibo account:
I also think smashing this big name brand car is wrong, but I want to tell people, especially entrepreneurial friends, don’t buy a big brand-name car, but if you do, drive it as little as possible. Even though I’ve lost hundreds of thousands of RMB, if I can communicate through this act, and tell everyone to either drive big brand name cars as little as possible or not at all, from the environmental aspect, this will benefit our invisible children and grandchildren’s generation tens of millions or even billions of dollars in fossil fuels.
Besides the fact that he seems to think only big brand cars pollute, at least his “drive less” message is on-target (he offered his employees a monthly subsidy of 300-600RMB if they bike to work.) Like we’ve pointed out with his past philanthropic endeavors, despite the over-the-top showmanship and ill-conceived photo op, his message still manages to be important simply because of how rare this kind of thing is in China.
As always, we just can’t wait to see what he’ll think of next.
(Photos via Huanqiu.)