Saturday, 25. May 2013 - 06:05
11. 08. 12. - 13:00
City officials have begged store owners to reopen after 95 per cent of them shut up when it was falsely reported that they were planning a clampdown on the sale of counterfeit products.
The rumour that quickly circulated on the internet sparked fears that the local council in China's Shenyang city needed to get more revenue and had ordered taxmen to come down hard on shop owners.
But local officials have denied the story and appealed for store owners to reopen after they were flooded with complaints from residents who could no longer find shops open.
A news release on Shenyang's media bureau said: "Recently some small businesses closed their doors after hearing unfounded rumours. This has caused many problems and we can only reiterate that these rumours are false - and there are no raids being planned.
"Relevant authorities have neither carried out dedicated campaigns nor imposed heavy fines."
The Southern Metropolis Daily said shop closures had started on 13 July and spread from there as more rumours spread about the supposed fines.
Shopkeepers questioned by local media said they would rather close their doors than lose money.
Residents in Shenyang meanwhile have posted tens of thousands of angry comments on the issue, as well as photos of closed shops.
"Went out for lunch at noon, all supermarkets and restaurants were closed! How will we survive?" one Sina Weibo user complained.
"Shenyang is now a dead city. A city with no life and no happiness," complained another who said she had failed to find anywhere selling rice for 5 days.
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