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'Felt like I was being watched': Tourist spot in China installs timers in female toilet, upsets netizens

'Felt like I was being watched': Tourist spot in China installs timers in female toilet, upsets netizens
A Chinese tourist destination in Shanxi has installed timers on their bathroom cubicle doors, causing a divide in opinion among netizens.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Weibo

No one enjoys expediting their own private processes in the toilet - but the managers of this tourist spot seem intent on doing so for their visitors.

A tourist spot in Shanxi, China, has come under fire after a video of their latest devices - timers for bathroom doors - circulated online, 8world reported?yesterday (June 7).

These timers were installed in the female restroom of the Yungang Grottoes in Datong city, which are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes.

In a video taken of the toilet, a large LED display can be seen at the top of each cubicle door.

As the camera pans across, a?display stating "no one inside" switches from green to red, and a timer slowly ticks up.

Speaking with Chinese publication Sing Tao, a tourist who?visited the grottoes said that there was an additional display that showed the floor plan of the restroom, using red and green to denote if the cubicles were occupied.

"I thought it seemed very cutting-edge?and it would prevent?blindly queuing and knocking on doors, but I also felt a little embarrassed, as if I was being watched," she said.

These devices have also generated discussion online, with many expressing their disapproval of the timers.

"This is really unheard of... would anyone sit in a public toilet of a tourist location just?to play on their?phone? How was the budget for this project approved? It's really a waste," a user said, according to 8world.

Another commented: "What's wrong with someone taking a little longer if they are unwell? Should they be publicly punished?"

'I don't know what some people do in the toilet'

However, some users on Weibo also supported the management for installing these devices.

"I don't know what some people do in the toilet," said one user, praising the device. "They don't make any sound and don't come out."

A netizen also said: "I think this is great! This would prevent people from maliciously lingering in public toilets and causing incidents."

Some also wondered what exactly the punishment would be for staying too long in the toilet.

"Would an alarm start ringing?" A user guessed. "Well, they can just choose to stay inside anyways."

Responding to queries from Chinese media, a representative of Yungang Grottoes explained that there is no stipulated timing to "control" users in toilets.

"It's?impossible to kick people out in the middle of their business," they said.?"It's?not that users?have to come out after five or 10?minutes."

ALSO READ:?Toilet sign in Thai temple draws flak for discriminating against Chinese tourists

khooyihang@asiaone.com

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