Chinese Companies Are Stealing Kickstarter Product Ideas and Launching Them Faster and Cheaper

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An Israeli entrepreneur who has spent a year designing a product that would make him rich, saw his dreams collapse after putting his product on Kickstarer to raise some extra production funding. Just seven days after the start of the crowdfunding campaign, copycats were already available on Chinese online stores like Alibaba.

With the popularity of selfies growing to epic proportions in the last few years, Yekutiel Sherman felt the infectious trend provided a lucrative business opportunity, so a couple of years ago he started working on an alternative to the common selfie stick. By December 2015, he had created prototypes of his innovative Stickbox – a smartphone case that doubled as a selfie stick – secured some funds from his family and even shot a promotional video of two lovers using the Stickbox to get a selfie with the Eiffel Tower. Everything was going according to plan, but that was until he launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for $40,000.

Just one week after starting the Kickstarter campaign, exact replicas of the Stickbox had appeared on Chinese e-commerce giants like Alibaba, at a fraction of the price set by Sherman. It turns out that even before he had had a chance to look for a factory to mass-produce his product, Chinese manufacturers had stolen his idea from Kickstarter and replicated it in record time. He had become a victim of China’s lightning-fast copycats, and there wasn’t much he could do about it at this point.

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IKEA Store Can’t Keep Elderly Freeloaders Out of Its Cafe

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An IKEA store in Shanghai, China claims it has been forced to enforce special rules in order to keep elderly freeloaders from virtually taking over the place for hours at a time and engaging in blind dating sessions.

IKEA is very popular in China. Some people love the furniture mega-stores so much that they spend whole days in them without buying a single item. A few years ago we reported on a bizarre trend that involved people simply coming to IKEA and sleeping on the comfortable beds and sofas on display for hours, or just walking around and enjoying the free air conditioning. This kind of thing has been going on in China for the past 15 years, since the chain arrived in the Asian country, and it’s still very popular today. But it’s apparently not the only problem the Swedish retailer has been facing. Recently, an IKEA store in Shanghai has been dealing with a large group of elderly people that frequently spends hours in its popular cafe without buying anything.

Chinese media reports that dozens sometimes hundreds of elderly men and women meet up at the IKEA cafe in Shanghai every week, for long blind-dating sessions. They stay there for hours without buying any foods or drinks, and act like they own the place. According to a notice board put up by the Shanghai store, the group has been seriously affecting the cafe’s operations with their “uncivilized behavior”. Among the cited offences, the notice mentions “taking up seats for long hours, bringing outside food and tea, speaking loudly, spitting, and having quarrels and fights.”

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Incredibly Spicy Meal Burns Large Hole in Man’s Esophagus

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According to a recently published medical report, a 47-year-old American man who ate a burger smothered in Ghost Pepper puree ended up with a large hole in his esophagus.

The report published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine mentions that the unnamed man ate ‘ghost peppers’, also known as Bhut jolokia, in puree form, smothered on top of a burger, part of an eating contest. Soon after finishing the scorching hot meal, he began to experience violent retching and vomiting, as well as severe abdominal and chest pain. As these symptoms kept getting worse, the man called emergency responders, who took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with Boerhaave syndrome, or spontaneous esophageal rupture.

An abdomen and pelvic scan revealed a build up of air, fluid and food inside the man’s body, so doctors decided to perform emergency surgery. They discovered a 2.5cm tear in the left side of his throat and had to insert a tube into the rupture to aid his breathing. The tube remained in place for two weeks, while the man’s wound healed. He ended up spending another nine days in the hospital, before being discharged with a feeding tube in place.

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Chinese Woman Terminates Her Pregnancy to Save Brother’s Life

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Having to decide between saving your unborn child or your brother is a choice no person should ever have to make, but it’s exactly what a young Chinese woman recently went through. Her touching story has been doing the rounds online, leaving millions of people wondering what they would have done in her place.

24-year-old Yang Li, from Hangzhou City, was already three months pregnant when she received news that her brother, Yang Jun, 29, was going to die unless he received a bone marrow transplant. He had been diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2015, and had since undergone 5 chemotherapy sessions, 18 radiotherapy sessions as well as an autologous bone marrow transplant. The treatment was deemed a success, but in July of this year, an examination revealed the recurrence of the lymphoma. Doctors told Jun that his only chance of survival was a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, and that his sister was a perfect match.

Having to break the news to his little sister, knowing she was pregnant, was the hardest thing Jun ever had to do. But at the same time, he thought about his own 7-year-old daughter who would otherwise have to grow up without a father, and about his wife. With tears in his eyes, he told Li that she was his last chance.

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Chinese Restaurant Adopts “Pay What You Want” Policy, Loses $15,000 in a Week

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A naive restaurant owner in Guiyang, China, who thought that appealing to people’s inherent goodness would be a good way to attract customers to his new karst cave-themed restaurant, managed to lose over 100,000 RMB in just seven days.

Liu Xiaojun and his two business partners did the math, and decided that promoting their new restaurant by applying the now-famous “pay what you want” policy would be a good idea. Choosing to ignore the disastrous experiences of other restaurant owners who allowed customers to pay what they wanted for the food, the three simply assumed that the vast majority of customers would be rational and fair. They were wrong.

To be honest, their idea wasn’t a total failure. The news that they could order as many dishes as they liked and pay whatever they wanted for them attracted lots of customers, but many of them paid only 10% of the cost of their meal, while a few even dared to leave just 1 RMB (¢15) on the table. In just seven days, the restaurant had incurred losses of over 100,000 RMB ($15,000) and the promotion fell apart. Following the disastrous result, the three owners got into a serious argument and one of them left the city, vowing never to return again.

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This New Los Angeles Nightclub Will Only Admit Attractive People

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Beautiful people sick of having to share the same partying space with less attractive human specimens will soon get the chance to mingle only with their own kind at a new bar that turns away ugly people.

It sounds like a joke, but, sadly, it is not. The new venue is being opened by, an exclusive social media platform that only accepts good looking men and women. Since it launched in 2002, it has reportedly rejected over 11 million people, with only 800,000 gaining the coveted membership status. To join the controversial website, applicants have to pass a strict rating process, where current members vote during a period of 48 hours, based on submitted photographs and a short bio.

Greg Hodge, managing director of, says that the new club is the materialization of the website users’ wishes. “We listen to our members and they are fed up of going out to expensive bars, hoping to meet similarly beautiful people, only to spend the night wishing that the lighting was lower,” he recently said. We are very excited about the opening of our flagship bar. We will take the same ethos into this project as we did when we launched the dating site, we are simply taking the BeautifulPeople concept into the real world.”

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The Mexican Town That Threw Out Criminals, Politicians and Police

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Five years ago, the people of Cherán, a small town in Mexico’s Michoacan state, made international headlines for taking up up arms against the powerful drug gangs threatening their livelihood, driving off local politicians and police in the process. Today, the self-governed settlement is a beacon of hope for many other Mexican communities.

The inspiring story of new Cherán began in 2011. For three years, the locals had watched helplessly how loggers supported by drug cartels like the Familia Michoacana ravaged their ancient forests, carrying away the big tree trunks and burning the rest, to prepare the land for avocado plantations. They had asked the Government for help with the situation, but received none, and the corrupt local politicians and police simply chose to look the other way. Left with no other options, and with the loggers nearing one of the town’s water springs, the people of Cherán decided it was up to them to fight for the forest and their livelihood.

“We were worried,” Margarita Elvira Romero, one of the conspirators of the historic uprising, recently told the BBC. “If you cut the trees, there’s less water. Our husbands have cattle – where would they drink if the spring was gone?” She and a few other women first went into the forest to try and reason with the loggers, but they were verbally abused and chased away by the armed men. So they came up with a plan to stop the trucks when they passed through Cherán, and hopefully receive the support of the whole community.

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Man Tries to Surprise Wife with Pokemon Plush Toys, Almost Destroys His Marriage

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A thoughtful husband in Singapore recently ended up fighting to save his marriage after buying three Pokemon plush toys as a surprise for his wife, a big Pokemon Go fan.

The poor guy, known only by his handle – featherlit – on online marketplace Carousell, posted an ad on October 12, pleading with people to get three Snorlax plushies off his hands and help him save his marriage. In the item description section, he wrote how he decided to buy the adorable plush toys for his wife, as she was always talking about how “cute and dumb” the Pokemon character looked. So without giving the much thought, he went online and ordered three plush Snorlax figures.

Featherlit was expecting to receive miniature versions of the Pokemon that they could set on the living-room coffee table as decorations, but to his great surprise, the three Snorlaxes tuned out to be life-sized, with each one measuring around 1.5 meters tall. But that was nothing compared to the shock he got when his wife flew into a rage, after seeing most of their living space taken up by the huge plush toys. He was forced to put them up for sale, after the spouse threatened “to move back to her mom’s home” if he didn’t get rid of them.

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World’s Best Dressed Farmer Works the Fields Wearing Fancy Suit

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Kiyoto Saito, a young rice farmer from Kengo, Japan’s Yamagata prefecture, is trying to change people’s perception of agricultural work through his unusual attire. Whether he’s driving a tractor, or is standing up to his knees in the marshy rice fields, Kiyoto is always wearing an elegant suit complete with shirt and tie.

Kiyoto’s family has been cultivating rice in the fields around Kengo for around 400 years, but as a teenager he found the tradition boring, and moved to the city. He returned to his native town a few years ago determined to start a family and get involved in the family business, but decided to put his unique twist on it.

The idea of wearing a suit in the fields started as a joke. One day, at the dinner table, his brother joked about farming in an elegant suit, but Kyioto took it seriously. He viewed the idea as the perfect way to change public perception of agricultural work in Japan. “Most people think of farmers as ‘dirty all day’ and not making much money,” he told Zoomin TV. “I want youngsters to think ‘ farming looks fun’.

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World’s Most Exclusive Social Network Charges Rich Snobs $1,000 a Month

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Snobby rich kids sick of sharing the social media space with plebs can now sign up for the “world’s most exclusive social network”. It’s even named after them and only costs $1,000 a month. What’s not to like, right?

These days, anyone with a smartphone, tablet or laptop can just go online and create an account for the world’s most popular social networks, for free, and start posting their life online. It’s this inclusivity that makes social media so popular, but it’s also what’s making it more difficult for attention-seeking, filthy rich snobs to stand out. But a new social network called Rich Kids promises to offer rich people the chance to shine online, by making the platform virtually unaffordable to anyone else.

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Rich Chinese Bachelors Are Touring Siberia in Search of Beautiful Brides

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Faced with a shortage of eligible women back home, China’s successful businessmen are apparently turning their attention to Russia. They are apparently paying thousands of dollars to go on ‘wife tours’ in Siberia, hoping to find the brides of their dreams.

Elena Suvorova, head of a marriage agency in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city, organized the first ‘wife tour’ for six Chinese bachelors last year. The event was apparently a success, with some of the men actually starting relationships with a few of the 25 girls invited to compete for their affection. So this year, Suvorova’s agency, OSD Center, held another wife tour for five Chinese men, aged 25 to 46, who came all the way from Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen, in search for a suitable life partner.

“For them, a Russian woman is like a present,” Elena told the Siberian Times. “Men want to get married, and are committed for serious relationships.”

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Russian Programmer “Ressurects” Deceased Best Friend as an AI Chatbot

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It’s hard to let go of loved ones, especially when they pass away suddenly. But thanks to rapidly evolving artificial intelligence, you soon may not have to let go. Well, not completely, anyway. Case in point, Eugenia Kuyda, the co-founder and CEO of a Russian artificial intelligence startup called Luka Inc, who recently brought her best friend back to life as an AI chatbot.

Kuyda lost her best friend, fellow tech entrepreneur Roman Mazurenko, in November 2015, but just three months after his tragic car accident, she sent the first text message to his AI personality, Roman. With no grave to visit, because he had been cremated, the young programmer, decided to use every digital memory of him, including photos, news articles and thousands of SMS text messages he had sent to her over the years, and feed them into a neural network to create an AI chatbot that many of those who knew Roman say sounds just like him.

“It was the first death for me. I didn’t know how to react, so as soon as I could I shoved everything as deep inside as possible and tried not to feel anything. Half a year later I can say that it doesn’t go away. In the last couple of months our team at Luka managed to build a dialogue model using smaller datasets on top of a neural net. I put together all texts we sent each other, photos, articles about him and we built a Roman AI,” Kuyda wrote in a Facebook post. “You can text with him about his life or just chat like you normally would – he will reply like Roman would have.”

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Chinese Boss Forces Female Employees to Kiss Him Every Morning

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The male boss of a company in Beijing, China, has recently come under fire for forcing female workers to line up and give him a kiss every morning, claiming that it enhances the corporate culture and improves relations between manager and employees.

Women working at a company that sells home brewery machinery, in Tongzhou District, Beijing, are required to line up between 9:00 and 9:30 each morning to kiss their boss. And we’re not talking about a little, innocent smooch on the cheek, although that would be pretty weird as well, but a kiss on the lips. China Press reports that while the women were initially reluctant to accept the bizarre daily ritual, they eventually gave in to the boss’ demands in order to keep their jobs. Only two of the company’s female workers refused to kiss their boss on the mouth and chose to resign instead. According to Chinese media reports, over half the unnamed company’s staff members are women.

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Versace-Obsessed Albanian Car Salesman Is Probably Fashion Label’s Biggest Fan

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Shenki Maslani, a 30-year-old Albanian car salesman living in northern Macedonia, has taken on the unofficial name “Shenki Versace” to show off his obsession with the Italian fashion label. Virtually everything he owns has either the Versace name or the company’s iconic Medusa logo on it.

Shenki recently told Macedonian media that he first fell in love with Versace in 2009, and he has spent the last seven years surrounding himself with Versace branded items, from clothing and jewelry to his several luxury cars and even his house. The young car salesman claims that thanks to his lucrative business, he has been able to spend around €1 million ($1.1 million) on his obsession, and has no regrets.

Shenki Maslani, Albanian car salesman obsessed with Versace


Brewers Legally Change Their Names to Elvis to Avoid Legal Action from Presley Estate

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The two founders of Scottish brewery BrewDog have both legally changed their names to ‘Elvis’ after being threatened with legal action by the Presley Estate over their grapefruit and blood orange IPA, called Elvis Juice.

Formerly known as James Watt and Martin Dickie, the two Elvises sought to prove that their new name is not exclusive, so they went ahead and got their birth names legally changed, by deed poll. In a witty response to the King of Rocks and Roll’s estate, the two write:  “We’re caught in a trap and suggest the grey-suited hound dogs at the Presley Estate recognise that the name Elvis is not exclusive. So in an effort to patch it up, we’ve changed our names to highlight our burning love for the best grapefruit IPA out there. From this point forward, Elvis Juice is named after us, the brewers formerly known as James and Martin. We may even file a case against Mr Presley for using our names on all his records without our written permission.”

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