Chinese influencers head to Shanghai Costco to pretend they are in US

·2-min read
Costco is likely to open its second store in China in November (AFP/Getty Images)
Costco is likely to open its second store in China in November (AFP/Getty Images)

Social media influencers in China are posing and clicking pictures outside a Costco supermarket in Shanghai to make it look like they are in Los Angeles.

Due to strict border controls since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult to travel outside their countries for most people across the world. Similarly, China has tightened scrutiny over issuing and renewing passports to stop “non-urgent and unnecessary” cross-border travel.

So, influencers on Chinese social media and e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu have taken to posting pictures with captions such as “pretending to be in a foreign country”, according to Quartz.

“Costco is really good for taking pictures... it really feels like being in LA,” wrote one such Xiaohongshu user.

A post, which has now gone viral on Twitter, shows these influencers posing in shopping carts inside the store or at the store's parking lot.

Social media personalities also left instructions on their posts on how and where to get the perfect picture.

“If you want to take photos, it is recommended that the light is not too high at 4 o'clock in the afternoon... a good place to take pictures is the parking lot and the lawn area. It is better to wear casual bright-coloured clothes,” wrote one Chinese user.

The influencers, however, are not trying to trick their followers into thinking that they are in Los Angeles.

The American brand opened its first store in China in 2019 and received an ecstatic welcome from Chinese citizens. Over 200,000 people reportedly signed up for the store’s membership and waited for over half an hour to pay for their goods on opening day.

The store was forced to close within a few hours on opening day because it couldn’t keep pace with the volume of shoppers.

Costco is likely to open its second store in November in the southern city of Suzhou.

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