Blogger Luo Yonghao smashed three Siemens refrigerators in front of the company's Chinese headquarters in Beijing on Sunday morning. The act was a protest against the German company's negative attitude toward rectifying the design flaws of its products, Luo said.
Luo, founder of Laoluo English Training School and blog website Bullog, hammered the refrigerators out of shape outside the company's building at about 8:15 am. He was joined by several of his supporters. Thousands of netizens showed their support after Luo uploaded some photos of the activity.
About 40 people, including passers-by and some reporters, witnessed the protest.
"We chose Sunday morning, when most people were resting at home, to carry out the activity," Luo told China Daily. "I don't want to make trouble for the public, and I even hired a worker to clean up the junk."
Luo said he submitted a written statement to Siemens after smashing the refrigerators, asking the company to admit the problem, publicize the serial numbers of the problematic refrigerators and recall them.
All of the three refrigerators, one owned by Luo and two others collected from a renowned musician and a writer, had similar problems. Their doors would not close unless they were "pushed slightly, with care", according to Luo.
Luo said writer Han Han supported his activity and also donated his own "problematic" Siemens refrigerator to Luo for the show, which, however, is still on its way and scheduled to arrive next week.
"Han Han told me that he had to eat weird-shaped ice creams during the whole summer since they melted and reshaped again and again due to the refrigerator's faulty door," Luo said.
China Daily could not reach Han Han for comment on Sunday.
The clash between Luo and Siemens began in September, when he found the door of his refrigerator would not close unless it was "pushed slightly, with care". Luo complained about it on his micro blog, only to find that a large number of netizens claimed to have similar problems.
"In the beginning, I thought that the problem was an isolated case, however, after thousands of netizens echoed my complaints, I was sure that this was a design flaw in some batches in a series of Siemens refrigerators," Luo said.
Siemens responded to Luo's allegation by issuing a statement on its micro blog on October 15, which said that some consumers "encountered the problem of uneasy closing of the refrigerator door", and that the company has been in contact with them.
The statement failed to satisfy Luo.
"Why refrigerators of other brands don't have such flaws?" Luo said. "I suggested Siemens use more magnetic sealing bars on the refrigerator door, but they just ignored my advice."
Lin Xi, a photographer who said he too owned a "faulty" Siemens refrigerator, joined Luo in the smashing activity on Sunday.
"I have two Siemens refrigerators, both of which have problems with the door, however, my parents' Siemens refrigerator is good," Lin said. "I admit that not all of Siemens refrigerators are bad. We just want the company to publicize the serial numbers of the problematic ones."
An employee from the publicity section of Siemens, who refused to state her name, told China Daily on Sunday that the company will hire a third party to verify whether the refrigerator doors are indeed problematic.