All the rage: Beijingers vent their stress in 'anger room'

BEIJING (Reuters) - It took Smash customer Qiu Siyu just a few sharp blows with a baseball bat to wreck what looked like an old car radio, after which two friends battered telephones, audio speakers, rice cookers and even a mannequin.

All three paid 158 yuan ($23) to spend half an hour in an "anger room" in Beijing, where patrons wearing protective gear use hammers and bats to vent their frustration on household objects while staff play music of their choice in the background.

Qiu, a bespectacled 16-year-old high school student with braces, said she was there to vent anger about school.

"It feels so good when I destroy those bottles and watch them explode," she said, smiling sweetly.

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Anger room is all the rage in Beijing, China
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Anger room is all the rage in Beijing, China
A female customer wearing protective gear smashes the head of a mannequin in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Destroyed mannequins are placed at the corner of a wall in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
High school student Qiu Siyu, wearing protective gear, reacts after smashing wine bottles in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A staff member carries a mannequin into an anger room for a female customer in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
High school student Qiu Siyu, wearing protective gear, throws a wine bottle against the wall in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A customer wearing protective gear reacts before smashin an old telephone in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A female customer wearing protective gear smashes a mannequin in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A customer wearing protective gear smashes old furniture with a hammer in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A female customer wearing protective gear places a plastic model to smash in an mannequin in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Manager of Anger Room 'Smash' Zhuo Hanjing stands next to old electronic devices and a mannequin, to be used for smashing by customers, in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A high school student wearing protective gear smashes a computer keyboard in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A plastic mannequin with a price sign is placed next to the door of an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A customer wearing protective gear smashes a wine bottle in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Baseball bats are seen at Anger Room 'Smash' in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
High school student Qiu Siyu, wearing protective gear, smashes wine bottles in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A mother (R) places a wine bottle for her son, a high school student, in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A staff member of Anger Room 'Smash' puts on protective gear for a high school student customer in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A customer holds a baseball bat at Anger Room 'Smash' in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A couple wearing protective gear smash wine bottles in an anger room in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A staff member carries an old television for customers at Anger Room 'Smash' in Beijing, China January 12, 2019. Picture taken January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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Since the venture opened in September, customers have smashed around 15,000 bottles every month, said 25-year-old Jin Meng, who co-founded Smash with her friends.

Not intended to promote violence, Smash aims to help people deal with the pressures of living in big cities like Beijing, Jin said, adding that their target customers are between 20 and 35 years old.

Another customer, Liu Chao, 32, looked relaxed and pleased after his session.

"If you have money, you can smash anything - smash some TVs, computers, wine bottles, furniture, mannequins, but the only thing you can't do is to smash someone," said Liu. 

Similar ventures already exist in other countries, including the United States.

Jin said around 600 people visit Smash each month.

"A woman brought all her wedding photos here, and she smashed them all. We welcome people to bring their own stuff," Jin said.

"Every time when we come across cases like this, they affirm our belief that we've provided a safe place to let out negative energy. And we are happy for that."

In Beijing, Jin said her next step is to open a new anger room in a shopping mall where people can take a break from their shopping to smash a bottle or two. 

(Reporting by Thomas Suen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

 

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