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2019-04-14 HKT 00:10
A blog operator must pay US$29,000 to a real estate developer for "defamation", a Chinese court has ruled after alleging a building complex had bad energy.
Published on the WeChat social network in November, the text said an office complex in Beijing brought bad luck to its business tenants because it does not respect feng shui principles.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese belief that aims to maximise the energies of a place to maximise wellbeing, health and the luck of those inside.
It's still widely used to determine the placement and layout of buildings.
The "S Shenkunju S" blog took aim at the Wangjing Soho complex in the northeast of Beijing -- a group of three buildings that resemble large rounded pebbles, owned by developer Soho China.
The article compared the structures to "pig's kidneys" and predicted the business of companies inside will suffer a "Waterloo" -- referring to the defeat of Napoleon by a British-led force in 1815.
According to the blog, which called on businesses to leave the premises, the proof these "outlandish" constructions are generating negative energy is the financial difficulties of the firms based there.
The article was widely shared online and garnered more than 100,000 views before being take down.
Lodging the complaint, the developer argued the post had a harmful impact on its business.
Beijing's Chaoyang district court on Wednesday agreed, ruling the feng shui "superstition" was used to defame the real estate group. The company behind the blog was ordered to pay the developer 200,000 yuan ($29,000) and apologise publicly.
The complex was designed by multiple award winning architect Iraqi-British Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016. (AFP)