While it's unclear what a Chinese media company paid a feng shui expert to write a November 2018 blog post, the cost to the company is painfully clear: A Beijing court last week ruled Zhuhai Shengun Internet Technology had to pay almost $30,000 after losing a libel suit against it. The since-deleted post focused on the Wangjing SOHO, three towers that had been designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, developed by SOHO China, and opened in 2014, and it wasn't kind. The feng shui expert cited a "heart-piercing" and "noxious" energy that made the building a "Waterloo" for its tenants, listing former occupants who had gone out of business and internet companies still there that are faring poorly. Oh, and the buildings look like "pig kidneys."
The article, which CNBC reports was read 100,000 times, "applies superstition to Wangjing Soho building, which institutes defamation," found the court. The South China Morning Post reports the building's tenants—who include Caterpillar, Siemens, and Daimler—paid a total of 386 million yuan in rent last year, or about $57 million at the current exchange rate. The New York Times sees the case as spotlighting the continued weight given to feng shui in real estate dealings (people are willing to pay more to reside in structures with good feng shui) along with the government's efforts to exert more control over independent media. (Read more feng shui stories.)