Local authorities responded on August 7 through Weibo, claiming that the shopkeepers were reacting to “groundless rumours” and explaining that “the relevant department [that carries out inspections] had not launched any particular inspection campaign nor imposed heavy fines.”
“Shopkeepers are convinced that the local government lacks the funds to organize the 2013 National Games”
Shopkeepers are convinced that the local government lacks the funds to organize the 2013 National Games, and so that it is seeking to increase revenue by any means possible. [In preparation for the games, the city of Shenyang is planning to increase its revenue by 15% relative to last year]. But personally, I think that the authorities already have many other ways to take money from people without doing it in such a direct way and in particular without declaring open season on shopkeepers. That's why these stories of exorbitant fines don't seem very realistic to me.That said, inspections do happen several times a year, and each time shopkeepers become worried, because it is true that the police takes advantage of the situation to get some more money. However, it's the first time that so many shops are closing at the same time. Whether it is a rumour or not, I think it is very revealing about how people perceive the authorities here. They clearly do not trust them.According to Chinese law, fines cannot exceed 200 yuan (25 euros) per person and 1,000 yuan (128 euro) per small business. If certain shopkeepers are worried about abuses of power, they can always file a claim, and they could even win.
Pictures posted on social networking sites and shared online on the Ministry of Tofu's website.