Nouveau riche Chinese mogul goes shopping accompanied by 8 robotic servants

© Yuriko Nakao
A Chinese tycoon opted for an unusual entourage, taking eight “female” humanoid robots clad in yellow and red uniforms with him on a shopping spree. The man was seen purchasing luxury goods encircled by the silent but servile helpers.

The money-bag, who reportedly is the boss of the company that produces these robots, was photographed on April 15 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou as he undertook an outing to a mall to buy some rich man’s ‘essentials’, such as gold jewelry and other luxury products, local media reported.

The helpers automatically followed their “master,” some of which carried his purchases while others looked after his coat and water bottles, all to the amazement of onlookers.

His epic stroll made headlines in China, where some media outlets chastised the big shot for being vulgar and ill-cultured, labelling him a “Tu Hao” – a term used in China to describe a  rich person showing off their often sudden wealth.

The man of fortune, who was apparently pleased with the attention drawn to his extravagant ways, continued his adventures the next day. On 16 April, he took his green-eyed trouble-proof companions to the Wanda theme park, where he introduced the “girls” to the giant Optimus Prime statue from Transformers, the International Business Times reported. 

However, not everybody was enthusiastic about the opulent display of wealth.

“My goodness! Walking around with ‘Robot Maids?’ Certainly not my cup of tea! What’s so big deal about it? Worst of all...robot maids holding water and towel for him. He’s not retarded, is he?” wrote Facebook user Han Yin Tan in commenting on Chung’s behavior.

However, there’s still a long way to go before artificial intelligence replaces humans, as a recent experiment employing robots as waiters has shown.

“The robots weren’t able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again,” said an employee of a local Guangzhou restaurant that resorted to using robotic waitressing services, as cited by Shanghailist.com. 

“The robots can attract plenty of customers, but they definitely can’t reduce the need for human labor,” another human employee concluded.