Chinese groom arrested over fake wedding guests
A man in northern China has been arrested on his wedding day after his wife's family realised that the 200 guests he invited from his side as family and friends were paid actors.
According to local media in Shaanxi province, the family of the wife, surnamed Liu, became suspicious during the conversations they were having with people from the groom's side who said they were "just friends" and not making clear how they knew him. When the ceremony started without any trace of the groom's parents, the game appeared to be up.
In interviews with regional TV station Shaanxi TV "guests" said they were paid 80 yuan ($12; £9) by the groom, named as Mr Wang, for the day to pose as family and friends. Some said they are normally taxi drivers and students, and one man revealed a conversation he had with the groom on social media platform WeChat, negotiating a price for him to be there.
As for the bride, it's reported that the couple had been together for three years, but didn't notice anything wrong at first as they had completely different circles of friends.
It's not entirely clear what the motives were behind the groom's stunt, or even which laws he's deemed to have broken. Some media claim that the wife's family did not agree to the marriage because he was poor, so he stopped his entire side from coming so as not to shame them. Regional state news portal Xibu Online says that a police investigation is ongoing.
Agog at the circumstances behind the wedding, Chinese social media users have attempted to make sense of what happened. "How can he be so poor, and then pay 200 guests?" one Sina Weibo user asks; while others speculate whether there might be some other circumstance that made him too embarrassed to invite family and friends.
Reporting by Kerry Allen, Alistair Coleman
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