Smashing wedding photos pays off

2023-12-22 17:40:41China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

A business in Hebei province has carved out a unique niche in China's emotional landscape by offering a service to completely destroy unwanted wedding photos.

Led by Liu Wei, the team has shredded and incinerated nearly 450 sets of photos since March, providing closure for those seeking to move on from past relationships, according to a report by Jimu News, a news outlet based in Hubei province.

The service addresses the emotional burden tied to physical reminders of failed relationships. By obliterating these tangible traces, Liu aims to help his clients truly embrace the past and move forward.

Initially focused on destroying disused electronics with privacy concerns, Liu's team discovered a hidden demand for wedding photo destruction.

Traditional methods like burning or crushing weren't always practical or socially acceptable, especially with ornate frames made of plastic, crystal, or metal.

Recognizing this gap, Liu and his team ventured into the photo-destruction realm. They primarily promote their services on social media platforms like Xiaohongshu and Douyin, sharing personal stories and the liberating catharsis clients experience.

The business started out slowly, with only single-digit orders in the first few months. In September, business began to pick up, and by November, orders had skyrocketed to nearly 260.

Clients can choose to witness the shredding in person or virtually. Faces in the photos are usually obscured with spray paint before destruction, a measure of respect and anonymity.

The team primarily serves women between 24 and 40 years old and maintains a strict policy of non-interference in clients' personal stories. However, some clients choose to share snippets of their journeys, occasionally revealing photos with knife marks or faces crossed out, hinting at past heartaches.

Some clients seek unconventional destruction methods, requesting photos be painted entirely green or only one person's face obscured.

Recognizing the potential for impulsive decisions, the team also offers a wedding photo storage service, acting as a cooling-off period before permanent erasure. This allows clients time to reflect and ensures their choices are well-considered.

Liu Wei said he is aware that wedding photo destruction is a new concept in China, and that it takes time to educate people about the importance of privacy. He has also received criticism from some people who believe that the business is exploitative.

Despite the challenges, Liu and his team are committed to providing a valuable service to their customers. "We believe that what we are doing is the right thing," Liu said. "Even if it is difficult, we are confident that we are on the right track."


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