The Beijing auto show is renowned for being a full-contact sport. Walking the aisles, even trying to enter the venue, can be a matter of survival of the fittest.
This year the overcrowding reached crisis levels. Scores of families, some toting toddlers or infants, infiltrated what supposedly was the media preview day. They were aided by hordes of scalpers hovering outside doing a brisk business in hot-ticket exhibition passes.
To make things even worse, Hyundai triggered a meltdown when word leaked that its celebrity guest presenter would be Kim Soo-hyun — a South Korean heartthrob currently all the rage in China. Thousands of fans — most of them young women who somehow finagled their way into press day — shut down Hall W2. Guards in camo-colored jumpsuits wouldn’t let our reporter in for a scheduled interview.
Security asked Kim, a baby-faced actor/model/singer, to delay his appearance two hours until the mob subsided. “Security was afraid that an accident may occur due to the large size of the crowd,” a Hyundai spokeswoman said. “The press conference took place after security was increased, and it all ended well.”