Giant QR code mocked as unscannable

Xinhua
A giant QR code in north China’s Hebei Province has left people wondering what to make of the design, which can only be scanned from high above the ground.
Xinhua
Xinhua

Aerial view of a giant QR code in Xilinshui Village, Hebei Province, in a photo taken on September 13, 2017.

A giant QR code in north China’s Hebei Province has left people wondering what to make of the design, which can only be scanned from high above the ground.

The QR, or quick response, code in Xilinshui, a village in the city of Baoding, is made up of 130,000 Chinese juniper trees arranged to cover an area of 6.7 hectares.

The code directs mobile users to an account that promotes local tourism.

The account is managed by Haomeng Linshui Agriculture Technological Co Ltd, which claims to offer a wide range of services, including agricultural tourism and catering businesses. 

The story has aroused public interest but has been mocked as a publicity gimmick with many people asking how mobile phone users are supposed to scan the code.

“Aren’t we supposed to power off our phones on airplanes?” was one comment on Weibo.

“First of all, you need a helicopter,” read another.

Xilinshui boasts forests, clean rivers and beautiful mountains. It was named one of the most beautiful villages in Hebei in 2015, according to the Baoding government.

QR codes are becoming increasingly popular in China, particularly for making mobile payments, and for publicity purposes. 

By the end of June 2017, China had 724 million mobile phone users.

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