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Chinese buy 'floor shakers' to combat noisy neighbors

Extended lockdowns have amplified noisy neighbor issues in China

A display photo of a floor shaker listed for sale on Weibo. (Weibo, Opislei photo)

A display photo of a floor shaker listed for sale on Weibo. (Weibo, Opislei photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new product that offers users a way of avenging noisy neighbors has been trending on China’s e-commerce platforms lately – “the floor shaker” (震楼器).

Interest in the product has been growing as recent lockdowns have forced millions of Chinese to stay inside, per a WhatsonWeibo report. The floor shaker – a device that attaches to the ceiling and causes the floor above to vibrate – offers residents the chance to give their noisy upstairs neighbors a taste of their own medicine and deter further disturbance.

Yet this eye-for-an-eye approach to resolving noise pollution can sometimes spark conflict. One recent video on social media saw a man pull a knife on his neighbor as they tussled over a floor shaker.

Rather than resort to violence, some residents simply call the police on their neighbors, though floor shakers are not technically illegal. Due to their tendency to destabilize social harmony, e-commerce vendors often emphasize the product’s positive side-effects, portraying it as a sleep inducer, rather than a malicious tool.

Some floor shaker models can even be activated when the user is outside their home via a smartphone app. The average price for the device on Taobao is about US$26 (NT$723.58), per WhatsonWeibo.

Updated : 2022-05-23 03:54 GMT+08:00