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Malls in Hong Kong are notorious for keeping temperatures at a ridiculously low 59 degrees—shocking news for everyone who's spent the winter ducking into malls as a safe haven from the devastating cold. But the reason behind the icy temps is even more surprising.
A new book, The Bling Dynasty: Why the Reign of Chinese Luxury Shoppers Has Only Just Begun, reveals that "In Hong Kong, freezing is good." Ewan Rambourg, the author of the book, found that cold is "chic, it’s luxury, it’s a sign of wealth." Uh, okay. Studies in Hong Kong have even shown that shoppers would find malls without the AC blasting "more primitive."
Malls are so cold that customers in Hong Kong often bring what is described as an "indoor jacket." A piece that would add a whole new layer to stunting in the summertime.
All of this adds up quite quickly. Hong Kong malls make up 30 percent of the city's energy use in the winter, and that number surges to 60 percent when natural temps rise in the summer.
Not only is the temperature drop a ridiculous inconvenience—imagine having to bring a jacket to the mall in the middle of the sweltering summer—but it's also a huge pain to the environment. Time Out's study on the impact shows that it would take "a mature tree three months to absorb the carbon emissions created by just one regular air con unit in eight hours." The cost of keeping it cool is unjustifiable given that the only advantage is the feeling of being RICH.
[via Business Insider]