A Chinese Millionaire Used Kobe Bryant's Death to Shill Cryptocurrency
Earlier this year, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed when a private helicopter they were riding in crashed. The nation was stunned and within hours, tributes were pouring in, fictional peanuts were temporarily spared, and dads all over the country honored the athlete by tearfully whispering "Kobe!" whenever they dunked something into the garbage.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency merchant Justin Sun found his own way of dealing with Kobe's passing: By using it to promote his cryptocurrency, TRON, an alt-coin that's been called both a scam and a ponzi scheme. Sun and TRON posted a series of tweets describing Kobe as a "member of the TRON family" and announced that at his next conference, they'll be having a moment of silence for Kobe -- whose only relationship with Sun and TRON was speaking at the 2019 conference about his entrepreneurial journey.
But it had nothing to do with cryptocurrency at all. Hell it was probably the same business philosophy lecture he gave a hundred times a year, a fact that TRON was well aware of seeing as how they were forced to clarify that Kobe speaking at TRON CON (or whatever the bloody thing is called) wasn't an endorsement of cryptocurrencies by Kobe. Gee, we wonder what changed?
Fortunately, commenters soon stepped in to "remind" Sun of how using the death of a major celebrity to hawk his shitty make-believe money was a bad look, the best of which was a simple "Have you no shame?" And judging from the fact that Sun has a weird habit of advertising himself as being in partnerships with people who it later turns out, have no fucking idea who he is -- including Steve Wozniak, Liverpool FC, Baidu, and Warren Buffett -- we're going to venture a guess at the answer.
Coronavirus Has Retailers Around the World Price-Gouging Face Masks
At time of publication, Covid-19 has killed 35,000+ people, infected 740,000+ people, and set up shop in 199 countries. As the world grapples with a pandemic, people are figuring out what they can do to survive -- which unsurprisingly, has led to retailers jacking the prices up on face masks to proportions that'd be comical if quite so many people weren't dying.
In Hong Kong, pharmacies were caught selling face masks at a 30 percent markup over pre-virus pricing. On the popular Chinese e-commerce site Taobao, meanwhile, a box of twenty facemasks jumped in price from 178 yuan to 1,100 yuan ($158), while in Beijing, a pharmacy was fined 3 million yuan ($640,000) for upping the price of its face masks sixfold from 143 yuan to 850 yuan. In all, the Chinese consumer regulator has investigated over 30 instances of retailers price-gouging panicked citizens over face masks, but they're probably a little more overworked by the fact that as the pandemic wears on, they're now having to deal with retailers price-gouging consumers on vegetables like lettuce (which is now selling for 8x its usual price) and cabbage (5x).