fter living for nearly half a year in a Beijing apartment that they had rented through a popular online platform, one couple made a horrifying discovery last month, a camera hidden inside a wall socket next to their bed.
Thanks to a much-shared WeChat post, the anonymous couple’s story went viral recently with Ziroom, one of China’s largest online rental agencies, named as the provider of the room in the capital’s Chaoyang district.
According to the post, the couple noticed a strange hole in the outlet on September 11th and covered it up with tape before calling the cops. The following day, officers arrived, dismantling the socket and discovering a small hidden camera that was equipped with a 16 GB memory card that could be accessed via Wifi.
The camera had apparently been recording since the day they moved in.
The couple purportedly decided to go public with their story after being unsatisfied with Ziroom’s response to the shocking invasion of their privacy. On Monday, the company released a statement, saying that it was cooperating with police in their investigation and that it conducts “rigorous” inspections when renovating homes.
Ziroom typically leases apartments from owners and then renovates the apartments before subleasing them to tenants. Prior to the couple moving in, others had also lived in the room. At the moment it’s unclear who installed the camera in the bedside outlet.
Founded in 2011, Ziroom raised 4 billion yuan ($577 million) from investors like Tencent back in January — the largest amount ever pulled in by a Chinese apartment rental agency. However, the company has been beset by scandal this year, facing a lawsuit from a woman who believes that her husband’s death was caused by excessive levels of formaldehyde in his Ziroom-rented apartment.