Salt Panic: Chinese Fearing Japan Radiation Rush To Buy Salt

Chinese people in Lanzhou scrambling to buy salt.

Chinese people in Lanzhou scrambling to buy salt.

Due to radiation fears from the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, many Chinese citizens have rushed to buy salt under the belief that it will help fight the effects of radiation due to it’s iodine content. Despite being told that anyone outside of Japan has little to fear from the situation there, and that the salt has such low quantities of iodine that it wouldn’t have any effect anyway, many Chinese have still flocked to stores, supermarkets, and dispensaries in a panic to buy some while they can.

Some pictures from Sina:

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese consumers scramble to purchase salt in supermarkets across China, fearing radiation from Japan's continuing nuclear power plant disaster.

An empty supermarket shelf.

Chinese shoppers with boxes of salt in their shopping carts.

Chinese consumers make a run on salt over fears of radiation from Japan's ongoing nuclear disaster.

Crowds of Chinese shoppers at a Metro supermarket in China rushing to buy salt and even soy sauce following fears of radiation from Japan's ongoing nuclear disaster.

Comments from Tudou:


—。—!Early in the morning I heard that salt was going to be out of stock. Walking down the road I saw people carrying one or two boxes of salt on their shoulders (one box has 50 bags in it and one bag is 500g = 25kg) so I went to grab some salt as well. However, I was too late, not a single bag was left within a 3 kilometer radius 0 0!Only after I returned home and looked online did I realize this is a result of rumors.


Last night in a certain supermarket, everyone was fighting with each other over who got to buy the salt, while a single old lady on the side calmly browsed the other goods, even shaking her head and laughing. Someone nearby walked up and asked her why she wasn’t fighting to buy some salt and the old woman laughed and answered: I still haven’t used all the salt I bought during the SARS incident!


From this we can see much about China’s national circumstances.


It is said that no one said salt could protect against radiation. It is that everyone thought the salt they consume is sea salt, and they’re panic buying because they thought the sea salt in the future would be irradiated. What’s all this about salt protecting against radiation? You haven’t gotten things straight, did you think the ordinary common people were buying salt to rub it all over their bodies…?


Truly embarrassing. Japan has an earthquake and everyone is still able to live in an orderly way, yet in China people are in life and death fights for salt. We can see that the character of Chinese people is lower than low.


This is what the state of the country is like!!! Education is still the key!!!


Americans fearing exposure to radiation are panic buying potassium iodide. Although officials from the US health department repeatedly said that radiation from Japan wouldn’t affect the US, yet still we see the crazy situation of people rushing to buy potassium iodide. Many large pharmacists have faced sudden increased sales in potassium iodide with some even selling out. The media over there reported that on the west coast in Oregon, California, Hawaii, etc. the shelves for potassium iodide were empty.


Sigh~~~ embarrassing us in front of the whole world,  ignorance is truly frightening. Others rushing to buy iodine tablets is correct/makes sense, taking a tablet within 1 hour of exposure to radiation, but that’s still “after being exposed to radiation”! But with the little iodine in salt…. it needs to be eaten like rice to have any kind of effect, still no ones afraid of getting a thyroid tumour?!


Japan has an earthquake. Japan doesn’t go crazy, whereas China does.


Chinese people’s character is 80 years behind Japan’s. Yesterday, I saw with my own eyes people getting into physical fights over salt. Tragic, real tragic. Think about why back then Japan was invincible in China, you know why now yeah?


Eating too much salt can severely damage your kidneys, causing failure. Don’t you know that men shouldn’t eat too much salt? ~It can also severely block blood flow which can easily form a thrombus, thus causing myocardial infarction. So let those that like to eat salt die of myocardial infarction and kidney failure! Hahahahaha~


The former Soviet Union’s history shows us how many countries up to now still have citizens who have been harmed. The situation in Japan will still get more and more serious. Are you guys willing to guarantee it won’t spread to China? Go spend more time looking at history.

Chinese shoppers in Beijing waiting in line to purchase salt over radiation fears.

Comments from Youku:


I’m going to go and buy some salt too, but not for so-called prevention, its mainly because I’m afraid the seawater in the next year or year and a half will be polluted…


Japanese laugh seeing the Chinese rushing to buy salt!!


Eating salts helps prevent decomposition, do you all want to turn into mummies?


I’m from Yancheng [literally “Salt City”, located in Jiangsu province], nobody here has participated in this retarded rush to buy salt.


Hehe~~ This is a bad habit of Chinese people~!! Hehe~~ My mum went and bought two bags a couple of days ago~~ made me so angry~~ Hehe~~ Today, I brought the salt back to the supermarket to return it~ Yet the supermarket surprisingly said they wouldn’t take it back~~ The receipt didn’t even have salt printed on it~~ I got angry~~ I immediately called the Trade and Industry Bureau~~ Only when someone from the Trade and Industry Bureau came did they accept my return [email protected]@[email protected] I am calling out right here: “Those comrades that have already bought expensive salt~ please take it back to the supermarket and return it~! Don’t let these black-hearted bosses make black-hearted money~!! Salt has a set price~! Selling it above this price is illegal!


Its all a bunch of aunties and uncles [older people] rushing to buy. Their generation can only be like this, not having much sophistication/education, being really easily tricked, and like to go with the crowd.


Yep, a generation lacking education….


So many retarded stupid cunts…..being uncultured/uneducated is truly frightening.


Those illegally dealing salt should all be locked away in prison.


Those speculating on salt should be taken out and shot 100 times!!!


Japanese truly are disgusting. Clearly an island country where wind power is the most suitable for yet they still choose nuclear power~ Clearly knowing it is an area where there are frequent earthquakes and they still build nuclear power plants, and it is a vanquished country too. Being like will cause harm to all of humanity. I fucking hate Little Japan. When other people’s nuclear bombs blow up your home, you’ll regret it them~  Japan’s ambition will never change~~~~

Chinese in Hong Kong lining up to buy salt.

Salty. Personals @ chinaSMACK.


Written by stubear

Stewart is an Englishman, from Cornwall to be precise. He studied Chinese in England and Nanjing before going on to do a masters degree in China. He would like to think he knows all there is to know about China but has actually found the more time he spends there the more baffling and confusing it gets. Through the medium of Chinasmack he hopes to contribute to the sharing of modern Chinese life to the world; and in the process constantly improve his Chinese.


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