China's "useless Edison" goes viral with his wacky designs

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 1, 2019 - Duration: 01:30s

China's "useless Edison" goes viral with his wacky designs

Geng Shuai is more than just an offbeat Chinese inventor.

He's also an internet star.

The former plumber shot to fame after he started posting videos of his wacky creations online - including a meat cleaver that doubles as a cellphone case to a toilet built into a scooter.

Eve Johnson reports.


China's "useless Edison" goes viral with his wacky designs

If you live in China and you're looking for a massage chair with a difference...well, look no further.

Geng Shuai has the gadget for you.

Just a few years ago, Geng was a village plumber.

Today, he's a sensation on China's internet thanks to his collection of inventions more quirky than practical.

His fans call him "China's Useless Edison".

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) INVENTOR, GENG SHUAI, SAYING: "My inventions don't always meet my expectations in terms of usefulness.

But they can bring joy to people purely as gadgets to look at." Which is not to say they have no utility at all.

This one could be handy for butchers waiting for an important phone call, although it should probably come with warning.

There's also this cutting-edge backscratcher.

Geng has more than three million followers online in China And although he sometimes sells his creations, most of his income comes from Internet ads or donations from admirers who watch his livestream.

Geng's viral videos include this one introducing a solution for commuters sick of dirty public toilets.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) INVENTOR, GENG SHUAI, SAYING: "When you lift up the seat, there's a toilet bowl that can flush.

Here, I'll show you how it works." Thanks to his online success, his income has tripled from the days he was fixing pipes.

But like all internet stars, the future is still a question mark In fact, some of his followers have warned that they'll ditch him if he ever creates anything that's actually useful.

But not to worry, Geng isn't out of ideas just yet.

Portable disco, anyone?

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