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This Is What Happened When Hot Male Models Walked Around China In Spartan Costumes

Of course passersby went crazy, but the internet fever didn't peak until the police straddled the hotties.

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They walked around a couple of the city's most popular neighborhoods, with some food boxes in hand, wearing sexy leather shorts and capes fixed with leather belts across their chests.

It was later revealed that the gathering was a PR stunt put on by a salad restaurant called Sweetie Rock 'n' Roll Salad, imitating a flashmob that happened in London last May.

#300 #Spartans in the #London ... — http://t.co/WEabbs4iu5 — #Adver #Ideas #Inspiration #Movies #Subway

But before that came to light, people were just wildly guessing. One confused Weibo user, maybe hearing some of the Spartans' slogan-shouting, asked "today in the entrance of the Guomao subway station, what happened? What Rock 'n' Roll? What salad?"

Weibo / Via weibo.com

But then things went in a different direction. As the group of men walked along an overpass towards the Sanlitun area, they were overtaken by police and tackled.

Weibo

(ICYMI: Sanlitun is where the whole Uniqlo sex tape thing happened and is becoming a popular tourist site in Beijing.)

Witnesses uploaded photos onto China's social media and the online discussion shifted. "So what's the answer? Is it because the Spartan warriors are trying to go to that Uniqlo store but somehow got swooped up by our police?"

The Chinese internet didn't really explode until it saw this picture: a policeman straddling a Spartan soldier. In East Asia, the movement is commonly described as a "tackle-cuddle," which is a romantic move that originated in anime.

One Weibo user asked, "did you count on being tackle-cuddled in your publicity strategy? 😂 Your marketing director should at least apply for permission for the campaign to happen. That's just common sense."

Weibo / Via weibo.com

In the end, the police decided to accost them to restore public order after the foreigners ignored several warnings, according to China state media Global Times. In China, big public gatherings are required to apply for permission from the authorities.

Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.

Contact Beimeng Fu at beimeng.fu@buzzfeed.com.

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