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Beijing's public bathrooms to get a makeover

Restrooms to be kitted out WiFi, charging outlets and ATMs


We love Beijing, but we'd be the first to admit that it isn't perfect. The current public bathroom situation admittedly leaves a lot to be desired – even after that two-fly rule. But, if you're the trusting kind, the capital's public loo game should be on the up and up. Someone from the Beijing Environmental Sanitation Engineering Group clearly overheard our complaints, because they've just announced plans to upgrade public restrooms the city over.

The group is going all out with the redecoration project, decking out the toilets with ATMs, WiFi access and charging points – not just for phones, either, they're also including outlets for electric cars. They'll even be offering medical services like blood pressure and heart rate checks and urinalysis (because, why not?). Automatic scrubbers will also take the place of human cleaners.

According to an official from the Beijing Environmental Sanitation Engineering Group, public restrooms won't even be called toilets any more. Instead, they will be re-branded as 'the fifth space' – the latest addition to family space, work space, leisure space and cyber space. The Fifth Element, the sixth sense, the fifth space... we like it. It's got a certain ring to it.

To further already questionable promises, restrooms signs will also be changed from 'WC' to '5'.

These restroom-hospital-bank-lounge hybrids are already stirring up controversy. Locals have taken to social media to bash the proposal's extravagance and impracticality. Which makes sense – restroom queues are long enough now without adding WiFi to the mix. Still, we can't complain about free WiFi.

With all these fancy new updates, we can see public restrooms becoming the Beijing version of neighbourhood country clubs. Next thing you know, everyone will be hanging out there. As Wechat user @Dianxialaile put it, 'these restrooms will be more comfortable than my home.' Can you imagine all the existential crises that are going to occur?

No word yet on when the revamping project will start or how much it will cost. If any officials are reading this, we'd be happy with just, you know, toilet paper and soap – and a two-fly max.
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