I would rather cry in a BMW

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I would rather cry in a BMW
Traditional Chinese寧在寶馬車裏哭,也不在自行車上笑
Simplified Chinese宁在宝马车里哭,也不在自行车上笑
Literal meaningRather inside BMW car crying, than be on top of a bike laughing

"I would rather cry in a BMW" is a quotation that became an online sensation in the People's Republic of China in 2010. The old, long-familiar phrase was made famous by Ma Nuo, a 20-year-old female contestant on the television dating show Fei Cheng Wu Rao (also known in English as If You Are the One). The line was in response to a question by an unemployed suitor who asked if Ma would "ride a bicycle with him" on a date. The series of events have been summed up in the media with the quip "I would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle."[1]


In interviews after the show, Ma pointedly denied that she is a "gold digger" – saying that she "just wanted to reject [her suitor] in a creative way."[2] Social commentator Chen Zhigang remarked, "Does Ma Nuo only speak for herself? No. Her opinion resonates with youth; they have grown up in a society that is quickly accumulating material wealth. They worship money, cars and houses because the highly developing economy has made them do so."[3]


The blunt nature of the statement works well in the dating show's format, and is not the first controversial phrase to arise out of Fei Cheng Wu Rao. It was cited by critics as a window to the "degradation of Chinese social values,"[2] and even drew the attention of government censors, who eventually forced producers to re-design the format of the show to be more professional and 'clean' of morally questionable content.[4] The phrase also earned notoriety for Ma, whose purported pictures began surfacing all over the internet despite strong dislike from the public.

Professor Jinhua Zhao of the University of British Columbia referred to the quote to allude to trends in the last decade of Beijing residents opting to get rid of their bikes in favour of cars as a mode of transport, citing the social perception that, "bikes are now for losers."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "China smitten by TV dating". Retrieved 2022-04-17.
  2. ^ a b Yang, Xiyun (18 July 2010). "China's Censors Rein in 'Vulgar' Reality TV Show". New York Times. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  3. ^ Lin, Qi (24 April 2010). "The Dating game by Jiangsu TV". China Daily. Archived from the original on 11 March 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  4. ^ Wong, Edward (1 January 2012). "China TV Grows Racy, and Gets a Chaperon". New York Times. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  5. ^ Bruno, Debra (10 April 2012). "The De-Bikification of Beijing". The Atlantic Cities. Retrieved 10 April 2012.