Czech Billionaire Buys Pianos Rejected by Beijing’s Childish Antics

A piano keyboard.

British acoustic engineer John Stuart Reid invented an instrument for research in cymatics (also known as acoustic dynamics) and found that different frequencies and energy levels will have other effects on water. (Image: Jobbeat via Pixabay)

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil recently led a delegation to Taiwan where he extended support to the island nation, a move that angered the Chinese regime. In retaliation, China rejected an order of pianos from Petrof, a Czech-based business that is one of the most prominent piano manufacturers in Europe. Karel Komarek, a Czech billionaire, decided to give the Chinese government a strong reply and remind people that the Czech Republic is a free nation by buying up the pianos.

Buying pianos

Before Vystrcil’s Taiwan visit, Petrof had received an order for 11 pianos from China. However, after the visit, talks of sanctioning Czech companies in China began making the rounds. This is when Petrof’s orders got canceled since the importer had no money to pay the potential fines. According to the company, orders from China make up about 35 percent of its revenue. As such, Petrof is seriously worried about whether the current conflict between the two countries will blow up and harm their profitability.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

When Komarek came to know about this, he contacted Petrof to buy all their pianos through the Karel Komarek Family Foundation (KKFF). According to Petrof owner Zuzana Ceralova Petrofova, the order was very important for the company since 2020 has been a financially difficult year. When she came to know about Komarek’s decision, Petrofova was initially surprised at the generous action of the billionaire.

When Komarek came to know about this, he contacted Petrof to buy all their pianos through the Karel Komarek Family Foundation (KKFF).
When Komarek came to know about this, he contacted Petrof to buy all their pianos through the Karel Komarek Family Foundation (KKFF). (Image: Vladvictoria via Pixabay)

“We decided to buy the pianos as soon as we learned about the issue. My wife and I agreed that our Foundation would donate them to Czech schools immediately. We would be happy if those eleven instruments became the symbol of Czech pride and cohesion… Czechia is a successful, and most of all, free country. It’s what I myself appreciate beyond anything else and what I would like to remind our citizens of with this little step,” Komarek said in a statement.

Komarek has an estimated net worth of US$3.8 billion and is considered the 648th richest man in the world. He started off investing in oil and gas in the 90s. He is the founder of KKCG, an investment group that has a stake in 30 companies across Central Europe. The Chinese government is said to have imposed sanctions on all Czech businessmen and representatives who participated in the Taiwan visit. Many of these firms are small and medium-sized businesses. The Czech business leaders called China’s sanctions childish and said that they were prepared for the Chinese government’s economic retaliation before committing to the trip.

Komarek started off in the oil and gas industry.
Komarek started off in the oil and gas industry. (Image: kristinakasp via Pixabay)

In addition to sanctioning Czech firms, Beijing is also targeting the European country’s tourism industry and has issued a travel advisory warning Chinese citizens to avoid traveling to the Czech Republic. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism justified the advisory by pointing out that the Czech Republic was showing “signs of a quick rebound in COVID-19 pandemic.”

Switching stance

Meanwhile, Taiwanese people are apparently angry at what they perceive as a betrayal from Vystrcil. In a speech given in Taipei, he had spoken in a manner that implied that he supported Taiwan. However, after getting back to his home country, Vystrcil denied that he ever claimed Taiwan was an independent country, thereby leaning toward Beijing’s stance on the island nation. This has made Taiwanese netizens question whether inviting him was worth it.

Vystrcil’s move is believed to have been aimed at placating Beijing so as to avoid any negative consequences to his country that might endanger his political career. Czech President Milos Zeman slammed Vystrcil for his visit to Taiwan and publicly announced that he would stop inviting the Senate president to foreign policy briefings.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Emotional Asian woman covering ears with hands.

Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that seem to become stuck in your mind. The nature of ...

The Champs Elysées, a 2-km-long road in Paris, France, stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre.

The Champs Elysées: The Most Famous Street in Paris with 300 Years of History

Why is the Champs Elysées so famous? It was built on the order of the ...

Publicity photo of American actress Anna May Wong likely commissioned to promote the movie 'Daughter of Shanghai.'

Anna May Wong: A Pioneering Hollywood Star of Asian Descent

On October 24, 2022, the U.S. Mint released a 25-cent coin with President Washington on ...

Destroyed buildings and rubble from an earthquake.

Nature’s Warning Signs: Bizarre Happenings Before the Tangshan Earthquake

On July 28, 1976, at 3:42 a.m. Beijing time, an earthquake 16 kilometers below the ...

The Longgong Waterfall.

Exploring the Enchanting Zhukeng River Trail in Chiayi, Taiwan 

Nestled in the picturesque Ruifong Scenic Area in central Taiwan’s Chiayi County, the Zhukeng River ...

A boy using a smartphone.

Excessive Screen Time Can Affect Young People’s Emotional Development

A recent Beyond Blue survey of more than 2,000 teachers identified mental ill-health and excessive ...

An example of kintsugi.

Embracing Imperfection: The Art of Kintsugi

In Japanese culture, there is a unique tradition of not concealing the flaws of broken ...

Thomas Dambo on one of his trolls.

Thomas Dambo: Meet the Danish Artist With Whimsical Sculpture Trolls Across the World

Thomas Dambo, or “The Troll Whisperer,” is a Danish visionary artist and storyteller known for ...

A sad young woman.

Overcoming Depression: A Holistic Approach

Depression, often referred to as the “common cold of the mind,” can be a challenging ...

Send this to a friend