Playboy property tycoon Liu Xuan (Deng Chao) purchases the Green Gulf, a coastal wildlife reserve, for a land reclamation project, and uses sonar technology to get rid of the sea life in the area. Unknown to him, the Green Gulf is the home of merpeople and the sonar (in addition to heavy pollution) has caused many of them to die or get sick. The few survivors live in an abandoned shipwreck in the gulf, and want to assassinate Xuan for his deeds. The merfolk send Shan (Lin Yun), a beautiful young mermaid, who has been trained to walk on her fins and hide among humans, to seduce and kill Xuan. At an extravagant party celebrating Xuan’s business success, Shan, pretending to be a dancer, asks him to call her.The Mermaid 2016.
Xuan, believing that Shan is an escort, calls her number in order to make Ruolan (Zhang Yuqi), his business partner (and ex-girlfriend), jealous. Shan attempts to kill Xuan, but all her attempts backfire. Xuan decides to escort Shan back home, and along the way Shan takes him to a funfair where she works. While there, Shan shows Xuan there are more important things than money, and Xuan is impressed with Shan’s simple, amusing antics. They spend the day together and develop feelings for each other. When Xuan finally takes Shan home, Shan quickly sends Xuan away before her people can kill him. The next day, Xuan takes Shan out on another date and proposes to her. Xuan admits that even though they only met the day before, he already knows that she is the one for him. A conflicted Shan rejects him and admits that she was sent there to kill him. Xuan kisses her, but Ruolan interrupts them. Shan runs out, and as Xuan attempts to follow her, Ruolan stops him. Angered, Xuan demands Ruolan to cancel their business deal.