The Nanfang / Blog

Shunde woman sent naked photo by interviewer exposes him online

Posted: 02/29/2012 3:07 pm

While most people are likely to get a polite rejection, job hunting for one woman in Shunde, He, ended recently with some unwanted sexting from a prospective employer.

After attending a job fair early this month in Shunde’s Ronggui district, He was interviewed by a Mr. Pan, the representative of one company participating in the fair. Speaking to Shunde’s Zhujiang Economic Times, He describes being offended by Pan’s behavior during the interview at the fair, with questions including compliments on her fair skin.

He says that Pan asked for her cell phone number after their meeting at the fair, promising to call her to arrange a second interview.

He did later receive a call from Pan’s company regarding a second interview, one she turned down, having already secured a job elsewhere. Then Pan called He on February 18, asking if she remembered him, and if she had a boyfriend. He says she ended the call there, only to receive an MMS the following day with a photo of Pan’s unclothed lower body.

A reporter for the Zhujiang Economic Times called the number attached to the message shown to the newspaper by He, confirming Pan’s identity. Pan, however, denied sending the photo and refused to comment further.

He says this wasn’t the first time she’s experience sexual harassment during a job search, saying police were unable to intervene in another incident last year in Guangzhou as the company name given to He couldn’t be traced.

She now notifies friends in advance of job interviews, making sure that they have the address and phone number of the company, in the event that something does happen.

“These perverts enjoy bullying weak girls,” said He, “thinking that we won’t dare to tell anyone. But I won’t let them get away with it, I want to let everyone know what they’ve done.”

And she has, posting her story on Weibo, including Pan and the company’s names, gaining numerous reposts and comments.

According to the Zhujiang Economic Times, quoting legal experts, behavior such as sending obscene, insulting or intimidating text messages which result in disruption of another person’s life is liable to come with a sentence as heavy as an administrative detention, if the behavior is verified through a police investigation.

It might be nasty, ladies, but if it happens to you, keep all the evidence you can. If police don’t help, there’s always Weibo.

Haohao

Nanfang Transport: The Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train

Posted: 02/29/2012 11:00 am

Welcome to the second installment of a new series on The Nanfang focused on travel in the Pearl River Delta. From time to time, our staff will be taking the various ferries, buses and trains connecting the cities in the PRD and writing full reviews with detailed information, so you know what to expect. Today is our second edition, focusing on the rail link connecting Guangzhou with Kowloon (Hong Kong). You can read other articles in the series here.

The Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train (also known as the Kowloon-Canton Railway) has had a long history. After China’s reform and opening was launched by Deng Xiaoping following the Cultural Revolution, the Through Train from Hong Kong was one of the first modes of transport connecting China with the outside world.

The route has been a fixture ever since: while no longer the fastest trains in China (far from it), it gives people in the PRD easy access to the former British territory and allows Hong Kong business people to pop up to the PRD with ease for business meetings or leisure activities.

HUNG HOM STATION
We took the train from Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong en route to Guangzhou East Station. Hung Hom is located on the MTR East Rail Line in Hong Kong. (MTR’s website, complete with route maps and fare information, is here.) It’s the terminus of the line, which extends all the way to Lo Wu Station (border with Shenzhen) on the other end. Hung Hom is also an interchange station for the West Rail Line, which continues to East Sim Sha Tsui Station and all the way out to Tuen Mun. As the intersection between the East and West Rail Lines in Hong Kong and for intercity through trains to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, it’s become a major transport hub in Hong Kong.

Hung Hom is on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, very close to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. In fact, the station is walkable from the waterfront, and by taxi should take no more than 6 or 7 minutes (traffic congestion notwithstanding).

Unlike the glimmering new train stations in Mainland China, Hung Hom is showing its age, having been built in 1974. However, it’s still a a pleasant facility and was upgraded after the MTR took over the station operations from the KCR in 2008.

While not new, the station is still in good condition

Hung Hom has a number of food and beverage shops, as well as convenience stores, to stock up on food or reading material before boarding trains. It has a Maxim’s fast-food shop, McDonald’s, Starbucks, 7-11, and several Cantonese bakery shops and pharmacies.  There are also several ATMs and money change facilities.

Intercity Through Trains serve Dongguan, Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Beijing and Shanghai. The PRD cities are all serviced on the same route, while separate overnight trains go to Beijing and Shanghai a couple of times a week.

Tickets to PRD cities are purchased on the ground level (street level). We purchased two tickets to Guangzhou East Station, the only station in Guangzhou served by the Through Train.

Ticket window

Most trains on the route are operated by Mainland China, while one double-decker train is operated by the MTR Corporation in Hong Kong. The MTR-operated train is known as the Ktt, and if it’s possible to schedule your trip around taking the Ktt, it’s highly recommended. The Ktt is a double-decker train that is a bit more luxurious than the other old trains that ply the route; furthermore, Ktt offers on board Wi-fi (with a PCCW account, which you can sign up for on board). If you don’t have the time to select the Ktt specifically, not to worry: the other trains are fine, and the trip only takes 90 minutes anyway.

Besides buying tickets at the ticket window, you can purchase them online here.  We have included a full train schedule at the bottom of this post for reference.

It’s advisable to purchase your tickets one hour before departure time, although they sell tickets up until almost the last minute (don’t ask us exactly when, but we’ve purchased as late as 20 minutes prior to departure. We wouldn’t want to test it beyond that).  Keep in mind extra time is needed because you’ll need to clear immigration prior to boarding the train.  So make sure you have your Hong Kong departure form filled out and ready to show the immigration agent (it should be a carbon copy of your entrance form left behind in your passport when you entered the territory).

THE TRAINS
As mentioned before, the Ktt and Mainland trains are both different in terms of comfort and service, but both are just fine and will get you to your destination without too many problems. The seats are comfortable (if a bit ratty on the Mainland trains) and you’re entitled to a free bottle of Watson’s water. There is a dining car on the Mainland trains, with such a short journey not too many people use them. You can also order food items to your seat from the attendants.

Nearly all of the trains make a quick stop in Changping, which is in the greater Dongguan area. Changping is a factory area not really located close to anything; if you want to head into downtown Dongguan (Dongcheng District), you’re looking at about an hour in a taxi.

The journey from Kowloon to Guangzhou East takes about 1:35 minutes, but several journeys have stretched into two hours. This is largely due to rail traffic on the Mainland side of the border, but the journey time is also affected by Hong Kong traffic. The Through Train shares the same tracks as the East Rail Line domestic traffic, periodically resulting in some delays.

GUANGZHOU EAST RAILWAY STATION
Guangzhou East Station is one of Guangzhou’s main transport hubs. Trains depart and arrive here from all over China.

The terminal itself is conveniently located in Tianhe District in downtown Guangzhou (unlike the new high-speed trains to Shenzhen and Wuhan, which depart from Guangzhou South Station). It’s possible to walk to many Tianhe hotels from the station, but taxis are available, with queuing times ranging from almost nothing to 20 minutes or so.

If you are heading to Hong Kong from here, you’ll exit the taxi and take the escalator up to the Kowloon Through Train departure hall, where you can purchase tickets. It’s set above the domestic terminal, and is often much less noisy and crowded.

Take the escalator up to get to the Kowloon Departures Hall

It's much less noisy and crowded up here

Guangzhou East Station also has a number of eateries available, including a Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, and one of our favourites, Yonghe Dawang! (If you like greasy dumplings).

Guangzhou East is accessible by taxi, bus, and by Guangzhou Metro Lines 1 and 3.

CONCLUSION
There are a number of ways to get between the cities of the PRD, but the venerable Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train is still the most convenient way to get between Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The primary benefit is downtown-to-downtown service; on the downside, the trains are sometimes old (if you don’t get the Ktt) and slow compared to China’s new high-speed rail system. Furthermore, departures aren’t as frequent on the Guangzhou-Kowloon route, so you’ll have to plan ahead.

An alternative is taking the train between Guangzhou and Shenzhen (1 hour travel time), and then walking across the border at Lo Wu into/out of Hong Kong. The MTR conveniently connects Lo Wu Station with the rest of Hong Kong. However, Lo Wu can sometimes be quite crazy and the journey in from Lo Wu takes more than an hour on the East Rail Line.

The Through Train route will likely become secondary in 2015/2016, when the new high-speed rail network will connect to the Kowloon waterfront.  When that opens, it will only take 43 minutes to go from Guangzhou South to downtown Hong Kong.  But until then, the Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train is pretty much your only option.

More Information

Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train Schedule

Hung Hom  Dongguan (Changping)/Guangzhou East (Northbound)
Train No. Time Schedule
Depart Hung Hom Arrive Dongguan (Changping) Arrive Guangzhou East
T812 07:25 08:36 09:20
T824 (Ktt) 08:18 09:26 10:09
T820 09:24 10:35 11:19
T804 10:42 11:53 12:37
T808 11:28 13:23
T814 12:14 14:09
T826 (Ktt) 13:10 14:18 15:01
T818 14:47 15:58 16:42
T810 16:35 17:46 18:29
T828 (Ktt) 17:50 18:58 19:41
T816 18:35 19:46 20:30
T802 19:24 20:35 21:19
Guangzhou East/Dongguan(Changping)  Hung Hom (Southbound)
Train No. Time Schedule
Depart Guangzhou East Depart Dongguan (Changping) Arrive Hung Hom
T801 08:19 09:03 10:12
T807 09:03 09:47 10:56
T813 09:50 10:34 11:43
T823 (Ktt) 10:39 11:23 12:29
T817 12:12 14:07
T809 13:52 14:37 15:46
T825 (Ktt) 15:31 16:14 17:21
T815 16:12 16:56 18:05
T803 16:56 17:40 18:49
T819 18:15 18:59 20:08
T827 (Ktt) 20:15 20:58 22:05
T811 21:32 23:25

 

 

Haohao

Nanfang TV: A closer look at a Dongguan nightlife institution

Posted: 02/28/2012 9:50 am

We took our Nanfang TV cameras and crew out to Dongguan last weekend, where we sat down with Jason, one of the four owners of well-known pub One for the Road.

OFTR, as it’s known by locals, has earned itself a place at the heart of the expat scene in the city.  As such, it’s become a bit of a lightning rod – some ask why bother coming to China just to hang out at an expat British pub, while others say it’s a badly needed taste of home.

OFTR has earned a reputation of delivering hearty meals (the portions are huge) and ice cold beer, which is even more important than ever in these largely tropical climes.

Jason hails from South Africa and opened the bar in 1996.  Nanfang TV host Paul James sampled the Mac & Cheese and a few pints of beer before having a chat with Jason about the pub, its origins, and future plans.

We hope you enjoy it.

 

Haohao

Following rash of factory poisonings, Guangzhou to shut down 600 illegal shoe factories

Posted: 02/28/2012 7:45 am

No night elves in this story. A series of incidents involving poisoned employees of illegal shoe workshops in Guangzhou’s Liwan district has led the government to take action: a total of 626 illegal shoe workshops are slated to be closed by the end of this month, and 200 have been shut down already.

       

The crackdown comes as a follow-up to a story covered by TheNanfang last week with news from the New Express newspaper about 30 shoemakers in Liwan left with serious nerve damage—in addition to several deaths—after longterm workplace exposure to toxic glue fumes.

New Express and other media revisited several illegal shoe workshops in Liwan district late last week, finding operating machinery and half-finished footwear.

“Wherever there’s money,” said a Mr. Deng, when asked why he chose to remain working in an unventilated, highly toxic area, “that’s where we’ll be. We have no other choice, we must earn money to live.”


. . .

In related news, Southern Daily also reported last week that workers in Shenzhen at more than 11,000 enterprises involving electronics manufacturing, printing, shoemaking, hardware electroplating, quarrying and plastic toy, furniture and battery manufacturing) are at risk of occupational diseases. In addition, according to the Shenzhen health authorities, at least 336,000 workers in the city are in regular contact, on the job, with toxic substances.

Haohao

Two laowai kids speaking perfect Canto (and accented English)

Posted: 02/27/2012 10:00 am

White Mandarin speakers are now more common than Jeremy Lin stories, so it’s no longer so impressive when a laowai opens his mouth and Putonghua comes out.

The same can’t quite be said for Cantonese, however.  The language is difficult, with some estimating it contains anywhere from six to nine tones.  To make matters worse, there isn’t the same standardized romanization for Cantonese, like pinyin for Mandarin.  Yes, standards exist, but none have become dominant (the MTR uses different standards for different station names, even).

The topic of Cantonese is an interesting one in our region.  While Guangzhou is the heart of the culture, the Cantonese language is slowly becoming maligned in the city.  It’s common to travel in Shenzhen or Zhuhai and not hear it at all, as those cities were largely populated by migrants over the past 30 years.  But Cantonese pride is as strong as ever, as evidenced last year when protests erupted in both Guangzhou and Hong Kong over the government’s plans to limit television broadcasts in Cantonese.

This is a roundabout way of saying the language may not have the reach of Mandarin (although even this is debatable, considering the plethora of overseas Cantonese communities), but that could be because it is far more difficult to learn for non-native speakers.  Which makes these two white kids even more impressive.

Make sure to watch the whole thing, as their imitation of Cantonese English is pretty much spot on (we could do without the videographer’s stale commentary, however).

Haohao

Shenzhen cop flees country with prison inmate’s fortune

Posted: 02/24/2012 9:15 am

A cop in Shenzhen, Zhang Yongguang, has taken punishing the wicked way too far, stealing nearly 1 mln RMB from a prisoner.

As described by police in the city, in December 2010, Zhang—just 28 years old at the time—first removed 770,000 RMB from an inmate’s bank account then tricked the man’s family out of an additional 150,000 RMB in the form of a bribe. By the time the Nanshan People’s Court approved an arrest warrant for Zhang for the crime of fraud, the man had already fled the country.

The former prisoner involved, Liu, was an engineer in a Shenzhen-based tech company when he was convicted of commercial bribery in August 2010, for which he received a 10-month sentence. Liu only discovered the the theft after his release upon finding that his bank accounts had been completely emptied.

According to the bank transaction records shown by Liu to the press, around 500,000 RMB was withdrawn from one of his accounts in separate installments between October 28 and November 2, 2010. Lesser sums were stolen using each of his other four bank cards and one credit card.

Liu says that he lost just a total of just over 1 million RMB. He told reporters that on the day of his arrest, October 27, 2010, Zhang demanded that he hand over all six cards and, saying it was required for the investigation, forced Liu to tell him his PIN numbers.

However, a spokesperson for the Nanshan Public Security Bureau (PSB) has stated that Zhang made off with around 770,000 RMB of Liu’s money, and not 1 million as he claims.

Liu’s wife has said that police have compensated her for the 150,000 RMB extorted by Zhang in 2010 with the false promise of helping Liu secure and early release.

The Nanshan PSB spokesperson also said that after joining the police force in 2004, Zhang was discovered to have pulled off similar scams with other arrestees and was discharged around the time he began targeting Liu. Zhang was given permission to go traveling overseas, and when Liu’s wife then turned to police in late December after being unable to contact him, it became clear that he was not coming back.

Liu waited until now to go public with his case in the hope that as a last resort, media coverage will help him get his money back.

Liu argues that the PSB should cover his losses, as Zhang abused his position to commit crime. Police, however, have responded by saying that since Zhang is still on the run and details of the case remain unclear, it can’t be determined at this time whether the PSB should be held responsible for Liu’s losses.

Haohao

Guangzhou media find fake sanitized dishes common in PRD restaurants

Posted: 02/24/2012 7:48 am

Yangcheng Evening News, New Express and Southern Television earlier this week released the results of a lengthy joint investigation into the tableware disinfection industry, including their discovery that the PRD is abound with illegal tableware disinfection ‘factories’, of which Guangzhou alone has between an estimated 50-60.

Different from any dirty restaurant kitchens you might have passed through on the way to the washroom where woks and pots are washed, this investigation targeted only those businesses which claim to deal in the sterilized plastic-wrapped dish sets sent to all restaurants, the kind you jab your chopsticks (also implicated) into before ripping open.

Disinfected by 康洁

Washed in 鑫辉

Among things uncovered by investigative reporters: exposure to “poison” in the process of disinfecting utensils and dishes in these illegal operations; sinks full of trash; washing machines covered in food residue; rats and cockroaches crawling among packaged chopsticks; powder detergent and dirty rags used for “dishwashing”. Porters, those responsible for packaging and stacking dish sets, also failed to meet basic hygiene standards of wearing masks, gloves and overalls.

“When dishes are sent to health inspectors for testing,” says one Mr. Liu, who once worked a year in one utensil-washing operation, “then they will pay attention to details: boiling water themselves, sterilizing bowls and chopsticks, passing dishes through a high-pressure dryer, ending with plastic packaging. This gets them past the test.” Liu, however, recalls regular spottings of mice and cockroaches crawling among chopsticks boxes during the night shift, even finding feces.

No health permit required for “washing bowls”

“Anyone with a business license can operate a tableware disinfection service,” said Deng Chushu, head of the Infectious Diseases and Blood Monitoring Section of Guangzhou’s Health Inspection Institute. “There are many small operations which are very spread out, it’s hard to monitor”.

Surely some such businesses do actually produce sterilized dishes, but those among the worst violators in reports this week are 康洁餐具清洁有限公司 in Guangzhou, 鑫辉餐具清洁服务公司 in Dongguan and 亮而洁餐具清洗店 in Zhongshan.

Dried with care

Properly stored

Haohao

Shunde cyclist home after getting lost in the Sahara desert

Posted: 02/23/2012 12:40 pm

Take a tent, a bike, and head out into the world—or, as the increasingly popular trend is known, zixing, a new form of lüyou with has emerged in recent years from online communities and refers to people who travel in an eco-friendly way, such as hiking or biking.

Not an option without its risks, however, as Shunde resident Mr. Lai, whose story was told in Guangzhou Daily this past weekend, discovered when he recently became stranded in the middle of the Sahara desert.

Setting out in November last year, Lai cycled through the UK, France and a number of other countries before reaching Tunisia in January. After a short stay there, a visa denial left Lai with no choice but to head south on February 9. Things took a turn for the worse when Lai literally took a wrong turn and found himself not only lost but in the dark in the desert, out of food, unable to find signal on his mobile phone and with only neon glow sticks for comfort.

Later that evening, a run-down car approached an increasingly desperate Lai. Two men got out and insisted he join them.

“I had absolutely no idea what they were saying,” Lai recalls, “I thought they were going to kidnap me. Given the circumstances, though, being kidnapped seemed a better option than dying in the desert.”

Fortunately, they weren’t kidnappers. Lai got in the car and soon found signal on his phone, then began furiously texting family and friends in China begging for help. The men took Lai to a village where he was able to get in contact with the Chinese embassy in Tunis and eventually return to his home in Shunde on February 18.

Haohao

Young Guangzhou women take back the toilet

Posted: 02/23/2012 11:54 am

The rights and needs of women are once again set to regain some attention as Women’s Day approaches.

Last Sunday morning in Guangzhou, February 19, several female college students launched “Occupy the Men’s Room”, an act of performance art which involved queuing outside the men’s side of a public restroom near Yuexiu Park in an attempt to draw people’s attention to the imbalance in number of toilet cubicles between men and women.

The movement calls upon the government to provide women with more cubicles in public toilets.

Gathered around, the students, all in their early twenties, held placards reading “Care For Women, Starting from Toilets” and asked approaching men to consider waiting a few extra minutes while women finished up on the men’s side.

The organizer of the toilet takeover is Li, a college student in Xi’an who hails from Beijing. Interviewed by Southern Metropolis Daily, Li explained that it’s commonplace to see women in a long queue outside public toilets and often no one outside the entrance to the men’s room. The idea for “Occupy the Men’s Room” came about after she found many young women in Guangzhou who shared the same grievance.

According to Zheng Churan, one of the volunteers and a senior university student in Guangzhou, choosing a location and rounding up volunteers took only a week.

She says public washrooms for men often have the same number or more of squat holes than a women’s room will have of urinal drains. Moreover, due to biological differences, it takes women longer than men to wrap up and exit, further aggravating the inequality.

The volunteers also distributed flyers writing “A letter to Male Fellows” to explain difficulties that women have using toilets and the purpose of their movement.

In a letter distributed by participants to men passing by, the women called upon the government to draft a law to increase the ratio between men and women’s toilet spaces to at least 1:2.

Interestingly, they also appeal for unisex toilets in public spaces such as shopping malls, hospitals, parks and train stations.

After an hour of occupation, most men who stuck waiting outside the toilet showed their understanding and support.

Two days later, Guangzhou’s chengguan announced that
future public washroom facilities built in the city will maintain a 1:1.5 ratio of toilets in men’s and women’s rooms.

Li said she will continue to this work of performance art in other cities, and the next stop is Beijing.

Haohao

Shenzhen man murders GF, hides with corpse for five days

Posted: 02/20/2012 1:11 pm

A court in Shenzhen recently heard the story of how one man in the city, Shao, strangled his girlfriend, Cao, to stop her complaining of his addiction to online games and refusal to get out and find work.

Shao and Cao became lovers in April last year and, in spite of Shao’s unemployment and growing gaming addiction, moved in together shortly after. On the afternoon of May 13, 2011, the couple had another fight in what had become a series of quarrels. Out of control, Shao choked Cao until she passed out. Finding her still breathing and afraid she might call the police, Shao then killed his girlfriend by wrapping a towel around her neck to suffocate her.

Shao put his girlfriend’s corpse in a bag and went back to playing his online games sitting right next to it. Five days later, he put the SIM card from Cao’s mobile phone into his phone and pretended to be Cao as he replied to text messages from Cao’s colleagues the following afternoon.

“My mother is ill,” he wrote, “I have to go home and have already set out.”

Cao’s colleagues came knocked at the door to her flat. No one answered, but they were able to see light in Cao’s room emanating from the computer monitor.

The superintendent was called and, noticing the stench, tried to open the door but was prevented from entering by someone pushing back from the inside, saying he was trying to sleep. Suspecting something out of the ordinary, he called the police.

Shao was given a reduced sentence of 15 years in prison for manslaughter late last week following a trial at the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court.

Haohao
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