The Nanfang / Blog

PRD People: Musician and Expat Website Troll The Fred Fong

Posted: 09/5/2014 5:46 pm

Since January when the Nanfang posted his song “Super English Teacher,” The Fred (who also posts under the name of “Fred Fong”) has been one the best known trolls in the China-watching blogosphere. He is mostly known for his cheeky songs that rag on aspects of life in China (mostly foreign English teachers) and his provocative comments on websites such as Shanghaiist, Chinasmack and the Asia Stuff Media websites where he has been a fixture for years.

This is him

He has kindly taken the time to talk to The Nanfang about his career in business, life as a musician in China, why he considers himself superior to English teachers and how he is a “compulsive masturbator.”

The Nanfang: You are a regular in the comments sections of most major English-language websites that focus on China, known as both The Fred and The Fred Fong. You are quite a mysterious man, tell us about yourself.

The Fred: I’ve been coming to China since 1995 and find it fascinating. I’m very inquisitive about Chinese culture and history. Since selling my business in America in 2006, I’ve lived full time in China.

Having a challenge in life is important to me and trying to understand the Chinese puzzle is a challenge because several of the pieces are missing. I’ve started a couple of businesses here and recently sold one of them. I’ve always been self-employed and enjoy a challenge. Now I can relax a bit and write music until another opportunity comes along.

The Nanfang: You’re a long-term China expat, what’s Shenzhen got going for it?

The Fred: I travel between Shenzhen and Shanghai. All cities have their advantages and disadvantages. I’m comfortable and can enjoy myself wherever I happen to be at the time.

The Nanfang: Is Shenzhen’s live music scene any good? If not, why do you choose to live there?

The Fred: I play live music throughout China and the biggest problems is finding capable musicians to write and collaborate with. The other problem is finding venues that encourage original music.

I enjoy playing improvisational jazz/rock or “world” music as some people call it. A majority of the foreigners that come to China that are musicians aren’t very talented and can only play cover/copy music. A majority of Chinese don’t have any sense of rhythm and can’t play impov music because it means you must play spontaneous and creatively in an unstructered yet structured format.

Improvisation is the most satisfying form of live music and when you have capable musicians communicating and interacting together it becomes magical and very satisfying.

The Nanfang: You are something of a China basher in many of your comments.

The Fred: There is no “good or bad” place to live in my opinion. I can adapt to just about any environment, but China is stimulating. China inspires and confuses me daily and I’m pushed to respond to life experiences in some type of expressive way. If people find my comments offensive I apologize. My comments are made for the purpose of provoking thought and debate. Same with my music. Cover-band music and boring comments are not my cup of tea

The Nanfang: You have at least four songs that bash English teachers. Are they the real villains of today’s society?

The Fred: Not really villains, just easy targets. It’s the only group I can insult and joke about without being accused of being a racist or hating women. Its fun to laugh at those that are low on the social and mental spectrum.

The Nanfang: You repeatedly mock English teachers as not being very clean living (e.g. frequenting brothels), are you superior on this count?

The Fred: Yes…I am superior to your average foreign English teacher in China. Generally speaking, most non-English teachers are far superior to your average unqualified, low IQ foreign English teacher that stumbled into China.

The Fred with his guitar

The Nanfang: Do you intend to turn your attention to some other things in China that ought to be satirized?

The Fred: I’m a fan of common sense and when I see irony or a lack of common sense my mind takes note and before I know it a song is written. I can’t write about love or little apples. Common things are quickly deleted from my thoughts. My Songs about English teachers also subtly comment on how Chinese are willing to pay a foreigner that has never taught before a salary far higher than what a qualified Chinese person would get. Chinese not respecting their fellow Chinese is very disturbing to me and it manifests itself through the English teacher scenario…kapow! A new song is written.

The Nanfang: Some of your most popular songs are just flat out silly rather than satirical (“Big Chinese Dick”, “Boycott Bukkake”, etc…). Are you at heart an angry social critic or just an impish jokester?

The Fred: I’m willing to admit something that most artists aren’t willing to admit. I’m a compulsive masturbator…in an artistic sense. I write and record music and make videos for my own selfish enjoyment. For whatever reason…I guess…I’m a big jackoff…and no one can stop me.

The Fred’s latest song, “English Teacher Autopsy”, can be heard here.


Shenzhen Raid Captures Enough Prostitutes to Fill a Basketball Court

Posted: 05/27/2014 2:30 pm

shenzhen vice bust prostitution dongguanA police raid upon several Shenzhen establishments has resulted in the arrest of 69 people in various prostitution-related crimes, reports People’s Daily Online.

After receiving complaints from local residents, several Longhua District brothels masquerading as foot massage treatment centers, leisure clubs, or night clubs were raided by Shenzhen police during the early morning hours of May 19. There were so many people arrested they filled a basketball court.

Many of these sex workers are described as originally coming from Dongguan. They apparently went to nearby Shenzhen when a well-publicized prostitution crackdown occurred back in February. Police say the first half of this year has seen a continuous flow of sex workers from Dongguan entering Shenzhen.shenzhen vice bust prostitution dongguan


Photos: People’s Daily Online


Prostitution Returns to Dongguan Under Protection of Local Police

Posted: 05/19/2014 2:08 pm

dongguan vice prostitution undercover crackdown corruptionDespite a crackdown that arrested a few prominent people and reportedly put 200,000 people out of work, prostitution has not been eradicated in Dongguan. On the contrary, it looks to have concealed itself very well with the aid of local police.

So very vice to see you again, but then, maybe you’ve just never left.

A Guangdong TV reporter recently went undercover to investigate a complaint that Dongguan entertainment venues were engaging in prostitution without any reprisals from the police (video here). With the help of a local resident named Wang, the reporter infiltrated several brothels in the Longhua Street area in Longhua New Town, Dongguan. It’s as though we’ve all seen this before

RELATED: Watch Prostitutes Get a Lesson in Using Momo WeChat to Lure Clients

Far from the city center, Longquan Garden by Jianda road is located a kilometer away from Hualong Road. During the day, there is not much pedestrian traffic in this residential area, but at night there is more activity that includes seven to eight motorcycle riders who zip around and ask random strangers:

Do you want to play around? For such a young guy and so full of life, no need to be so coy! The girls are of an impeccable quality; I’ll bring you over.

Through the access of a twisted labyrinth of very narrow alleys, the reporter is ushered into the fourth floor apartment of the Shengyuan Foot Bath. There, he is asked by the proprietor if he is interested in anything:

We have many different prices according to your different needs. For RMB 200 you can have the whole service, top and bottom.

That night, the reporter visited a total of seven establishments that engaged in prostitution that also included the Weiwei Leisure Club located in the 3-star Yinglun Hotel, also an establishment that also offers “foot baths”.dongguan vice prostitution undercover crackdown corruption

Upon visiting the brothels, the reporter reported these places to the 110 emergency services hotline. Some ten minutes later, the police arrived at the Yinglun Hotel, and then some ten minutes after that, they left.

After asking follow-up questions to the police, the reporter was told by a police sub-station representative:

We went there to have a look, and we did not find any prostitution as you described.

All seven brothels visited by the reporter are under the jurisdiction of the Longcheng police sub-station. The closest reported brothel to the police station is the Weiwei Leisure club only 500 meters away.

RELATED: Movie on Dongguan’s Notorious Sex Industry to Be Released

We imagine the Mayor of Dongguan Yuan Baocheng will be shocked at the problem—again. Or, maybe Yuan will be shocked at himself for having said these words at the beginning of April:

“Three months from now, we will have adopted measures that no one would have expected. I can fundamentally make the determination now that whatever cases we find, we will investigate.”

Hopefully his nerves will be soothed by the rousing anthem of civic pride sung by local youths, because it seems his troubles aren’t going to end soon. A recommended replacement work force consisting of robots will just bring up the equally frustrating problem of having to deal with robot whores, but that’s another case of nuts and bolts.


Photo: Yancheng Evening Report

h/t @MissXQ


Baidu heat map shows thousands fleeing Dongguan after crackdown

Posted: 02/12/2014 6:08 pm

Just prior to the Chinese New Year holiday, Baidu published a heat map that showed the most popular travel routes within China. It got some attention for showing which parts of the country were most impacted by the insane chunyun travel rush.

Now it’s being put to use for another purpose: showing what’s happened in Dongguan following the crackdown on prostitution in the city. As you can see below, the rush is on, and it’s in one direction: away from Dongguan.

Asia Sentinel reports a full 10% of the city’s population is involved in the sex trade, or some 800,000 people. And once police began busting brothels, it was time to get the hell outta Dodge:

That prompted an exodus from the city in all directions – although, according to Baidu’s heat map, a full quarter of the departures headed for Hong Kong in a hurry. According to the Tech in Asia website, Baidu gathers data from smartphones with Baidu Maps and other apps using its location-based platform to create the heat map. Baidu Maps alone has more than 200 million registered users and receives 3.5 million position requests every day, according to Tech in Asia. The heat map updates every four to eight hours, showing the most popular destinations, points of origin, and travel routes.

According to the map, in a report made public in the Hong Kong-based publication, other cities that were destinations for the fleeing tourists were Ganzhou, Jiangxi, Guangxi Yulin, Chenzhou, Hunan and Zhejiang Ningbo. The Baidu live map visualizes the hottest migration routes. From 12 noon to 8 pm, the rush was on.

The question now is whether the sex trade will return to Dongguan, à la regularly shuttered pirated DVD shops, or the party is well and truly over.


Is it time to legalize prostitution in China?

Posted: 02/11/2014 3:08 pm

CCTV’s exposé into Dongguan’s seedy sex industry and resulting police crackdown has prompted some to question whether it’s time prostitution is brought out from the dark and into the light as a legalized and regulated profession.

It’s hard for some to fathom, but prostitution is illegal in China despite it being available in brothels, bath houses, “scissorless haircut” barbershops, massage parlours, on cards flung into taxis by touts, and even on the street. It’s so ubiquitous already that the police (for the most part) have turned a blind eye to it.

Many believe the crackdown in Dongguan is a sign the Communist Party, under Xi Jinping, wants to clean up the sleaze. But others are arguing for the opposite. From today’s South China Morning Post:

Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based researcher with Human Rights Watch, said the CCTV report and the ensuing crackdown had unintended consequences.

“It’s a much more wide-spaced debate about the sex trade than we have seen in the past,” he told the South China Morning Post. “For the first time, there is a debate that includes the possibility of legalising sex work.”

“What triggered the discussion this time was how callous the CCTV report was.” Bequelin said. “Its absolute lack of sympathy or understanding has apparently triggered a lot of outrage and indignation.”

In its Tuesday editorial, the Beijing Times blasted the nation’s media for putting sex workers at the centre of their discussions of the sex trade. “If the focus is not put on higher levels [of the industry], and if those who organise and protect the trade are not exposed, […] then there will be others joining the trade tomorrow,” it read.

Those already in the industry face a fine of up to RMB5,000 and 15 days in jail if they’re caught. 

One solution might be found next door in Hong Kong, where prostitution is legal provided it is between two consenting adults in a private room. Would something like this work in China? Is it time to legalize prostitution here?


Dongguan brothels required to keep healthy supply of Communist Party newspapers

Posted: 11/15/2012 2:55 pm

A blogger from the South China Morning Post has published a rather interesting story: a new policy in Dongguan is forcing hotels, KTV joints, brothels, and internet cafes to subscribe to several party newspapers, including the People’s Daily.

The blog post doesn’t say which policy this is or which level of government introduced it, but we assume it must be the Tangsha District government as that’s where the regulation will be enforced.

Naturally, the blogger says, this has drawn derision from those on Weibo:

“Do we expect prostitutes to read People’s Daily now?” said a Sina Weibo user.

Dongguan’s sleazy salons and hotels have been known to provide illegal erotic services.

“We finally have toilet paper in our hotels now,” said another Weibo user.

Some party papers are quite hard to find way down here in Dongguan, so all the more incentive for CPC fans to swing by their nearest bath-house for the latest news on the National People’s Congress.  They aren’t hard to find, anyway.

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