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Yao Ming’s NBA All Star Charity Basketball Game Set For Dongguan

Posted: 07/18/2014 4:21 pm

yaoming dongguanThe 2014 Yao Ming Charitable Basketball Foundation basketball all-star game will be held for the first time in Dongguan, reports the Dongguan Times. Yao Ming made the announcement yesterday after meeting with Dongguan officials, a city described in the report as the Chinese ”capital of basketball”.

NBA players tentatively named to appear at game to be held on August 31 include Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, George Hill of the Indiana Pacers, and Shane Battier who recently retired from the Miami Heat. CBA players to participate in the match include Yi Jianlian, Zhou Peng, Li Muhao, and Sun Tonglin.

Proceeds from the game will benefit the Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season, a charity with the purpose of aiding underprivileged children through sports.

This will be the first time the charity basketball game will be held outside of Beijing. It was held three times previously in 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Yao Ming expressed his wish that sports could become more of a part of people’s lives in China. Yao also took the time to criticize the current state of basketball in the country as being a top-heavy pyramid with resources provided to the national team, but none to local teams.

“The national team is the big head, while the training system is a small figure. This is unsustainable, Yao said.

Dongguan was originally going to host Jeremy Lin on his China basketball tour this summer before he was forced to cancel and return to the USA in order to sign with the LA Lakers.

yaoming dongguan

Photos: Dongguan Times


“Ghost Mall” No More, Dongguan Behemoth Becomes Culinary Paradise

Posted: 07/8/2014 8:59 am

south china mall When you’re in a big mall in China, you’ve likely said, “I’m hungry. Let’s go to the food court and see what restaurants they have.” Somebody has finally taken that concept and made an entire mall out of it

The newly-renovated South China Mall in Dongguan, long known for being an empty, abandoned behemoth, is once again a commercial success, having served 80,000 customers on June 1. However, it’s recent success is in defiance of its humble beginnings as a white elephant.

Having opened to grand fanfare in 2005, what had once been dubbed “the world’s largest mall” was bereft of customers just a year later as stores abandoned their leases. For seven years, the South China Mall remained largely deserted of any life as its own existence remained a legacy to its failure.

READ: Dongguan’s “Ghost Mall”

This year, however, the South China Mall got a new lease on life. Gao Tiechuan, president of the the South China Mall responsible for its restructuring, changed it from a US-styled mall to one that caters to Chinese interests, reports Want China Times. Namely, the focus was put on food offerings rather than clothing shops.

Gao scaled back the scope of the mall to attract local diners instead of trying to cater to the entire Pearl River Delta. Besides hosting branches of popular local restaurant franchises, the mall now offers more affordable domestic brands to attract budget-minded clientele.

The RMB 200 million (US$32 million) renovation also did away with previous mall fixtures like a fountain and a bridge that only got in the way of the crowds.

Now brimming with shoppers, the South China Mall is operating on a customer strategy whereby 40% of sales are from its restaurants, and 30 percent are from “experience stores”. In this new set-up, traditional retailers only account for 30% of the mall’s sales.

Photos: South China Mall


More Than 200 Child Laborers Found in Dongguan Factory

Posted: 07/4/2014 9:04 am

Underage workers are seen working at a factory in Dongguan, wearing green uniforms given by the factory to distinguish them from adult workers.

More than 200 child laborers were found in an electronics factory in Dongguan, one of the country’s largest manufacturing hubs for electronics and consumer goods, trying to earn extra money to cover school expenses, Guangzhou Daily reported on July 3 after conducting an investigative report.

Most of the children are from relatively impoverished rural areas in Hunan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. The children jumped at the opportunity to earn a monthly salary ranging from RMB 1,000 ($161) to RMB 2,000 ($392) at Ganggu Electronics Factory in Dongkeng Town.

The children were led by a man named Chan, and  were introduced to the factory through a person named Ah Min. Both of the men got a cut of the profits from the underage workers’ salary, the report said.

On June 22, a girl under the age of 15 named Xiao Jing was one of the more than 30 students who signed a contract with the factory, promising to work at least 280 hours per month. After giving the factory copies of their fake ID cards (saying they were over 16) and household registration, the youngsters were immediately put to work the next day.

The legal working age in China is 16.

Child laborers eating in the factory’s cafeteria.

A few days after starting work, Xiao Jing and 12 other youngsters were fired from the factory without any reason or payment. Most of the children are between 13 and 15 years-old.

Ah Min (pseudonym) said the three parties that include the teacher Chan, the agency and the factory all know the children are too young to work. Child laborers in the factory are given green work uniforms to distinguish them from adult workers, who normally wear blue overalls, according to one child laborer.

A child laborer lies on a bed in the factory’s employee dormitory.

However, the factory management denied they were aware these workers were children. They said they had a hard time verifying the work documents sent by the intermediary agency.

“They can tell these children are not 16 years-old just by one glance. The copies of their fake IDs and household registrations are just for show. No one will look into them. This is the unwritten rule,” Ah Min said.

In fact, sending child labor to well-off southern cities is less of a surprise for local residents in Pingnan County in Guangxi, where some of the children are from. Students in junior high often volunteer to work as child laborers in Guangdong to earn extra cash for school and help out with family expenses.

“Most of the people living in our county are very poor. There is no other way out. Many students work during summer vacations,” said Ah Wei (a pseudonym), uncle to one of the child laborers. “Every summer vacation, several hundred students go out to work. Most of them are younger than 16 years old,” he added.

The factory has paid the salaries for the 13 dismissed students, and promised to send the rest of the youngsters back to Hunan and Guangxi Province.

Although the payments were already given, the majority of the students wanted to stay and continue to work. Officials from the local human resources bureau and executives from the factory are working to persuade the students to go back home.

Most child labor stories involve forced labor, coercion and violence. But as Guangdong’s exports and economic growth slows, poverty-stricken children looking for ready cash fit right into the plans of factories that are currently trying anything to keep operational costs down.

Strictly speaking, hiring voluntary child laborers could be the easiest and cheapest solution.

Photos: Guangdong Daily 


Dongguan Counterfeiters Sold 19 Tons of Fake, Inedible Salt Over Two Years

Posted: 07/3/2014 8:58 am
fake salt dongguan counterfeit industrial table

Industrial salt found in the production base in Shuikou Village in Dongguan’s Dalang Town.

We previously told you about fake salt sold in Guangzhou, and now it appears Dongguan has become the latest place where industrial salt is being unscrupulously sold as consumable table salt.

According to a report by Yangcheng Evening News on July 2, a salt production base in Dalang Town’s Shuikou Village was raided by police and several other government agencies on June 29 and 30. Inside, they found 18.8 tons of fake, inedible table salt.

The salt is actually industrial salt first imported from Jiangxi Province, and then packaged at the shoddy production base described by the newspaper as “filthy and stinky”. It was then sold to local markets and small restaurants in Dongguan packaged as refined iodine table salt, the report said.

One insider told the newspaper that the production base has been manufacturing fake salt for more than two years. The base was closed to the public and guarded against outsiders during the day, with security particularly tight when several trucks transported the salt to nearby farmers markets.

Even officials from the Dongguan Salt Bureau, the official government institution in charge of regulating table salt, were shocked at the production base’s sophisticated counterfeit operation. The packaging of the salt was almost exactly the same as authentic table salt, and each bag of the fake table salt even came with a date of production and a label.

Industrial salt is not fit for human consumption. Some industrial salt contains sodium nitrate that may result in deaths.


Photos: Yangcheng Evening News 


Japanese Executive Besieged in Dongguan over Pro-Japan Remarks

Posted: 07/1/2014 6:51 pm

The Japanese president of the Dongguan-based Chang’an automobile factory is trapped in a conference meeting room as more than 1,000 Chinese workers gathered outside to demand an apology over his remarks brushing off the Japanese invasion of China during World War II.

The Japanese executive was on a visit to the factory this morning (July 1) and told several executives in a meeting that Japan did not invade China during the war, but emancipated China from American colonialism, Guangming reported on July 1.

The remarks immediately drew a reaction from a Chinese executive named Zhang Hongquan, and quickly stirred up anger among other executives. By 11:30 am, about 1,000 employees gathered to tell the Japanese boss exactly how they felt about this remarks.

Apparently, the executive has offered to apologise.

Photos: Guangming 


Dongguan to Accelerate Replacement of Factory Workers with Robots

Posted: 06/27/2014 8:00 am

robot manufacturing The City of Dongguan has passed a resolution that will accelerate the replacement of human labor with robots throughout the city, reports the Dongguan Times.

Called the “Promotion of Dongguan Enterprises to ‘Switch from Human to Machine Labor’ Plan (2014-2016)”, the resolution looks to replace human workers with robots through the implementation of 1,000-1,500 projects in factories throughout the city by 2016.

The resolution targets companies with concentrated labor requirements, or companies that are tech-oriented.

READ: Shenzhen Firm Continues Trend of Replacing Human Labor with Robots

The resolution seeks to open two to three dedicated robot industry parks by 2020, and anywhere from six to eight robot facilities in concentrated neighborhoods. The plan is said to be valued at over RMB 700 million.

While not a law, the resolution strongly urges Dongguan companies to begin adopting technological advancements as part of their production. Companies seem to be responding favorably to the plan. Ninety-two percent of Dongguan factories are in favor of replacing human labor with robots, the report says. Forty-nine percent of Dongguan factories have already cut 10% of their labor, while 20% have cut over 30% of their labor.

READ: Strikes on the Rise as Workers Set to Be Replaced by Robots

The idea of robots replacing human workers is hardly a new phenomenon in the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou passed a similar resolution which aims to have 80% of all manufacturing production performed by robots by 2020.

A recent rumor that Foxconn plans to hire 100,000 extra workers to accommodate production of the next iPhone has fueled speculation its Shenzhen location will be the site of the record-setting hiring boom. Whether the rumor is true or not, any new recruits at Foxconn will have to contend with the million robots that are set to join the assembly line by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, as Dongguan and other PRD cities look to decrease their labor force, 17 million new residents are expected to settle in rural cities around Guangdong as hukou resident restrictions are relaxed.


Photo: Dongguan Times


Hot Pot Hot Pockets? Nestle To Experiment With New Flavors at Dongguan R&D Center

Posted: 06/19/2014 9:30 am

nescafe coffeeNestle has just opened its third research and development center in China to develop new flavors and products, reports PandCT.

The snack conglomerate is opening the center as a joint-venture partner with Hsu Fu Chi, a Chinese confectionery and snack manufacturer, in order to further research the science of “confectionery and ice cream”.

As Nestle already has some 8,000 brands of food in its coffers, we must ask the obvious question: what new flavors could we possibly expect from this new R&D center?

Since localization in China requires a harmonious balance of featured American product with Chinese characteristics, here’s a look at what may soon be conjured up by the confectionery wizards based on other East-West food product hybrids currently on sale in China.

Pepsi-Chicken Chips

lays chickenpepsi chips

People in China may be unaware of “tailgate parties”, but that doesn’t stop locals from making some delicious chicken wings. One of these recipes involves using cola in order to caramelize the wings, and it isn’t that strange once you’ve tried it… at least in the original form.

Possible Nestle R&D suggestions:

  • Pepsi-Chicken Cheerios breakfast cereal
  • Pepsi-Chicken Movenpick ice cream
  • Pepsi-Chicken Nesquik

Numb and Spicy Hot Pot Chips

lays hotpot chips

There are a lot of new flavor variations on potato chips that include blueberry, cucumber, and shrimp, so we thought we’d include this other one.

Hot pot is a popular choice for dining out in China, and the communal nature of a group huddled around a single stove is the same as that when sharing a single bag of chips, we’re sure.

Possible Nestle R&D suggestions:

  • Hot Pot Hot Pockets (please make this a reality, if just for the alliteration)

Varied Oreo Cookie Flavors

oreas junk food familymart

The Chinese palate is acclimated to a different set of tastes from that of a North American consumer, and part of that has to do with the great variety of fruits that grow in Asia. We can see a variety of Oreo flavors here, so there’s no reason to believe the localization process couldn’t go further.

Possible Nestle R&D suggestions:

  • Mango Aero chocolate bars
  • Green Tea Butterfingers
  • Durian Kit-Kat bar
  • Jujube Smarties
  • Lychee Libby’s Tea

Along with the Nescafe Coffee Center built last year in Yunnan, it looks like the science of snacks and refreshment is well-looked after in China at the moment.

Photos: IB Times, the Nanfang, gunaxin, China Daily


Stir It Up Bar & Grill Offers Cheap Beer and Familiar Tastes in Dongguan

Posted: 06/17/2014 1:10 pm

stir it up bar and grill dongguanHidden away off Hongfu Road, behind Wal-Mart, and down a side street is Stir It Up Bar & Grill.

The bar, decked out all in wood, has pool tables upstairs and outside, a foosball table downstairs, and a darts board in the corner. On the walls between tribal art there are posters of Bob Dylan. You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones plays on the sound system. It does not take long to realize that Stir It Up is more like the bars in backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia than expat pubs on “Bar Street” in Dongguan.

stir it up bar and grill dongguan couch potato burgerIt was empty on the Sunday afternoon that we visited Stir It Up, but we decided to sit down and order anyway. Looking at the menu you can find the same sandwiches, salads, and pastas that you can find elsewhere, but what catches the eye is the choice of burgers. There are sixteen from which to choose, including The Mama Mia topped with salami and tomato sauce, The Honky Tonk Burger with bacon and onion rings, and The Slammin’ Salmon. After much deliberation and after reading the inventive names and funny descriptions, I picked The Couch Potato with a side of chili cheese fries.

While there is certainly a better range of beer provided at other bars, few offer drinks as cheap as a pint of Asahi at Stir It Up for only RMB 20. There is also a long list of cocktails, but it was still too early in the afternoon to test the bartender’s skills.

As I read the funny posters on the walls our food arrived. The fries were freshly cut and the chili, while more Chinese-style than American-style, gave the meal a real spice. The Couch Potato burger was big, but not so big that I didn’t know how to handle it. The beef was juicy and it was generously topped with bacon, potato chips and blue cheese.

stir it up bar and grill dongguanMy friend ordered the kebabs, which looked delicious. Their spiciness, however, means they aren’t for the faint-of-heart. My friend battled through the meal, but that is perhaps a testament to how tasty the kebabs were.

With good food and cheap beer on tap, Stir It Up is one of the better bars outside of the bar street in Dongcheng. If you are looking to mix it up and try somewhere new then you could do a lot worse than checking out Stir It Up Bar & Grill.

For more details on Stir It Up Bar & Grill, please check out our listings.stir it up bar and grill dongguan


Ferrari Closes Dealerships As Luxury Car Sales Fall Across China

Posted: 06/12/2014 5:50 pm

ferrariIt’s tough being rich. While your average Joe Qingdao-sixpack is concerned with today’s news that sales of new homes in Shenzhen have plummeted 48.8% from one year ago, there’s more worrying news for those with the money for the finer things in life.

Ferrari’s sales company has abruptly terminated sales and cooperative agreements with two dealerships, one of which is in Dongguan, reports Beijing Business Today.

Furthermore, other reports say Ferrari-Maserati China has broken similar agreements with two other Chinese dealerships, leading some analysts to speculate the company is looking to reduce its Chinese sales and marketing operations.

Photos: Gold Lamborghini Spotted in Guangzhou

A general malaise has hit China’s luxury car market with Bentley, Ferrari and Lamborghini all reporting sales slumps. Autonews reports Lamborghini sales in China fell 16.7% in 2013, while those of Ferrari fell by 33%.

The hard times of the Chinese luxury car market can be mostly attributed to recent austerity and anti-corruption measures. However, for the rest of us, the fewer luxury sports car dealerships that remain in the PRD will mean there be fewer sightings of this:



Photos: Weibo, 16888


Bare Footed Workers Caught Stomping On Noodles Destined For The Dinner Table

Posted: 06/10/2014 6:16 pm

feet vermicelli dongguan factoryI’m no foodie, but I’m told texture is an important part to the experience of enjoying food. The way food feels in your mouth as you whimsically savor each bite that yields a tantalizing morsel.

But how food gets that certain je ne sais quoi might not be as tantalizing as the taste.

READ: 1/3 of Shenzhen Markets Selling Contaminated Noodles

A netizen called “Incapable of Seeing Straight” has posted pictures online of a Dongguan workshop during the process of making rice vermicelli noodles. The pictures depict many workers surrounded by a lot of vermicelli—so much vermicelli, in fact, that there is no room to put it. Except on the floor. Where the workers are standing. With their bare feet.

And we know that these workers are working hard because we see one of them. Sleeping. On the raw rice noodles/bed of springy noodles.dongguan feet vermicelli

On the afternoon of June 9, the Dongguan Office of Food Inspection investigated the case and identified the Daojiao Tongcheng Rice Product Factory of Daojiao County as being the place where the photos were taken. The pictures were determined to have been taken before Spring Festival 2014. The factory says all the workers in the photos are now gone.

RELATED: 40 Jailed in 3 Years For Food Safety Violations in Dongguan

As a result of the investigation, the Daojiao Tongcheng Rice Product Factory has been ordered to close down and to reassess its food production procedures, reports Yangcheng Evening Report.

And if you’re wondering if you may have eaten some of these so-called “stinky feet vermicelli noodles”, well, you may have. There are 15 Daojiao vermicelli factories in Guangdong Province that have a total daily production of 800-1,200 tons of vermicelli noodles.

Daojiao rice noodles make up 80% of all vermicelli sales in the Pearl River Delta.

We should add that barefoot workers are probably a step up from workers wearing shoes into the workroom, but just barely.

feet vermicelli dongguan factoryfeet vermicelli dongguan factorydongguan feet vermicellifeet vermicelli dongguan factoryRelated:

Photos: cfqn, Caixin via Weibo

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