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Nifty Buckle Popular in China Tricks Cars Into Thinking Seatbelt is Fastened

Posted: 10/15/2014 6:01 pm

seatbelt holderGuangzhou traffic police are ramping up another safety campaign targeting drivers that don’t use seatbelts, a particular problem with the proliferation of a nifty little device that tricks cars into thinking a seatbelt is being used.

seatbelt holderThese devices have the metal fasteners part of the seatbelt, but not the strap. This way the car detects the seatbelt as being fastened, and turns off any warning lights or sounds.

As it is, these fasteners come in a variety styles. Check it out:

seatbelt holderseatbelt holderseatbelt holder

seatbelt holder

Eighty percent of Guangzhou drivers don’t wear seatbelts. The penalty, if caught, is RMB 50.

Photos: gaobe, beishang, safetybelt, jd


Mystery Foreign Woman With Newborn Confounds Guangzhou Officials

Posted: 10/15/2014 9:44 am

mystery uzbekistan woman with childImagine your worst nightmare as a newcomer to China: you’ve lost your passport, all your identification papers, your phone, you don’t have any money, and don’t understand Chinese.

This is only the beginning for a mystery woman from Uzbekistan who doesn’t have the ability to speak, and recently gave birth to a baby boy whose father has disappeared. Nobody knows her name or when she even came to China.

Blogger haonowshaokao first brought up the story in September, and little has been learned of her since then.

mystery uzbekistan woman with childHere’s what the authorities know so far.

The woman was seen on surveillance video pacing back and forth at Baiyun International Airport. When she was discovered to be pregnant and overdue to deliver her baby, the woman was sent to Baiyun Hospital on September 22. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy the next day.

Mothers with newborns are usually discharged after three or four days, but as Sina reports, the woman was kept at the hospital because she had nowhere else to go.

Medical staff were unable to communicate with her using Cantonese, Putonghua, English, or Russian. Her nationality was only discovered by chance when a Uzbek patient began speaking, and she answered questions by nodding.

mystery uzbekistan woman with child

It turns out the woman is from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. She had broken up with the child’s father last March, but decided to come to Guangdong with him in June to do business. The woman lost contact with the man around September 22.

The woman’s only wish is to return to Uzbekistan with her child. However, if that happens, it won’t be with the help of her own country. There is no Uzbekistan consulate in Guangzhou, and the one in Shanghai says it can’t confirm if she’s actually a national so won’t offer any help.

Photos: Sina Cantonese Report, haonowshaokao


Proposed Ban on E-bikes Not Sitting Well With Guangzhou Riders

Posted: 10/14/2014 8:38 pm

e-bike traffic electricGuangzhou residents are furious that the city is proposing to ban electric bikes, which are ubiquitous in the city and help people deliver goods.

Word of the ban has upset a number of Guangzhou residents, with even Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Yang Zhongyi saying it is “simply a joke”.

Delivery services that rely on the use of electric bikes are calling for a reprieve for businesses that make special use of them. Regular bikes are too slow and are only able to carry a fourth of the total weight that an e-bike can.

Water delivery businesses say the ban would “cut off the means to make a living”. A regular bike can’t carry the 9-12 jugs of water weighing 19 kilograms each.

One courier voiced his anger:

On the one hand you need to be environmentally conscious, and on the other hand you need efficiency. Speaking of environmental pollution, these electric bikes don’t pollute the environment. If you don’t let us ride them, how do we raise efficiency? Isn’t this a contradiction?

If adopted, the ban would make Guangzhou the last city in the Pearl River Delta to prohibit the use of the electric bicycle. Zhuhai was the first city to ban e-bikes in 2005, followed by Dongguan in 2007, Foshan in 2008, Shenzhen and Huizhou last year, and Zhongshan this past April. E-bikes will be banned by Zhaoqing and Jiangmen in 2016.

The legislative hearing is planned for November 1 when public opinion will be sought.


Photo: 703804


Guangzhou Photographer Reveals the Lonely Face of Foreigners in China

Posted: 10/10/2014 3:42 pm

foreign face of guangzhou expats

To some, foreigners are magical. They are beyond the rules and context of Chinese culture, making them a subject of fascination in China.

One Guangzhou native named Hai Bin has decided to document the daily comings and goings of foreigners in this set of photographs. All shots are taken in public places, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether he got permission to take these snaps.

foreign face of guangzhou expats

Hai’s voyeurism has made him sympathetic to the plight of the foreigner, drawing up an unflattering comparison to make a conclusion that isn’t without irony:

(These foreigners) have left their native home to come here to Guangzhou, just the same as the migrants who come here to work. They get just as lonely.

Here are more of Hai’s photographs:

foreign face of guangzhou expatsforeign face of guangzhou expatsforeign face of guangzhou expats

Photos: Nandu

h/t: @MissXQ


Salmon Sales Hit in China Following Rumors They Spread Ebola

Posted: 10/10/2014 9:21 am

A salmon supplier in Guangzhou

Norwegian salmon sales plummeted significantly in Guangzhou during China’s weeklong national holiday with some fish suppliers reporting a sales drop of more than 50 percent following rumors the fish is associated with Ebola.

During the seven-day holiday from October 1 to October 7, demand for the fish was soft and many fish suppliers complained the fish moved extremely slowly, Guangdong Aquatic Products Processing and Market Alliance said.

The rumors of the fish causing Ebola disease stem from some Chinese media reports. ISA (Infectious Salmon Anemia) disease was compared to the “Ebola disease” among humans in a story that ended up being circulated widely on WeChat and Weibo. That frightened people, who believed eating salmon could lead to Ebola.

Norwegian salmon

Although health officials clarified that ISA disease can not be transmitted to humans, and that it has nothing to do with Ebola disease, few people still bought salmon.

Norway’s salmon exports to China have been sliding since 2010 after the country awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a jailed Chinese dissident, Financial Times wrote. Last month, China announced that it would not import whole salmon fish because of the ISA virus that has been affecting Atlantic salmon.

In June, more than six tons of chilled Atlantic salmon from Norway were destroyed in Shenzhen after testing positive for the virus.

 Photos: Guangzhou Daily; 


Dengue Fever a Full-Blown Crisis in Guangzhou

Posted: 10/8/2014 9:00 am

A health workers sprays for mosquitos

Dengue fever has claimed another two lives in Guangzhou in the last two days according to Guangdong’s provincial health and family planning committee. That brings the total number of reported cases to 21,527, including six deaths, as Guangdong struggles to contain the worst outbreak the province has seen in almost two decades.

Five people have died in Guangzhou and one in Foshan, according to New Express Daily. The contagious disease, transmitted by mosquitos, continues to spread quickly. On October 5 alone, the province reported 1,431 new cases and one death, said China News.

Health experts still aren’t clear why this year’s infection rates have been so high, or why the disease struck so early in the year, wrote China Science Newspaper. “This is quite shocking; we expect cases of infection to increase in the near future,” said Qin Chengfeng, a researcher with the Academy of Military Medical Science. Qin said normally Dengue Fever strikes in October and November, but this year, there were cases as early as August.

Qin noted that China isn’t alone in struggling to contain Dengue. Other countries in Asia including Singapore and Japan have also had a number of cases. There are reports of a vaccination used in Central Africa that could lower the rate of infection by 60 percent, but the possibility of importing it to China is slim due to regulatory hurdles. “It will take a long time before the vaccination is allowed in China,” said Liu Fuqiang, an epidemiology expert and emergency department director at the Hunan Center of Disease Control.

Photos: AP


Guangzhou Woman Finds Live Worms in Her KFC

Posted: 09/30/2014 3:07 pm

kfc chicken live worms guangzhouA Guangzhou woman was shocked to find her KFC lunch was crawling with tiny, white, wriggling worms, reports Caijing.

The woman, named Liu, found the worms a few hours after she had purchased the chicken and immediately contacted the media. When reporters arrived they used a fruit knife to cut open the chicken, and found more worms crawling around inside the food.

kfc chicken live worms guangzhou

KFC compensated Liu for her email and offered her a replacement at no charge, but Liu couldn’t stomach taking another bite. She said the restaurant couldn’t guarantee the food was safe, and didn’t want to share it with her son.

KFC told the reporter that it is taking the matter seriously. The American fried chicken-maker previously had problems with Husi Foods of Shanghai, which supplied expired meat to a number of fast food outlets including McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.

Here’s a video that shows the food infested with worms:


Photos: China News


100 Yuan Just Too Much? Guangzhou ATM Now Dispenses 10 Kuai Notes

Posted: 09/29/2014 9:10 am

atm ten yuan billsChina’s largest paper denomination is 100, which has long caused problems when people need to make big cash purchases. Hong Kong, on the other hand, has both 500 and 1000 Hong Kong dollar denominations, and many have suspected the Mainland will eventually follow suit.

But banks in Guangzhou are going the opposite direction, and will soon be dispensing bills as low as RMB 10 ($1.50) at their ATMs, reports CCTV. The service is now available in half of Guangzhou’s banks, and will be available throughout the city by the end of the year.

Not surprisingly, despite onscreen message promoting the new service, CCTV found most people still withdrew 100s.

Photos: CCTV


Guangzhou Cafeteria Worker Caught Taking Bites of Food, Serving It

Posted: 09/22/2014 12:00 pm

guangzhou cafeteria of the Guangzhou Communications Technical School hygiene

Things were already terrible for the Guangzhou Communications Technical School when one of its staff members with less-than-ideal hygiene standards was caught on camera, reports Sina News.

A student of the school recorded the shenanigans on the morning of September 16. A cafeteria worker is seen in the video in a white chef’s hat chewing on a bone she took from a pot of soup. Then she tossed the bone back into the soup.

guangzhou cafeteria of the Guangzhou Communications Technical School hygiene

The school has released a statement saying that these workers are all outsourced and will be replaced immediately, which is a common response in these types of situations.

guangzhou cafeteria of the Guangzhou Communications Technical School hygiene

The head of the school said the No. 3 cafeteria in Baiyun district has a rigid standard of behaviour. Students are only served simple soups like seaweed or tomato and egg, whereas menu items containing meat, like chicken soup, is reserved for teachers and cafeteria staff. As the principal said, “Therefore, the students could never have eaten this soup.

Which brings up another question: why can teachers – and not students – have meat in their soup?

guangzhou cafeteria of the Guangzhou Communications Technical School hygiene

Here’s the video:

Photos: Yang Tse Evening Report


Guangzhou’s Subway Map To Soon Look Like Tokyo’s

Posted: 09/17/2014 6:07 pm

guangzhou foshan metro map 2018 subway

To call this tentative plan for the 2018 combined subway systems of Guangzhou and Foshan ”ambitious” would be to describe “humongous” as “partially hefty”.

By 2018, the Guangzhou and Foshan subway systems will have seven interchange stations, Foshan will boast a total of eight subway lines, and Guangzhou will have a staggering 23.

To put things in perspective, the Guangzhou Metro currently has nine lines whereas Foshan only has one.

This map shows lines that are planned for construction and those currently being developed. As reported by the Zhujiang Times, not all lines are 100 percent confirmed. (Click here for a high resolution map)

Guangzhou has three new lines currently being developed in conjunction with the extension of three existing lines, while Foshan is working on two new lines with one line extended.

Guangzhou metro long term plan map

The 2018 map is very similar to the “long-term plan” posted by the Urban Planning Bureau of Guangzhou back in 2010. (Seen above; click here for the high resolution version)

We’ll have to note that completed subway lines 2 through 8 for the Foshan Metro are actually scheduled for 2020 and beyond, so it doesn’t look like everything will be in place by 2018. In any case, you’d better charge up your cellphone for some serious subway commuting in the near future.

Photos: Zhujiang Times, Wikipedia

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