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Special Bus Windows in Guangzhou Break Themselves In Case of Emergency

Posted: 07/22/2014 12:04 pm

automatic bus window exit guangzhou

Approximately 70 Guangzhou buses have been equipped with windows that break themselves in case of an emergency, reports Sina.

The automatic window breakers are controlled by the bus driver, who can destroy all of the windows on the bus with the flick of a switch. They take between 0.1 and 0.3 seconds to completely shatter. Guangzhou bus routes #205, #208 and #275 are the first to be equipped with the technology.

Hopefully the breakers will help prevent incidents like the one that occurred earlier this month, when a disgruntled man with gambling debts set fire to a Guangzhou bus, causing two fatalities and 35 injuries.

automatic bus window exit guangzhou


Photos: CRI


Guangzhou Deploys More Police Officers Following Bus Explosion

Posted: 07/18/2014 4:47 pm

gz security check police patrol anti terrorismGuangzhou police are stepping up patrols in the city following the July 15 bus fire that killed two and injured 32, reports Southcn. More than 11,000 Guangzhou police officers will be mobilized to try and keep the city safe.

Described as “unprecedented”, commuters entering Guangzhou train stations and bus stations will be required to undergo mandatory security checks that are like going through customs at an airport.

There was heightened security all around Guangzhou on July 17 with increased patrols by all levels of law enforcement. The police presence has increased most notably at transportation hubs like Guangzhou Railway Station, Guangzhou East Station, Tianhe Passenger Terminal Station, and Haizhu Passenger Terminal Station.

In addition to an increased police presence, Guangzhou will be utilizing its security network of 397,000 surveillance cameras for 24-hour surveillance.

gz security check police patrol anti terrorismgz security check police patrol anti terrorism


Photos: Sina Guangdong


African Expats Fight to Stay in Guangzhou as Policies Tighten

Posted: 07/18/2014 11:39 am

african communityWhile many expatriates from African countries have succeeded in business in Guangzhou, Chinese policies are making it more difficult for them, and other foreigners, to continue the lives they’ve made for themselves in China.

African countries are being courted by Chinese officials who insist, “China wants to engage every African country as an equal.” However, that sentiment doesn’t seem to be afforded to the residents of these countries.

Last year, the Chinese central government passed the Exit-Entry Administration Law that now requires expats to return to their home nations to renew their visas instead of doing so at intermediary destinations like Hong Kong. Jenni Marsh from the South China Morning Post recently detailed how this policy is impacting the African expat community in Guangzhou. While many people Marsh interviewed plan to return to their home countries in Africa, many others are resolved to carve out a long-term existence in Guangzhou.

The African community has galvanized and fought for longer visa extensions by proving how much they have given back to their newly-adopted city. As a result, visas procured by members of the African community can range from around three months to three years, depending upon the individual’s personal circumstances. And yet, a double standard remains as a Guinean trader named Cellou complained, “If my [Chinese] wife stays in Guinea she can get a Guinea passport.”

africantown guangzhou african africa chineseEven before the Exit-Entry Administration Law was passed last year, the African community in Guangzhou was already under pressure with the Guangdong Act of 2011. The Act rewards people who snitch on those who overstay their visas, forbids illegal immigrants to work or study, and gives any police officer the authority to stop foreigners to verify their passports. A Ugandan told Lan Shanshan, a research assistant professor at Baptist University:

“A visa is not a 100 per cent guarantee here. When police stop you, if you do not look like a pleasant person to them, they may draw the line on your visa and cancel it. They say, ‘China gives, China takes.’”

While staying in China may be difficult for African expats, they have still found a way to improve their odds: by marrying a Chinese wife. Linessa Lin Dan, a PhD student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said many African expats will marry a Chinese wife for business reasons.

“Opening a shop is very difficult for foreigners,” she says. “You need a Chinese passport or the landlord will ask for a bribe. A Chinese wife can speak to suppliers. It’s useful to have a Chinese partner.

“Many Chinese women want to marry Africans because they are from poor rural areas, often Hunan or Hubei provinces. Marrying a foreigner is a way to upgrade their social status, because the Africans have money.”

This sentiment is seconded by Pat Chukwuonye Chike:

“That is my sacrifice,” says the married father-of-two. “My wife cannot cook. My mother-in-law helps look after the children, and she is poisoning them against Africa. She’s an old woman, she knows the game she’s playing. There is crisis everywhere–terrorists were in Guangzhou last week–it is a sin to make my children scared of Nigeria.”

But perhaps the biggest problem facing the African community of Guangzhou is how to deal with mixed-race children. These kids are born predominantly to an African father and a Chinese mother and are caught between cultures. Chinese immigration policies threaten to separate those families.

While the one-child policy does not include foreigners, Africans are subject to the policy even though they do not qualify for Chinese citizenship. Furthermore, these mixed-race children risk being marginalized by a classification system that does not recognize “mixed-race” as an option.

Even the local media treatment has been mixed:

Lan Shanshan, a research assistant professor at Baptist University, claims there is a media edict on the mainland to report favourably on Africans in China, hence the state-owned newspaper Guangming Daily’s three-part special titled “Friends From Africa, How are You Doing in Guangzhou?”, in 2012.

africantown guangzhou african africa chineseAnd yet, we’ve seen pictorials by the People’s Daily that insinuate an unidentified African person to be an illegal immigrant, while news reports flat out finger the African community as the source of blame for the drug woes currently plaguing China.

Regardless, it is becoming more difficult everyday for an African expat to stay in China.

Photo:, the  Nanfang


No More Free Toothbrushes and Other Toiletries at Guangzhou Hotels

Posted: 07/17/2014 2:28 pm

hotel disposable itemsFree slippers, shower hats, toothbrushes and even soap may be as rare as a free lunch in the future. Disposable hotel toiletries will no longer be offered for free in Guangzhou hotels in order to cut down on garbage, reports the Southern Daily.

Guangzhou is currently deliberating a policy which will encourage the use of reusuable items in order to reduce the impact on the environment. Yin Ziyong, department head of the municipal management works committee, explained the policy:

This is to promote regulations. Guangzhou’s hotel industry has traditionally gifted (its guests) with with six complimentary items. Following the development of society and economy, many clients have brought up environment-saving measures used by international hotels in which guests are to pay for these complimentary products. Right now, we are soliciting different parties for their perspectives. It is to promote the reduction of disposable items, and is not an inflexible policy to be uniformly applied.

Photo: Alibaba


Graphic Video of Guangzhou Bus Explosion Shows Commuters Running for Their Lives

Posted: 07/16/2014 11:50 am

guangzhou bus fire explosion #301[This story contains material that some readers may find disturbing.]

Two people are dead and 32 were injured when an explosive device went off in a bus, engulfing it in flames, yesterday evening in Guangzhou, reports China Daily. The fire took place on the #301 Guangzhou bus bound for Panyu at South Dunhe bus stop on Guangzhou Boulevard in Haizhu District at approximately 7:40pm.

READ: Bus Explodes in Guangzhou [Photos]

The fire ignited so quickly that eyewitnesses say victims could not get off the bus in time. The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau said the entire bus was engulfed in flames within five minutes, causing excessive damage to the rear of the bus. The fire was eventually extinguished at 8:03pm.

guangzhou bus fire explosion #301

Police say the fire was caused by a passenger who had brought a prohibited item on board the bus. One eyewitness told Guangzhou Daily he saw four people run out of the bus after the explosion, three of whom were on fire. Other eyewitness said two to three people on fire were rolling around on the ground trying to extinguish the flames.

Workers from a nearby furniture factory arrived and tried to put out the fire with fire extinguishers, but could not get close enough due to the heat.

guangzhou bus fire explosion #301

A Weibo user named Johnny-Tang posted this account :

I was there at the #301 Guangzhou bus incident, and yet I don’t know what to say; all I can say is that it was too terrifying. I escaped with my life. At the time, I had gotten onboard and swiped my card when a man suddenly yelled out, “Fire! Somebody is setting a fire!” I couldn’t see clearly, but I followed everyone in getting off the bus. Just one meter away after leaving, I heard an explosion behind me. Looking behind me, I saw that the bus was in a great fire, some people exploded through the window. It’s too horrifying, I am not going to take the bus again.

Here is video taken from a surveillance camera at the bus stop that shows the explosion before it happens, and immediately afterwards:

At the beginning of the video, the #301 bus has arrived at the bus stop and passengers are getting off the bus at a normal pace. At 0:23, passengers are seen getting off in a hurry, while other commuters aren’t aware of any problems.

At 0:37, an explosion happens, temporarily knocking out the surveillance camera. People are seen running away, while a few victims are seen on the ground covered in flames.

At the end of the video, a man is seen trying to approach the bus. He paces back and forth, looking at the fire numerous times while a victim writhes on the ground beside him.

Here are more pictures from the fire:

guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301guangzhou bus fire explosion #301

UPDATE 1, 3:33pm July 16: Guangzhou police have made an arrest in conjunction with the fire, reports Guangzhou Daily.

Today at 11:47am, Guangzhou police arrested suspect Ou X Sheng, male, 25, and from Hengnan County, Hubei Province.

UPDATE 2, 9:51 July 17: Guangzhou bus fire suspect Ou has confessed that he set the fire as a way to vent his anger regarding his recent gambling losses, reports China Daily.



Rising Ocean Levels Could Submerge Guangzhou By 2050

Posted: 07/16/2014 10:30 am
guangdong flooding rain guangzhou

A city in Guangdong after floods in 2012.

At a time when Guangzhou is bracing for typhoon Rammasun to “cause severe damage” later this week, future flooding disasters are predicted for Guangzhou that could see the city completely submerged by 2050, reported Guangzhou Daily.

Typhoon Rammasun is approaching the Philippines with gusts of 30 meters per second. On Tuesday morning, the typhoon was located 180 kilometers east of Luzon’s coastal city of Legazpi. When it arrives, the typhoon is expected to bring about torrential rains and storms in Guangdong’s southern, central and northern regions.

World Bank economist Stephane Hallegatte wrote in a paper published last year that Guangzhou will suffer high financial losses from flooding at a rate of $13.2 billion a year by 2050. The findings were refuted by experts from China’s State Oceanic Administration, who argued “not all full findings could be taken seriously”. On the other hand, they admitted that Guangdong’s sea level has been rising at its fastest rate for the past 20 years. The speed is 1.7-times higher than the global trend over the last 100 years.

guangdong flooding rain guangzhou

About 13% of the Pearl River Delta is located below sea level. In 50 years, Guangdong’s sea level is expected to further rise 27.5 cm, causing floods and typhoons. The Pearl River Delta could face up to RMB 262.5 billion in financial losses each year if its sea level rises another 100 centimeters, the administration said.

What has made the province’s flooding worse is that most dykes and levies along the Pearl River are not strong enough to face destructive floods, the newspaper said, citing experts from the administration.

The immediate solution is to build up flood reinforcements that could sustain a once-in-a-200-years flood. However, many bridges in Guangzhou that were built in the last century, like the Tianhe Bridge, could only survive a once-in-a-20-years flood.

Photos:; Xinhua


Bus Explodes in Guangzhou (Photos)

Posted: 07/15/2014 9:17 pm

A public bus has exploded in downtown Guangzhou that has left at least two people with serious injuries.

The explosion happened along Guangzhou Dadao on bus #301. The bus was completely gutted in the blaze, and a reporter from Southern Metropolis Daily said he saw at least two people with serious injuries.

Photos are below. We’ll update with more information when we receive it.

UPDATE 9:23pm July 15: People’s Daily is reporting 2 people have died.

UPDATE: Please read “Graphic Video of Guangzhou Bus Explosion Shows Commuters Running for Their Lives” for the most recent news on this story.


Mayors Swim Across Pearl River To Prove It’s Clean

Posted: 07/14/2014 6:05 pm

crossing pearl riverCity mayors were first among 2,000 swimmers to swim across the Pearl River while proclaiming water safety a top local priority, reports South Capital. The swim took place on Sunday afternoon in Guangzhou from the central north gate to Star Ocean Music Hall, a distance of about 800 meters.

Guangzhou mayor Chen Jianhua, Foshan acting mayor Lu Yi and other governing dignitaries were in the first group to traverse the river. More than 2,000 from Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, and Qingyuan eventually joined them.

Government officials emphasized the importance of maintaining clean water while admitting current pollution levels are not that great, pledging to continue to clean up the environment. The Guangzhou mayor said the environment can be cleaned up if everyone works together.

NewsGD reported the swim was held to prove that the once polluted river is now clean.

Photos: China Daily


US National Library of Medicine Concerned About High Rates of Scrub Typhus in Guangzhou

Posted: 07/11/2014 11:36 am

scrub typhusThe rising number of cases of scrub typhus in Guangzhou has been alarming health officials, reportsPubMed, an official website for the US National Library of Medicine. Scrub typhus is transmitted by trombiculid mites, and is endemic to southern China and throughout Southeast Asia and Australia. Patients suffering from scrub typhus will experience fever, headache, muscle pain, cough, and gastrointestinal symptoms. If left untreated by antibiotics, it can be fatal.

Data obtained from the Chinese National Communicable Disease Surveillance Network shows steady growth of scrub typhus cases in Guangzhou from 2006 to 2012. In 2006, the rate was 3.29 per 100,000 residents; in 2012 it had risen to 9.85 per 100,000 residents.The urban district of Haizhu is one of the key high-risk areas.

So how can you prevent getting this disease? Unfortunately there are no vaccines available, so your best bet is to maintain very good levels of personal hygiene, make sure you’re not around any rodents, and obviously avoid areas where other cases have been reported.

Photo: Medscape


Forget Regular Guangzhou Taxis, Now You Too Can Be a High-Roller

Posted: 07/9/2014 5:10 pm

bmw taxi guangzhouAre taxis simply too close to being “public transportation” for you? Do you require the services of a vehicle that is more attuned to your needs?

Maybe you need the services of a BMW Series 6, or a Audi A6. And now, you can rent one as a taxi in Guangzhou, reports Guangzhou Daily.

Announced yesterday by taxi app Kuaidi, a new taxi app called “Line One Cars” gives users the option of reserving luxury cars for a trip or daily commute. It has been named as a competitor to the popular app Uber, which launched in Guangzhou and Shenzhen at the beginning of the year.

These high-end taxis are already available in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou.

bmw taxi guangzhou

Different prices and options are available for “Line One Cars”: There’s economy class, cozy class, merchant class, and luxury class. These get separated into various existing taxi companies and car brands: Dazhong, Tongyong, BMW and Audi.

While commuters seem pleased by the extra options available to them, Guangzhou taxi drivers are not, saying they will cut into their profits. The Guangzhou traffic department also expressed concern seeing as these BMW and Audi taxis aren’t actually taxis:

Even though luxury cars are nice, at present this just has the appearance of being a car for rent, and not an authentic taxi. It isn’t under the jurisdiction of the transport deparment. If there are any disputes arising between passengers and this company, passengers will only be able to rely upon the goodwill of the latter.


Photos: Guangzhou Daily

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