The Nanfang / Blog

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

Related:

Photos: CRI

Haohao

BYD Rises After Chinese Government Orders Electric Vehicle Purchases

Posted: 07/15/2014 10:40 am

byd electric carA government initiative to support the proliferation of non-fossil fueled vehicles will require 30% of all future purchases of government and public vehicles to be electric or hybrid cars by 2016, reports said.

After the announcement was made on Sunday, stocks for Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD rose by 3.6% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The announcement regards electric and hybrid cars as “new energy vehicles” to be promoted under the initiative. Neither domestic nor foreign brands are singled out, but the subsidies only qualify for cars that cost under RMB 180,000 (around US $29,000), well under the price range of a new Tesla.

china electric vehicles

A specific timetable for the implementation is as follows: each province (or city, or territory) must purchase new energy cars as part of official and public use at a ratio of 10% of all new car purchases in 2014, then 20% by 2015, and finally 30% by 2016.

For the more polluted areas of China that include the Beijing/Tianjin/Hebei area, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta, this quota will instead begin at 15% in 2014.

Furthermore, new infrastructure needs to be built to support the electric vehicles. Government facilities will have have as many charging facilities as there are electric cars, under the mandate.

The government initiative comes on the heels of news that private buyers of new energy vehicles will be exempt from a 10% vehicle tax.

A study recently suggested reducing the traffic in the PRD by half in order to cut down on air pollution, assuming that the vehicles are all fossil fuel-burning.

Related:

Photo: southcn, China Daily

Haohao

Volunteers Help Set Up Ad Hoc Charging Network for Tesla Journey From Beijing to Guangzhou

Posted: 07/12/2014 3:33 pm

tesla charging stationWhen Andrew Zong bought one of the first commercially-available Tesla electric cars in China, he had a small problem:

When I picked up my Tesla in Beijing, I realized that it’s impossible to drive it back to Guangzhou as there are hardly any places to recharge the batteries.

While Shanghai and Beijing are struggling to set up electric car charging facilities, there is nothing available in the 5,750 kilometres along the highway between Beijing and Guangzhou.

But that wasn’t going to deter Zong, the CEO of heat pump manufacturer PHNIX, who handily solved the problem by establishing his own charging network, reports Yahoo News. Zong bought a stock of battery piles and took to the internet, looking for volunteers that could help him recharge his new Tesla at their homes. In three days, Zong attracted some 20,000 interested respondents online, but only needed twenty volunteers.

READ: Tesla to Expand to Guangzhou and Shenzhen Despite Customer Apathy

Using this ad hoc charging network, Zong and his friends were able to drive the new Tesla from Beijing to Guangzhou in just twenty days.

While Yahoo calls this the first “electric car charging network from north to south China”, we would be remiss to point out that this network only temporarily existed for one single car. None of these private locations remain available for public use. That said, Zong remains flush with confidence, saying:

The true value of this action is to tell everyone: as long as more and more people are involved, a network of charging piles across China will soon be set up and this could form a more eco-friendly lifestyle for China.

To do his part, Zong has has ordered 20 Teslas to give to his employees as rewards and has built 60 charging parking spots at his own factories.

Photo: Tesla

Haohao

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.

Related:

Photos: Guangzhou Daily

Haohao

Tesla to Expand to Guangzhou and Shenzhen Despite Consumer Apathy

Posted: 07/7/2014 7:15 pm

tesla car electricNew LinkedIn job advertisements indicate boutique electric car maker Tesla may soon be coming to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, reports Car News China.

While Tesla itself hasn’t made an official announcement, their Linkedin profile lists jobs in the two PRD cities as well as Chengdu. This would be in addition to their one store in Beijing, and two others coming in Shanghai and Hangzhou.

But while Tesla is expanding fast in China, electric charging infrastructure may be struggling to keep up.

READ: Shenzhen Home to 50 of China’s Billionaires

Shenzhen invested RMB 1 billion in 2010 to build 89 charging stations and 29,500 charging piles, but only seven charging stations and 2,273 slow-charging piles were open by the end of 2013, reports Want China Times.

Furthermore, the electric car industry has been supported solely by government sales in recent years.  A high-level executive at one auto company who asked not to be identified told Caixin that fewer than 2,000 new electric cars have been sold to the general public since 2009.

electric car charging

But while electric charging facilities remain idle and customer interest remains weak, local authorities appear undeterred in their drive for more electric cars.

Shenzhen expects to have 25,000 electric vehicles on its roads by the end of next year. To meet this goal, it has ordered every new residential complex to provide charging facilities for electric cars regardless of whether any residents drive the vehicles, reports Investor Intel. Without the charging facilities, the apartments will not be allowed to go on sale.

READ: Six Million Cars to Be Taken Off Streets in China to Fight Pollution

But most tellingly, a massive market will be created once Elon Musk and Tesla build a gigafactory capable of producing batteries for 500,000 electric cars a year, reports the Economist.

With luxury car sales falling all across China, we can only assume Elon Musk knows what he’s doing.

tesla car electric

Related:

Photos: Car News China, Investor Intel, the Telegraph

Haohao

PRD Megacity Emerges: Subway to Connect Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen

Posted: 07/4/2014 3:59 pm

tricity subway guangzhou shenzhen dongguan pearl river delta megacity subwayAs Beijing makes plans to develop itself into a megacity of the north, the long-standing intention to integrate the three cities of the Pearl River Delta is coming to fruition.

Details of the tri-city subway system that will interconnect the public transportation networks of Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen have been announced, reports Yangcheng Evening Report.

The subway line will extend from Xintang, Baiyun Airport to Guangzhou North station.

Costing RMB 3.44 billion, the subway line will consist of 13 subways stations, including: Xintang Station, Zengcheng Development District Station, Lihu City Station, Zhenlong Station, Pinggang Station, Folang Village Station, Matouzhuang Station, Healthy Industrial City Station, Zhuliao Station, Airport Terminal 3 Station, Airport Terminal 2 Station, Airport Terminal 1 Station, Huashan, Tiangui Road, and Guangzhou North Station.

In other subway developments, plans are being discussed to connect Guangzhou Metro Line 5 to Dongguan Metro Line 1.

With a terminal station at Huangpu Passenger Ferry Terminal, the extended subway line will intersect with the Dongguan Metro at Mayong Station. It is expected to be completed in 2020.

tricity subway guangzhou shenzhen dongguan pearl river delta megacity subway

Photos: Yangcheng Evening Report

Haohao

Subway-Electric Tram Hybrid, the First Of Its Kind in China, to Open in Foshan

Posted: 06/25/2014 11:03 am

foshan subway hybrid public transportationA public transportation line currently being developed in the Nanhai District of Foshan is being touted as the first of its kind in China, reports Nanhai Today.

Construction has begun on five stations of the passenger line described as a cross between a subway and a electric tram with the advantages of both, said a spokesperson for the New Transportation Office.

The planned line will have 13 stops of which four are underground, four are above ground, and five will be elevated stations. As explained by the spokesman, travel on the light railway won’t be affected by surface traffic from either congestion or accidental collisions, leading to loftier ambitions for the line:

Our entire plan is to follow the principles of “using the original route as much as possible, reduce the need to forcibly relocate residents, reduce the need for land space, use land routes where possible, switch to elevated tracks when that is not feasible, and finally resort to underground routes when all other options fail.”

The line will be 13.11 km long, and will have four transfer stations:

  • A Chongleigang Park Station that will connect with the Jiangzhu transport line serving Guangzhou and Foshan
  • A Foshan First Ring Road Station that will connect with Jiangzhu transport line serving Guangzhou and Foshan
  • A Tangyi Park Station that will connect with Foshan Metro Line 6
  • A Linyue West Station will connect with Foshan Metro Line 2

The line was first proposed in 2011 and construction began last year, although there have been multiple setbacks. Development has recently been hampered from issues stemming from the forced relocations of the Xiaxi and Pingdong neighborhoods, and from accommodating high-voltage power lines.

foshan subway hybrid public transportationPhotos: Weibo

Haohao

Foreigner Charged RMB 2,700 for a Ride in a Fake Taxi in Beijing

Posted: 06/22/2014 8:00 am

fake taxiA foreigner new to China was charged RMB 2,700 ($434 US) for a taxi ride from Beijing International Airport to Tanggu, Tianjin, reports the Beijing Evening Report.

A US citizen identified only as “Nick” revealed in an interview that he thinks he has been taken advantage of by a “black cab“, a common local term for an unlicensed taxi.

Described as a “laowai” by China Daily, Nick said this was his first time in China, and that he doesn’t speak Chinese. As there was no one to pick him up at the Beijing airport, Nick decided that he would make the trip to Tanggu by himself.

READ: Dongguan Taxi Driver Takes to Weibo To
Teach You How to Spot a Fake Taxi

After getting off the plane and into the airport terminal, Nick was approached by a man who offered to give him a ride. This man spoke English, and was able to gain Nick’s trust. As Nick was doubtful that other taxi drivers would be able to speak English, Nick enlisted the help of this man and gave him the address.

Upon entering the vehicle, Nick thought that the car was an authentic taxi except for not having a meter. Nick can’t remember the brand of the taxi, but it may have been sporting a Dazhong license.

READ: Taxi Driver Violently Attacked By Foreigner in Shanghai 

Upon arriving, however, Nick realized the car wasn’t a real taxi, but paid the fare all the same without bartering. He also received a bill marked as being from the Beijing Shouqi Joint Limited Taxi Company, but looks to be a fake.

A RMB 400 tip was included in the RMB 2,700 fare.

The distance between Beijing International Airport and Tanggu, Tianjin is less than 200 km. If taken in a regulation taxi, the trip should cost no more than RMB 1000 ($161 US).

Related:

Photo: Hebei News

Haohao

Mom Too Busy on Phone to Notice Daughter Peeing on Shenzhen Metro

Posted: 06/20/2014 8:00 am
phone mama daughter pee

The trail of pee is visible in the photo.

Every few minutes, the hum of Hong Kong’s MTR trains is punctuated by a monotone female voice that announces, “Dear passengers, please hold the handrail. Do not keep your eyes only on your mobile phones.”

We don’t know if there are similar announcements made on the Shenzhen Metro, but parents who are so fixated on their phones that they refuse to take their kids to the toilet deserve a similar announcement: “Irresponsible parents, please keep your eyes on your kids, not your mobile phones.”

We don’t know what the woman was doing on her phone at the time, but whatever it was, it was compelling enough to ignore her child’s plea for a toilet. And as any parent can attest, it often requires the discipline of a Zen Buddhist to ignore a whimpering child.

READ: Photo of Boy Taking a Shit on Guangzhou Subway Goes Viral

On June 17 on Shenzhen Metro Line 5, a little girl was seen crying on the train, asking her mother to take her to the toilet. After two stops of receiving the silent treatment, the little girl could no longer hold it, squatted, and proceeded to do what comes naturally.

The trail of pee flowed as long as three to four meters according to a witness who posted the images online, Yang Cheng Evening News reported. After relieving herself, the little girl was dragged back to her seat by her mother. The daughter was seen sobbing on a suitcase while her mother continued to stare at her phone as if nothing happened.

READ: You’re in Luck: Guangzhou Public Bathroom App Streaming Online

According to the report, each subway stop on Line 5 has a toilet, but it did not matter to this mother or the two other guys who were seen peeing inside the metro earlier this May: one at Laojie station, and one inside a moving subway.

As usual, Weibo users were quick to speculate as to what happened: “She is not the little girl’s biological mother.” Another user Waymend added: “Her phone must be her biological child.”

It seems that for the expressed purpose of ignoring your child, there is in fact an app for that.

Related:

Photo: Yang Cheng Evening News

Haohao

Macau Tightens Visa Rules For Mainland Visitors

Posted: 06/19/2014 5:01 pm

macau customsIf you’re a Chinese mainlander and want to go gamble in Macau, one surefire way to circumvent existing entry requirements is by entering as a transit visitor on your way to a third country—but actually have no intention of going anywhere else but the craps table.

Sorry, Danny Ocean with Chinese characteristics: the gig is up.

Macau has just announced changes to its entry requirements to deter mainland high-rollers from coming to the territory. Starting on July 1, mainland visitors holding a Chinese passport in transit will only be allowed to stay a maximum of five days, down from an original seven, according to Bloomberg.

READ: Guangdong Residents Can Now Visit
Hong Kong and Macau with Their Fingerprints

However, some critics of the plan point out that the change won’t actually succeed at what it’s supposed to accomplish. Jose Pereira Coutinho, a directly elected legislator in the 33-member Legislative Assembly, said, ”It won’t help resolve the existing problem for some mainland visitors to travel to Macau without traveling to another destination.” In other words, they can still get a lot of gambling done in the new five-day period.

The last time Macau made changes to its entry requirements was in 2008 when it shortened the maximum stay from 14 days to seven. As well, mainland tourists that re-enter Macau within 30 days of their previous stay will only be allowed to stay one day, down from two days.

Additionally, China UnionPay has promised to clamp down on illegal payments made with handheld devices in Macau gambling establishments, an amount analysts say was worth billions last year.

Related:

Photo: deltabridges

Haohao
AROUND THE WEB
Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV