The Nanfang / Blog

Drunk Police Officer Who Tumbled Down Stairs Hailed as Dying “In The Line of Duty”

Posted: 08/11/2014 8:00 am

The latest victim of China’s alcohol-soaked “ganbei” or “bottoms up” culture has been given a hero’s funeral. Zhu Ling, a local police officer in Anhui Province, died after drinking excessively at a police banquet and then falling down the stairs. According to a report in Nandu, that didn’t stop the police force from honoring him as an officer who died “in the line of duty”.

The “honor” could earn Zhu Ling’s family as much as RMB 13 million (US$2.1 million) in compensation. However, the package is subject to Zhu’s family signing a waiver absolving the local police bureau and the officers in attendance at the banquet of any liability.

In January, Zhu was sent to the Shanli Police Bureau for an exchange study along with four other police officers. The local bureau arranged a so-called “work dinner” upon their arrival. Thirteen police officers attended the banquet and eight of them drank a total of six bottles of rice spirits and 11 bottles of beer, according to a report by People’s Daily.

A copy of the agreement that would ask Zhu’s family to absolve the local police bureau of any responsibility.

Following the banquet, Zhu fell down a flight of stairs and landed on his head. He was pronounced dead on June 13 after more than five months of treatment.

Qimen County Police Bureau, which overseas the Shanli Police Bureau, offered the compensation which included RMB 7 million of work compensation and RMB 6 million in civil compensation from accompanying officers. While the incident occurred some time ago, the story has only recently come to public attention due to Zhu’s family going to the press.

Predictably, the news has caused an uproar on the Internet. One Weibo user wrote “(Expletive), drinking with leaders and indulging in corrupt activities is now called a duty! Laobaixing (ordinary people) pay for the bills, and now even the RMB 13 million compensation is from the laobaoxing. Why are Chinese laobaixing always wronged?”

The head of the Shanli Police Bureau was fired following the incident. After almost seven months of investigation, Zhu’s family still hasn’t received the results, according to People’s Daily.

 Photos: People’s Daily; Xinhua



Shenzhen Driver Taunts Police Online, Police Post His Arrest Online

Posted: 05/28/2014 2:38 pm

This is a great story – a fable, if you will – told entirely in Weibo posts.

weibo shenzhen police post Weibo is a place where people like to have fun. The Shenzhen Traffic Police are just like you and me: they share their love of GIFs while trying to admonish the dangerous activities they depict, and reply to funny questions with funny answers.

bmw no zuo no die Weibo user MrCharlesChen is a also a guy who likes fun. And that’s what he was having when he posted a picture to Weibo at midnight on May 25 of himself driving with a beer can in his hand. He asked:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

Is drinking and driving at the same time against the law? @Shenzhen Traffic Police Have you caught any “tigers” tonight? [coylaughing.emo]

Yes. The account he was asking was the Shenzhen Traffic Police.

And while the Shenzhen Traffic Police has a history of joking around, they didn’t do so this time. Instead, they sent a short, terse message:

Shenzhen Traffic Police:
Put the beer down, and drive safely!

Such a reply didn’t deter MrCharlesChen, who posted the reply:weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

I’m going to open another one [elatedopenmouth.emo]

Netizens got in on the fun at this point. They combed through MrCharlesChen’s Weibo account, and found the following gem in his photo album from March 19, 2013:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

These past few days, I ran through about twenty red lights before I was finally caught @粤B374CC How’s this license for you? The next time you see this license plate, you’ll know it’s me [openmouthlaughing.emo]

Another photo found in MrCharlesChen’s album showed he was unrepentant towards his lawnessness by posting a screenshot of the driving violations he had incurred:weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

That’s fine, I still have six points (left on my license)


Sensing a change of merriment, MrCharlesChen changed his username to the very aptno zuo no die (classic)“, and deleted all the content in his Weibo account. Unperturbed, the Shenzhen traffic police said that they were going to find him all the same:

bmw no zuo no die

This guy changed his (username)

(Despite) changing a username, we still have to investigate.

MrCharlesChen finally signaled that he had enough fun:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

I was wrong. [tearspouringdown.emo] I am a stupid cunt.

However, the fun continued for netizens and police as they collaborated to find more information on MrCharlesChen:

Mr Chen-Jun:
Going to help out this so-called fellow classmate of Shenzhen University to remain at the back of the class…

Shenzhen Traffic Police (reply):
Thank you very much (for your contributions), we have already made screenshots.

The Shenzhen Traffic Police found that long list of traffic violations MrCharlesChen had boasted about:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

Shenzhen police put a stop to all the fun on May 26 by issuing a demand to MrCharlesChen to surrender himself at a traffic police station. And they did it by sending him a Weibo post:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

(Car with license plate 粤B374CC has made 16 driving violations) Through an investigation, it has been determined that Weibo user @MrCharlesChen (who has changed his username many times, and deleted his entire account) is a suspect wanted in connection with driving violations related to a BMW X1 vehicle with the license plate 粤B374CC that was first registered on March 5, 2013. To date, this vehicle has accrued a total of 16 violations, ten of which occurred in Shenzhen (nine counts of illegal stopping, one time for speeding) and six other violations occurring out of province. At present, ten points have been deducted from your license, leaving only six points left. According to traffic regulations, please hand over your car for confiscation and inspection.

But netizens would do one better and perform a human flesh search that turned up MrCharlesChen’s real name, work unit, picture, and residential address.

Shenzhen Traffic police were very amenable with their ultimatum by issuing helpful reminders:

Shenzhen Traffic Police:
If you do not arrive by 2pm, we will come to your residence. If there is a need, we will ask for the help of the “Uncles” in CID (Criminal Investigation Department).

And with the clock ticking:

Shenzhen Traffic Police:
One hour left.

MrCharlesChen finally did turn himself in. And, the police celebrated it with everyone online by posting his arrest on Weibo:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

And then they posted all of his personal credentials online:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

Of course, they censored anything personal about him but that was irrelevant, as his identity was already made public by the human flesh search.

Later that day, MrCharlesChen was very ponderous with his first post to Weibo ever since deleting his entire Weibo account:

Cherish life, don’t drink and drive. Living is not easy, cherish what you have when you’ve got it.

Yes, it would be much more poetic if he didn’t plagarize most of it. Outside in the parking lot, Shehzhen Traffic Police finally saw the car that they’d only seen online:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

But upon opening the trunk of the car, they found yet another familiar sight:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

That’s right, MrCharlesChen had driven to the police station to surrender himself and his car with two cases of beer in the back. He does like that Harbin beer, we see.

The moral would be very clear at this part of the story, except that it isn’t over.

With all of this having happened back in the distant past, meaning Monday of this week, some netizens still had lingering doubts. So one user recently posted this question to Shenzhen Traffic Police:

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

“Uncle” traffic police, I want to know if drinking (soda pop) in the passenger seat is against the law

Shenzhen Traffic Police:
That’s fine, enjoy your drink. (Just remember,) too much will adversely impact your health! Just remember to do better than that brother from tomorrow.

Uh, “tomorrow”? They mean “yesterday”, don’t they?

weibo fable no zuo no die charleschen drinking and driving taunting police fail

Shenzhen Traffic Police:
Sorry, we meant ‘yesterday’

So while this may have been a very simple moral of “stupid is as stupid does”, the true moral of this fable is Weibo itself: no one ever forgets anything online. Not your hideous shame, your regretful mistakes, and not any one of your speiling mistakes.

Photo: Guangzhou PSB via Weibo (2, 3, 4, 5), Shenzhen Evening Report via Weibo


Top 10 Things To Buy Now that FamilyMart has Opened in Shenzhen

Posted: 05/22/2014 4:33 pm

familymartFor being a hushed secret whispered between expats, Shenzhen kicks ass. It’s rated as one of the best places to live in China as well as being one of the cities in China with the cleanest air. It’s right next to Hong Kong, the weather is nice (if humid and wet), and best of all, it isn’t Beijing or Shanghai.

As more proof of Shenzhen’s ascension to a metropolis of kickassery, the city has now become that much more convenient. Last week, eight FamilyMart stores opened in Shenzhen with further locations to come in Dongguan by the end of this year.

To celebrate this great news, we’re going to provide a run-down of the ten most essential items you’ll be purchasing from FamilyMart—because let’s face it, the one time you really need a FamilyMart is at 3am when you’ve had too much to drink and badly need food.

1. Western Junk Food Knock-Offs

oreas junk food familymartWhen looking for a little sugar fix, you’ll be attracted to the brands that you know and trust (or, at least their logos if you can’t read Chinese). However, there’s something different about it; something’s a little off. It’s not the junk food you’ve become so familiar with…

2. Fruit Sandwichfruit sandwich

If you’re still not over your culture shock, you’re probably going to stick with food you’re familiar with, like the sandwich. How hard can that be to screw up? It’s two slices of bread and some cut fruit, just like your mom used to make.

3. Tea Eggstea egg familymart

And we don’t mean the “virgin boy” type. Tea eggs are always a good purchase because no matter your feelings on how they taste, and no matter the time of day, there are always tea eggs for sale at a convenience store. It’s like as though it’s used as a type of currency a la “take an egg, leave an egg”.

4. Instant Noodlesinstant noodles familymart

There’s a reason why there is usually an entire aisle dedicated to instant noodles, and it isn’t because there is a fundamental difference between any of them. No, the instant noodle is the one reliable food that you can’t screw up, but it does need one thing…

5. Pre-Packaged Chicken Feetchicken feet familymart

No, you don’t make a wish on them like you do on a monkey’s paw. You may not be partial to the delicacy of chicken feet, but you will learn to be more culturally sensitive at three in the morning when you’re ravenously hungry and lack your usual ethnocentric tendencies. You can’t just eat instant noodles on their own, you know.

6. Over-the-Counter Baijiubaijiu familymart

Sure, there’s usually beer available at a convenience store in China, but you want to continue the party, not have a refreshing beverage to cool down. Browse the baijiu section and pick the bottle that looks like it can strip paint off a wall, and you’re set to go.

7. Aspirinaspirin familymart

For tomorrow morning. Buy it now, or wait until you’re dizzy and nauseous.  But, you’ll also be needing…

8. Bottled Waterbottled water familymart

In this day and age, a bottle of drinking water is as necessary as a smartphone. Thirty years ago, who’d have thought that we’d be paying for water and be using portable phones to do everything but make calls?

9. Pepto Bismolpepto bismol family mart

If FamilyMart doesn’t sell this, then what good is it?

10. Condomscondoms familymart

You may need these, perhaps. One day in the future.

With the arrival of FamilyMart, Shenzhen will join Guangzhou as places where you can buy whatever you need at every hour of the day in full disregard of the daily sleep cycles our sad, non-partying forefathers were burdened with.

Thank you, FamilyMart. You’re Japan’s greatest present to China.

Photos: the Beijinger, Daxue Consulting, ChinaDaily, GiantBomb, traveling around the world,, pzr services, mousetourtravels,, xinhua, Bloomberg  


Frankie’s hits the spot in Shenzhen

Posted: 03/3/2014 4:07 pm

For the longest time I’d heard of a hidden away magical place in Shenzhen that has authentic American food, great service, large portions, and even a cigar bar for those so inclined. After repeatedly hearing about it, I finally decided to make the trip out to Frankies after Ultimate Frisbee a few weeks ago, and it has since become our routine hang out spot after playing each week.

Their Happy Hour is a hit among all of the players. It runs from 8:30pm to 10:30pm from Thursday to Saturday and all day Sunday with Asahi beer for RMB20 a pint (served in visibly chilled glasses). Bottomless buffalo chicken wings have left some of us speechless besides the occasional begging for water.

The ever attentive waitress, Jojo, a junior student at Shenzhen University, did a great job actively taking our orders, asking for refills (soda is allowed one free refill), removing plates as soon as people finished, and all with a smile on her face.

The food was top notch. Unofficially, Frankies has been earning the title of best burger in Shenzhen since it opened.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had most of the burgers they have on offer including the
San Antonio Burger, a massive two patty burger served with vegetable toppings (pictured above), and their famously delicious potato salad or Lay’s potato chips on the side. You can also order a veggie burger on request.

Also on their menu is the Carolina Pulled Pork and Chilli Dogs which have been both large and tasty. Frankies has trained a Chinese waitstaff to give a level of service not seen in my 10 years of living in Shenzhen and China. For that alone, it’s worth a trip.

You can find more information about Frankie’s here.


International Beverage Expo wraps up in Shenzhen with a focus on wine

Posted: 09/1/2013 2:28 pm

The International Beverage Exposition and Competition (IBEC) 2013 was held over the weekend at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Futian District.

The IBEC is “quickly becoming one of Asia’s premier beverage events,” according to the official website. The event showcased wines, spirits, beers, and even non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee from international producers, importers and distributors. The website lists Carrefour and Wal-Mart among the large retailers taking part in the forum.

“Wine consumption in China is clearly on the rise, with the younger generation leading the way with increased knowledge and sophistication. Cocktails and spirits are becoming more popular drinks of choice. Shenzhen is an ideal location for the IBEC due to the age demographic and fast-paced growth of the city,” IBEC says on its website.

IBEC is certainly correct when it says wine consumption in China is on the rise. It is already the world’s largest market for fine wine, and locations such as Yinchuan City are being hailed by many as China’s future wine capital.

However, President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on extravagance among officials may be having unintentional consequences for the country’s wine industry, with a recent report by the South China Morning Post on Tuesday claiming that sales in Hong Kong are down, and that “Value of re-exports to the mainland has dropped 27 per cent since [the] president ordered cadres to curb their lavish lifestyle.”

Photo credit: Shenzhen Daily


Man convicted of rape in Guangzhou after failing to use condom during one night stand

Posted: 12/12/2012 7:00 am

A man who wined and dined a women the night he first met her on a subway in Guangzhou has been convicted of rape for failing to use a condom during their one night stand, according to The Daily Sunshine.

However, his sentence is just one year.

Last year, on the evening of May 24, A Min, a white collar worker, got on the subway at Yangsuan Station on Line 5 where she met A Bin for the first time. They started chatting and she asked him whether he would like to have dinner with her after she got off at the terminus, Wenchong.

Even though he was supposed to get off at Wencun, he agreed, and she suggested that they have drinks while eating to assuage her bad mood. When they got to A Bin’s intended stop, she reminded him to get off as, she said, she was only semi serious about the dinner invitation, but in the end, allowed him to come along.

On arriving at the terminus, he took her to a food stall where they had supper and 11 bottles of beer. He said he did not force her to drink. At 1 a.m. when he was starting to doze off, he said he told her to stop drinking, but A Min insisted on competing with him, and they continued until 2:20 a.m.

After paying the bill, A Bin then offered to take her to her home in Huangpu District.

Both parties agree that the above is all true. Here is where it gets tricky.

A Bin insists that they had a spontaneous one night stand and forgot to use a condom. A Min says she called her ex-boyfriend, who she is still close to, to come and protect her. She says she expressly turned down A Bin’s offer of sex, but he subdued her before raping her.

The next morning A Min asked him if he had used a condom. He said yes but when she went to the trash can to see if any condom had been disposed of, he confessed that he had lied. She then dialled 110 to report him for raping her and he tried to drag the phone off her, asking her why she was acting so differently to the “cute” girl he had met the night before.

A Bin later confessed that he had not asked for consent, but he assumed that A Min wanted to have sex with him. Accounts differ as to what state of consciousness A Min was in when they had sex.

Despite the seriousness of the conviction, Huangpu District Court has given A Bin a lenient sentence because it is his first criminal offense and the various shades of grey involved in the case.

A Bin confessed that he thinks one night stands are “immoral,” but continues to insist that he is not a rapist.

Last year saw a high profile case in which police ruled out the possibility of rape on the grounds that the alleged rapist had been wearing a condom. This caused much outrage at the time.


A Dongguan nightlife institution

Posted: 10/18/2012 7:00 am

There’s a lot of chatter about One for the Road in Dongguan.  It’s fair to say the venue has earned a strong reputation for serving up American-sized portions of food and cold beer. The Nanfang has visited the venue a couple of times and sampled the fare, so it’s time to put aside the hearsay and rumours and examine the place on its merits.  What we found is that while the bar hits many more times than it misses, it does have some drawbacks.

First up, the menu.  I think any bar anywhere in China would be hard pressed to compete with One for the Road on the sheer comprehensiveness of its menu.  It’s not uncommon for people to sit down and spend several minutes with the menu booklet, and we were no exception.

The menu is divided up into sections, with a few starters on offer (crab cakes, prawn cocktail, garlic bread, and the like), soups, and your regular selection of salads.  There are exactly 20 options for a “Main Course”, including everything from fish and chips to bangers and mash to lasagna, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, chicken kiev, cordon bleu, and schnitzel.

The next page offers up “from the grill”, which includes steaks, pork chops, lamb cutlets, roast chicken, spare ribs (huge), and more.  This is before the pages offering hamburgers, pies, stews, and side order selections.  There isn’t enough time (or space) to list out everything, but suffice to say if you can’t find something you like on this menu, then perhaps you just aren’t hungry.

The concern with restaurants that serve up so much grub is that quality might suffer, and that might be the case here.  We ordered a caesar salad, which was far from authentic but still not bad by standards in China.  (Put it this way, we’ve had worse, like the one time a ‘caesar salad’ in Yangshuo consisted of shredded carrots and celery with thousand island dressing).

The macaroni and cheese is one pile of pure carbs.  A tray-sized plate with a mound of creamy mac and cheese on one half, and a mountain of mashed potatoes on the other.  Coupled with the requisite pint of beer, this will have you in a food coma in no time.  Mac and cheese was tasty, but you might want to order a few veggie dishes on the side (the coleslaw is pretty good) if you’re digging into this one.

We also tried the crab cakes and beef lasagna (OFTR also offers a vegetarian option).  The crab cakes were more like crab balls, and the portion was generous.  They were crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside, with a run-of-the-mill sweet and sour dip as an accompaniment.

Crab cakes could’ve been a meal unto themselves…

The lasagna didn’t show up until almost 45 minutes after we initially ordered, and wasn’t quite what we expected.  It was baked and served in a bowl, rather than as a slide of lasagna on a plate.  It was piping hot, but was missing something; it was a very basic lasagna without any kick or spice or personality.

Could’ve been better

As for other dishes, people raved about the bangers and mash.  We also tried the ribs on a previous visit, and they were tasty.

So what’s the drawback? Well, service, for starters.  On several visits, service was sporadic at best.  If the place is full (which it often is), it could take a while to get a server to pay attention to you, and even longer to actually get your food.  When we visited recently, we took an empty table and waited more than 10 minutes before somebody even noticed we were there — and even then, it was because we shouted “fuwuyuan!” to get some service.

The menu might be a little too extensive, as some dishes aren’t quite up to snuff.  OFTR could easily drop a few dishes that it doesn’t make well (like our lasagna) to ensure every item on the menu is top notch.

Also, we were recently there during an F1 race, and it seemed whoever was in charge of entertainment couldn’t figure out whether the audio on the race should be turned up, or music should be played.  It alternated annoyingly between the two a few times before racing fans finally won out.

Finally, smoking seems to be allowed inside, which is great for those who like to light up and not-so-great for everybody else.  The decision to allow smoking inside is probably related to the clientele, which consists of real died-in-the-wool pub-going expats, many of whom smoke.  But considering OFTR has an outdoor seating area, allowing smoking inside is somewhat questionable.

Now, about that clientele: the bar definitely has its regulars.  If you come more than twice, you’ll notice familiar faces sitting around the long horseshoe shaped bar or playing pool at one of the two tables.  It’s these regulars – plus the beer and extensive pub grub menu – that has turned OFTR into an institution.

If you’re looking for gourmet food, a romantic night out, or a quiet glass of wine, you’ll be sorely disappointed here.  But for a greasy hangover-fixing brunch, burger, or pile of mashed potatoes with beer and buddies, you can’t go wrong — just know you’ll probably have to wait a while to fill your tummy.

Click here to see the address, map, and contact information for One for the Road.

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Get your beer on! Oktoberfest kicks off tonight in Guangzhou

Posted: 09/23/2011 5:48 pm

The taps are open and the brews are being poured (and likely spilled) at the Jinhan Exhibition Centre in Guangzhou. Oktoberfest is upon us once again, and that means beer, live music, beer, drunken laowai, beer, sausages, and more beer.

Honestly, it’s an event not to be missed, especially as it includes a vast German-style buffet and all the beer you can drink. The Nanfang will be out and about at Oktoberfest tomorrow night, so if you see a bloke with a camera around his neck and a beer in each hand, come by and say hello.

Oktoberfest runs from today (September 23) to next Wednesday, the 28th. You can get more details here.


International beer festival hits Guangzhou

Posted: 06/27/2011 9:40 am

Guangzhou might not be able to double as Qingdao, where China’s busiest and most-famous beer festival is held, but it’s going to be giving it a shot.

The south gate of Tianhe Sports Centre is going to transform into a giant beer garden on Friday July 8 complete with a wide selection of international beers, a barbeque, live music performances and even a parade. The festival will run all the way until Tuesday July 19.

Details from Life of Guangzhou:

In coordination with local government, the annual festival will showcase more than 20 famous brands worldwide. Besides those we’re familiar with, famous brands from Belgium and Czech Republic will also make their debut. It is told that San Miguel will release a new taste drink. As to the Belgium brand, the greatest hit will be the red fruit wine made especially for ladies.

When: July 8 – 12, 14 – 15, 17 – 19
17:00 – 23:00 (Mondays to Fridays)
12:00 – 23:00 (Saturdays and Sundays)
Where: South gate square of Tianhe Sports Center
Price of admission: RMB 10


The Nanfang will be out in Dongguan this weekend… come say hi

Posted: 02/24/2011 4:00 am

To celebrate one month of The Nanfang being live and on the interwebs, we’ll be out and about in Dongguan this weekend, taking notes, snapping photos, and expanding the content we offer in our bar and restaurant listings.

While we’ve been to many of the bars and restaurants in Dongguan already, we’re looking forward to hitting up the ones that have escaped us. One of the ones on our agenda is Woodstock, as well as Beijing Bar and Hollywood Baby Too. Of the three main cities in the PRD, expats calling Dongguan home have the fewest online resources — all the more reason for us to make our listings even more comprehensive.

For those Shenzhen and Guangzhou residents who fancy a night’s stay in Dongguan, you could do worse than giving this a read for a primer on Dongguan’s nightlife. We may also use this as a general guide.

Hope to see you around this weekend.

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