India’s aviation reforms to create new routes to Guangzhou and Macau

Posted: 04/30/2012 7:31 am

Guangzhou and Macau are big winners in new reforms to India’s Bilateral Air Services Agreement. The move paves the way for Indian airlines to expand their global reach with flights from the capital Delhi, to within the borders of the PRD.

Sandeep B. Kumar, Consul for Politics and Commerce at the Indian Consulate General in Guangzhou, told The Nanfang that the popular Indian discount airline, Spice Jet was "very interested" in creating new routes between Delhi and Guangzhou. Spice Jet Boeing 737 (c) Ashok Prabhakara

Sandeep B. Kumar, Consul for Politics and Commerce at the Indian Consulate General in Guangzhou, told The Nanfang that while a specific carrier has yet to capitalize on the reforms, the popular Indian discount airline, Spice Jet was: “very interested” in creating new routes between Delhi and Guangzhou. Air India has also expressed an interest in starting flights between the two cities. Kumar added: “We feel very happy about this news. This connects places, people, business, and improves relations between our nations.”

(c) Air India

While flights between Delhi and the PRD are looking to expand, Kumar lamented the lack of flights between the PRD and southern India, including the financial capital of Mumbai: “It’s a great opportunity for more redevelopment.”

Although Macau has yet to be exploited as a destination for Chinese and Indian airlines, that is slowly changing. China Southern Airlines now flies seven times a week to Delhi from Baiyun Airport; a move which should provide more capacity, and increased competition on the route.

While no official word has been released as to when the new routes will commence, Kumar says an announcement on Indian airlines flying to Guangzhou could be made as soon as July.




Canton Fair has Guangzhou transportation enforcement officers on watch

Posted: 04/27/2012 8:04 am

With the 111th China Import and Export Fair underway, and a strong international presence as a result, one would hope taxis are doing their part to accommodate the influx of tourists. According to Guangzhou’s transportation enforcement bureau, however, that hasn’t exactly been the case. Over the last few days, enforcement officers have issued 82 transportation violations, including refusal of service.

Although most patrons have a story or two of a taxi refusing to pick them up, it’s rare that the driver in question is ever fined. One such driver, identified as Wu, wasn’t so lucky. After dropping off a passenger, Wu’s taxi was approached by four visitors form Thailand. The group handed Wu a direction card to Huangshi Road. Wu explained that he couldn’t take them, as it was the end of his shift, and he was heading to Haizhu. Unfortunately for Wu, an enforcement officer had witnessed the event and fined him 1000RMB for refusing service.

Incidentally, taxi drivers can only refuse service for the following reasons: the taxi is already in service, is on its way to pick-up another passenger, or is in need of maintenance.

Source: xkb.com.cn


Shenzhen plays host to 2012 Low-Carbon Urban Development and Technology Forum

Posted: 04/26/2012 7:00 am

More than 200 of the world’s leading industry experts, academics, and entrepreneurs have descended upon Shenzhen for the 2012 Low-Carbon Urban & Regional Development and Technology Forum. Concluding today, the three-day forum was organized by the Peking University School of Environment and Energy, and the Shenzhen Municipal Government. Divided into four main topics (innovative green building and lighting systems, water and energy, wastewater and waste resources, and urban environment and settlement), the overall goal of the forum is simple: to promote the development of low-carbon industries, and renewable energy technologies throughout the region.

According to Wu Delin, Deputy Secretary General of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Shenzhen is the first city in China to commit to the development of low-carbon emitting industry and public transportation: “Low-carbon development in industry, transportation, travel, etc., is a lot of work… [however] Shenzhen has become the largest city in China, and the world to promote the use of low-emission busses and taxis.”

While Wu admits the process hasn’t been easy, he credits the deepening SAR integration of districts such as Guangming New Town, Ping Shan New Town, Longhua New Town and Dayun Metro with contributing to an increased awareness of urban planning. According to Wu, this broader, regional approach to creating infrastructure and industrial development is a crucial step forward in the long-term growth of Shenzhen.

Next on the agenda for Wu: “The promotion of new energy in the public service, and public service vehicles.”

Source: The Nanfang Daily


Four Chengguan officials convicted for accepting bribes and abuse of power

Posted: 04/24/2012 9:03 am

While it may be common knowledge that Chengguan officials are susceptible to taking bribes, the issue has yet to come to court in Guangzhou. That is until now. On April 18th, Huangpu District’s Intermediate Court convicted four Chengguan urban management officers for breach of authority. According to the Nanfang Daily, the four officers, three of them named Luo, and one Zhu, were sentenced to between 14 and 18 months imprisonment for accepting bribes and assault.

Originally recruited by the Dasha sub-district committee of Huangpu to supervise street vendors, the officers would dress in camouflage uniforms with red armbands and nightsticks. According to the court, between August 2010 and September of 2011, the four officers would take cigarettes without paying, and demand small cash bribes between 5RMB and 12RMB from street vendors.

A vendor, Shi, testified that he would have to pay for the officers cigarettes almost daily, otherwise he wouldn’t be allowed to set up his stall. Another vendor, Dong, told the court that he had to pay around 300RMB every month for the officer’s cigarettes and had been doing so for close to two years.

Two of the convicted officers plan to appeal.

One of the accused Chengguan was kissing his son goodbye.
One of the accused Chengguan officials kisses his son goodbye.

Population of the Pearl River Delta declines for first time in 30 years

Posted: 04/23/2012 12:00 pm

It could be blamed on the rising cost of living, pollution, or growing affluence in the Chinese interior, but the Pearl River Delta – long known as one of China’s richest regions – has seen its first population decline in 30 years.

The People’s Daily says the statistics show a changing population structure in the country:

As Shenzhen Statistics Bureau data indicates, the city’s floating population dropped by 0.93 percent, or 73,200 people, last year. The number of residents in Guangzhou and Dongguan, also decreased, according to government figures.

The relocation of labor-intensive enterprises and the high living costs in China’s coastal centers were cited by experts as major causes of the demographic shift.

The PRD is currently in a seismic shift away from low-wage manufacturing to higher-end service industry jobs, which will no doubt have an impact on the legions of migrant workers who have been flooding the region since the early 1980s.



Mind your language! Guangzhou vows to clean up Chinglish

Posted: 04/20/2012 3:20 pm

Guangzhou’s government is demanding signage be translated into English alongside Chinese as the city becomes more global.  The key here is this: the signs must be translated accurately.  That means no Chinglish.

Officials are now pushing for suspect translations on public signs to be a thing of the past as new regulations come into effect on May 1.

That means signs like this one, which The Nanfang discovered at exit C of Baiyundadaobei Station on the Guangzhou Metro, need to be fixed:

Putting a stop to randy metro riders (c) Danny Lee

Li Yi, director of laws and regulations in the Guangzhou government, told China Daily:

“With the goal of developing Guangzhou into a modern, international metropolis, we recognize the need to set up bilingual public signs, especially in the public areas of hotels, scenic spots, airports, long-distance bus stations, passenger wharves, subway stations and urban roads.”

China Daily also reports the city’s government will fine administrators 30,000 yuan ($4,800) if signs are not corrected within two years.

One wonders if the government will now be hiring native English speakers to begin sorting through the city’s myriad of Chinglish signs.



Guangdong factory workers strike after being insulted by boss

Posted: 04/20/2012 3:05 pm

News of another worker protest made headlines this week not for their demands for higher pay or more days off, but, according to this Guangzhou Daily report, an apology after those protesting felt they’d been humiliated by their boss.

Back to work, slaves!

The story takes us to Nanhai, where the small Qiangqun shoe factory has operated without issue for 19 years. The dispute reached a head when the factory received notice late last month from the local demolition office that the factory had been ordered to move, and soon.  So, this past Saturday, Lin, the GM of the factory, rounded everyone up to let them know that they would still have jobs at another factory owned by the same company in Yongli, around two kilometers away, and that no changes would be made to their wages or other benefits.

The workers then began claiming severance pay, even if they would remain employees of the same conglomerate. Also, they complained that Yongli was too far away.

Lin’s response? “Get the hell out of here if you don’t want the job, all you shit-for-brains!”

Lin’s outburst has prompted many former employees to turn to the media.  ”Even if he’s the boss, he can’t insult people like this, we hope to see an apology,” one of them said.  Another noted: “We’re there to work, not be insulted.”

Isn’t China’s Labor Day in a week or two?

Lin, for his part, has admitted to reporters that he might have used the word “shit” during the meeting, but insists that people weren’t meant to take it literally. He says he wanted reporters to read between the lines and make a smart and rational decision.

As for compensation, lawyers say it comes down to the relationship between the two companies.


Guangzhou Police to dispatch 50,000 decks of free playing cards with WANTED faces

Posted: 04/20/2012 7:46 am

Guangzhou Police have devised a unique plan to catch bad guys: playing cards. That’s right, they plan to produce 50,000 decks of cards with wanted suspects’ faces on them, in the hopes that citizens will recognize the photos, and offer clues as to the criminals’ whereabouts.

Needless to say, many citizens are keen to know where they can purchase a deck. According to police, the cards will be distributed for free in areas where migrant workers typically congregate: urban villages, construction sites, factories, etc. If the plan works, the police will consider producing more decks, with additional suspects.

“Quantity of distribution differs from district to district”

As the Information Times reports, the police have divided the city into three categories based on the demographics of each district. The first category, which includes the districts of Tianhe, Baiyun, Haizhu, Panyu, Zengchang, and Huadu, will be assigned 5000 decks of cards. Districts in the second and third category will receive 2000 decks, and 500 decks, respectfully.

As far as the reporter has learned, the 5000 packs assigned to Haizhu district have been distributed, while Conghua district has already run out of its 2000 decks, and is demanding more. The question remains however, whether or not the plan will actually work. Guangzhou police say the cost of the playing cards is about 3 RMB per deck, while the first batch of 50,000 packs cost a total of 147,000 RMB. Although police have yet to confirm whether or not they will continue producing the cards, they have said that if they help solving cases, they’ll certainly consider it.

Citizens’ opinions vary on the matter. Some think it’s a very creative idea, and should be encouraged, as the cost is minimal relative to the potential gain. Others disagree, arguing that with wanted faces on them, card playing will lose its cultural appeal, and turn into simply a game of looking for suspects. Either way, the cards are making quite an impression.


Emma’s Crepes

Posted: 04/19/2012 7:00 am

The Nanfang is pleased to present Fuwuyuan!, a bar and restaurant review column which will appear periodically.

A crêperie suggests sweet desserts. Not the case at Emma’s Crêpes. In fact, I was delightfully surprised that there was a number of savoury crêpes options, as well as salads and pastas if you’re just not that into pancakes. I say “delightfully” because I’ve not come across an alternative, let alone something tasty, to distract my sweet tooth.

Emma’s Crepes

Tucked away down the side streets of Guang Mao Times Square, outside Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS), Emma’s has become a popular haunt for staff and students.

The taste test
I couldn’t possibly have eaten two different crêpes in one serving so I had to come back twice to truly experience the menu. For my first helping, I chose a classic: a banana and Nutella crêpes. The flavour immediately makes your mouth water as you chew away. It’s incredibly addictive, and the portion is quite large, given the 18RMB price tag (however, I paid a tad more for an extra smearing of Nutella and vanilla ice cream on top – delicious).

Banana Nutella Crepe

On my second session, I ordered a Hawaienne, which includes egg (cooked to your liking – I went for sunny side-up), Emmental, pineapple, chicken, pepper and herbs. It arrived beautifully presented in a square shape, drawing attention to the filling and decoration. Compared with the Nutella crêpes, the Hawaienne was quite filling, and should accommodate larger appetites without the need of purchasing extras or side orders.

The Hawaiiene

On each serving, my drink of choice was warm, and frothy hot milk with honey. Gently flavoured, and not too sweet, it was an excellent pairing with the crêpes. Unlike the large portions of the crêpes however, the drinks require a little fine tuning – perhaps the option of a larger cup size.

The service and staff
Language is no barrier here. Menus are available in Chinese and English, and the friendly warmth of the Chinese fuwuyuan (and owner), will charm you with her gorgeous English speaking French accent (she lived and studied in Paris for six years she tells me).

Her partner, the crêpe-making maestro, comes direct from France, and orchestrates the cooking behind the scenes. When he’s not busy in the kitchen, he’s wandering the café, smiling, and getting to know his customers.

Service is very quick and efficient from order to service, as fresh, warm crêpes ensure a quick turnaround time. Customers however are not rushed but rather encouraged to stay, relax, and enjoy all the flavours the food has to offer.

The atmosphere
While you’re not going to get much from the interior, or from the very firm seating, there’s plenty of the French experience to enjoy at Emma’s. With French music playing in the background, and numerous photographs of France plastered on the walls, if you close your eyes for a moment, you too may get the feeling you’re sitting in a Parisian café.

Final thoughts
The crêperie is an intimate setting where singles, couples, friends or small groups can go. Preferably no more than groups of eight, as each crêpe is cooked to order, and the service may become sluggish. Regardless, Emma’s is worth coming back for again, and again, and again.

Overall rating
4 out of 5 forks.

First sitting
Banana and Nutella crêpe: 18 yuan
Hot milk with honey: 10 yuan
-          One scoop of Vanilla ice-cream: 5 yuan
-          Additional Nutella: 5 yuan
Total price: 38 yuan

Second sitting
Hawaienne crêpe: 30 yuan
Hot milk with honey: 10 yuan
Total price: 40 yuan

Guangmao Times Square A7: the east gate of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Baiyun Avenue, Baiyun district, Guangzhou.

Telephone number

[email protected]

Free wi-fi is available

You can get more information on Emma’s Crepes on The Nanfang restaurant page here.


Metro train builder eyes up Malaysian sale

Posted: 04/18/2012 6:00 am

Trains operating on Guangzhou Metro’s Line 3 from Airport South to Panyu Square can stand out among others: made in Guangzhou and used in Guangzhou. The company behind it hopes to export straight from the city’s factory floor to as far as Malaysia, where Kuala Lumpur is currently constructing their new metro system.

A brand new Guangzhou Metro Line 3 train undergoing a final fit-out before testing

Officials confirmed they are in talks with Malaysia about possibly purchasing Guangzhou-made rolling stock. The move has signaled a shift away from foreign-made to home-grown manufacturing after the Guangzhou Metro Corporation, operators of the network, took a minority stake in Guangzhou CSR Rail Transit Equipment Co. (CSR), a joint venture with Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. to drive infrastructure costs down.

It’s all change, as previous foreign beneficiaries of metro investment included Germany’s Siemens and Canadian-based Bombardier Transportation.

According to Guangzhou CSR’s official figures, the cost of manufacturing has halved from around 70 million RMB per train, making their product commercially competitive. So, in a number of years from now, trains made and used for the city may find its way around the world – but first, sell on to the rest of south China.

Additional reporting by Katy Gillett