The Nanfang / Blog

Brawl Breaks Out at Shenzhen Airport Over Flight Delays

Posted: 07/27/2014 8:59 pm

The airlines say it’s the result of severe weather, but passengers think horrendous delays at Shenzhen airport are caused by the Chinese military using civilian airspace for drills.

The anger boiled over this weekend when frustrated passengers and exasperated airline staff came to blows.

Guangdong Television quoted a Mr Shen saying:

My flight was delayed from 10 pm to 4am the next morning. At around 4 am, because of arguments with airline staff, they started to fight each other.

Here’s another passenger’s story:

We understand there is delay due to the bad weather conditions. What we want is just the truth. The airline staff shouldn’t tell us that the plane is in Guangzhou at 11:55, then in 5 minutes, they tell us it is actually over Hainan… will it be able to get here as fast as they say?

You can watch a news report of the melee here and check out photos below.



Soaring Wedding Costs in China Lead to Daddy Competitions

Posted: 06/23/2014 11:02 am

The cost of holding a wedding has increased globally, but nowhere more so than here in China. Chinese youth are now spending over RMB 200,000 (US$32,000) to get married, according to 2010 statistics, a massive increase over what was spent just a few years ago.

In China, the groom is the one who traditionally pays for weddings. In fact, he’s also responsible for buying a home, car, and giving a substantial sum to the bride’s family that can range anywhere from RMB 10,000 to RMB 1 million or higher. Because few men have this kind of cash on hand, people are joking we’re in an age of “daddy competitions” because the groom’s family is increasingly likely to foot the bill.

The cost of getting married has increased dramatically over the past 40 years in China. In the 60s, couples needed only a bottle of good Chinese white wine, two sets of Maoism books and their family, closest friends and co-workers. Guests would have tea and candies and the cost wouldn’t exceed one person’s monthly salary, around RMB 20 to RMB 30.

In the 70s, the cost of getting married increased to almost RMB 1,000, with most of it spent on making furniture (RMB 400) and a wedding lunch at a factory canteen with co-workers, friends and family.  An average factory worker needed to work for about two years to pay for the wedding.

The big leap came after Deng Xiaoping launched the opening up policy. The cost of getting married in the early 80s was around RMB 3,000 to RMB 5,000, with a big chunk of it spent on a color TV (RMB 1,800) and a big wedding celebration with food and drinks in a local restaurant (10 tables for around RMB 600). In the late 80s and early 90s, a honeymoon somewhere in China became popular for newlyweds who had the financial wherewithal. That cost another RMB 1,000. The cost of getting married was about three to four years’ worth of the groom’s salary, which was still considered reasonable.

In the late 90s, as Chinese became more exposed to the outside world, a celebration at a local restaurant was no longer good enough; it had to be in a luxury hotel, preferably a foreign hotel. A soft bed and western style beddings were a must to make the bride and her parents happy. Gold accessories became a must-have in the 90s; the groom’s family had to bring gold necklaces, a gold ring and a pair of gold earrings to the bride when they came to ask for permission from the bride’s parents.  The cost of the “old three gold sets” cost the groom RMB 3,000.  With RMB 5,000 for the celebration in luxury hotel, gold sets and a western style bed and beddings, the cost easily passed the RMB 10,000 level.

There were other requirements, too. A western style wedding photo set was considered upscale and luxurious.  Moreover, a team of luxury cars to pick up the bride on the morning of the wedding was also a way to show family status and wealth.  The cost of getting married in the 90s was about four or five years’ worth of the groom’s salary.

Things however really got crazy in the new millennium. Chinese people have officially entered the age of comparing their dads’ net worth. Now brides’ families say: Want to marry my daughter? You have to have an apartment in the city, you have to have a proper city hukou (identity card)….  Okay, you’ve met all of the requirements?  Good! Now bring RMB 10,001 (no more no less), this is according to Feng Shui!

A wedding celebration now costs about RMB 8,000 at the lower end. If you want a fleet of cars, a ceremony and a host with a meal for family and friends, the cost will be around RMB 30,000 to RMB 40,000. Then there’s the honeymoon, wedding dress and other treats that push the cost even higher.

The cost of a wedding varies nowadays in China, and is largely dependent on the net worth of the groom’s father. For an ordinary person in major cities, the cost now easily exceeds RMB 200,000 ($32,900). That means the groom – and his father – need to work harder and put aside even more money to get the bride’s consent.

Sina compiled the data based on a survey. You can read the report in Chinese here.

Home page photo credit: JingDaily


Survey: Chinese and Western Rich Want Different Things

Posted: 06/21/2014 5:03 pm

Chinese people love to buy property. It’s not only considered a great investment for Chinese people, but it’s also a key part of the culture that involves leaving something useful for their offspring.

But when it comes to buying luxury real estate, do the super rich in China have the same taste and requirements as their counterparts in the developed world? The recently published “Sotheby’s International Realty Luxury Lifestyle Report” shows Chinese preferences are basically “same same, but different.”

The report surveyed affluent consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and China.  Compared to the developed world, there are more high net worth individuals in China and they are more likely to purchase a “lifestyle” property as their primary residence.

Among the Chinese surveyed, 98% want a lifestyle property while 74% in the US said the same.

Among those Chinese, 54% want waterfront property.

There was also a big difference in other demands:

A whopping 93% of affluent Chinese consumers surveyed said they would like to make a “legacy home purchase”, which is a property intended to remain in the family or be gifted to children, while only 64% of Americans said the same.

The Affluent Chinese Consumer

Ninety-six percent of affluent Chinese consumers surveyed said they’d bought a property within the past three years.  Wealthy Chinese are not only investing in property, they consider themselves part of the investor class.  Eighty-two percent of Chinese luxury real estate purchasers consider themselves “investors”, while only 67% of Americans think the same.

Here are some additional stats on the priorities of Chinese property investors:

You can read the full report here.


Unable to Buy The New York Times, Chen Guangbiao To Treat New Yorkers To Lunch Instead

Posted: 06/18/2014 12:37 pm

Infamous Chinese business owner, philanthropist, attention seeker (and self-proclaimed “China Moral Leader” and “Most Well-Known and Beloved Chinese Role Model”) Chen Guangbiao is showcasing his caring heart by inviting 1,000 poor Americans to lunch in New York’s famed Central Park.

It was just a few months ago that Chen said he was ready to buy the New York Times, claiming at the time that “There’s nothing that can’t be bought for the right price”. Frustrated by the Times‘ failure to sell, he’s turned his attention to philanthropy.

Chen posted a full page advertisement in the New York Times on Monday, and a half page ad in the Wall Street Journal, inviting 1,000 poor Americans to lunch. He also promised to give them each a red packet containing US$300, and even included his email address in the ad. The lunch will be held from 11:30am to 1:30pm on Wednesday June 25.

So why is he doing this, other than simply having way too much money? Chen says he wants to improve Sino-US relations and rebuild the image of Chinese rich people, who are too often simply viewed as consumers of luxury goods.

Chen seems to like putting ads in the Times. In 2012, he took out a half-page ad admonishing Japan for nationalizing the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

The best ad he’s ever done, though, just might be his own business card, below.

 Home page image: Global Times


Chinese Rich Plan to Leave in Droves, Here’s Where They Want To Go

Posted: 06/13/2014 2:17 pm

China could see a mass exodus of wealth if a recent survey on emigration plans is any indication.

Hurun Research says 60% of wealthy Chinese are planning to emigrate to developed countries, with many tired of things like poor air quality and questionable education standards in China. In fact, the top three reasons to leave for greener pastures overseas are:

  1. Better education / opportunities for their children
  2. Cleaner air
  3. Better food security

So where do the rich elites want to go?

In terms of cities, most wealthy Chinese want to emigrate to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Outside of the US, Vancouver was the most popular.

Another interesting result is that 16% of wealthy Chinese have direct investments in foreign countries, mostly in the form of property.

Home page photo credit:


Kingdom of Copycats: Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School Opens in Hubei

Posted: 05/28/2014 10:17 am

No doubt China is the Kingdom of Copycats, and a new building has taken the country’s penchant for copying to a magical new level.

A school that looks exactly like the Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter movies has appeared in Shijiazhuang, a small city in Hebei Province.

The school, despite it’s reputation for wizardy, actually belongs to the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts. The head of the college said the intention was not to copy Harry Potter; rather, they were simply “inspired” by European architects.

What do you think?


Beijing Metro Security Like “Going Through Airport Customs”

Posted: 05/27/2014 1:01 pm

beijing subway security check

Security has been dramatically tightened up in Beijing.

Today, the usual subway security check no longer involves just “putting your bags through”, as commuters now have to be checked as though they are going through airport customs.

This was the scene at Beijing’s Tiantongyuan North Station at the terminus of Line 5 this morning:

beijing subway security checkbeijing subway security check beijing subway security checkbeijing subway security checkbeijing subway security checkbeijing subway security check

Photos: Weibo


Girls in Infamous Peking University Ad Hurt by Online Criticism

Posted: 05/26/2014 5:32 pm

More information is surfacing over these racy ads that were posted on Peking University’s Sina Weibo account on Sunday to recruit new students.

It turns out the photographer behind the images never planned to insinuate the models were actual students at the university. In a Sina Weibo post of his own, he said he didn’t plan for the models to appear as students, saying the only connection to the school is that the photos were taken on school grounds.

He also said the uproar online (and resultant criticism) has “deeply hurt” his models. He said they are students at other universities and are not professional models. He said they trusted him, and he feels he’s let them down.

He even posted a conversation he had with one of the models on WeChat:

Student: I never thought people will think about me in that way. No one has said that about me throughout my whole life until now.

Photographer: Don’t think about it too much…

Student: Right now I really want to cry.

Photographer: There are all sorts of people on the Internet… go get a good night’s sleep…

This all begs the question: if the photos weren’t intended for Peking University recruitment ads, what were they intended for?



[Photos] Peking University Blasted for “Brothel-Like” Ads to Recruit New Students

Posted: 05/25/2014 6:55 pm

A prestigious Chinese institution has found itself the target of irate netizens after posting a recruitment ad on Sina Weibo.

Peking University posted an album titled “Welcome to Apply to Peking University” today, but it was deleted soon after. Why? Well, take a look at the method the university used to attract the interested applicants:

Using beautiful women to sell something certainly isn’t a new concept, but is it right for a university? Even if good looking students are used in ads, is it okay to be so… crass?

Many people online are calling the girls “feng shen”, meaning unfortunate women. Of course, there are other less polite posts:

程军Jason:All the “girls” are out, but where is the mamasan?

史上最潮物理老师:It is not wrong to use pretty girls to attract more students, but these girls are so unfortunate, is this an ad for Dongguan?

招财小猫1:It looks like an ad for a brothel!

RELATED: Girls in Infamous Peking University Ad Hurt by Online Criticism

实都:回复@耶路撒冷冷冷冷冷: Second generation rich and the offspring of government officials, please hurry up and come to Beijing University, we have rich resources here, good quality.

话梅也太咸了:Is this a university or a brothel? Looks like they are recruiting prostitutes!

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of sex happening on Chinese universities, and not just among students. But using pretty girls to recruit students isn’t common at all, especially not for a university of Peking University’s stature. These pictures were deleted not long after they were published in the face of overwhelming criticism from netizens. A few more photos are below, for your edification.


Trending on Weibo: Cop in Guangzhou pulls a gun on drunk driver in a Porsche

Posted: 02/1/2013 9:29 am

One topic is running wild on Weibo right now, and it has to do with Guangzhou’s finest.

Around midnight two nights ago, Guangzhou traffic cops began patrolling and checking for drunk drivers in Pearl River New Town (Zhujiang Xincheng) in Guangzhou. Around 2 am on Thursday morning, a dark red Porsche Cayenne stopped about 100 metres away from the traffic police.

When the police walked up to the vehicle, the Porsche abruptly threw it into reverse and began moving away. There were policemen at the end of the road trying to stop the car, but the Porsche showed no indications it would slow down and tried to escape.  The policemen then pulled his gun from his holster, pointed it at the driver, and ordered him to stop.

According to witnesses, the driver was so drunk that you could smell the alcohol emanating from the vehicle. The driver obeyed the order to stop and did a breathalyzer test, which showed he was inebriated. The police then took away his driver’s license for six months.  Needless to say, the driver wasn’t impressed and his friends in the car said he lives abroad, and was unaware of China’s strict drunk driving laws.

The driver is around 40 years old.

The news story has seemingly set Weibo on fire, with millions of comments and re-posts.  Sina launched a pool asking netizens if traffic police should be able to point their guns at drunk drivers.

Over 90% of respondents (at the time of this writing) say they have absolutely no problem with that, with less than 10% saying it is “too scary” and unnecessary. So far, almost 24,000 people have taken part in the survey.

Source: Nanfang Daily

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