The Nanfang / Blog

Internet Addiction Treatment Involves Military-Style Training, Leaves One Dead

Posted: 06/16/2014 8:00 am

A teenage internet addict wired to a machine. Photo credit: Hilda Medalia and Miao Wang

A 19 year-old is dead and a 14 year-old was seriously injured after undergoing intensive physical training at a military-style boot camp in Zhengzhou, Hebei Province to cure them of Internet addiction.

On May 19, a teen named Lingling repeatedly begged the teacher at Boqiang to stop the training session according to the father of a younger teen named Xinxin who survived the training. The exercise involves lunging forward and bending backward (前倒后倒) but specific details were not provided. The father said his daughter Xinxin saw Lingling was bleeding and covered her belly with her hands, but the training was still not called off and continued on for another two hours, reported China National Radio on June 15.

Lingling eventually collapsed, but one teacher surnamed Ma accused her of playing possum while she lay unconscious on the ground. Water was forced into Lingling’s mouth at one point, according to Xinxin.

Teenagers in an internet cafe in Beijing. Photo credit: Dan Chuang

The reason for the punishment was not disclosed in the report, and when Xinxin asked teacher Ma what she had done wrong, Ma ordered Xinxin to do 500 “forward lunges” before revealing anything, the report said.

When reached by the newspaper, the school did not shy away from admitting it employs the physical punishment, and said doling out punishment was inevitable in the camp. In more than 300 treatment centers like this one across China, teens undergo military-inspired physical training. Additionally, the teens take medication or are administered electric shock therapy to help them quit their internet addiction, which is recognized as a clinical disorder in China.

Often referred to as “electronic heroin”, internet addiction has become such an issue in China that state media has labeled it the “third Opium War“. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the country has 618 million internet users. Of the 618 million, China’s National People’s Congress estimates about 10 percent of users under the age of 18 are addicted.

All teenagers enrolled in the institution are advised to strictly follow the center’s rules. In the first two months in the camp, each teen is assigned to a specific teacher who eats, dines and even goes to the toilet with them. Parents are not allowed to write letters to check on their children unless the teens write them first.

The tragedy that happened at the center has done little to stop desperate parents from sending their children to the camp. More than 20 days later, parents were still seen sending teenaged children there in a last-ditch effort to keep their kids from going online where the virtual world appears to be more attractive than the actual world.

Photos: Dan Chuang, Hilda Medalia and Miao Wang


Meet China’s Hugh Grant Sex Scandal Counterpart, Huang Haibo

Posted: 05/19/2014 5:12 pm

huang haiboWhen Chinese celebrities get busted for sex scandals, it’s a big deal. When Wen Zhang had his dirty laundry exposed to the public, it resulted in the history’s most read Weibo post. After Edison Chen had his secret stash of photos regarding a “celebrity sex ring” exposed, he hasn’t worked since—and that guy was in The Dark Knight.

Yes, a puritan double standard may be held for China’s most famous, but it seems to be excused for certain people—people like Huang Haibo.

Huang was arrested by police after he was caught with a prostitute at a Beijing hotel. And despite the scandal, the media and netizens remain very loyal to him: one figure puts Huang’s support as high as 80% (if one can put the internet into a percentage).

Huang apologized immediately for his actions, and it’s been readily accepted. Friends of Huang have defended him by saying he was drunk at the time of the incident, while some Weibo comments have suggested Huang was framed, as someone as rich as him “won’t require to rent a hotel room for the solicitation of sex”.

We’re not quite sure if being drunk is an adequate excuse, but maybe any talk about Huang is presumptuous without talking about what he does for a living: being liked, and getting paid for ithuang haibo

If you’re not familiar with the popular actor, then you won’t be aware his fame originated from starring on Hey, Let’s Get Married as “Guo Ran”, the ideal perfect husband.

Readers would also not know that Guo Ran is considered the model husband by which men should pattern themselves after: a completely loyal, docile man who never expresses anger or really any personal opinions at all.

So is the scandal justified? Is it okay to excuse unmarried bachelors like Huang for having specific needs while ridiculing others?

As China’s equivalent of the Hugh Grant sex scandal (minus the transsexual and the smoking hot wife), we’re probably going to see more forgiveness awarded to this guy for every mistake that he makes. For our part, we hope Huang gives back in China’s upcoming versions of Four and a Half Weddings and Tropic Thunder.

Photo: Guan News, Baike, sohu


Shenzhen Documentary “Come On, Baby” Criticized for its “Painful” Childbirth

Posted: 05/12/2014 8:54 pm

childbirth come on baby labor documentaryThe Shenzhen Satellite Television Network has been airing a documentary series called Come On, Baby that documents the complete procedure of giving birth, which has been attracting a lot of attention recently.

The show follows three ordinary mothers as they go through all the various steps of labor: from before the water breaks, through each of the many contractions and right at the moment the baby is finally born.

However, for documenting the miracle of life, Come On, Baby has incurred online controversy and been criticized for having content that is “too strong”. Mothers are shown in varying moments of pain as they cry out in anguish and wince in pain amid blood and sweat.

For being a documentary about childbirth, people have complained that Come On, Baby is too forthcoming in its depiction of childbirth.

Various Weibo comments are as follows, many grouped under the hashtag #Are you brave enough to watch a mother give birth?:childbirth shenzhen documentary come on baby labor

Watched a bit of the Shenzhen documentary Come On, Baby and was a bit horrified by it. I don’t suggest anyone to watch it. Everyone’s situation is different, but to watch this show is only to add to your psychological trauma, and it won’t match the perfect, happy way you imagine it to be.

#Come On, Baby# I will never have the courage to watch this show about having babies. It’s too terrifying; I feel as though a shadow has cast over my heart. [pitiful face] It’s too difficult to be a woman. Men, you should treat the woman by your side nicer. Are you able to endure the pain that women go through during pregnancy? [disappointed face]

After watching the episode “Male OB-GYN Doctor”, are you brave enough to give birth to a baby? It’s just too terrifying. It’s even more horrifying than a horror movie. There’s a splatter of blood; seeing that knife cut into the abdomen scared me half to death. [pitiful face] Really, to be a mother is the greatest role of all; Mother’s Day is the most meaningful festival ever.

childbirth come on baby labor documentary鄭碧華-Becky:
Come On, Baby: After watching this, I felt like I could never give birth to a baby of my own [ill face]. Simultaneously, I feel that motherhood is so wondrous and great. Today is Mother’s Day, I wish my mother a happy Mother’s Day! [heart] [heart] Now I feel bad for my past behavior of being rebellious and contradictory towards my mother. Mother, I love you! At the same time, I also wish happiness to mothers everywhere, not just today, but happiness everyday.

After watching a bit of the childbirth documentary, I didn’t dare to watch anymore of it, I simply couldn’t bear it. For one thing, it was difficult to face such physical pain, and for another, I felt shame at what my parents (have done for me).

After watching Come On, Baby, I really don’t dare to give birth to a baby of my own. I feel that motherhood is too great a role for me. I must dutifully love and honor my mother [love you] [love you]

After watching the documentary on childbirth, I really don’t want to give birth to a baby of my own, it’s too horrifying. However, motherhood is really a great thing. Husbands that don’t treat their wives well should be drowned in a pig basket!!!

#Come On, Baby# After watching the show I wasn’t able to go to sleep, and now I don’t dare to give birth to a baby of my own. All I want to say is: mother, you’ve had it tough. [heart]

childbirth shenzhen documentary come on baby labor张小花小同学:
Watched “Male OB-GYN Doctor”. I really don’t have the courage to give birth to a baby. This morning, I overheard two female colleagues chatting in the elevator who said their children had wished them a happy mother’s day, and I was suddenly very moved by hearing it, really. These women were just 45 years-old.

#Come On, Baby# The first time I saw such a documentary, I didn’t want to have a baby anymore after watching it. Watching this show one time is enough. [tears]

Some co-workers saw Come On, Baby and directly stated that they’re “not willing to give birth to a baby, and are even a bit scared by it.” What does everyone else think?

Watched Come On, Baby; afterwards, I’m too afraid to have a baby of my own, it’s really too painful [goofy face] [goofy face]

Finally: China’s overpopulation problem solved by a show that could be aired on the Discovery Channel, and it isn’t even Mythbusters! However, there’s more to these statements than first meets the eye.childbirth come on baby labor documentary

This documentary exposes another side of Chinese culture: the influence of Traditional Chinese Medicine on pregnancy. The mother is a conduit for the unborn baby, and Chinese parents have been known to have overzealous displays of protection towards the fetus, even disabling the internet to an entire building because “WiFi is radioactive“. It is common knowledge in China that a shock from falling into a lake is enough to cause a miscarriage in a pregnant woman, as seen on countless serial dramas.

As such, contrary to practices in Western medicine, drugs are not commonly administered during labor for Chinese mothers for fear that they too may impact the baby. The screams and pained looks of this documentary are of women who are giving birth while bareback, so to speak.

It’s easy to inflate the hype over this controversy when these female commentators seem to be refuting basic human truths, whereas in fact are basically advocating female ideals.

And after all, it did just air on Mother’s Day.

Guangdong’s New Two-Child Policy Off to a Rocky Start

Photos: Sina blog, CNR via Weibo, Csxww, Mop


China Insider: Ten Ways to Smack Talk To Mainland Chinese Over Xbox Live

Posted: 05/11/2014 5:30 pm

battlefield 4 shanghaiReform has brought us some nifty things over the years, and none more next-gen as the recent lift of the ban on video game consoles in China. This September, the Xbox One will sold in the Shanghai free trade zone.

Soon, the joys of online console multi-player will be experienced by a new video gaming audience. While market analysts speculate upon proper strategies to win over this new market, there is but one practical problem left for the common gamer to deal with: how do I smack talk to a mainland Chinese player over Xbox Live?

Now, certain factor may not facilitate online smack talk for Chinese Xbox Live. It may well be that China will become its own online-locked region and serve as an extension of the Great Firewall to keep the potty mouths of rambunctious 12 year-old Call of Duty players from spoiling the unsullied ears of Chinese players. Furthermore, it may well be that a Chinese player would rather rocket jump at the chance to practice his English with a native English speaker like you than engage in online griefing.

Be that as it may, online fragging employs its own universal language made up of an alphabet of gibs. That said, here are some easy Chinese phrases with which to punctuate your online kills.

Remember: use responsibly in the virtual world of digitized blood, and not in a practical situation in the real world—there are no resets there.

1) 你死定了 (Nǐ sǐ dìng le): “You’re gonna die!” The basics. Not great banter, but good for hyping up the contest as you wait it out in the lobby.

2) 去死吧 (Qù sǐ ba):”Go to hell!” A very common insult, very applicable in the context of mutual fragging.

3) 你被打中了 (Nǐ bèi dǎ zhòng le): “I shot/hit you!” Again, nothing too difficult, but then it’s these simple phrases that you are more likely to use while double jumping or parkouring or whatever is occupying most of your brain.

4)  无懈可击 (Wúxièkějī): “Unassailable/impeccable.” Be sure to say this after you frag someone else, and not when someone tags you.

5) 你不是我的对手 (Nǐ bùshì wǒ de duìshǒu): This literally means “You are not my opponent”, but saying this after you have beaten someone gives the implication that “You are not worthy of being my opponent.”

6) 起死回生 (Qǐ sǐ huí shēng): This means “to rise from the dead” or to make “an unexpected recovery”. Scream this out whenever you respawn to get on your opponents nerves.

7) 我要给我师父报仇 (Wǒ yào gěi wǒ shīfu bàochóu): “I will avenge my master!” Nothing remotely to do with the first-person shooter genre, but still a cool thing to shout out.

8) 我要斩草除根 (Wǒ yào zhǎncǎochúgēn): This literally means” I want to pull up grass by the roots” when you’re talking about plants, but when spoken with a blood-curdling tone this means to “I will completely destroy my enemies“.

9) 你死在我手下,一点儿也不冤枉 (Nǐ sǐ zài wǒ shǒuxià, yīdiǎn er yě bù yuānwang): “It is no injustice at all for you to die at my hands.” A verbal barb traded within the confines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this one is good when yelled or as a menacing whisper.

10) 我一路过关斩将,终于杀入决赛 (Wǒ yīlù guòguānzhǎnjiàng, zhōngyú shā rù juésài): “After all my trials and tribulations, I will kill my way to the top.” A little wordy perhaps, but still a gem that will strike a chord among Chinese players for evoking an idiom about Guan Yu from the Three Kingdoms era.

Photo: Evil Avatar


How to Attract a Chinese Man Part 1: A Cartoon You is a Sexier You

Posted: 05/5/2014 7:31 pm

how to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beautyHey, expat ladies: does being single in China suck? Are you tired of being an amazing catch that no fisherman is interested in? Take our Nanfang China Insider Sex Tips for the easy way to make yourself more appealing to the Chinese man!

As the prominence of social media continues to grow, so too will your appearance online. For you to properly send out the right signals, you’ll need to look your best in order to compete with the many pictures of last night’s dinner on Weixin.

We are all for being fabulous and free as a single woman in your thirties, but it remains that Chinese men are fickle with their choices. Don’t wind up being a leftover!

Entire lives and websites are devoted to fashion styles, clothes and make-up in China, but for this installment of Nanfang China Insider Sex Tips we’re going to focus on one thing: how to have an aesthetically-pleasing online appearance by Chinese standards.

If you thought posing like an alluring Chinese girl was as easy as flashing the peace sign, well sorry, girlfriend—you just Dewey Decimaled yourself a place back up on the shelf. It’s high time your avatar got a makeover.

Taking a headshot and digitally adding stars and rainbows is so pre-millennial. Nowadays, all the hippest Chinese girls are going back to the drawing board—literally.

Chinese women are taking pictures of their faces and accomplishing what make-up and plastic surgery can never do: becoming the paragon of pulchritude that is a cartoon character:how to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beauty

Finally, ladies—we can look our best without tramping around in high heels all night. Apply the Chinese aesthetic to your own face: flatten your face, enlarge your eyes, and make your skin into smooth, creamy porcelain. And get rid of that nose while you’re at to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beauty

Animization isn’t just about making your character portrait into a cartoon profile, Another popular method is to enhance reality into the idyllic dream it ought to be:how to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beautyhow to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beauty

If the Chinese man of your dreams has been obsessing over a two-dimensional fictional character, why let that stop you? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

Here’s a picture of fine, young Chinese woman. She’s very pretty, and that wink is a nice touch:

how to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beauty

However, by online standards in the ever-competitive world of social media, that isn’t enough. Ladies, you’ll need to bring your A-game to the table, and by “A” we mean “Anime”:how to attract a chinese man animization photoshop cartoon drawing beauty

Animization—it’s even better than the real thing.

If fumbling with phone apps of a foreign language or bugging your creepy co-worker to sketch you up isn’t a job in the cards, well don’t fret, you can still get of picture of the “ideal you” that has been waiting to transcend from its boring reality equivalent.

With so many people using smart phones to take “selfies”, it’s high time that a camera was specifically made for this purpose. And that’s what the Casio EX-ZR1000 is: a camera that is designed to be held at arm’s length and pointed at your own face. This camera has a screen that swivels out to allow us to take proper pictures of ourselves without needing to stand in front of the bathroom mirror.

And to help us ladies out, the Casio EX-ZR1000 is equipped with a number of built-in features that allow us to skip the hassle of Photoshop and other programs (Math and sciences—yuck! Am I right, ladies?) A special feature of this camera is a make-up filter that lightens the skin and softens the tone of everyone in its field of view—in up to twelve separate increasing increments!makeup filter casio ex zr1000makeup filter casio ex zr1000makeup filter casio ex zr1000

We’re not sure if increasing the size of the filter will make your smile bigger, or in fact makes you truly happier.

(No word as to what will happen when a user with beautiful dark skin uses this filter, but then this problem likely has solved itself by not being on sale in places that aren’t in Asia.)

Chinese culture has its own standards of beauty, and while there isn’t much you can do to change your physical features, there is a lot you can do to change the way your physical features appear.

Ladies, it’s time for you to be fabulous and become the sexy cartoon character you’ve spent your entire career trying to overcome.

Photos: Weibo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Youtube screencap


Understand Spoken Chinese Commands When a Cop is Pointing a Gun at You

Posted: 04/30/2014 5:36 pm

police guns guangzhou metroRecent news that the police presence around the country will be increased in cities like Guangzhou as well as be equipped with firearms is reassuring to an anxious public. If you weren’t scared before, you’ll be scared now—if you’re a criminal, that is.

Now that there are more guns on the streets of China, we can expect police to use these firearms in a greater capacity than they did when firing warning shots to break up a brawl in Guangzhou. But the question remains: what do you do if a police officer points a gun at you and issues you commands in Chinese?

It could be that this police officer speaks excellent English, and will use this as an opportunity to practice his rusty English skills. However, we still think that there as a resident in a locality where police have guns, the onus is upon you to understand what they are saying.

We can only hope that such an occasion will never come to pass, but if you ever get into such a predicament, we’d suggest you to follow their commands. Based upon our observations of years of Western TV police dramas, here are the phrases that you would hear when a police officer is pointing a gun at you:

1. 不许动 (Bù xǔ dòng): “Don’t move!” The equivalent to our “Freeze!” which doesn’t have the same connotation in Chinese.

2. 你被捕了 (Nǐ bèi bǔ le): “You’re under arrest.” If this is preceded by #1, make #1 the overriding command instead of this one.

3. 把手放在头上 (Bǎ shǒu fàng zài tóu shàng): “Put your hands on your head.” A tailor may also tell you this when measuring your waist.

4. 转身退后 (Zhuǎnshēn, tuì hòu): “Turn around, walk backwards.” This phrase can also come in handy if the person on the other line has gotten lost and can’t tell where they are.

5. 把身份证拿出来 (Bǎ shēnfèn zhèng ná chūlái): “Take out your identification.” While your visa may have gotten you out of trouble before, it doesn’t always mean it will.

Bonus: 这不是我的事 (Zhè bùshì wǒ de shì): “I don’t care.” Only relevant if you’re being chased by a one-armed man and you want to tell Chinese Tommy Lee Jones that you didn’t kill your wife.

Chinese cops should be fans of Law & Order—there must be a Chinese Lennie Brisco somewhere. But we didn’t include “Why do they always run?” because it isn’t technically a command.

We don’t have a translation for Miranda rights.

Photo: dzwww


China Insider: Why Cancelling “Big Bang Theory” is a Bad Move

Posted: 04/28/2014 6:21 pm

Yes, I’m afraid this will be canon from now on: “The Big Bang Theory” is no longer broadcast on the video streaming site Sohu TV and availabe for watching in China.

To lovers of comedy and TV shows with real nerd credentials like “Community” , this is of no relevant consequence. “The Big Bang Theory” is where comedy goes to die and when a night of apathetic entertainment begins, the couch being the piece of furniture set on the lowest expectations.

But to its millions of fans around China, the cancellation of Sohu’s broadcast of “The Big Bang Theory” on April 26, 2014 is the end of an era; it’s the dawn of a sunless tomorrow. This is the day the laughter died, its laugh track hushed, forever.

Sure, there happen to be other shows that were taken off the air as well in this recent purge: “The Good Wife“, “NCIS“, and “The Practice“.  But while these shows are popular and will be missed by some, these shows don’t compare with “The Big Bang Theory“; they don’t have the same bang for your buck.

The Big Bang Theory” is:

  • a connection to the West through via safe, non-threatening characters: by being an insular group of introverted elitists, the gang (and their subsequent girlfriends/wives/sorry, Raj) will not rock the boat of orthodoxy. You will laugh at their embarrassing mistakes until you love them.
  • a reason to actually enjoy English rather than just study it: English teachers will have their own opinions, but there hasn’t seemed to be a phenomenon like this since “Friends“: an English show that Chinese English students will watch just for fun. “The Big Bang Theory” is the one popular English show that Chinese audiences don’t mind that it’s in English. That may be because like Friends, it is…
  • the only English-speaking show that they can clearly understand: Do you like “The Office“? To a Chinese audience, that’s a half-hour of mumbling interspersed with awkward moments and “Jim” reaction shots. Despite use of scientific jargon and oblique nerd references, the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” speak the way they do on English instructional lessons. That’s because it employs…
  • a “vaudeville-style” of theater familiar to Chinese audiences: the sit-com format with three cameras may be a tired format on Western media; however, the concept of a static fourth wall is fresh as ever in Chinese media, even employed during news and photo shoots. Also, “The Big Bang Theory” may be the closest Western show comparable to the sound effect-laden dischord of Chinese variety shows.
  • a set of well-done subtitle translations: even if you don’t understand a word of English, and don’t understand Western culture at all, the Sohu broadcast of “The Big Bang Theory” used excellent translations that takes colloquial English and turns it into equally relatable Chinese. In fact, on many of its shows, Sohu includes extra “header” notes to explain cultural references in notes written on top of the screen for review during a second watching.

Streaming of Western TV in China would reach such enviable heights as broadcasting the second half of the last season of “Breaking Bad” not 24 hours after the initial Western broadcast. However, “Breaking Bad” doesn’t relate to Chinese audiences the way “The Big Bang Theory” does, or its closest rival, the well-loved racist sitcom of “2 Broke Girls“.

Even though nothing can compete with the breasts of Kat Dennings, or her parading of them before her other talents, “The Big Bang Theory” still stands apart for the cultural impact it has had upon China. While other shows may be as popular or boast the same strengths as noted above, these shows don’t have a relatable and well-loved Sheldon, an insufferable character who is selfish and self-righteous, sympathized with by audiences the whole country over.

Sure, there have been other huge breakout hits in China—ambitious emigrants looking to bypass the system may have been enthralled by “Prison Break“, attention-seekers may sympathize with the plucky gang on “Glee“—but the end of this public broadcast on Sohu will hurt the country immeasurably.

There is still no direct reason given for why “The Big Bang Theory” was pulled from the air by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television; cancellations happen often, and often without warning. The cancellation comes during a government crackdown upon obscene and copyright infringement material.

We may speculate that this has to do with Sheldon’s recent character arc at having falsely discovered a new element that was independently verified by a Chinese team, upon which some jokes were lobbed at the Communist Party. (As it’s “The Big Bang Theory“, it’s not really worth retelling anyways.)

Party mouthpiece People’s Daily expressed that “If you don’t have Internet order, how can you have Internet freedom?” And that’s what “The Big Bang Theory” has become: the disharmonious pangs of laughter.

Last Saturday, April 26 was the day the laughter died—and to an audience so accustomed to artificial laugh tracks, canned laughter is as fresh as a new-born baby’s gurgle.

Photo: SciFi  Mania


China Insider: Why a Racist Quote in People’s Daily Online Isn’t Racist At All

Posted: 04/25/2014 8:35 pm

africantown guangzhou african africa chinese

A quote given in a pictorial seen on the People’s Daily Online is not racist at all.

While a picture can tell a thousand words, we’ll let the actual written words speak for themselves in this case:

An African young man uses the text scanner at a shop and warily looks around. His frightened look reveals his identity of a new comer, perhaps without legal documents.

Yeah, that seems to be unfairly judging a person you don’t know anything about with a biased preconception. But, this caption isn’t racist because we’re not getting the full picture here: the true way to enjoy this pictorial is not by the pictures, but through the photographer.

The photo essay is about the African community that resides in Guangzhou. Estimated to have originated in 2002, “Africatown” was the coalescence of a number of Africa traders that continually grew year by year. However, the growth of Guangzhou’s Africatown seems to rely upon the uneasy truce made between the African and Chinese communities which is founded upon the mutual ignoring of each other’s existence.

Well, that didn’t sit well with Li Dong. Two years ago, Li Dong quit his job and decided to fully document the African community in Guangzhou through photography.

But though we have Li’s many photographs of the African community, we really aren’t any closer to understanding them—not by the People’s Online pictorial and it’s rather direct-yet-ambiguous statement. Instead, we need the proper context to relate with—and for that, we have Li Dong himself.africantown guangzhou african africa chinese

The full story about the African community photographs broke back on April 10, and it did it by telling us about Li Dong: his life, his history, his accolades. The introduction to the story starts off grandly like this:

Man of academics from a famous school, executive of a company, Entrepreneur… Li Dong is a man with many proud labels.

And then majestically reveals the purpose:

Within the two years of observing and living on Baohaozhi Street, he has become the African’s neighbor; from the beginning when people were wary [of his presence] up until the present when he is fully understood, he has slowly used his camera lens to tell the unknown stories of life and struggle of these people from another country.

And then it goes on to tell everything about Li. We are told of Li’s disgrace of losing face as a child when he saw the way Chinese would act around foreigners, and then Li explains how his work is required understanding to achieve a cultural advantage:

“Before, (Chinese) would need to take up the whole day to decide which bottle of mineral water to purchase when outside the country, but now an increasing number of Chinese are (more comfortable) with buying things when abroad. Before, (we Chinese) were wild for foreign trinkets; now, an increasing number of foreigners are instead coming to China to study and get rich…”

Yes, we need to know the all the motivations why someone would do something like this. We need to know that the person doing this is a person of high standing and privilege, after which we can extend our respect to the things he stands for by proxy. Yes, we need read the background first in order to give the proper respect, and then understand later.

The story of the African community in China is in fact Li’s story of why he was compelled to quit his job and devote an entire two years of his life to this project when a weekend wouldn’t do. We don’t need a pictorial telling the stories about the African community in Guangzhou because the real story we need to hear is the one that’s trying to tell it.

And let’s be fair to that quote by the People’s Daily Online: they did say “perhaps”.

Photos: People’s Daily Online


China Insider: Hainan Rendez-Vous and its Sex Scandal — Outrage a la Carte

Posted: 04/11/2014 8:02 pm

Downright disrespectful lot, the poors. Why must they hate the rich? Why aren’t the captains of industry allowed to sip their champagne and eat their caviar fetter-free? With the weight of the world upon their shoulders, must they always need to shrug off the bitter attacks of the poors and their compulsive need to be supplied with cake?

The Hainan Rendez-Vous is just your normal, run-of-the-mill convention for the average Wang or Zhang to browse through this year’s new multi-million dollar collection of yachts and private jets. Held annually in Sanya, Hainan Province, the fledgling luxury exhibition managed to strike a nerve last year when rumors spoke of massive sex parties to which famous celebrities like Wang Xiaofei and Sun Xing were photographed having attended.

Those poor rich people. The indignant outrage of the internet would be galvanized and ignited by this decadent symbol of the rich like a divine match up in heaven. All related information that exposed the secret lifestyle of the rich and famous were ravenously consumed by the masses so that they can properly condemn the bourgeoise and their non-counterfeit LV handbags..

This year’s Hainan Rendez-Vous wrapped up on March 30, and already the condemnation by Chinese netizens was as heavy as the interest was rapt. Insider terms like “society girl”  (外围女) have long flooded the public consciousness because the average person needs to know the obscure term to call those people busy in the background of “Eyes Wide Shut”, just as there will be a term for hiring a jazz pianist to play two notes all night so long as he can pass the audition.

To drive up the hype, a reporter from Phoenix Entertainment went undercover in the inner circles of the Hainan Rendez-Vous in order to write an expose of its notorious sex culture. The report would insinuate a major Hong Kong entertainment company was behind the hiring of many of these society girls. This unnamed company would demand secrecy from these sex workers through non-disclosure agreements while party attendees would wear face masks to hide their identities yes just like that really boring movie again. All the same, the report did not provide any concrete proof or names, and there’s still no word as to whether or not Nicole Kidman got to say the last line.

Well, sanctimonious people of the internet: we hope you’re satisfied now. Everyone is so outraged at Hainan Rendez-Vous, and yet it wasn’t even held last week in Sanya, Hainan. Instead, someone else had stolen the name and held an event without the organizer’s consent. Meanwhile, the host of the event which is still called “Hainan Rendez-Vous” by everyone in China has in fact not denied the charges of prostitution, and are looking to cooperate with Hainan police in cracking down upon these “sex scandals” you’ve been hearing about.

Hainan Rendez-Vous (the actual organizers) insist that they have absolutely no connection to the nefariousness that was going on in Sanya, while the host of the Sanya event has insisted that any actual licentious and illegal activities that were going on were not officially sanctioned by this non-sanctioned organization that just happen to be rendez-vous (lowercase) in Hainan.

So everyone can stop being angry. Poors: your indignant outrage has been misdirected, this obviously must be some kind of mistake. With this many denials going on, one more counterfeit “Hainan Rendez-Vous” needs to be established so that all of these Matryoshka dolls may ride the kick back up to the waking world after hitting of the raw subconsciousness of Leo DiCapprio’s throbbing forehead.

And honestly, being angry is no way to amass a fortune. It just gets in the way of being greedy.

Photo: Hainan Rendez-Vous


China Insider: Everything you need to know about the Wen Zhang scandal

Posted: 04/3/2014 7:31 pm

The most viral post made in Weibo history; a battle of privacy rights; the death of traditional media by new media — these terms are currently buzzing the Chinese internet, but you may still find yourself at odds with the hottest celebrity scandal currently being discussed by your co-workers or students.

Here then is everything you need to know about the Wen Zhang love triangle scandal. In simple terms, it’s sex, betrayal and typecasting, but to fully understand why China has gone collectively bonkers over this story, we’ll present this information in (mostly) chronological fashion:

wen zhangMeet Wen Zhang. He’s a B-list actor. He’s made a name for himself acting in roles in which he serves as the mild-mannered milquetoast. He’s basically an emasculated James Marsden who keeps losing his women to Ryan Gosling in the Notebook, Superman himself, and the Dark Phoenix.

ma yili

This is Ma Yili. She’s also a relatively successful actor. The two worked together on the 2007 Beijing TV drama about Gen-X’ers in angst, “Struggle” (奋斗, watch online here). Wen and Ma got married in 2008, and the two become a celebrity couple that are ranked somewhere on the same tier as Courtney Cox and David Arquette.

Here’s Yao Di. Yao worked with Wen on a television show called “The Era of Naked Marriage” (裸婚时代) in 2011 (watch online here). The show makes waves by exploring the taboo practice of getting married without having first purchasing a house and car for your new family, thereby being “naked”. Yao portrays a strong-willed woman who gets knocked up by her boyfriend Wen, a man who isn’t manly enough to buy a house before engaging in coitus.

wen zhang

Wen Zhang confronts his being typecast in luckless roles as the mild-mannered milquetoast (or in Chinese parlance, 小男人, which literally means “little man”) by stating in a 2011 promotional interview that he takes “no offense” to the term and in fact hopes to become China’s “#1 milquetoast” in celluloid form.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

Rumors have long circulated about Wen Zhang’s infidelity with actress Yao Di. Celebrity photographers have known about the rumor for half a year, but have yet to provide any substantial “evidence” for a judging public. Two photographers from Southern Entertainment Weekly, Chen Chaohua and Xie Xiao, tracked down Wen and Yao in Shenzhen, Guangdong. Yao was shooting a movie on location here, and was also about to celebrate her birthday.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

The photographs show two people that appear to be in love, but can not be positively identified due to the pains they have gone to to disguise their identities. Southern Entertainment Weekly teases their readers by hyping the release of the photos with the hashtag, #SeeYouMonday. However, the secret is known to industry insiders, and the company is put under enormous pressure. For that reason, Southern Entertainment Weekly does not wait until Monday for its print edition, but instead publishes the photos online using its social media networks.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

China loses its collective conservatism and is outraged in undignified ways. The most common sentiment concerns Ma, the wife who is currently taking care of Wen’s two children, one of whom was just born a month ago. Furthermore, the typecasting of Wen as China’s Steve Buschemi if he had more romantic roles leads to universal disbelief that such an inferior man could cheat on his wife, an act only alpha-males are deigned worthy of performing.

wen zhang apology weibo ma yili yaodi affair

Because apologies are much more effective on the internet, Wen makes an apology to his wife on Weibo from Guangdong by posting to the #SeeYouMonday hashtag. It becomes the biggest thing on Weibo since always, forever and ever, totes real. Sent in the early morning of March 31, it currently has 824K likes, 1.2 million forwards, and 1.8 million comments. Conspiracy theorists believe Wen did not write the apology letter himself on the basis that both Simplified and Traditional Chinese script appear in the apology, and that only a joint cross-strait alliance is able to express how sorry he is for cheating on his family. Furthermore, other analysis point out that Ma is eight years older than Wen, and that such an age discrepancy was doomed to failure.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

Ma proves that celebrities are as attached to their phones as we commoners by posting a reply to Wen’s apology not three minutes later his initial post. Also an extremely popular Weibo post itself, Ma’s response includes the ambiguous yet poetic line, “Love is easy, marriage is not; cherish what you’ve got right now.” This quote becomes a meme in itself because TV and movies are not as good at conveying poetry as Weibo is.

Wen is not finished with breaking out of the mold. Wen sends another Weibo, this time directly at the two photographers who caught him cheating. Wen takes the unbecoming yet manly stance of accepting all responsibility for his actions, and urges the two not to implicate others. He states that he himself is fair game, and that he will accommodate the two if they want to keep up the fight. This is the internet equivalent of taking off your shirt and revealing your wife-beater, again a non-typical Wen Zhang move. (It doesn’t count when it’s a promo shot.)

Throughout this ordeal, Yao Di has not made any statements. She may be still into snail mail for all we know. Scented pages, you know.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

Recently, Wen was photographed returning to Beijing. The lawyer for Wen and Ma state that rumors the couple are to divorce are false.

Photos: Weibo, meilishuo, tvsou, taopic, nipic, ilitu, dreamgoing, 7808, hsw, mszz, edu-hb, usportsnews

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