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The 2014 Shenzhen Marathon: The Fast and the Flamboyant

Posted: 12/9/2014 10:00 am

shenzhen 2014 marathonThe 2014 Shenzhen International Marathon took place over the weekend with more than 15,000 participants from 30 countries.

shenzhen 2014 marathon

Men and women from Ethiopia took top spots in their respective categories. Solomon Tsige Asfaw won the men’s race by finishing in two hours, 16 minutes and 21 seconds, while Elfneshe Melaku Yado won the women’s race by finishing in two hours, 34 minutes and 23 seconds.

A total of $142,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the top runners, with RMB 2,000 given to the top ten Shenzhen residents who completed the race.

shenzhen 2014 marathonThis is the second year for the marathon in Shenzhen. While many take it seriously, others use it as an opportunity to perform. Here are some of the more colorful participants who ran at a nice leisurely pace more conducive to picture-taking:

shenzhen 2014 marathonshenzhen 2014 marathonshenzhen 2014 marathonshenzhen 2014 marathonshenzhen 2014 marathon

And here’s an aerial view of the marathon from a drone:

shenzhen 2014 marathon

shenzhen 2014 marathonshenzhen 2014 marathon

To match the crowd of people running, there was a large crowd of bystanders enjoying the action:

shenzhen 2014 marathonPhotos: DV On Scene, Southern DailyShenzhen Traffic Police, Weibo


Guangdong Fishermen Caught Throwing Explosives Into the Sea to Catch Fish

Posted: 12/2/2014 10:39 am

blast fishingFishermen in Shenzhen and Huizhou in Guangdong Province have been photographed “blast fishing” a controversial fishing method which involves throwing explosives into the sea and then collecting the dead fish as they rise to the top.

Mr Zhu was fishing with his friends on November 11 at Daya Bay near Sanmen Island when he saw an explosion of water that cascaded several meters above the ocean. Afterwards he saw ten boats, each carrying two people, collect the yellow croakers killed by the blast, a haul Zhu estimates weighs 750 kilograms.

blast fishingExplosions are frequently heard at a fishing village between Shenzhen and Huizhou. Mr Xiao is a fisherman who lives in the area:

You can often hear explosions. Anytime you hear it, you immediately know that they’re fishing with dynamite.

Fishermen don’t hide from the practice, either. One admitted they blast fish because it’s necessary, explaining that it’s difficult to know how many fish are in a school. By blast fishing, they are able to catch them all.

Now even tourists are getting in on it; apparently fishermen will take people to blast fish for only a few hundred yuan.

The Shenzhen Fishery Bureau denies blast fishing takes place.

[h/t Shanghaiist]

Photos: Qingdao News


Shenzhen Metro Found Liable in Death of Woman Who Collapsed and Was Ignored

Posted: 12/2/2014 10:04 am

It looks like there may be some justice in Shenzhen after all. The Shenzhen metro has been found partially liable after a woman collapsed in the station and laid there for almost an hour before help arrived.

We told you the story back in February:

A 35-year old employee of IBM in Shenzhen was near Exit C of Shui Wan Station on the Shekou Line on February 17 when she passed out and collapsed, falling on some stairs. The woman eventually signalled for help, according to surveillance video, but nobody did. She moved in and out of consciousness, injured on the stairs, for almost an hour before medical personnel arrived.

Futian District Court ruled last Wednesday that Shenzhen Metro Company should be held partially responsible for the death of the manager, and was ordered to pay RMB 310,000, 30 percent of what the family was asking for as compensation.

The woman, named Liang, 35, laid motionless on the stairs for several minutes after she collapsed. Several people initially passed by her without stopping to help, but three minutes after her fall a woman stopped and notified Metro employees on duty.

An investigation by the court confirmed that Metro employees stood near Liang without examining her for nine minutes before calling police and 15 minutes before calling an ambulance. This was beyond the reasonable limit for safety and security, the court said.

Although Metro employees are trained in first aid, the ones in question claimed they hadn’t administered it because Liang didn’t respond to their shouts, meaning that in either an epic bout of incompetence or shirking of responsibility, they treated her unconscious state as a sign that she didn’t need their immediate help.

Forty-nine minutes after she passed out, ambulances finally arrived and she was pronounced dead at the scene without any emergency measures being taken.

Liang’s parents took Shenzhen Metro Company and Shenzhen First Aid Center to court, the latter of which was found not guilty.

The court’s verdict said that operators in train stations, banks, department stores, hotels and other “public areas” should bear responsibility in terms of providing aid after accidents to people who are on their premises.


Thugs Knife Two People to Death in the Middle of a Shenzhen Street

Posted: 11/27/2014 9:11 am

shenzhen knife attack traffic altercationTwo people are dead after a coordinated attack on a car filled with several people in Shenzhen.

A white motorcycle stopped in front of a black car on Yucang Road in Guangming New District in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Three people armed with weapons hopped off the motorcycle and attacked the people in the car.

Luo, who lives in an apartment above where the incident took place, described the attack:

Some were stabbed were kicked, while those that ran away were chased and then stabbed. Victims that fell and tried to get back up were attacked again.

shenzhen knife attack traffic altercationA few that had escaped returned later with wooden sticks as make-shift weapons, but at that point the attackers had already left. Five minutes later, police arrived at the scene. Two people died in hospital.

No word on how the two groups know each other. All three suspects involved in the incident have been arrested, police say. An investigation is ongoing.

Photo: Shenzhen Evening Report


Shenzhen Isn’t Lining Up to Become a World Class City

Posted: 11/22/2014 4:55 pm

Those who commute using the Shenzhen Metro have heard them so often that they could probably recite them all from memory: the succinct requests for orderliness. “Disembarking precedes embarking” and “please hold the handrail and stand on the right when using the escalator.” But how often do people actually follow these rules?

On a recent Friday afternoon between one and two o’clock (observations were purposely made during non-peak hours) at Grand Theatre station in Luohu District, approximately 80 percent of passengers boarding trains did not wait for disembarking passengers, instead surging ahead at the same time as passengers tried to exit the train. People bumped into each other, pushed and shoved and did whatever it took – but with people moving in both directions in a small space at the same time, it seems like there was no way to proceed that didn’t involve these types of behavior.

“People don’t want to wait for others. They just want to worry about themselves,” Lin said. “When the train comes they just go. They do not think about the message telling them to wait.”

This is common in Shenzhen and in many other parts of China, and not just on the metro. On buses, elevators, escalators and more, people often push and shove, board before people can exit, and generally cause a ruckus despite having ample time to proceed in an orderly fashion.

On that same Friday afternoon at around four o’clock at Happiness Mansion apartment complex in Luohu District, eight out of ten times an elevator arrived at the ground floor, people tried to enter before people had exited. Some who were having a hard time exiting the elevator even recited part of that familiar phrase from the Metro system: ‘前下’ or ‘disembarking comes first’.

On escalators the rule is observed somewhat more closely. On a Thursday afternoon at Jingtian station between noon and one o’clock, approximately 20 percent of people stood on the left even when there was ample space on the right.

When asked about this phenomenon, a station staff member surnamed Sun said people don’t pay attention to the rules during rush hour. He also said operators adjust the amount of time the doors stay open to accommodate for the amount of passengers using the train at any given time. “When there are more people trying to board the train, the doors stay open for longer,” Tan said.

In other words, there is no need to rush into the train because passengers are not in danger of being trapped in the door or left behind as long as they are in line by the time the train arrives and follow the proper procedures.

It is more difficult, however, for station managers to know whether a person inside a train who wants to get off is unable to reach the exit due to people entering first – hence the rule.

‘Let ‘em out!’

Some might assume this is just the way things work in large cities. However, according to people surveyed in New York City, London and Sydney, these rules are followed, and even enforced by the commuters themselves.

Lauren Kraft, an American who has been in Sydney for almost one year, said “almost everyone is awesome” at standing to the right on escalators and letting people moving quickly pass.

Maya Rudolph, who lives in Beijing but lived in New York City for six years, said people usually follow the rule ‘disembarking precedes embarking’, with people often heard yelling the catchphrase “Let ‘em out” when people don’t follow the rules. And although the NYC subway system doesn’t have a lot of escalators, “it’s generally understood that the right side is for standing and left is for passing,” she said.

Charlotte Linton, a longtime Shenzhen expatriate who lived in London for four years and grew up on its outskirts, said people follow the disembarking precedes embarking rule “pretty much always.” As far as the escalator rule, people “always” follow it because “many people in London are in a hurry and they will not take kindly to people blocking the left side of the escalators and slowing them down.” She could not recall a single situation in which people were trying to exit and enter a train simultaneously.

Shenzhen isn’t alone in regards to lack of respect for Metro etiquette; Moscow reportedly has some issues as well. People generally stand on the right and walk on the left of escalators, according to Kristina Bison, an American who lived in Moscow for several years. However, she said things can be a bit of a “free for all” when the doors open to the Metro there during rush hour.

During rush hour, “after a while you kind of forget all the manners and etiquette we were all taught as kids and you…push and shove until you get what you want,” she said. “If you don’t push and shove your way out when that happens, you will never be able to get off the train.”

With Metro workers lacking the authority to punish people for breaking the rules, the problem has become endemic.

“Sometimes people don’t listen to me. All we can do is advise them. We cannot stop them with force. People shouldn’t be in a rush to enter the subway. They should line up. A minority of people are not aware of this rule,” said Huang Zili, team leader of security guards at Grand Theatre Station.

As Shenzhen pushes to become an international city, its leaders might want to consider trying to enforce the small things that make for a more pleasant experience in the city.


Shenzhen Supermarket Produce Covered in Unsafe Pesticides

Posted: 11/20/2014 12:11 pm

Shenzhen is no stranger to food scandals, and it appears another issue has cropped up that is giving buyers of fresh produce some concern.

A recent study by Ceda Farm Produce Test Center, which tests farm produce headed to Hong Kong, found that 11 percent of produce sampled from Shenzhen supermarkets and wet markets contained unsafe levels of pesticide residue.

The center conducted tests on 473 samples of meat and vegetables from 39 locations to obtain its results, which prompted lawmakers to call a hearing with representatives of the local food safety watchdog.

A local lawmaker named Huang Xiang said the government had previously been told that only 4 percent of the city’s produce had pesticide levels that were too high. He questioned why this discrepancy existed.

The representative from the city’s farm produce testing center, Wang Duojia, claimed that the test could have been skewed by a number of things. Lawmakers were not satisfied by this explanation and implored the city’s food safety watchdog to improve.


Tencent Building Iconic New Headquarters in Shenzhen

Posted: 10/29/2014 3:24 pm

tencent new headquartersIt might not look like much today, but all the construction and dust at Houhai Boulevard and Binhai Grand Avenue in Shenzhen will soon result in Shenzhen’s newest and most iconic highrise. The architectural masterpiece will be the new headquarters of tech giant Tencent, the maker of the popular QQ and WeChat messaging apps.

As seen in these pictures, the plan calls for two towers, one standing at 50 stories and 248 meters high, and the other standing at 41 stories at 194 meters high. The north tower is already finished.

tencent new headquartersThe theme of the building design is “interconnectivity”, which explains the three middle sections that will connect the two buildings together. However, the theme is lost on netizens who bluntly ask why the building isn’t in the shape of a penguin, the company’s mascot, while another succinctly calls the construct a “handshake building”.

tencent new headquarters


Photos: Shenzhen Announcements, tja


Shenzhen to Build Hong Kong-style Pedestrian Walkways

Posted: 10/22/2014 8:49 am

admiralty walkwayAlready awarded the title of “Most Walkable City in Mainland China“, Shenzhen looks to outdo itself by making further improvements to its infrastructure in order to improve city transportation.

Shenzhen is planning to make numerous improvements throughout the city, and some of its inspiration will come directly from its neighbor to the south.

Shenzhen is looking to create a number of pedestrian corridors in its Central Business District that match those in Admiralty, Hong Kong. They will be built in the “Golden Triangle” and six other areas where pedestrian traffic is highest.

Shenzhen is also planning to create an all-day or temporary commercial pedestrian street in Nanshan central district, Huaqiangbei, and Dongmen.

Shenzhen’s network of scenic tour routes will also be improved, with the combination of the Lianhuashan and Bijiashan green routes. As well, pedestrian routes nearby hospitals will be upgraded.

A total of nine new pedestrian scenic routes will be constructed in the areas of Meilin, Chegongmiao, Bihai, Tianbei, Xiashuijing, Bantian, Baishaling, Haiyue, and Dongjiaotou.

Lastly, Shenzhen will upgrade the city’s bike trails and offer more bike rentals for those who prefer two wheels to two feet.



Trapped in a Crowded Elevator, Chinese Passengers Use the Tools at Hand

Posted: 10/20/2014 7:31 pm

elevator break out shenzhen

Everybody has thought about the stability of some of China’s elevators when they hop inside, especially when the elevator is old and creaky — and it’s full. Eleven people had the scare of their lives at the Longgang Center in Shenzhen on Saturday around noon when the elevator descended quickly to the basement, and then stopped there. The doors opened, but all the passengers saw was a brick wall.

The passengers cried for help, but nobody responded. Some images from surveillance video, posted below, show anxious passengers. Fortunately one of them happened to have a bag of tools with him, so he began searching for a way out.

elevator break out shenzhen

After five minutes, the people used the tools to smash away at the wall in front of them. When one person got tired, another person would take their place.

The passengers went back-and-forth hitting the wall for an hour, until a small passageway was created. That’s when elevator repairmen arrived.

elevator break out shenzhen

A Weibo post from one of the trapped passengers said he was trapped for two hours. The post also accused the property management company of not notifying the police and obstructing their escape to freedom when breaking through the wall.

Accidents involving elevators are often reported in Guangdong. A university student was crushed to death in a recent freak accident while a woman fell 11 floors through the elevator safety doors.

elevator break out shenzhen

The hole created by the elevator passengers has already been patched up.

elevator break out shenzhenRelated:

Photos: DV On the Scene Report Shenzhen Station, Shenzhen Evening Report


Chinese Delighted by Expat’s Curious Method of Learning Putonghua

Posted: 10/15/2014 1:55 pm

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learningChinese people love watching foreigners learning Chinese, but one particular foreigner has shot to fame in Shenzhen because of his unique learning methods. He has even been lauded by Chinese netizens as nothing short of “genius”.

Robert, who originally hails from the UK, has been trying to learn Putonghua for five to six years without much luck. He decided to take another crack at it recently by changing tactics, which is what has drawn so much attention.

READ: CCTV’s Praise Of Japanese Creativity Ignites Firestorm

Instead of using words to write definitions for each Chinese character, Robert draws a picture to better relate to each word, a technique inspired by English memory coach Tony Buzan.

Michelle, Robert’s wife, was inspired to post some of Robert’s personal study notes online, which have gone on to draw acclaim for their creativity and humor. See for yourself below:

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learningFor the Chinese characters 对面 (duìmiàn) which means “across from you/it”, two faces are seen in a drawing confronting each other.

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learning请假 (qǐngjià) means “to ask for leave”, and in this picture a man thinking about a boat in the sun is asking a question to a man with a hat sitting behind a desk.

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learning对不起 (duìbuqǐ) is the Chinese word for “apologize”, and is used to say “I’m sorry” or “I beg your pardon”.

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learning历史 ([lìshǐ) means "history" in Chinese. In the above visual explanation, Robert draws a successive line of people that progressively get smaller until the end of the line is symbolized by what looks to be an amoeba.

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learning同意 (tóngyì) means "to agree".

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learning出去 (chūqu) means "to go out".

foreigner tries to learn putonghua robert expat chinese learningAnd in a similar looking drawing, Robert makes an explanation for 回来 (huílai) which means "to return".

For the word 麻烦 (máfan), meaning "an irritation brought on by trouble or worry", Robert drew two small children, saying "If your family has two children then you'll know, they are very troublesome!" For the word AA制 (A A zhì) meaning "each person pays their own way", Robert drew a windmill because "people in Holland are really stingy".

Here's some reaction to Robert's famous drawings:

Hahaha, so easy to understand!

Cartoon genius.

Isn’t it enough to add a few English notes afterwards?

So what’s good about this Englishman? Is he handsome? Rich?

Robert obviously isn’t the first to devise unique ways to learn a new language. Chinese themselves have employed a number of witty tricks to help with learning English.

READ: Guangzhou Photographer Reveals the Lonely Face of Foreigners in China

As many an English teachers will know, sometimes a student in China will use pinyin to substitute for English words. When you say “Hi” to them, they are actually saying 嗨  with the pinyin hāi, while saying “Yeah!” in English is emulated in Chinese with 耶 with the pinyin .

With that in mind, some ingenious Chinese phrases have been created as pinyin “cheat words” that have related meanings. For example:

  • English word: ambulance
    Chinese pinyin cheat word: ǎnbùnéngsǐ
    Chinese characters of cheat word: 俺不能死
    Cheat word meaning: ”I can’t die”
  • English word: ambition
    Chinese pinyin cheat word: ǎnbìshèng
    Chinese characters of cheat word: 俺必胜
    Cheat word meaning: “I must win”
  • English word: pregnant
    Chinese pinyin cheat word: pūgěnánde
    Chinese characters of cheat word: 扑个男的
    Cheat word meaning: “Devote yourself to a man”


Photos: Southern Capital Report, Yangtse Evening Report

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