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Anhui Official Summoned to Banquet, Dies of Binge Drinking

Posted: 07/7/2014 9:10 am

A man drinks Maotai directly from the bottle.

Nearly everyone in China has been to a banquet and ganbei‘d multiple mini glasses of baijiu. Some people get tipsy, while some get downright hammered. With the drinking culture firmly entrenched, it was only a matter of time before something much more serious happened — and it did, in Anhui Province.

Ma Yahui, a 26 year-old college graduate working as a village official, died after binge drinking when summoned by higher-ranking officials to an alcohol-soaked dinner banquet on June 26, Xinhua reported.

Ma was found dead in bed at his work dormitory on the morning of June 27 by his colleague in Shou Village, where Ma was working as an official. An autopsy report commissioned by the Yinxian Town government said Ma died due to a “factor” that “triggered … a sudden decrease of heart activity”. It did not conclusively state alcohol was at fault.

But according to Ma’s family, the factor in question was indeed alcohol, and the failure to specify it was a “deliberate cover-up” by the officials in Yinxian Town to dodge responsibility. Some of Ma’s colleagues and even local residents said Ma was summoned by the officials to attend the banquet, where drinking excessively is considered customary.

Maotai, a sorghum-based grain alcohol, which has become a national liquor in China.

Ma is hardly the first official to die from excessive drinking. One official in Heilongjiang died in late 2013 after excessive drinking. The victim’s fellow comrade responsible for pouring all the liquor was demoted by the government as a result.

In China, the culture of binge drinking at official functions has been ritualized as part of doing business, said the Wall Street Journal. Alcohol is vital for networking and building up guanxi, or relationships to boost one’s career. Baijiu, a strong rice spirit, and expensive Maotai are commonly seen at such banquets.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping issued an eight-point austerity directive, county-level officials in China on average attended only 12.2 banquets per week, down from 18 in 2012, according to a study by Beijing-based Communication University. But still, officials have a lot of sobering up to do.



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

Posted: 05/22/2014 4:33 pm

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

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

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

1. Western Junk Food Knock-Offs

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

2. Fruit Sandwichfruit sandwich

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

3. Tea Eggstea egg familymart

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

4. Instant Noodlesinstant noodles familymart

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

5. Pre-Packaged Chicken Feetchicken feet familymart

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

6. Over-the-Counter Baijiubaijiu familymart

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

7. Aspirinaspirin familymart

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

8. Bottled Waterbottled water familymart

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

9. Pepto Bismolpepto bismol family mart

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

10. Condomscondoms familymart

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

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

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

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


4 year-old in intensive care in Guangzhou after drinking baijiu

Posted: 09/7/2013 9:07 pm

A 4 year-old is in intensive care in Guangzhou after he drank up to half a bottle of baijiu that his grandmother had hidden under a bed on Aug. 30. The family have already spent 23,000 RMB on medical treatment and doctors say that if he pulls through he may be paralysed or in a vegetative state for the rest of his life, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.

The boy’s father, Lao Lin, is a migrant worker from Sichuan and the family lives in rented accommodation near Wanggang in Baiyun District. Lao Lin, his wife and his mother all habitually drink baijiu. At around 10 a.m. on Aug. 30, when the toddler Xiao Long’s grandmother was supervising him, she took two sips of a bottle of baijiu in her bedroom and left the bottle under her bed.

She went into the kitchen to wash rice and, ten minutes later, discovered Xiao Long lying face down on the bedroom floor. His skin had already turned red and the baijiu bottle was half empty. Her first move was to get some wet cloths to try to bring his temperature down.

It wasn’t until 6 p.m. that she deemed the situation serious enough to merit calling Lao Lin at work. When Lao Lin and his wife got home at 7 p.m., they rushed him to hospital and his situation was so serious that he was transferred twice, ending up in the Guangdong Province Maternity and Children’s Hospital.

Xiao Long has been in the intensive care unit the whole time and his father has barely left his bed side. Even though the family will struggle to pay his medical fees, having been hit hard by the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, Lao Lin says he will do everything he can for his son no matter what.


Drunken man in Shenzhen attempts to have sex with male friend… it didn’t turn out well

Posted: 09/20/2012 1:00 pm

A man has been arrested after he drunkenly attempted to rape a friend in Shenzhen’s Futian District on April 14, Southern Metropolis Daily found out this week.

The man, Fu was having a meal with friends, one of whom was his friend Yun. After drinking a relatively weak bottle of rice wine, the men felt the need to drink more so went to a pub. Once in the pub on Xinzhou Road, Yun went to the toilet and Fu tried to rape him while he was urinating.

Fu started to beat Yun after he resisted, and then banged Yun’s head against the wall repeatedly. Yun emerged with a broken nose and called the police.

It’s not unusual to see men getting touchy-feely after a few drinks, but wow!

Fu has been arrested and the case is under investigation.

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