The stakes were high for teams that were fighting for the World Cup championship. The winner can take it all – the glory, the pride and a whopping prize money of $35 million. But the football teams are not the only ones who had their eyes on the game. The illegal gambling bettors and bookmakers in China who had wagered millions on the game were glued to the television anticipating big payouts.
The Ministry of Public Security said 108 people were arrested for illegal online gambling involving a total value of RMB 18 billion after busting a gambling ring in Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province, Xinhua reported on July 12.
The ring operates in eight different provinces including Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian and Gansu Provinces through an overseas online gambling website whose server address is tracked to Philippines. According to the report, the website hired bookies and bookmakers in China to take online bets and commissions, and the gambling bets were particularly frequent during the World Cup.
The bettors were able to directly access the website and place bets. The website would calculate the wins and losses and earn commissions from the bets, the report said. The website also introduced a “super membership scheme” for members who placed a deposit worth RMB 200,000.
In June alone, the ring earned RMB 200 million in profit as the football tournament kicked off in the same month.
All forms of gambling, including the lottery, were considered capitalist practices and were banned in 1949. Only the state lottery is now allowed to operate. The ministry has prosecuted 7,267 gambling related cases and arrested 23,000 people since the start of the year.
Ever since a high-profile CCTV report on prostitution in Dongguan, 3,033 people have been detained for prostitution-related crimes, of which 1,497 are described as profiteers or operators of prostitution-related businesses. The crackdown involves a total 1,121 cases in which 214 prostitution rings are said to have been busted.
Guangdong police have checked over 947,000 establishments in which 3,553 have been deemed illegal. Of these illegal establishments, 269 have been banned, 19 have had their certificates suspended, and 3,129 have closed.
These announcements come as a group of legal experts allege convicted sex workers have been sent to labor camps for re-education, reports Radio Free Asia.
A letter signed by the group criticized the new “custody and education” system implemented in place of the controversial “re-education through labor” system abolished last year, saying there’s no difference between the two.
Under the new system, the critics allege a person can be incarcerated by police for up to two years without trial for involvement in the sex industry, whether as a sex worker or a client.
A police raid upon several Shenzhen establishments has resulted in the arrest of 69 people in various prostitution-related crimes, reportsPeople’s Daily Online.
After receiving complaints from local residents, several Longhua District brothels masquerading as foot massage treatment centers, leisure clubs, or night clubs were raided by Shenzhen police during the early morning hours of May 19. There were so many people arrested they filled a basketball court.
Many of these sex workers are described as originally coming from Dongguan. They apparently went to nearby Shenzhen when a well-publicized prostitution crackdown occurred back in February. Police say the first half of this year has seen a continuous flow of sex workers from Dongguan entering Shenzhen.
From the beginning of the year until May 20, Guangdong seized 805 illegal guns and 7,739,300 kilos of gun powder, He Guangping, deputy head of the Guangdong Police Department said in a press briefing on Thursday as the province steps up efforts to crack down on violent crimes following a spate of knife attacks in train stations and explosions across the country.
Illegal guns destroyed in Guangdong in 2013. Photo credit: Shenzhen Business Daily
A total of 232 people suspected of selling guns online have been arrested, China Newsreported. In addition, 9,130 detonators and 316,000 gun replicas were seized in the province. The report did not specify if the weapons were intended for use with domestic criminal gangs or for export. Private ownership of guns is banned in China, and gun-related crimes in the country are relatively rare.
The police said 338 gun-related cases were solved during this period, but also that crimes related to illegal gun use were on the rise in the province. For example, 48 cases involving illegal manufacturing, selling and trading of guns and gun powder were busted in Guangdong last year, a 23% increase over the year before, the report said. And some of the criminal gangs involved with gun-related crimes were also found selling drugs and committing robberies.
The City of Lufeng, notorious for gun use, was responsible for 90 gun-related crimes in 2013, a total of 7.4% of all gun crimes in Guangdong. A crime-ridden city in Guangdong, Lufeng is also notorious for drugs. Local drug manufacturers were seen armed with guns such as AK-47′s in one of its villages, Boshe, during a police drug raid in January this year.
The Guangdong Police Department said it will launch a clamp-down on gun-related crimes during the month of June.
Despite a crackdown that arrested a few prominent people and reportedly put 200,000 people out of work, prostitution has not been eradicated in Dongguan. On the contrary, it looks to have concealed itself very well with the aid of local police.
So very vice to see you again, but then, maybe you’ve just never left.
A Guangdong TV reporter recently went undercover to investigate a complaint that Dongguan entertainment venues were engaging in prostitution without any reprisals from the police (video here). With the help of a local resident named Wang, the reporter infiltrated several brothels in the Longhua Street area in Longhua New Town, Dongguan. It’s as though we’ve all seen this before…
Far from the city center, Longquan Garden by Jianda road is located a kilometer away from Hualong Road. During the day, there is not much pedestrian traffic in this residential area, but at night there is more activity that includes seven to eight motorcycle riders who zip around and ask random strangers:
Do you want to play around? For such a young guy and so full of life, no need to be so coy! The girls are of an impeccable quality; I’ll bring you over.
Through the access of a twisted labyrinth of very narrow alleys, the reporter is ushered into the fourth floor apartment of the Shengyuan Foot Bath. There, he is asked by the proprietor if he is interested in anything:
We have many different prices according to your different needs. For RMB 200 you can have the whole service, top and bottom.
That night, the reporter visited a total of seven establishments that engaged in prostitution that also included the Weiwei Leisure Club located in the 3-star Yinglun Hotel, also an establishment that also offers “foot baths”.
Upon visiting the brothels, the reporter reported these places to the 110 emergency services hotline. Some ten minutes later, the police arrived at the Yinglun Hotel, and then some ten minutes after that, they left.
After asking follow-up questions to the police, the reporter was told by a police sub-station representative:
We went there to have a look, and we did not find any prostitution as you described.
All seven brothels visited by the reporter are under the jurisdiction of the Longcheng police sub-station. The closest reported brothel to the police station is the Weiwei Leisure club only 500 meters away.
We imagine the Mayor of Dongguan Yuan Baocheng will be shocked at the problem—again. Or, maybe Yuan will be shocked at himself for having said these words at the beginning of April:
“Three months from now, we will have adopted measures that no one would have expected. I can fundamentally make the determination now that whatever cases we find, we will investigate.”
Hopefully his nerves will be soothed by the rousing anthem of civic pride sung by local youths, because it seems his troubles aren’t going to end soon. A recommended replacement work force consisting of robots will just bring up the equally frustrating problem of having to deal with robot whores, but that’s another case of nuts and bolts.
A crackdown on illegal foreign workers in China has spread to the Guangzhou fashion industry as an undisclosed number of models have been apprehended by police, reports Fashion Times.
The crackdown appears to have first been initiated in Beijing where an undercover sting operation at the M3 modelling agency in Jianwai SOHO resulted in some 60 models being in “custody”, while another four were “jailed”.
Entrapped by a feeling of desperation, Fashion Times reports that extreme measures have been taken up by models in Guangzhou after those in custody gave up contact information for other models:
Models have reportedly advised others not to answer their phones, not to answer their doors to strangers and to keep their lights off at night. Models have also been advised to hide their portfolios and comp cards.
According to Fashionista, some models have been moved to hotels and were told to act as if they are tourists, while others have been relocated to Hong Kong, where it is easier to obtain a work permit. Foreigners that look like models are also being stopped and asked to show work papers.
Foreign models are allowed to work in China, but only through the use of an entertainment visa. As tourist visas are much easier to procure, a “grey area” sometimes happens in China through which a foreign model can work without the proper certification.
We advise all models in the Guangzhou area to exercise caution, and remember: never let them see you sweat.
More than two months into Dongguan’s sex trade crackdown, the once bustling city is currently suffering from dwindling visitor numbers and a tepid hotel business that used to generate RMB 300 million ($48 million) in revenues annually, Time Weeklyreported on April 24.
Visitors at Houjie, one of the main red light districts in Dongguan, have dropped 50 to 60 percent since the February crackdown, said one cab driver surnamed Li. Meanwhile, a downtown center in Houjie called Kangle Nan Lu has seen an 80 to 90 percent drop in visitor traffic. Li estimated that at least 80,000 people have left the town after the crackdown.
One person associated with a 5-star hotel in Houjie said, “The hotel business has entered a cold winter.” The city’s number of 5-star hotels is the third largest nationally after Beiing and Shanghai, but the crackdown has put a brake on investments towards its hotels.
Another reason Dongguan hotels are expecting more lean times is due to the government clampdown on extravagant government spending. Five-star hotels were often the venue on which government officials splurged public spending on lavish meals.
Despite government’s hardline stance on the sex trade, some brave souls have managed to keep the old business afloat. One person called Ah Jing still ferries prostitutes to different hotels. Currently managing 15 prostitutes, Ah Jing drives the xiaojie to the customer’s hotel for the special service.
It is hard to predict how long the aftermath of the crackdown is going to effect the city. However, it seems the effect is continuing to ripple wider and wider at the same time the city is also battling dwindled export figures as the country’s economy slows.
The prostitution crackdown in Dongguan ensnared its highest catch yet when Liang Yaohui, a deputy in the National People’s Congress (NPC), was forced to vacate his seat before being arrested for running a prostitution ring on the afternoon of April 14, the SCMP reported.
Liang was voted out of the NPC by the eighth session of the Standing Committee of the 12th Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress this past Monday. Shortly afterwards, Liang was arrested by Dongguan police, who respectfully waited for the wheels of justice to begin rolling in sequence.
Liang is the owner of the Crown Prince Hotel, a 5-star establishment located in Dongguan. His arrest is just the latest in a long string of announcements. To date, this is the fallout from the Dongguan prostitution crackdown:
865 arrests made
541 pimps smacked
62 criminal rings busted
2,925 hotels, sauna and massage centers closed
854 pornographic websites now hands off
36 police officers involved of which 9 are in criminal detention, 13 face disciplinary action, 14 are under investigation
1 Deputy Mayor and Head of the local PSB, Yan Xiaokang, sacked
a boyfriend and girlfriend mistaken for a prostitute and her john during a raid, released
around 800,000 people, or 10% of the city’s population, leaving the city en masse
With so many announcements, we are all awaiting the future when Dongguan is cleansed of all of its vice so that it becomes just like any other normal town in China and has the same normal reasons not to go there and not engage in nefarious acts you wouldn’t do in your own town. It’s only fair.
The common explanation for why people in a musical suddenly burst out in song is because that’s the only way they properly express themselves. When mere words fail you, sing them aloud.
Dongguan has been reeling from its prostitution crackdown. Besides suffering from huge economic losses and a mass exodus of people, Dongguan has been maligned with a loss of face from having been crowned “China’s sex capital”. While Dongguan’s mayor has responded to the scandal by being flabbergasted, Dongguan city youth have been more eloquent by putting their feelings into a song. Watch here, and sing along with the translated lyrics written below:
I Love Dongguan
Get up, morning calisthenics, the sweet aroma of cake wafts in from the street stalls below Get off from work early, the beautiful sky perfectly complements going for a walk If you’ve never walked upon the ground of this happy place, then we ask you respectfully, how can you denounce it? Blinded to this point, how do we make this right?
Even though many have only learned about Dongguan out of context from the media Respectfully speaking, there is too much emphasis upon the actions of a few The future of an famous emerging manufacturing city awaits you to listen to what we have to say
For the righteous name of Dongguan, the basketball team will earnestly work hard You say there are substantial problems, but you won’t listen to us For the righteous name of Dongguan, mistakes have been corrected Can our explanation be heard?
For the righteous name of Dongguan, a prosperous city imbued with vision Here, millions of people are capable enough to achieve goals through different means For the righteous name of Dongguan, the entire city will unite to bring about its worth Listen to us again
Keyuan, Tanwu, Humen and Xiaoyan are all places that you are familiar with Tasks performed with precision, this is the only place in which digital products are made Respectfully speaking, why is it that within the same country, you are only interested in the same point? This is completely misleading, so let’s change the topic
I love you, Donguan, I will not leave or abandon you Making a living depends upon my own two hands, struggle is what supports this place I love you Dongguan, let’s tear away the stereotypes that label us Together as one
I love you, Dongguan, the vision of the city is on hold Millions of football fans believe that they will carry the championship back home I love you, Dongguan, our voices are here and will not cry tears again
Once there was a problem, but you’re saying that it’s dead in the ground But with both hands raised up high, there no need to tremble anymore Let’s look at this squarely and not be scared of the ugly truth We won’t stop our pace forward, hand in hand
Beijing recently employed the same tactic recently when a spate of bad smog would serve to galvanize the city in producing the lip-sync video “Happy in Beijing“. However, that video featured shaking hips and extroverted individualism that isn’t the message in this case.
For a power ballad in the vein of “We Are the World”, we are nonetheless surprised not to see a rap breakdown in the middle in which an MC differentiates regional Chinese differences by outlining what the local delicacies are as had happened in many “Gangam Style” tribute videos.
As parents, we try to protect our children from harm and indulge ourselves in thinking that we can preserve their innocence for just a bit longer. The world is a harsh den of vice and men, and it always will be
Yuan Baocheng, mayor of Dongguan, has now unflinchingly come into his own as a man who can see the world for what it is during a interview on the CCTV show News 1 + 1. With the gates to the garden of paradise firmly shut behind him, Yuan spoke to the media for the first time about the crackdown back in February in which he expressed his bewilderment that prostitution was such a huge problem in the town under his jurisdiction.
“But to be frank, we didn’t expect a problem as serious or widespread as the TV report showed,” Yuan stated as reported by Global Times, visibly showing his dissatisfaction that the world does not live up to his expectations. But before Yuan could express how the fine people of Dongguan have let him down, Yuan stated that his government had been “incompetent handling prostitution”.
Launched a day after a CCTV news report that exposed the city’s extensive vice trade, the crackdown would put 200,000 sex workers out of work as they fled the city in droves. The crackdown caused a huge hit to the local economy, of which Yuan stated that hotels, entertainment, bath and massage venues generated 8.3 billion yuan, or 1.5 percent of the city’s total GDP.
“The 8.3 billion yuan is not all from prostitution, drugs and gambling,” he would add, though he didn’t invoke his realization of how big a “problem” prostitution is for the local GDP, rumored to have been worth 50 billion yuan, or 10% of the city’s GDP.
Yuan was adamant that the city government had never turned a blind eye to the illegal trade. Instead, certain lower-tiered officials had secretly consented to the matter. This would include the sacking of Yan Xiaokang, deputy mayor of Dongguan and head of the police force, as well as the investigation of 36 police officers.
When confronted with the prospect of a resilient local sex trade that will continue to flourish three months from now, Yuan was steel-willed as he clung to his innocence:
“Three months from now, we will have adopted measures that no one would have expected. I can fundamentally make the determination now that whatever cases we find, we will investigate.”
One can only hope for the day when Yuan will not be able to find anymore instances of vice in Dongguan, thereby proving that no such problem even exists. Hopefully, parental supervision will be strict and Yuan won’t be contacted by prostitutes using WeChat or watch documentaries about the notorious Dongguan sex trade.