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Guangzhou Mayor Says City Home to Few Africans, Ebola Fears Overblown

Posted: 12/1/2014 6:44 pm

guangzhou african communityGuangzhou is the home of the largest concentration of African expats outside of Africa in Asia, which means the city is rife with rumors of Ebola eventually spreading to the city. To ease the paranoia, the Guangzhou government today gave official statistics on the number of Africans in the city, and it’s much lower than some estimates that put it as high as several hundred thousand.

According to local officials, there were just 16,000 African expats living in Guangzhou as of October 22. In comparison, there are 57,000 expats from Asian countries and 22,000 from European ones for a total expat population of 118,000. Guangzhou deputy mayor Xie Xiaodan who said during an October press conference that it’s a common misperception that Guangzhou has many Africans. “[Many of China’s African residents] come to Guangzhou for business during the day and return [to cities around Guangzhou] during the night,” Xie was quoted as saying.

Previous estimates of the African community in Guangzhou numbered around 200,000, with many resident said to be staying illegally. Naturally these people wouldn’t show up in government statistics.

Guangzhou has been working hard to prevent an Ebola outbreak. Travelers arriving from Ebola-stricken countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Liberia were given cell phones and instructed to contact health authorities in the event that they come down with any symptoms related to the illness.


Photo: nanjiang


Woozy Weekender Indie Music Fest to Hit Guangzhou, Win Free Tix from The Nanfang

Posted: 11/20/2014 9:01 am

If you love indie music, you won’t want to miss this: Woozy Weekender is bringing some of China’s best indie acts to SD Livehouse in Guangzhou from November 28 – 30.

Guangzhou has seen a burst of activity in its underground music scene over the past few years, as DIY music labels like Full Label and livehouses like 191 and SD have proven to be shining stars on the horizon of China’s thriving indie scene.

Now’s your chance to catch some of these artists here in Guangzhou. The folks at Woozy Weekender in Shanghai, which bill themselves as China’s answer to Pitchfork, are bringing a host of cutting edge artists from across China to perform in Guangzhou… and you can win free tickets from The Nanfang!

Simply fill out the form below and follow the steps to sign up. Next Thursday (November 27) we will draw two names, with each person being rewarded with two free tickets.

In addition to a music-packed line up every night, each level will host other fun activities like a music market, Wooozy film screenings, a DIY production workshop by Pete Chen, and a panel talk hosted by P.K. 14’s lead singer and Maybe Mars COO Yang Haisong.

Woozy Weekender will be held from November 28 – 30, Friday to Sunday, three nights and three days: fun, indie, exciting, unique. You can check it out in The Nanfang’s Event section, with all the details here. All that’s missing is you!

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Chinese Spending Big Bucks On Housing In The Name Of Their Children’s Education

Posted: 11/17/2014 10:30 am

school districtDespite the threat of a looming real estate bubble, according to the National Statistics Department of China, real estate prices have actually fallen.

Data shows that, with the exception of Xiamen, housing prices have dropped in 69 out of 70, large and mid-sized Chinese cities. Additionally, prices for resale property have also dropped, with many Guangzhou real estate intermediaries reporting that prices and sales are down across the board.

There is however one exception in Chinese real estate that remains steadfast in the face of the downward trend, reports Xinhua. People are purchasing real estate in prime school districts for the sole reason of procuring a hukou residential permit that allows their children to attend the local school. Given that parents are not concerned about living in the area, or even renting out the apartment, these units tend to be quite small; but, since demand is driving up their value, they are extraordinarily expensive.

Wang Wa, a real estate broker, says these types of properties continue to rise in value while the value of other residential properties decline. Wang describes one such example of this trend in Beijing:

Because of the competition for places next to excellent, well-known elementary schools, the prices for these places has risen. We just closed a RMB 1.35 million deal on a place that is just 4.4 square meters large. Each square meter of this location is worth RMB 310,000.

The trend has hit Guangzhou as well. Buyers that purchased real estate to obtain a hukou residential permit accounted for 8.8 percent of all Guangzhou housing sales in September 2014, a rise of 2.3 percent from August.

Huang Tao, a real estate company manager had this to say:

Compared with last year, there has been a slight 2% rise; now, concentrated areas of second-hand properties in school districts are now worth RMB 35,000 to 40,000 per square meter.

The competition to enrol children into good schools is a Chinese phenomenon that starts in kindergarten. While a good school will no doubt provide a child with good education, the school’s reputation is central to the child’s future enrolment in good, if not better, schools in the future.



Guangzhou Tracking Africans from Ebola Region with Free Mobile Phones

Posted: 11/3/2014 9:00 am

Guangzhou has found a novel way to keep in touch with people arriving from west Africa, which has been afflicted with the Ebola virus: give them free mobile phones.

Every single traveler who arrives in the city from Guinea, Libera, or Sierra Leong will get a health care package that includes a thermometer, local map and free mobile phone with a SIM card pre-installed.

Xinhua reports:

“Passengers who get the phone should keep it turned on for the following 21 days. In this way, disease control personnel can track and contact them as quickly as possible,” said Wu Huiming, deputy head of the entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau.

So far authorities have handed out 98 phones.

Guangzhou is known as Africa’s capital in China, with some estimates that 200,000 Africans are living in the city. The strong links with Africa have made concerns about the spread of Ebola particularly acute in the city. If anyone rejects the mobile phones or health package, they will be blacklisted the next time they try and enter the country.



Guangzhou Has Deported 768 Foreigners So Far This Year

Posted: 09/8/2014 10:30 am

Life is getting tougher for foreigners in China, whether it’s something as simple as more restricted access to western TV shows online or tougher visa regulations.

We have been reporting for a while now that Guangzhou has been cracking down on foreigners in the city, specifically visitors from Africa. One report said half of the 200,000 African expats in Guangzhou are there illegally.

No matter where you’re from, make sure you have a valid visa and working permit, because Guangzhou isn’t messing around when it comes to deportations.

So far this year, the city announced it has either detained or deported 768 foreigners for things like expired passports, overstaying visas, illegal entry, and other criminal acts. The city remains one of the most popular destinations for visitors from other countries, with more than three million foreigners arriving or leaving the city this year.

The report says Guangzhou is currently home to 86,000 foreigners.


1cm-Long Pig’s Tooth Ends Up in Guangzhou Woman’s Lunch

Posted: 08/15/2014 9:07 am

The pig tooth found in A Ming’s lunch take-out (right)

In addition to the long list of hair, bugs, flies and even condoms found in meals while splurging on street food, a pig tooth is the latest free addition that came with a cheap lunch take-out.

A woman in Guangzhou found the chomper in her lunch from a local restaurant, reported Guangzhou Daily on August 14.

The woman, named Ah Ming, ordered take-out for pork ribs and egg-wrapped rice from a nearby diner in Zhujiang New City. After just a few bites, Ah Ming felt a twinge in her mouth, and spitted out a suspicious “hard material” only to find it was an intact gross-looking tooth.

Several of Ah Ming’s lunch pals vomited at the sight of this 1cm-long tooth that they suspected to be human. Ah Ming sent the tooth to a nearby dental clinic and found that it was a in fact a pig’s tooth.

The owner of the diner explained that the tooth might have accidently dropped into the dish while chopping the meat. Nonetheless, they refunded Ah Ming’s cost for lunch.

Photos: Guangzhou Daily


Travel From Guangzhou to Macau By Helicopter In Only 45 Minutes

Posted: 08/11/2014 4:48 pm

helicopters baiyun airport There are already a number of ways for people to navigate between cities in the Pearl River Delta. But soon, there will be one more choice for those wanting to hit the baccarat tables in Macau: a Guangzhou-Macau helicopter service.

The new service is expected to begin at the end of September, reports iFeng, connecting Guangzhou Baiyun Airport with the Macau International Airport. The whole journey is only 45 minutes.

As the helicopter will fly at a height of only 300 meters or lower, sight-seeing will be spectacular (provided there isn’t much pollution). Passengers will see great views of Baiyun Mountain, the Pearl River, the the coast down to Zhuhai.

The chartered flights are to be operated by Nanfang Airlines Corporation using helicopters from the Pearl River Helicopter Company. Future planned routes include flights to Hong Kong, Shunde, Dongguan, and Yangjiang.

The cost of ticket has yet to be determined.

Photo: cnr


100 Magicians Descend on Guangzhou for Magic Festival

Posted: 08/8/2014 9:47 am

GZ magic festival The Second Annual Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau-Taiwan Magic Festival of 2014 will be taking place at the end of the month in Guangzhou. From August 30 to September 3, over 100 magicians will be performing at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in the city.

As part of the festival, there will be magic competitions, magic salons, a magic prop exhibition, an awards ceremony and just about every kind of magic-affiliated activity that would draw the curiosity of your average magic aficionado.

Tickets start at RMB 80 and up, and knowing this is a magic festival, are liable to… vanish!GZ magic festival

Photo: Guangzhou Propagation


Man Violently Beats Wife in Ugly Public Scene in Guangzhou

Posted: 06/30/2014 8:57 am

The man in white dragged his wife by the hair for dozens of meters.

On June 27, a man in Baiyun District of Guangzhou was seen beating and stomping on his wife’s stomach in public and dragging her by the hair for dozens of meters in broad daylight in front of their son,  Guangdong TV reported on June 29.

The violence went on for more than 10 minutes. While the man was dragging the woman along the road, the woman was carrying her son on her back. This caused the boy to sustain bruises and bleeding to his scalp according to witnesses quoted in the report, but this did not stop the man from laying his hands on his son, the witness said.

Although the man’s mother arrived and tried to stop the beating, the man continued to beat the woman with the intent to “beat her to death,” another witness told the TV station.

It was not immediately known what caused the violent beating, but a neighbour said it was a “family matter”. We have noticed increasing reports on domestic violence in Guangzhou driving up divorce rates and child abuse in the city. Despite bystanders recording the beating on their phones, it appears no one offered to help.

Photos: Guangdong TV


PRD’s Contribution to the World Cup: Footballs and Condoms

Posted: 06/13/2014 7:14 pm

brazica ball football world cupTheChinese National Football Team can stop moping over its exclusion from the World Cup as the Pearl River Delta has found a way to represent China at the world’s biggest sporting event: by supplying the tournament’s official footballs and condoms.

While these two products have nothing in common, their production exhibits the Chinese pride that won’t be excluded, qualifying rounds be damned.

The “Samba Glory” from Shenzhen

The footballs used in the previous World Cup came under tremendous scrutiny for providing substandard performance. Called the Jabulani, the ball was criticized by Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano as being “supernatural” and for having unpredictable trajectories. This has led to a high-tech redesign of the official World Cup football—called the Brazucathat has involved NASA wind tunnels and aerodynamic experts.

However, this official football designed and licensed by Adidas has humble roots, hailing from an undisclosed plastics factory in the Gongming Tianliao Industrial Area on Shenzhen’s west side. In fact, there is so much secrecy at this factory that many of its own workers don’t even know that the official World Cup ball is produced here.

A worker named Ah Ju confirmed to a reporter with the Yangcheng Evening Report that the official World Cup ball is made in a second floor workshop near the main entrance by a small group of ten workers, mostly women. The workers are sworn to secrecy, and the workroom is a restricted area that is sometimes guarded by security.

world cup football factory

Even though the high-tech research and development that went into this football was very expensive, the production and labor costs at the “Asian X Plastic Company of Shenzhen” remain low. Workers that make the official World Cup football only earn a monthly wage of RMB 3,000 (US$483), and are expected to work regular overtime and half-days on Saturdays.

Called “Samba Glory” in Chinese, the ball retails for RMB 1,299 (US$209) in China, meaning that workers would only be able to afford to purchase two of the footballs they make every month. However, as Ah Ju points out, progress has been made.

As confirmed by a company representative, the same factory had the honor of making the official football for the last World Cup, which cost RMB 1,080 (US$174). As Ah Ju points out, however, the workers were only earning a monthly wage of RMB 2,000 (US$322) back then, meaning things have improved.

World Cup Condom Kings

world cup condomsMoving on from balls and getting to the meat of the matter, the Pearl River Delta’s other connection to the World Cup is a factory in Guangzhou that supplies another vital product, although one used when games aren’t underway: the condom.

A Guangzhou company named Double One (Shuangyi) has been approved by the Brazilian government to be its sole supplier of condoms, reports Southern Metropolis Daily.

Located in Shuangyi, Huadu District, Double One takes up a total space of 130,000 square meters.  The latex factory has eight production lines to meet demand and soon hopes to expand to ten. In fact, Double One has deep roots with the World Cup. Back when South Africa hosted the games in 2010, this same company supplied 35 million condoms.

China is one of the top condom producers in the world. China sold 10 billion condoms in 2012, 25% of all sales in the world at that time.

Brazilians apparently demand high quality condoms, as they were described by the Southern Metropolis Daily as being from an ”extremely sexually-open country”.

Rules for the world’s most popular pastime remain the same: one in the net will end the game.

Photos: Yangcheng Evening ReportSouthern Daily, Myactivesg

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