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Chinese Pedestrians Have No Problem Obeying Laowai Traffic Warden

Posted: 09/19/2014 9:15 am

expat traffic warden zhuzhou henan chengguan

A 21 year-old expat from the UK named Leah has become Henan’s newest pedestrian traffic warden responsible for herding pedestrians in the city of Zhuzhou and ensuring traffic laws are maintained, reports Yangtse.

Like many cities, Zhuzhou has a problem with pedestrians that don’t follow signals at intersections and end up congesting traffic — and it may have found its solution in Leah.

Though Leah has only a limited grasp of the Chinese language, her “foreignness” compels city residents to follow her command where they would normally ignore their fellow countryman.

Leah and her friend Ewan recently graduated from university and had been in Zhuzhou looking for work as English teachers for a month. After being hired as a warden, Leah immediately went to task memorizing the important phrases of her job. So far, she can only say things like:

  • “Hello, please be aware and abide by traffic regulations.”
  • “Please be aware and comply with civilized etiquette.”
  • “I love Zhuzhou, and I hope we can both make this city into a beautiful place.”

At first blush, perhaps it would seem unlikely for a Chinese person to follow the commands of a foreigner that can’t converse in Chinese nor is intimately familiar with its local customs. However, an unnamed resident sums up why they listen to her:

As there are international friends present, how can we (residents) illegally cross the road without feeling any shame?

The societal construct the Zhuzhou chengguan is employing is “face”, the need to maintain respect from others. If a Zhuzhou pedestrian were to illegally run a red light in the presence of “normal” Chinese chengguan, they wouldn’t risk losing face as much because they wouldn’t care about the reaction.

However, if this was done in the presence of Leah, a foreigner, the Chinese would risk losing face to the entire outside world she represents. Furthermore, the face lost wouldn’t just be his or her own, but the entire country, which the offender represents.

I mean, just what would Leah think? Of China, no less.

expat traffic warden zhuzhou henan chengguan

Photo: Yangtse


PHOTOS: A Day in the Life of a Professional Beggar in China

Posted: 09/15/2014 12:28 pm

zhengzhou henan professional beggarThere are a multitude of beggars in China. Some are children, while some are crippled by debilitating injuries, diseases, or deformities. Some beggars need to beg in order to survive. And then there’s another kind of beggar: the professional. This is the person that begs as a career to make enough money to live.

QQ sent reporter Cui Guanghua out to take these incredibly thorough set of pictures of a group of professional beggars in Zhengzhou, Henan. The photos follow the group from morning to dusk and shows what a day of work for a professional beggar is like:

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

During the morning rush hour at the northwest corner of Huayuan Road and Weiwu Road, an old man lies on the ground covered with a sheet while a middle-aged woman repeatedly kowtows beside him (above).

zhengzhou henan professional beggar

Half an hour later, a middle-aged man comes over to join the group. He looks
into the bucket, counts the money, puts it into his pocket. All three, including the man lying prone on the ground, get engaged in a light-hearted conversation.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

According to the QQ report, the middle-aged man that just joined the group is named Zhang; the man on the ground is Zhang’s cousin, while the middle-aged woman is Ye,
Zhang’s other cousin.

The group is from from Qiaoxi, Anhui Province, and has been in Henan for three years. Their assimilation into the local culture is so complete that Zhang and He can both fluently speak the Henan dialect.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

At 11:30am, the trio pack up their belongings and take the bus to go to another location.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Twenty minutes later, the group arrives at Renmin Road, near “Danny’s” shopping center. It is now noon, and there are lots of pedestrians in the area. People drop money into the group’s cup.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

In the afternoon the members of the group enjoy popsicles while counting their earnings.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Beer is used to fill up a water bottle that acts as a substitute for “medicine”.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

The group produces a sizable amount of garbage from consuming food and other products that a street cleaner sweeps away for them.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

At around 2:30pm there is less pedestrian traffic, so the group meets up with another beggar who happens to have the the same gear as they do.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Zhang is seen counting the money again.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

The group then heads for a late lunch of fried chicken and beer.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

After eating, the group begs during the evening rush hour.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Half an hour later, the group is forced to relocate next to a parking garage because of mall staff.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

After half an hour, they switch positions.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

A day of work finally concludes at 10pm when the group has dinner at a restaurant.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

Dinner is paid for in small bills.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

At one point Ye took offense to being photographed by the reporter.

zhengzhou henan professional beggars

To top it off, at some point Zhang was seen browsing at a Cartier jewelry store.

Photos: QQ, Shenzhen Evening Report


Drought Stricken Henan Not Thrilled With Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted: 08/25/2014 6:10 pm
henan ice bucket protest

Protestors wear a sign on their chests saying: “Henan asks you to please say no to the ice bucket challenge.”

People in Henan are blaming the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for encouraging users to waste clean water at the same time China’s north is plagued by a serious drought.

Residents of Pingdingshan gathered in front of the Giant Buddha on August 22 on the central plains and were photographed holding empty buckets over their heads, reports the People’s Daily Online.

The ALS ice bucket challenge has become very popular in China with a number of Chinese celebrities who have dumped buckets of water upon themselves in order to raise contributions and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

henan ice bucket protest

However, the protesters are chastising participants for wasting clean drinking water. “Those that play around with ice water don’t know of the drought that we have been facing!” one protester said.

Unfortunately for them, most seem to be ignoring their pleas.

Can’t make heads or tails (out of your protest). If we don’t fool around with buckets of water, can we send you our water? It’s best if you yourselves don’t play around with water, and it won’t kill you to refrain from criticizing other people. If you have time to do your (protest), then you should have time to transport water! If the drought is so severe over there, then what you are doing is putting on a show.

Crass sensationalism; hype with malicious intent.

How much water can be conserved? Can’t be more than this wasteful activity. For example, the use of the paper (signs on your chests) is very wasteful. [tragedy.emo]

You should ask why there isn’t any power going to your wells, where the funds allocated to this extreme climate have gone. A few buckets of ice water isn’t going to help your drought.

Waste of water? What a good idea! According to my conscience, (I should tell you) your household uses the equivalent of several buckets of water flushing the toilet everyday. (Your post is) boring.

What’s wrong with Henan people? There’s a drought going on, and not having enough water to drink is a fact! Is it wrong to urge others to conserve water?! We all live on one world with limited resources. For those that one day won’t have enough water to use, remember how you acted at this time!

Charity does not conflict with fighting a drought.

henan ice bucket protestThis isn’t the first protest against the Ice Bucket Challenge. Celebrity Li Ao wrote in an August 23 Weibo post, “This activity of using ice water to pour over one’s head to show concern for sufferers of ALS is both confusing and hypocritical.

While Li’s criticism was easily dismissed by netizens as jealousy from being ignored when not personally named in a challenge, the drought conditions in China are as real as those throughout the rest of the world where the the ALS ice bucket challenge has also been criticized.

The Twitter hashtag #droughtshaming has arisen in response to the challenge. At the moment, a severe drought is currently taking place throughout 95% of California, its worst since 1850. The drought is so severe that residents who waste water are fined US$500. In comparison, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is estimated to have used between five and six million gallons of fresh water.

henan ice bucket protest

Executive director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society Jim Gulliford said if people are worried about water conservation, they should pay attention to other wasteful activities. ”If we are interested in water lost or wasted each day, we should be less concerned with water used to draw attention to the insidious disease ALS and more concerned with water leaking from common household faucets.”

While awareness for ALS has risen considerably in the Chinese media since the challenge went viral with more exposure given to ALS sufferers who are not covered under national health insurance, it appears that contributions to the ALS Foundation have not followed suit.

Since July 29, a total of US$41 million has been raised for the ALS Foundation worldwide. Of that total, RMB 2.3 million (US$370,000) has been contributed by Chinese citizens, despite viral videos that have been viewed 1.5 billion times, reports China Daily.

henan ice bucket protest

Photos: People’s Daily Online


Online Backlash After Henan High School Expels Students Caught Holding Hands

Posted: 08/25/2014 8:00 am

When it comes to tough disciplinary rules, one high school in China’s central Henan Province isn’t leaving anything to chance.

Taking its cue from Xi Jinping’s eight-point guide for official conduct, Yanshi High School in Luoyang implemented a similar eight-point guideline for student behaviour ahead of the new semester in September. One point in particular vows to expel a student if he or she is caught holding the hand of a student of the opposite sex, China National Radio reported on August 24.

A first-time offender would be suspended; but, if caught for a second time, the student would be expelled from school, the report said. Dating is often strictly banned in Chinese schools because it’s believed to be destructive to a student’s grades by both parents and teachers alike, especially when the high school students are vying for the highly competitive national college entrance examination.

The school’s attempt to nip puppy love in the bud, however, immediately drew the ire of netizens, given the increased tolerance of young love. Some Internet users voiced worries of counter effects of this hardline strike. Niubaobao321 commented, “In fact, if you suppress it more, it will bounce back higher! Rather than banning dating, (you should) teach students how to correctly handle relationships with the opposite sex.”

Weibo user Yashmine0513 wrote, “Morbid. As a school, you can’t even teach teenagers about natural relationships between men and women. How do you call yourself a school? How do you expect to improve students’ efficiency?”

Several users revealed their own experience of schools taking a hardline towards male and female relationships. User WithJessie said, “This is nothing. Our school bans two opposite sex students just walking together, or hanging around on the playground. Forget about holding hands. If a teacher sees a male student and female student together, he will immediately summon your parents.”

Other rules introduced by the school also ban fighting, using cellphones, sneaking out to use the Internet, drinking, smoking, cheating or having parties.

Photos: China National Radio; dadazim



Massive Recruitment Drive Underway in China To Build Apple’s Next iPhone

Posted: 07/25/2014 9:16 am

Foxconn is planning to hire at least 100,000 workers at its manufacturing bases in Shenzhen, Henan and Hebei Provinces to produce the latest version of Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone 6 is expected to launch in the third quarter of this year, reported Tencent News.

Jiao Jinmiao, head of the Henan Commerce Department, confirmed that Foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer of Apple products in the world, plans to hire another 100,000 workers in that particular province alone after the new iPhone 6 production equipment is put in place.

Workers in Foxconn’s Shenzhen manufacturing plant lines up for hiring.

Foxconn’s manufacturing factory in Zhengzhou, Henan has been hiring every day since June 26. In addition to the massive recruitment in Henan, its manufacturing plants in Langfang, Hebei Province, Yantai, Shandong Province, and Shenzhen have all started hiring new personnel.

The new iPhone 6 is rumored to have two versions, namely a 4.7-inch version and a 5.5-inch version, with at least one model having a sapphire screen. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered its manufacturing suppliers to produce 60 million to 70 million iPhone 6 units, the highest production volume of any iPhone model in the company’s history.

Foxconn has been producing iPhone 6 since March this year.

Due to the large orders of the new iPhones, workers in Foxconn’s Shenzhen manufacturing plant are requested to work day and night, according to one person who claimed to be in charge of hiring in Shenzhen when interviewed by Tencent.

Foxconn also rolled out several financial incentives to stimulate work production. Workers who chose to work overtime can get up to twice their salary. Any worker who brought in a new recruit who stays with the company for three months can also get a RMB 300 reward, according to the report.

Foxconn has previously experienced problems with its workforce. In 2012, the company was embroiled in a scandal when many of its workers committed suicide, leading to the installment of nets to catch them and the signing of a “no suicide” pact.


Photos: T3/Screenshot; Tencent 


Photos: The Most Fashionable Man in China is a Henan Beggar

Posted: 07/21/2014 3:20 pm

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralDa-yam: when you’ve got it, everybody knows. Photographs of an old man in Henan walking down the street have gone viral in China simply for this man’s fashion style.

A Weibo user from Guanlin, Luoyang posted pictures of the man, and wrote text to accompany them: (translated)

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralWait until my hair grows to my waist, it will be better to marry you then.

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralluoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

Now, this is what you call an ‘elegant demeanor’.

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralluoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

Guanlin has a model for international style. luoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

Give me a ‘like’. luoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

However, while he’s lauded as an old hipster, he’s still a beggar, according to the original poster:

An old beggar, though his heart remains young. I am stupid, I am elegantly unrestrained.

And so, the compliments come in, perhaps even too easily now that everyone knows his social standing. Here are some comments from netizens from the original post:

He’s leading the way of the international trend!

Feh, he’s so handsome.

Don’t know which sect he belongs to. [confused.emo]

After going through the circuit of all the big stars, international fashion has lost all of its moxy in the blink of an eye.

Wow, so cool! He’s a model for international style! [laughing.emo]

He’s got the magic touch [thumbsup.emo]

He’s super cool [laughstifle.emo]

His shoes are very current; he reminds me of Brother Sharp.
[Brother Sharp was a meme from a couple of years back; he was also a homeless man just walking on the street when someone took a flattering picture of him]

Whatever people are isn’t important; what’s important is the attitude with which we treat them.

Other people laugh at me for being crazy, I laugh at other people for not wearing what they acknowledge (to be fashionable).

Photos: News China


That Corn Sold On The Street In China? It Is Drenched In Harmful Additives

Posted: 07/10/2014 4:53 pm

street corn fake food safetyWhenever you’ve waited for the bus, you’ve likely caught a whiff of the sweet aroma of corn wafting towards you from a pot over at the the newspaper stand. The mystery lingers: how can something only prepared with boiling water look and smell so good?

After a Henan man got sick after eating three ears of corn in a row, a reporter from the Henan Economic Report went in search of the answer, and it’s not pleasant: streetside boiled corn is prepared with artificial sweeteners and additives.

The reporter said vendors readily confessed to using food additives to prepare boiled corn. Their enthusiasm to disclose the information was based on the fact they consider this an “open secret” that everyone already knows about. One vendor offered this immensely quotable sentence:

There are most definitely additives used in boiled corn.

street corn fake food safetyAnother vendor even gave the name of the food additive market that is popular among vendors. It turns out artificial sweeteners are available for purchase at 30 to 45 yuan each at the Wankelai Foodstuff market. One store owner says artificial sweeteners are big business, and that she sells four to five bottles a month:

What it mainly does is make it more fresh, and helps preserve it longer in which the longer it cooks, the more sweet it smells.

Another store manager said:

This is an additive that can increase sweetness. It is 50 times sweeter than white sugar. Many peddlers will buy this in cases of 25 or 50kg.

street corn fake food safetyLi Chunqi, a botany professor at the Henan Agricultural University, says that using excessive amounts of this food additives or using them for a long period of time will harm human health. Furthermore, Li says it is against the law add sweeteners or additives to raw foods.

If you still have the urge to eat sweet corn in China, you can try and identify which corn has been coated in additives. Apparently “fake corn” will wrinkle when cool, and has a decidedly “gummy” texture. Of course, you could always buy corn at the supermarket and make it at home.

street corn fake food safety


Not Even A Car Can Stand In The Way Of China’s Dancing Grannies

Posted: 07/10/2014 1:32 pm

henan dancing grannies move carThe dancing grannies will not be denied. As their culture spreads to Australia and Russia, it seems nothing can stop them from fulfilling their desire of dancing in unison to loud musical accompaniment.

So when a car was rudely parked on their ‘dance floor’ in the city of Xinyang, Henan Province, the dancing grannies didn’t want to dance around it. Instead, they decided the car had to go.

And so, under the steely direction of the dancing grannies, a dozen or so people pushed this parked car a total of four to five meters, reports Sina News Video.

READ: Beijing Dancing Grannies Wield AK47s in Anti-Japanese Performance

Mr Guo, the owner of the car, took it all in stride. He accepted the blame and said he was careless parking where he did.

henan dancing grannies move car


Photo: Sina News Video


Henan Stages Anti-Japanese Skit to Mark Anniversary of Marco Polo Bridge Incident

Posted: 07/8/2014 12:52 pm

Tensions between China and Japan continue to run high thanks to the dispute over the Senkaku/Dioayu islands, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, and Japan’s latest attempt to revise its anti-war constitution to give it more freedom to engage in military activities when its allies are under attack.

To express their distaste for all things Japanese, women dressed as Chinese soldiers staged a skit on July 7, which marked the 77th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, which kicked off Japan’s invasion of China.

Women wielded their weapons at a pudgy-looking man playing a Japanese solider in Laojun Mountain in Henan Province. The Japanese soldier happened to have a toothbrush moustache inconspicuously placed on top of his upper lip. This facial feature has become a trademark for any Japanese soldier depicted in China’s patriotic anti-Japanese films and TV dramas.


The Japanese stand-in knelt in front of a giant golden statue of Lao Zi, founder of Taoism, and confessed his crimes that included murder, arson, poisoning, and rape. He was also seen “learning to write the Chinese character ren (meaning “human” in English)”, the Guangming reported. The character ren (人) only consists of two strokes, and the newspaper went on to say “it contains profound wisdom of how to be a human”, hinting that the Japanese seem to have failed to comprehend it.

The central government is promoting other campaigns to mark the anniversary, and Xi Jinping has commemorated the event. Dancing grannies in Beijing have even incorporated Japanese-bashing into their dance routines.

anti japan dancing grannies

Most online comments criticized the Henan skit. It was mainly labelled as a ludicrous “travesty“. One Weibo user wrote: “Somewhere, (people) are using their own countrymen to portray a ‘Japanese bastard’ in a movie-style to promote anti-Japanese education. When commemoration becomes a travesty, it is a real distortion of that grim episode of history”.

Photos:, Weibo


Five Injured When Police Handgun Goes Off At Kindergarten Safety Demonstration

Posted: 05/30/2014 10:07 am

henan gun dischargeFive people were hurt when a police handgun accidentally went off during a safety demonstration given by police at a kindergarten in Henan Province, reports CCTV News.

The incident occurred yesterday at around 10am at the Haiwen Experimental Kindergarten in Zhengdong New District, Zhengzhou.

Nobody was hit when the gun went off, but some were injured when the bullet hit the floor, causing fragments of concrete to hit spectators.

Injured are four parents and one child, mostly with light wounds. All victims have been treated at the No. 3 People’s Hospital in Zhengdong New District and are expected to be released from hospital in the next three to five days.

Photo: CCTV via Weibo

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