The Nanfang / Blog

Hugely Popular Websites in China Forced to Pull Shows with Lewd Content

Posted: 12/17/2014 11:17 am

Women at a hair salon in China

If you are a frequent visitor to websites such as,, PPTV and, be prepared for some changes as some of these websites’ popular programs were shut down by the country’s National Internet Information Office for deliberately providing “sensational and lewd content,” reported state news agency Xinhua on December 15.

Eight websites, including and, were singled out by the Internet watchdog for posting large quantities of lewd photos and videos. It noted that, “their editing staff deliberately used such content to attract readers’ attention, with negative results.”

Seven programs listed on the eight websites were shut down, including a seemingly innocuous program called Boke or Blogger from ifeng. The sites in question were also ordered by local Internet bureaus in Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai for a thorough cleaning up for their online content.

The move is a part of the “Clean Web 2014 Initiative”, which aims to clean out pornographic and lewd content online. Despite the efforts, some foreign pornographic websites managed to escape China’s censor and are decidedly available in mainland China. In fact, Chinese spent the second longest time browsing a Canadian pornographic website in 2014.

When eight websites are down, more Chinese are clicking through alternative foreign pornographic sites for gratification. So much for a Clean Web!

Photos: flickre (user dcmaster)


Google Was Set Free in China for 30 Blissful Minutes, But Permanent Access Unlikely

Posted: 12/16/2014 2:56 pm

Memorial of flowers at Google’s headquarters in Beijing right before the company left China in 2010.

What seemed like the impossible happened for a few minutes yesterday (December 15): calling up from within China showed a beautiful white screen with Google’s logo and a tempting search box underneath, something that hadn’t been seen since the site was blocked in 2010.

Word spread quickly, with netizens noting the change on Weibo and even The Nanfang staff making good use of this newfound search freedom. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t last. Just as people were catching on to Google’s availability, China quickly restored the Great Firewall with Google safely on the other side.

We considered doing a story on Google’s availability yesterday, but it seemed so short lived that perhaps it was a mistake. Today, however, firebrand nationalist newspaper the Global Times confirmed that Google was, indeed, set free for 30 minutes yesterday afternoon. It didn’t give a reason for the temporary change, but used the news as an opportunity to remind Google that it must “follow Chinese laws” to have access to the country.

Global Times also said the country’s ban on Google is working because the Silicon Valley company will “eventually concede” to Chinese conditions, just as Mark Zuckerberg and other US tech giants have shown interest in working with the Chinese government. Zuckerberg recently spoke Chinese at Tsinghua University and was photographed with Xi Jinping’s book on his desk.

Judging from Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s background in the former Soviet Union, we don’t expect Google to be quite as accommodating as Facebook.


How Well Can You Sell to Foreigners? Hangzhou Launched Contest to Find Out

Posted: 12/16/2014 9:30 am


Online retailers in China thrive domestically, but they rarely venture beyond Chinese borders. To help promote international expansion, Hangzhou recently held a contest to encourage university graduates to target foreign markets.

University graduates competed with each other to see who could be the most successful online “laowai” retailer. The contest featured cash rewards of up to RMB 10,000 and a chance to win two years of free rent in Hangzhou’s Network Innovation Park.

The winning company, “Albert”, had the corporate slogan, “Technology to shape the future, creativity and wisdom for life”. Albert promotes interactive technology outsourced to independent companies for design and manufacturing. As with other competitors, the Albert team used foreign social platforms to successfully promote its products.

Other participants included “i-life”, an anime online toy retailer boasting monthly revenues of RMB 10,000. The company is currently expanding into Russia and Brazil.



China’s Impressive Stamina Ranks 2nd When it Comes to Porn Websites

Posted: 12/15/2014 4:24 pm

Chinese spend an average of 14 minutes and 34 seconds browsing Pornhub.

It’s not the kind of the title China dreamed of having (perhaps ever), but all the clicks and late night streaming on Canada-based Pornhub, one of the world’s biggest free porn websites, has resulted in the country setting a pretty impressive record. Chinese users view Pornhub videos longer than people in any other Asian country, not to mention Europe and the US, to place second globally.

Those in the Western Sahara up in North Africa have the best stamina of all, browsing the site for 16 minutes and 16 seconds on average. China finished a worthy second at 14 minutes and 34 seconds followed by the Philippines at 14 minutes 22 seconds to round out the top three, according to the latest figures released the Canadian porn site.

Most pornographic websites are blocked in China, but popular porn sites including Youporn and Pornbub were surprisingly unblocked in May in 2010, reported AP, despite the country’s repeated calls to “Sweep Yellow and Smash Illegals”, referring to the crackdown on pornographic and illegal content.

Earlier this year, a Shenzhen-based website called was fined RMB 260 million ($42 million) for providing pornographic materials, Global Times wrote in the midst of the “Cleaning the Web 2014″ campaign.

If you spend less than 16 minutes on porn websites on average, you aren’t alone. In most countries, the average time was between seven and 10 minutes. That includes the US (10:17), Russia (7:46), Poland (7:46), France (9:22), Japan (7:25) and Australia (9:59).

Even in North Korea, a reclusive authoritarian state with tight Internet control, citizens spend roughly 13 minutes and 39 seconds on the porn site, the third longest in Asia.

We don’t quite understand how China’s Internet censorship works, or North Korea’s. But it looks like where sensitive political subjects are tightly restricted, the two countries compensate their users with steamy, erotic, X-rated pornographic videos.

The logic? Internet Watcher Michael Anti explained to AP in an interview, “Maybe they are thinking that if Internet users have some porn to look at, they won’t pay so much attention to political matters.”

Photos:  Pornhub; ABP News


Taobao: Where You Can Truly Buy Everything, Even Hot Female Models

Posted: 11/13/2014 10:05 am

taobao models Shopping online is fun. It’s great to pick out something online in the privacy of your own home and then find it arrive at your door just days later.

Taobao is the granddaddy of online shopping in China, and was instrumental in making Singles’ Day (November 11) into the biggest retail shopping day of the year. And while Taobao has been noteworthy for offering an wide assortment of oddities for sale that range from virtual girlfriends, mourners for rent, and stuff you never knew you needed to buy, it seems that absolutely everything is available for a price on Taobao—even the Taobao models themselves.

taobao modelsModels are categorized on their Taobao page into several groups and styles such as nationality and location or by sub-categories like “cute“, “sexy“, “sweet“, “schoolgirl“, “office lady“, and “ethnic“.

Each page lists their height, weight, and professional experience along with a multitude of photographs. And if you’re the type of lurker who will peruse models’ pages without any intent of hiring them for a job, there’s still a way you can help out. Models’ pages also have a section for comments and fans, which also differentiates them.

With each page looking like an individual entry into a social network hub, it’s not hard to think of the Taobao model page as a virtual Facebook made up of preening, pouting girls with an enormous wardrobe but without pictures of the food they ate last night.

taobao models

taobao modelsSo now you know: if you’re in the market for a model, you can find one in China’s greatest online mall.

[h/t reddit]

Photos: Taobao


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


China’s Post-90s Generation Optimistic About Country’s Future

Posted: 10/23/2014 9:05 am

Two Chinese teenagers

Chinese born in the 1990s are more optimistic about the country’s political and economic future than those born in the 1950s to 1980s, claims a Fudan University Study. Oddly, however, the study also reports that those born in the 1990s showed the least amount of interest in issues related to justice and social equality.

Data collected over eight months and involving surveys of 1,800 online users was compiled into a report titled “Chinese Online Mentality Report”. Researchers studied users’ Weibo posts over a two year period and categorized them under headings such as social issues, social emotions, group identity, online behavior and social ideology, according to project leader, Dr. Gui Yong, a researcher with the University’s communications and state governance center.

The study found that 76.7 percent of post-90s online users were optimistic about the country’s political future, while 85.7 percent were confident about China’s economic prospects. By comparison, only 70.6 percent of post-80s online users said they were cautiously optimistic about the country’s political future.

The post-90s generation showed the lowest levels of negative emotion toward social inequality, social injustice, and issues related to officials, the rich, and technocrats. Not surprisingly, their posts included far fewer mentions of government and media Weibo accounts.

Again, perhaps not surprising, surfing the net and entertainment were at the top of the post-90s’ radar: 95.2 percent of the group used Weibo to record their life events; 92.8 percent like to express themselves emotionally on Weibo; and 92 percent use Weibo for fun, scoring the highest among the five generations.

People born in the 1960s approached social media fundamentally differently. They expressed disdain with the younger generation’s reliance upon social media to express themselves when it came to social issues. Predictably, those born in the 1960s (that used Weibo) dedicated most of their posts to public opinion leaders, government accounts and media accounts.

Those born in the 1970s dedicated the majority of their posts to housing prices, household registration, food, income, and employment. And while not terribly insightful, the study found that those born in the 1950s dedicated the majority of their posts to issues related to social security.

Photos: CNN; Reuters 


Mobile Phones and In-Flight WiFi Coming to Chinese Flights in 2016

Posted: 10/1/2014 3:05 pm

Airline passengers could be allowed to use their mobile phones throughout the entire flight when travelling on Chinese airlines, Beijing Times reported on September 29. The new functionality is expected to be rolled out in 2016.

The report came on heels of a decision by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to lift a ban that prohibits passengers from using mobile phones during flights.

Passengers travelling with Chinese airlines are currently required to keep their mobile phones off for the entire flight to stop the devices from emitting radio signals that could, at least theoretically, interfere with the aircraft’s navigation system. This means even airplane mode is not allowed, although many countries in Europe and the Americas permit their travellers to put devices in airplane mode during flights.

The new rule, if passed would allow travellers to use their phones in airplane mode when flying at or above 3,000 meters. Zhou Hong, an aviation expert, said the new bill will likely pass.

The loosening on phone use during flights could also pave the way for onboard WiFi services in the country, the report said. Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines are testing inflight WiFi systems and phone calls. The country’s telecommunication companies are also working with Chinese airlines to study the possibility of making phone calls during flights, said He Guili, director of Tai’er Lab under the Ministry of Information and Industry Technology.

Photos: College Humor 



Learn How to Laugh with a Lesson In Western Internet Jargon

Posted: 09/17/2014 12:40 pm

yue minjun laughing Do you know the difference between “Ha”, “Haha”, and “Hahaha+”?

As a native English speaker you probably haven’t noticed it, but there are seven distinct ways to properly convey laughter on the internet. For those of you not in on the downlow, here is a lesson on how to laugh—the Western way.

This lesson by i21st teaches everyone interested in improving their ability to speak on the internet with a “laowai“, as China Daily puts it. It differentiates between the different uses of “Ha” and their respective intensities of laughter. The lesson is as follows, coupled with examples provided by The Nanfang:

Ha: Use when you don’t really find something funny, and you want to make that fact obvious. The lesson points out under normal circumstances you’d use “This is no laughing matter!” and “Was that a joke?”, but that this is another way to convey this sentiment.

No example is provided, but according to the previous rule, it may go something like this:

  • Your joke about a crime against humanity is atrocious, ha.
  • Ha, the humanity.

Haha: Use when you don’t really find something funny, but you would like to be polite. This is also used to fake a laugh.

Our examples based upon this rule:

  • Haha, I laughed, so what about this favor I’d like you to do for me?
  • Your children are adorable and look exactly like their father, haha.

Hahaha: use when their text made you smile. This is the equivalent of “It’s so funny.”

Our example based upon this rule:

  • Hahaha, my mouth is full of milk.

Hahahaha+: use when you sincerely laughed.

Our examples based upon this rule:

  • Hahahaha+, I laughed out loud!
  • That drew a sincere and hearty laugh from the bowels of my body, hahahaha+!

HAHA+: one of the few exceptions to the no-caps rule. Use when you find something hysterical. Other expressions used to convey this sentiment is “Laugh our heads off,” and “Laugh like a drain”.

Our example based upon this rule:

  • HAHA+, capslock is unable to properly convey the laughter which is seizing control of my body!

LOL: Stands for “laugh out loud”. Use when you want the sincerity of your laughter to be a mystery. Did you really laugh out loud? Nobody knows! You’re so mysterious!

Our examples based upon this rule:

  • I’m not telling if I thought that was funny, LOL!
  • LOL, I may or may not have found that to be humorous!

So, to recap, here are the lesson’s seven stages of laughter as used by Westerners on the internet:

  • Ha: used to dispute
  • Haha: fake, used to be polite
  • Hahaha: sincere, but not actual laughter; a smile
  • Hahahaha+: actual laughter that can be heard
  • HAHA+: extreme laughter
  • LOL: used to obfuscate your true laughter

We’re all for the accumulation of knowledge by curious Chinese English language learners, but we would think that speaking a language is less about memorizing vocabulary for specific contexts than it is raising one’s comprehension and grammar to allow for conversation in any context. Also, even though acronyms are A-OK, there’s nothing wrong with using English to write out your thoughts, as in “I laughed out loud.”

Still, i21st is very clear in its lesson on these different usages of the word “Ha”, so much so that it provides a clear pictorial example of how to use “Haha”, the term you use when you don’t find something funny, but are still trying to be polite:

haha nelson simpsons

The finger pointing is for advanced users.

Photos: i21st, ourcityourart


[Video] Outrage as Hong Kong Babies Soaked for Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted: 08/29/2014 6:39 pm

hong kong baby ice bucket challengeIt’s all come down to this: the ALS ice bucket challenge is now being performed on babies.

We can’t verify if these videos are authentic, or part of an elaborate hoax. But we do know they show the dumping of ice-cold water on very young children and babies. The videos have lead to online outrage from people criticizing the parents for child abuse. What’s more, police are now said to be investigating, reports Sina News Video.

The first video below shows a small child during its bath time as an unidentified caregiver prepares the ice bucket, saying directly to the camera “Let’s sure make all this ice is melted.” The caregivers don’t mention the ice bucket challenge itself; instead, most of the video is spent trying to get the child’s attention while water from the bucket drips down upon the child’s head. The child is heard crying shortly afterwards.

Here’s a video of what appears to be another Hong Kong ice bucket challenge performed on a baby, also during bath time. The baby’s unidentified caregivers thoroughly perform the challenge by naming the father and a dog as the baby’s challengers. Like the first, they also state that they are using ice for this challenge. However, this time the baby doesn’t seem to mind being doused with ice water.

Here’s one done on a young child:

Whether a hoax or not, Chinese netizens are very upset at what they see as irreparable harm being caused to babies. Here are some comments:

Stupid cunt, such a small child and you pour ice water over it.

Shit for brains.

That child is their own? Those people are merciless.

After seeing the video was from Hong Kong, I could relax.

There is no helping the stupid.

The child is very weak, okay? As well, there are those that will criticize Hong Kong people at first hearing their name. This makes my head hurt. This country is not divided; you guys upset?

hong kong baby ice bucket challengeAccording to Chinese traditional medicine, a balance of essences is required for a healthy body. As babies and young children are more vulnerable than grown adults, doctors believe a sudden change of temperature could be very harmful to their health.


Photo: Youtube screencap

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