The Nanfang / Blog

Guangzhou man loses iPad while on vacation in Norway, has it mailed back to him

Posted: 01/6/2014 11:00 am

After his girlfriend misplaced his iPad during a tour of Europe in November, Guangzhou resident Mr. Lu thought it was lost and gone forever along with the important files and personal photos stored on it. Then he learned last week that there are some fine people in the world after his iPad was sent to him all the way from Norway. But he still kicked up a stink about being made to pay a 200 yuan import duty on the device.

Nanfang Daily reports that, during the tour, Lu’s girlfriend Miss Liu left the iPad on a plane. The couple returned home assuming they would never see it again.

Then in December, they received an email from a person claiming to have got their contact information from the lost iPad. At the end of December, they received a notification from Shipai Post Office on Tianhe Road saying there was a parcel for them.

Although the sender had covered the cost of the delivery, Lu was made to pay a 200 yuan import duty. Both Mr. Lu and Miss Liu are furious about this. Customs explained that the iPad was technically an import.

Are they within their rights to complain?


New Four Seasons Shenzhen lures guests with iPad Minis and Nespresso

Posted: 10/4/2013 7:00 pm

The Four Seasons hotel chain has opened its latest China offering in Shenzhen with 266 rooms and suites, according to the hotel. Perhaps in an attempt to stand out from the crowd, it is offering iPad Minis on which the guest directory can be accessed, and “rooms also offer Nespresso [coffee] machines.”

However, it is unclear whether guests will be able to use the iPad Minis for other purposes, such as web browsing and maps services, and whether the devices will be available in all 266 rooms. It certainly seems viable, and would be a move that would likely go down well with guests.

More generally, the new branch is a clear sign that the company expects the city’s growth and relevance to remain strong going forward, citing its hi-tech and electronics industry as well as its place as one of the country’s major banking and financial centres. It also notes that UNESCO lists Shenzhen as the “City of Design.”

The new Four Seasons will be “within walking distance of… the Civic Centre” and is “located in the heart of the vibrant new downtown within just ten minutes’ drive of the Huanggang and Futian borders to Hong Kong,” according to a press release.

Now, does anyone want to wager how long it will be before somebody tries to checkout with an iPad Mini shoved in their briefcase?

Photo credit: Four Seasons


Apple’s head of retail confirms Shenzhen store in visit to Beijing

Posted: 10/19/2012 9:00 am

(Photo from

There has been a lot of speculation over a future Apple Store in Shenzhen.  We confirmed in June that Apple had applied to the Shenzhen government to open a store in the posh Holiday Plaza Mall in Nanshan, and photos there certainly indicate an Apple store is on the way.

But until today, Apple had kept quiet about it.  John Browett, who is the company’s head of retail, is in Beijing to open the capital’s third Apple store in Wang Fu Jin and confirmed to journalists that the Shenzhen store is coming.

For those who just can’t wait, there’s now a second Apple store location in Hong Kong, conveniently located on the East Rail Line which connects the Lo Wu border crossing with downtown.  The store is in Festival Walk at Kowloon Tong station, which is about 35 minutes from the boundary.

Sadly for the iPhanatics in the Guangdong capital, no word yet of a Guangzhou store.



Back to the daily grind, we tell you what you missed

Posted: 10/7/2012 8:45 am

The last of China’s great weeklong holidays is done for this year, and we hope you celebrated in style. We’ve got a roundup of a few noteworthy events from the past week in the PRD, leading off with a story from Hong Kong that made international headlines.

Mainland and Hong Kong give conflicting accounts of rescue operation
China’s central government ordered Guangdong Province to send four salvage vessels to help after the Lamma Island ferry collision that killed 38 on the night of Oct. 1, according to CCTV.

However, accounts differ as to what extent mainland China contributed to the rescue operation.

At approximately 20:20, the Sea Smooth, a vessel that was taking power plant workers and their families to see a firework display, crashed into the Lamma IV on the port side. 38 people perished.

Hong Kong authorities were vexed by a claim made by China News Service that ships from the mainland helped rescue 95 people, saying that the ships were never used, according to Global Post.

Hong Kong Satellite TV slammed the agency for lacking “basic professionalism.” It seems that relations between Hong Kong and the Mainland are only going one way.

Fight over iPad causes miscarriage
A couple attacked a woman, causing her to have a miscarriage, after claiming to have lost their iPad in their store, according to Shanghaiist.

After the couple exited a toiletry shop owned by the woman, Miss Liu, around 3 p.m. October 2, they noticed their white iPad was missing. After a frantic search they took their anger out on Liu, including giving her a kick to the stomach.

It was later decided that a medically induced miscarriage was necessary and the couple was detained.

This proves once and for all that Apple products don’t so much have owners as host bodies.

Foshan Airport opens up four new journeys
Foshan Airport will open up new routes to Chongqing, Xi’an, Shantou and Zhanjiang, as well as an extra journey to Beijing starting Oct. 10, according to Nanfang Daily.

The planes used will be Boeing 737-800 and will have 163 seats.

Tickets to Chongqing will cost 1180 yuan, tickets to Xi’an will cost 1490 yuan, tickets to Kanjiang will cost 1070 yuan and tickets to Shantou will cost 970 yuan, according to the paper. The relative competitiveness of the prices may be down to the new railway lines we told you about.

Despite higher ticket prices, airlines do have one obvious advantage over high speed rail. The flights to Beijing Nanyuan will take 2 hours 30 mins, to Kanjiang will take 1 hour, to Shantou will take 1 hour, to Chongqing will take 2 hours 20 mins, and to Xi’an will take 2 hours 35 mins, according to the airport.

Unmarried woman sells her son for 50,000 RMB
A 21 year-old woman named Xiao Juan has sold her son for 50,000 RMB in Guangzhou, according to Nanfang Daily.

Xiao Juan, who is originally from Guangxi, was struggling financially after living in Guangzhou for four years. She decided to sell her son, who was born out of wedlock this year. After selling the baby to a couple in Foshan’s Xiqiao Subdistrict, the couple went missing before paying the whole sum.

Xiao Juan reported the couple to police on Sept. 24, and three were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. Xiao Juan will also face charges. This all reminds one of the phrase, “there are no heroes, only different shades of villain.”

Chinese-language contest for expats
Shenzhen Daily will host the third annual Shenzhen Expats Chinese Talent Competition in November. Applicants must be expats who live in the PRD and be at least 6 years old.

The competition, expected to be held at Shenzhen’s Futian Shangri-la, consists of two parts. The first part will involve a five-minute speech on a given topic, and the second part will involve a performance such as a Chinese song, poetry recital or stand-up comedy.

If you think you can mix it with the best, then apply before Oct. 26. You can print off a copy of the application form here.

Family of three drops to death from 12th-story window
A family of three fell to its death in Guangzhou on Sept. 27, a story found by The Nanfang’s Katei Wang here.

The corpses of the couple, 57 and 58 years old, and their daughter, 22, were found on the third floor of the Zhonghai Lanwan residential community in the city’s Panyu District the following day.

It was later discovered that the family was in considerable debt and this may have driven them to suicide.


Fuel surcharge is back, GZ gets new Jeddah flight and is on-board Wi-fi coming to Cathay?

Posted: 09/5/2012 4:45 pm

Its another jam-packed round-up of aviation matters in the PRD, making this just about as busy as the PRD’s airspace itself! From fare fuel rises to new routes and testing technology up in the air, here is what you need to know.

Fuel surcharge is back, again
For the third time this year mainland carriers will raise airfares in a battle to keep surging fuel costs under control.

According to Life of Guangzhou, from September 5, surcharges will return to pre-July 5 levels, the last time cuts were made. This means flights over 800km now face a surcharge of RMB130, while those flying shorter distances are hit with an RMB70 charge.

Saudia to go direct from Jeddah, Aeroflot to increase Guangzhou flights
In line with Guangzhou’s growing influence in emerging markets, Saudia is launching a new weekly service to Jeddah starting on December 1, complementing its thrice-weekly Riyadh service.

Outside of Asia, Gulf carriers are the next biggest group of airlines linking up their countries with Guangzhou, China’s manufacturing capital. However, with the popularity of Russia on the rise, Aeroflot is adding an extra flight to Guangzhou.  However, it won’t take to the skies until March next year, although that could change in the coming months as airlines tweak their schedules.

A tech take-off?
Airlines such as Emirates are far and away ahead of the game, helping passengers stay connected in the skies. They currently offer Wi-fi on-board their A380 aircraft, while the UK’s British Airways is introducing the iPad on its transatlantic flights between London and New York. It seems, though, that Cathay Pacific might get in the game to keep up with rivals.

The South China Morning Post’s Charlotte So writes:

Hong Kong’s aviation regulator might be stirred into renewing its rules on the use of electronic gadgets on aircraft following the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision to allow greater on-board use of the devices.

Cathay Pacific Airways, which is studying the application of air-to-ground Wi-fi internet services, welcomed the initiatives by regulatory agencies to review and potentially approve the broader use of personal electronic equipment on board, a spokesman said.

Under the existing guidelines set out by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department as well as other international regulators, it is the responsibility of carriers to verify whether devices using wireless local area network (WLAN), including Wi-fi connections, could interfere with aircraft systems.

That is good news, especially if you’re flying long-haul and all you can do is eat and sleep without the luxury of the internet.

Profits tumble for China’s major airlines
China’s leading airlines are piling on debt to grow rapidly and turn themselves into world-beating airlines.

Guangzhou-based China Southern (CSA), China’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, says first-half profits crashed 85 per cent to 424 million yuan because of a slowdown in demand from the world’s second largest economy while fuel costs continue to take a toll.

But it’s not just CSA. Rivals China Eastern reported a 65 per cent slump in net income and Air China fell 77 per cent.

The future isn’t looking as bright as it once was with all the major airlines feeling the negative effects of a weaker Chinese economy, a European debt crisis and a world that hasn’t yet recovered from the global recession five years ago.

Battling bird strikes
Airport authorities in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing are joining forces in a bid to prevent bird strikes from happening after a string of incidents at Pudong Airport since July, according to

The new methods they have jointly developed include splashing insecticide near runways to kill insects so there is no food for birds to look for and releasing a special repellent with a smell birds can’t stand, the Shanghai Airport Authority said on Friday.

Other measures employed include playing recordings of natural predators and setting off explosive charges. Nets are being installed to prevent birds approaching in search of water or food.

Fingers crossed authorities will combat the birds and their nests.

Pictures by Danny Lee


Fake Hermes factory busted, ring leader given life in prison

Posted: 08/30/2012 7:00 am

Even though China is slowly making the transition from specializing in cheap knock-off products to producing its own high-level brands, “made in China” is still synonymous with shoddy goods.

A few days ago, according to Yangcheng Evening News, a gang making fake Hermes totaling over RMB100 million was busted and the court sentenced its leader to life in prison on August 6. Other members were given sentences ranging from seven to ten years and some received fines.

An investigation found the leader of the gang, Xiao, rented a 500 square meter room in a factory in Heyuan last year and ran his counterfeiting business there. Xiao bought the tools and raw materials for bags from Dongguan and Guangzhou. The fake Hermes were sold in Guangzhou.

Xiao has been targeted since February this year when he was first caught by Heyuan’s Administration of Industry and Commerce. After that, the case was transferred to the local public security organs on file. However, driven by huge profits, Xiao continued his counterfeiting activities and rented another 350 square meters of factory space after the first was closed down.

Xiao and his fellow gang members refused to comment on whether they would appeal the sentence.

Guangdong, a thriving manufacturing hub where many manufacturers and exporters are located, has had regular problems with fake and counterfeit goods flooding the market. These goods are known in Chinese as shanzhai. Phones, especially iPhones and iPads, and other shanzhai brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Swatch have proved popular.

The good news is for global brands, however, is Guangdong’s is making progress on cracking down on fake goods.  Related news reports indicate nearly 20,000 similar cases have been busted and 2,950 dens destroyed.


Confirmed: Apple Store coming to Shenzhen

Posted: 06/6/2012 2:56 pm

Apple has been on a roll lately in China.  The company’s iDevices are so popular riots have broken out in Beijing.  We know Apple builds nearly all of its tech gadgets in China – and most here in the PRD – but sales to Chinese consumers are becoming equally important.  Apple’s quarterly results nearly doubled recently, largely thanks to iPhone sales here in China.

While Macs, iPhones and iPads are popular, it hasn’t been so easy to get your hands on any of them.  They are sold at re-sellers and computer markets around the PRD, but often at inflated prices.  If you really need your Apple fix, the only option has been to cross the border into Hong Kong and shop at the flagship Apple store inside IFC.

That’s all about to change, however, according to a report from Reuters:

Apple submitted documents on Monday to the Shenzhen government to open a store in Holiday Plaza, an upscale mall in the Nanshan district, according to an official with the Market Supervision Administration who would only give his last name as Ni.

“Apple is in the final stage and only needs to submit an environmental permit in order to gain approval,” he said.

This is all great news for Apple fans, and it could get better.  The company has indicated it would like to open several new stores in China – aside from those in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong – with several of those to be based right here in the PRD.

After Shenzhen’s store, the company’s next plan is to open in Chengdu.  One Chinese report said Shenzhen and Chengdu were both chosen because Foxconn, which makes many of Apple’s products, has factories in those two cities.

There has been a lot of demand for Apple stores in China, with some cities offering tax incentives to Apple.  However, reports say the Shenzhen government didn’t offer the computer-maker any special terms to encourage it to open a store here.



Journalist given access to Shenzhen factory to see iPad being made

Posted: 04/13/2012 6:04 pm

The tech websites have been atwitter about a new video which has surfaced showing the creation of one of Apple’s popular iPad tablets.

Apple PR, which is facing heavy criticism over its labour relations in China, gave the journalist access to its factory floor to see the iconic product being made.

Marketplace Journalist Rob Schmitz was the chosen journalist, according to a report from Australia:

Schmitz reported every single part of an iPad is fastened by a worker in seconds, and repeated hundreds of times a day.

He said the factory is separated into working groups which are each responsible for different parts of the iPad – from the chip, the motherboard and the battery to the touch screen.

Schmitz called the work hypnotic, and their movements engineered to be efficient as possible.

“At the end of each line, workers box up iPads as fast as they can,” he said.

“After timing several lines, I arrived at a very rough estimate: one new iPad every two seconds. It’s believed that Apple makes between $200 and $300 off each iPad. If that’s true, the people in this room help Apple make more than $10 million in pure profit, each day.”

We’ve posted the video below.  Unfortunately it’s from YouTube, so you may need a VPN to access it.


Holiday reading: why the iPhone is built in Shenzhen

Posted: 01/26/2012 10:49 am

Between the Spring Festival feasts, visiting flower markets and chowing down on tang yuan, we thought we’d pass an interesting article your way.

The New York Times has recently completed a two-part series on how the US lost out on building the iPhone, some of which are now assembled here in Shenzhen.  The first article goes into detail explaining what Shenzhen can do, and how the US has fallen behind:

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

The entire article is well worth a read.  The second part, which looks at the safety of Foxconn plants in China, is also highly-recommended.




Shenzhen court says iPad can’t be iPad in China

Posted: 12/7/2011 9:41 am

The Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen has dismissed a lawsuit by Apple that has far reaching implications.

Back in 2000, a company called Proview Technology (Shenzhen) in China registered the ‘iPad’ name for use in China and a few other countries.  When Apple launched its iconic product with the same name in 2010, there was bound to be a conflict — and there has been.

The Cupertino company hauled out its legal team  to sue Proview for infringing on its copyright, but that lawsuit was dismissed yesterday.  That means Proview can continue using the iPad name in China without repercussion.

In fact, this could just be the beginning of Apple’s bad news, according to a popular Apple website:

With Apple’s suit rejected, Proview can now proceed with its own legal action regarding the trademark, which was first reported in October. The Shenzhen company is asking for 10 billion yuan (approximately $1.5 billion) in compensation from Apple for copyright infringement.

What no media reports have touched on is what exactly Proview’s iPad is.  Perhaps there isn’t one, and it’s being used the way domains are sometimes used: to extract cash from wealthy American companies.

Finally, it’s nice to see courts in Shenzhen upholding copyright law… when it’s a Chinese company that needs protection.

Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV