The Nanfang / Blog

New app gives waiting times at all Shenzhen-Hong Kong border crossings

Posted: 12/6/2013 11:00 am

This falls under the “extremely useful information” category: the Hong Kong government has just released a mobile application that shows users how long waits are at six border crossings between the SAR and Shenzhen.

There was once a day when an app like this wasn’t needed. Few Mainlanders had the ability to get into Hong Kong, and the crossings were relatively stable. But as the individual visitor scheme has expanded, more and more Mainland tourists have been flooding into Hong Kong. About 35 million Mainlanders visit per year, with that expected to increase to 50 million by 2015. This has meant waits at some border crossings – hello, Shenzhen Bay? – that are two and three hours long.

The app won’t win any awards for UI design, but it tells you what you need to know. It lists the wait at each border crossing in either direction, as well as the opening hours of each crossing.

The app also has the unfortunate name of HK ImmD. You can download it for iOS and Android.

(h/t @SlackerScholar)


Lo Wu border closed on Monday night because of fire on Shenzhen side

Posted: 04/17/2012 9:33 am

People trying to enter Hong Kong across the Lo Wu (Luohu) border crossing last night were told to head to Futian Kou’an (Lok Ma Chau on the Hong Kong side) instead because of a fire in the customs and immigration building.

RTHK reported the fire forced the closing of the border crossing.  Some Sina Weibo users posted photos of smoke being seen inside the customs and immigration building.  The Hong Kong Standard reported:

Initial reports suggested the fire, which took more than two hours to extinguish, was caused by a short circuit on the fourth floor of the building.

Six fire engines and about 30 firefighters were sent to the Shenzhen section of the building when the alarm was first sounded at 7.34pm. The blaze was put out quickly, but the building remained under a cloud of smoke.

The border crossing re-opened this morning (Tuesday).  It should be noted there are a number of ways to get from Shenzhen to Hong Kong besides Lo Wu, including by crossing at Futian Kou’an, Huanggang (24-hour crossing), Shenzhen Bay (from Shekou), or even the Shekou-Hong Kong ferry.

(h/t @Penguinsix)


Guy busted smuggling dozens of iPhones into Shenzhen (video)

Posted: 03/5/2012 5:18 pm

If there was an award for being able to walk normally with pounds and pounds of electronic devices attached to your body, this guy would be a shoe-in to win.

A video has surfaced showing a man crossing the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen with dozens (some say hundreds, but we can’t say for sure) of iPhones strapped to his body.  We also aren’t sure exactly which border crossing this is, but it looks like Lo Wu.

The video shows the man being pulled aside and iPhones removed from his body.

Mainland Chinese stocking up on iDevices in Hong Kong is not a new phenomenon, of course, but rarely do we get such vivid video evidence.  With the iPad 3 slated to be unveiled Thursday morning China time, customs agents will likely have a lot more of these shenanigans to put up with in the days and weeks ahead.

(h/t 9to5Mac)


The dire home of Shenzhen’s drug addicts

Posted: 08/9/2011 3:05 pm

We’ve written before about the substance-abuse problem in Shenzhen, noting that its transient migrant population is well-suited to drug addiction.

To put this in even more focus, ChinaSMACK today published some photos of a particular group of drug addicts who live underneath the Chunfeng Road overpass in Luohu District.

A sanitation worker who claims to work nearby says that this place became a place for drug addicts about seven or eight years ago. The number of people fluctuated, but they would all use drugs here, without hiding even in broad daylight. This sanitation worker says he used to be responsible for maintaining the park and could clean out dozens of needles in a day. Photo is of drug users gathered underneath the overpass.

A construction worker says he can see these drug addicts injecting themselves almost every day, never once concerned that there are curious onlookers.

The original article in Chinese is here, with ChinaSMACK’s translations and an excellent (if sad) photo gallery here.


Prostitute smuggling ring busted at HK-Shenzhen border

Posted: 07/18/2011 6:00 am

The girls were stopped at the HK-SZ border

We know prostitution is officially illegal in the Mainland, but then again so are pirated DVDs, and we know how hard they are to get.

With living standards in poor rural areas still well below developed-country standards and wages failing to keep up with inflation, there seems to be a never-ending supply of prostitutes who migrate to China’s larger and wealthier centres looking for money for themselves and their families. Two of China’s more renowned cities for prostitution – Dongguan and Zhuhai – are right here in the Pearl River Delta.

What many people might not be aware of is the high number of Mainland women who are smuggled into Hong Kong, where punters tend to pay a lot more for a prostitute’s services. The city, which permits prostitution as long as it is between only two consenting adults in a private room, has become a hot spot for the sex trade. Sites like this (VPN may be needed) are well-known in Hong Kong, and a vast majority of the women come from Mainland China.

Which makes this next story not terribly surprising. The Nanfang Metropolis Daily reported this past weekend that several Mainland women were picked up at the Lo Wu border crossing in Shenzhen as they attempted to cross into Hong Kong.

Sixty Mainland girls from poor villages were caught at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border by a joint force comprised of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong police. The girls were arranged to enter Hong Kong by a Hong Kong citizen surnamed Zeng, who runs a big prostitution and smuggling ring bringing Mainland girls to work as prostitutes in Hong Kong. The 60 girls were all sent back to their hometowns.

One has to assume that Zeng is running one of several similar smuggling rings. The sad part of the story is that many of these girls are from small villages and are likely unequipped to deal with the harsh realities of prostitution, especially in a big city like Hong Kong. And they are not alone: prostitutes are routinely smuggled into the city from places such as the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and even Russia, giving Hong Kong its seedy reputation.

Many thanks to @MissXQ for the translation.


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