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Former Shenzhen Deputy Mayor Gets 10 Years For Corruption

Posted: 12/29/2014 10:00 am
liang daoxing

Liang Daoxing

The former deputy mayor of Shenzhen, Liang Daoxing, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption. The 63-year-old who served from 2002 to 2009, was convicted of accepting RMB 1.94 million, HKD 2.78 million, and US $5,000 in bribes.

The laundry list of offences included, allowing businesses to pay for his travel expenses, as well as his daughter’s apartment. Liang disputed the charges, arguing he should have received a more lenient sentence due to his years of public service.

When Liang was party chief of Nanshan District, he reportedly took HKD 680,000 from an engineer at Nanyou Holdings Co., surnamed Ye, in exchange for appointing him head of the Nanshan Urban Construction and Development Co., a state-owned enterprise. Ye, also charged with corruption, pleaded guilty earlier this month to accepting RMB 2.09 million and HKD 290,000 in bribes.

Then there was Jiang Hanping, a deep-pocketed man who shelled out twice to Liang—once to become head of Shenzhen’s family planning commission, which cost him RMB 130,000, and later to ascend to the head of Shenzhen’s public health bureau, a promotion with a price tag of RMB 500,000.

Liang didn’t just hand-out promotions to the highest bidder, he also accepted RMB 428,510 and HKD 1.1 million in bribes to relocate Shenzhen’s Neurological Disease Hospital and a factory.

Liang also used a man named Zhang to purchase the aforementioned apartment for his daughter, who was getting married at the time. Liang paid roughly 60% of the cost, and Zhang shelled out the rest. Zhang then agreed to decorate and furnish the apartment, paying an additional HKD 600,000.

Photo: xwh


Alipay Lets iPhone Owners Send Cash With The Touch of a Finger

Posted: 12/16/2014 12:00 pm


Alibaba is now using Apple’s handy Touch ID function on newer iPhones to allow payments via the e-commerce giant’s Alipay system.

To make payments via Alipay, China’s largest online payments system akin to PayPal in the United States, users simply need to scan their fingerprint using the phone’s built in sensor. The feature comes with Alipay 8.4 but is only available on iPhone models that have Touch ID, which includes the iPhone 5S models or the newest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Alipay has assured consumers that all fingerprint information will be stored in the phone, and not uploaded and shared with third-parties.

Apple is also rumored to be working with Alipay on enabling Apple Pay in China.

alipay fingerprintPhotos: KuaixunTechweb


Beijing Shop Hangs “No Chinese Allowed” Sign Out Front… And Means It

Posted: 11/27/2014 9:27 am
no chinese allowed fists of fury bruce lee

The infamous sign from “Fist of Fury” (1972) moments before Bruce Lee kicked it in half.

The days of Chinese people being discriminated against in their own country were thought to be in the distant past, but one Beijing shop has revived the painful memories. A shop near Yabao Road in Beijing’s Chaoyang District has decided to stop serving Chinese customers, and makes its position clear with a sign hanging out front that reads “No Chinese Allowed (staff excepted)”.

Store staff say the shop only engages in foreign trade, so it will only accept foreign customers.

no chinese allowedThe decision to ban Chinese people came shortly after a foreign customer had his wallet stolen by a Chinese person in the store. The foreigner apparently accused the store of conspiring with the thief and wanted RMB 5,000 in compensation. Furthermore, staff said they were continually treated poorly by Chinese customers who tried on clothes but didn’t buy anything.

The store felt it had no choice but to stop serving Chinese people. As one staff member said:

We don’t want to put up such a sign and make others think that we don’t respect ourselves, but there are some Chinese customers who are simply too much to handle.

Yabao Road is no stranger to segregation. In 2003, a store displayed a “No Admittance” sign written in Chinese while it simultaneously displayed another sign written in English saying “Welcome”.

Photo: People’s Daily Online, Caijing


Chinese Elite Pay Top Dollar to Be More Refined

Posted: 11/24/2014 5:36 pm

etiquette classBeing polite can be as simple as saying “please”, or as complicated as spending thousands of dollars to become more refined. As Chinese parents look for any competitive edge they can get for their children, the complicated option is becoming the preferred choice.

There is a mounting interest in several schools offering etiquette classes for China’s elite, and they reveal a progression that only money can bring.

James Hebbert, managing director of Seatton, a British culture and etiquette company in China, says after procuring a fortune, happiness, and security, there still are things left to get.  ”You see this with developing countries — they go through a ‘bling phase,’ but then they move onto a more elevated level of discernment.”

“My students were the ones who were buying Hermes bags 10 years ago,” said Sara Jane Ho, the founder of Institute Sarita, a finishing school. “Now they are holding themselves to higher standards and have deeper desires.”

etiquette classSpecifically, it looks like the Chinese rich want to use proper etiquette as a way to gain a competitive edge in order to gain more business opportunities. As the trend continues and competition between applicants heats up, Ho explains “children need that edge to get into a good boarding school or top university.”

Joanne Milner, CEO of Debretts, further explains how learning proper etiquette is a way to better adapt to a broader range of situations. ”Studying abroad can bring a heavy academic and cultural shock. We are teaching the students how to interact in any global environment.”

However, as these teachers explain, learning etiquette is a profound experience that fundamentally changes a person’s culture. “Learning and practicing international etiquette is a statement of your openness and awareness of the fact that people you are with may see the world differently,” Ho said.  Hebbert was much more direct by saying, “[Learning proper etiquette] is more about teaching and appreciating a different culture.”

etiquette classClasses range in price from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, and wealthy Chinese have no qualms opening their wallets.

Contemporary Chinese people from the Mainland have been criticized as “crass” or “uncivilized”, even by their own government. There are several campaigns to stop Chinese from jaywalkingcutting into long queues waiting to board subway trains, and even to encourage citizens that ordinarily don’t trust each other to perform good deeds. CCTV even aired a controversial advertisement admonishing Chinese to behave when overseas.

That said, Chinese are nevertheless are very polite — to people that matter to them. Acts of politeness are routinely done to strengthen relationships. But that means when queuing for the subway, “politeness” can be overlooked in a crowd of strangers while etiquette would demand you consider other people’s needs before your own.

However, if you can afford etiquette classes in China, chances are you aren’t taking the subway anyway.

Photo: CNN Money, the Beijinger


Want to Make Money? Shenzhen’s The Place With The Highest Wages

Posted: 11/18/2014 9:40 am

chinese money rmbShenzhen has a number of feathers in its cap when compared to other Pearl River Delta cities and China at large: it’s the friendliest pedestrian city, the healthiest city in China, and has over 50 billionaires.

According to a study conducted by the Southern Human Resources Market, however, perhaps the biggest perk of life in Shenzhen is the wage: of all the cities in Guangdong, Shenzhen has the highest average monthly salary at RMB 7,261 reports Southern CN.

Guangzhou comes next at RMB 6,830, which, coincidentally, is the median average salary for the province, and Foshan rounds out the top three at RMB 6,082. Foshan also takes the prize for the largest year over year salary increase, which saw the average salary rise from RMB 5,589 in 2013 to RMB 6,082 in 2014.

The top paying jobs in Guangdong are said to be in finance, followed by consulting.

Before you pack your bags for Shenzhen, it’s not all good news. While salaries are indeed increasing, so too are living expenses. Just last month, the “cost of living” rose by 1.6 percent.


Photo: CIF News


China’s One Child Policy is Relaxed, but Little Interest in a Second Child Anyway

Posted: 11/6/2014 5:25 pm

second baby policyIt has officially been one year since the one-child policy was partially rescinded and eligible families were able to have a second child. But young Chinese parents appear to think much like their counterparts in developed western countries: having a second child is just too expensive. In fact, the National Health and Family Planning Committee said just 700,000 families have had a second child since the policy was relaxed.

China’s one child policy has long been seen as an oppressive regulation that infringes on basic human rights, however exceptions to the law have long existed for certain families, such as those from certain areas or belonging to ethnic minorities. Some predicted a baby boom once the policy was lifted on a larger scale, but that hasn’t happened.

A CCTV poll found 30 percent of parents said they are not willing to have a second child because they don’t have enough money. Of those who want to have a second kid, providing companionship for their first born was the top reason for doing so (40 percent).

China’s one-child policy mandated children to have only one child at most, however the relaxation allows any couples with a parent who is an only child to have a second kid.

China’s only-child generation is growing up with some substantial burdens. Without any other siblings, a single child will be responsible for at least four elderly adults who will need care in their old age (father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law).

China’s elderly population is growing fast and putting more demands on social welfare and medical services. In Shanghai, a third of the registered population is classified as elderly.

Photo: CCTV


The Chinese Loser Quantified: How to Know If You’re a Diaosi

Posted: 10/31/2014 3:54 pm

diaosiDiaosi is a term that has spread in recent years on the Chinese internet. Translated loosely it means “loser”, but it’s far from a negative term these days; many have turned the slur into a badge of honor because it signifies a rejection of the materialistic world.

Diaosi signifies comradery with those who haven’t succeeded in the world. The diaosi resign themselves to a life of being second-best, having dealt with the disappointment that their lives won’t improve much beyond their current situation.

Diaosi may seem like a strange term to understand for cultural outsiders, but things aren’t usually left undefined in China. Now, everything about the diaosi can be systematically quantified. Using a questionnaire that involved over 210,000 people, the Beijing University Marketing Department has created a profile of your average diaosi, reports QQ News.

One of the most characteristic traits of what defines a diaosi is their salary. On average, a diaosi makes a salary of RMB 2,917.17 per month, far below the average salary of a Beijing resident at RMB 5,793. Sixty percent say they aren’t able to get overtime pay.

With such small earnings, diaosi aren’t able to build up resources. They have under RMB 100,000 in savings, and either don’t own a home or aren’t able to buy a home with their own savings.

Half of all diaosi spend less than RMB 500 per month on rent. They usually pay RMB 39 per day for three meals, while 7.8 percent pay RMB 10 for all three meals. Half of them spend less than RMB 500 a month on vacation, and most spend all their time at home.

While 70 percent of diaosi live far away from their small hometowns, they give their family an allowance of RMB 1,076 a month on average.

With half of them single, the diaosi are usually aged between 21 and 30 and don’t have higher education.

Sixty-two percent of respondents admit to being diaosi, and 72.3 percent admit they are unhappy.

Photo: Southern Daily


25% of Expats in China Make Over US$300,000 a Year

Posted: 10/24/2014 7:36 pm

bund shanghaiExpats living in China may have a thing or two to complain about, but they have certainly picked a lucrative country to work in.

While China is the third-most popular expat destination following Singapore and Switzerland according to a study by HSBC, expats in China earn more here than anywhere else in the world, reports CNN.

The HSBC study says a quarter of expats living in China make an annual salary of over US $300,000 a year. China is described as a place where expats can enjoy better job prospects, pay packages, and lower living costs.

“China is the best place for expats looking to make their money go further, with 76 percent of expats in the country experiencing growth in their spending power once they’ve moved,” the report said

In contrast, a Barclays study showed 47 percent of wealthy Chinese respondents said they planned to move abroad within the next five years.

Photo: Travel Baidu



Now a Chongqing Mall is Offering Pink, Extra-large Women Only Parking Spots

Posted: 10/16/2014 10:32 am

pink parking for ladies shopping mall sexism discriminationChina’s attempts at gender equality certainly take interesting forms, such as 10 pink parking spots at a shopping mall in Chongqing.

The boldly colored pink parking spots read: “Parking for the exclusive use of Women”. The spots are wider to make parking easier, and are located closer to the mall entrance for convenience.

READ: Check Out This Pink, Extra-Wide “Women’s Only” Parking Spot in Dalian

This isn’t the first time women-only parking spaces have shown-up in a mall parking lot. The spaces also exist at a shopping mall in Dalian. Yet when accused of discrimination, the Chongqing mall manager, Yang Xiangdong, said: “The main position of this mall is to provide service to women.”

pink parking for ladies shopping mall sexism discriminationPutting gender equality aside for a moment, the women-only spots clearly make good business sense. With women comprising the majority of Chongqing’s mall traffic, Yang’s simply catering to the mall’s most important demographic.

However, as a number of astute commentators have pointed out, the ten pink parking spots are mostly occupied by luxury cars. The shopping mall isn’t just catering to women, it’s catering to rich women.

Netizens quickly chimed in with their thoughts on the special spots:

Wow. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi… these are all European brands.

How is it that these are all luxury cars?

These are all luxury cars! Chongqing women don’t have any face!

So then you’ve got a problem. Whose the best at teaching how to park a car? (referencing a recent meme involving a trade school with outlandish commercials)

Women think that this is something they don’t have to be afraid of being discriminated for.

(This is something )I can accept.

On one hand, say that men and women are equal, while on the other creating special circumstances for each of them.

pink parking for ladies shopping mall sexism discrimination


Photos: Shenzhen Police


100 Yuan Just Too Much? Guangzhou ATM Now Dispenses 10 Kuai Notes

Posted: 09/29/2014 9:10 am

atm ten yuan billsChina’s largest paper denomination is 100, which has long caused problems when people need to make big cash purchases. Hong Kong, on the other hand, has both 500 and 1000 Hong Kong dollar denominations, and many have suspected the Mainland will eventually follow suit.

But banks in Guangzhou are going the opposite direction, and will soon be dispensing bills as low as RMB 10 ($1.50) at their ATMs, reports CCTV. The service is now available in half of Guangzhou’s banks, and will be available throughout the city by the end of the year.

Not surprisingly, despite onscreen message promoting the new service, CCTV found most people still withdrew 100s.

Photos: CCTV

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