The Nanfang / Blog

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 


Genius Sign In Shenzhen Tells Workers What Might Happen If They Die On Site

Posted: 08/6/2014 9:15 am

The message on the board reads, “Dear workers, while working outside, please pay attention to work safety. Once an accident happens, other men will sleep with your wife, beat your kids and splurge on all your compensation money”.

A Shenzhen construction company has found an ingenious way to encourage employees to pay attention to work safety. A new sign reads: “Dear workers, while working outside please pay attention to work safety. Once an accident happens, other men will sleep with your wife, beat your kids and splurge on all your compensation money.”

The sign is posted at a construction site on Shenzhen’s Metro Line 9, and has been dubbed “the most awesome safety sign in history” by netizens in China. It’s painfully direct.

Despite efforts to promote work safety at construction sites across the country, accidents still happen frequently and are often fatal. Falling from high places, collapsing scaffolds, and head injuries or explosions all threaten a worker’s life on site.

Many online users praised the sign, Nandu reported. It cited some web comments that said it was “innovative, practical, easy to understand and hard-hitting.” Others associated this edgy and punchy sign with Shenzhen’s city image as a foreground of reform and innovative thinking. One wrote, “It certainly lived up to Shenzhen’s name as a window for reform and opening up. Even its publicity stunts are succinct and precise.”

Some turned the sign into a meme for corrupt officials. User Jysb2010 commented, “Each high-ranking official’s desk should be placed with this alarming sign: Don’t be greedy. Once caught, others will be sleeping your mistress, fathering your son and splurging on your dirty money.”

Construction accidents claim hundreds of lives each year in the country. In March alone, there were 38 construction-related accidents,leading to 41 deaths, according to China Construction Association.

Photos: Nandu


Girls at Zhongshan school forbidden from wearing coloured underwear

Posted: 10/21/2013 6:30 am

A secondary school in Zhongshan that checks and punishes female students who wear underwear that isn’t white or flesh coloured has been the talk of Sina Weibo in recent days, Epoch Times reports.

On October 15, a netizen on a local forum claiming to be from the art department of Zhongshan Technical Secondary School said teachers were checking whether female students were wearing non-white underwear (often in front of boys) and deducting grade points from those who were caught violating the rule, forcing some to write self-criticisms.

The story subsequently found its way onto WeChat and Sina Weibo. A host of major news organisations such as Guangdong Satellite Television then did their own investigation, confirming the claims.

Girls caught wearing black underwear are deducted one point from their final grade, those with rhinestones or lace on their underwear lose two points, and those with polka dots, stripes or leopard skin lose three points.

A teacher from the school told Guangdong Satellite Television that the school was simply trying to discourage its girls from wearing provocative clothing.

Apparently, inspecting the girls’ underwear in front of their male classmates is not provocative.


Man bizarrely kneels and bows in front of ATM in Shenzhen, prompting questions

Posted: 09/17/2012 7:00 am

A photo of a man kneeling and bowing before an Automatic Teller Machine in Shenzhen’s Futian District has been put on Weibo, prompting much speculation about what the man was doing, according to Shenzhen Evening News.

At around 10 a.m. on September 11, Sina Weibo user named Beckzem took the picture at an unidentified bank in Jingtian, an area where several newspapers are based. Another speculated that he was praying for more money.

The middle-aged man in the picture first placed his brief case on top of the trash can beside the ATM, then began to take out 100-RMB notes one-by-one, ceremoniously placing them on the ledge of the machine. After taking out his last 100-RMB note, he then got on his knees, bowed his head and held it up before the machine.

According to the microblogger, there was a policeman at the scene, but the man was not committing a crime, so nothing was done. Shenzhen Evening News later contacted the Futian Public Security Bureau who said they had received no reports of the incident.

On Sina Weibo, one respondent said he supported anybody who holds beliefs. Another suggested that he was praying for more money, and in response the original poster speculated that the man was a failed businessman.

As one Sina Weibo post pointed out over the weekend, Chinese who are serious about smashing Japanese products should also smash ATMs, the majority of which are made by Japanese companies.

Somehow that seems unlikely.


Gay couple announce engagement in Dongguan on Chinese Valentine’s Day

Posted: 08/23/2012 11:35 am

A gay couple are holding an engagement party in Dongguan today, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.

On August 14, a Sina Weibo user named Qiang Shao announced that he would hold an engagement party in a gay bar in Dongguan on Chinese Valentine’s Day, which is today. The wedding between Qiang and his partner Zhong Shao was supposed to take place last year but was postponed after his father died, said the microblogger.

Already retweeted 226 times, the microblog post has been mostly met with messages of support. Some microbloggers in Dongguan even offered to help organize the engagement party.

Responses included: “The people of Chongqing wholeheartedly congratulate you,” from one female microblogger; “What you’re doing requires great courage, go for it,” from another; and, “Your happiness is only just beginning,” from another.

They are the first couple in Dongguan to publicly announce an engagement, according to the paper. However, in spite of the goodwill messages, and Qiang’s assertion that “love can conquer everything,” gays cannot yet legally marry in China. Taiwan, however, is considerably more tolerant.

Homosexuality is still widely frowned upon in China. The term Tongqi was coined to describe a women who is married to a closet homosexual.


UBC coffee shop in Shenzhen blasted for discrimination

Posted: 08/21/2012 10:52 am

UBC Coffee in Shenzhen has come under fire for apparently serving poor quality tea to those it believes are “facing economic difficulties”.

A Sina Weibo user named Shenzhen Laocui complained that he had been discriminated against when he was told that the RMB98 pot of tea he was drinking was for customers on “lower budgets”, News Express reports.

“I went to the UBC Coffee Shop in Zhuzilin with my friends and asked for a pot of ginseng and oolong tea which cost RMB98,” he wrote.  ”I felt it didn’t taste right and I told the waitress, but she said that this was how it was supposed to taste.”  The waitress then explained that Shenzhen Laocui could get a higher quality version of the same tea, but it would cost extra, as the RMB98 pots were for poorer people.

Some Weibo users called on the UBC to list which teas are for people facing “economic difficulties” right on the menu, so it’s made clear.

“I am very interested in tea and have a vast collection at home,” Shenzhen Laocui wrote. “The reason I visit the shop is to enjoy the service.  How could they say such a thing?”

While the manager of the coffee shop denied the claim, he apologized for the unpleasent atmosphere that had been caused by the disagreement.

Many Sina Weibo users criticized the coffee shop. The manager of the UBC branch wanted to apologize to Shenzhen Laocui personally, but the microblogger refused to give out his phone number.



200 trapped in Guangzhou supermarket after fire alarm accidentally set off

Posted: 08/14/2012 4:09 pm

Two-hundred customers were trapped inside a Vanguard Supermarket in Guangzhou after a fire alarm was accidentally set off in the evening of August 11, according to QQ News. The alarm sounded shortly after 9 pm, causing all of the shutters at the supermarket to automatically close.

One of the customers reported on Sina Weibo that the shutters had closed before any customer had the chance to evacuate. The fire exit was too crowded to get out of, accoring to the microblogger. He had to go up to the Little Sheep restaurant on the third floor and take the escalator to escape with his wife and children.

The incident spread rapidly on Sina Weibo while it was happening. One Weibo user, NgaLok_MaMa, spoke of the panic that he and his family went through when they saw the fire exit was so blocked with people. Another, Ya Mengma (吖檬妈) spoke of the “appalling” lack of guidance or service shown by the staff at the supermarket.

On the afternoon of August 13, journalists from contacted the supermarket who explained that the closing shutters were designed to prevent smoke from escaping, and that the cause of the alarm being set off is still under investigation.

The supermarket insisted that its fire escape facilities were sufficient, but on that occasion customers panicked resulting in overcrowding at the exit. The supermarket insisted that lowering the shutters was the right thing to do.

However, it was reported at 5:32 pm on the afternoon of August 13 that Vanguard had apologised for the incident.


Microblogger in Foshan provokes outrage after putting cat in freezer

Posted: 08/2/2012 7:00 am

China has a considerable track record of cruelty to animals. Peta has published an expose on the country’s fur farms, and vegetarian singer Morrissey labelled the Chinese “a sub-species of the human race,” due to their habit for cruelty to animals.

A Sina Weibo user in Foshan was human-flesh searched after uploading pictures of his cat in a freezer, according to Southern Metropolis Daily. He claimed in the microblog post that the cat had been in there for two hours.

With the username of @Henly-谢世亨, which he would soon change, the user announced: “My cat has been in here for two hours, and still hasn’t frozen solid,” followed by two smiley faces. The post added, “It’s still very grumpy.” After the human-flesh search began, the user claimed to have been mystified by how much outrage he had caused.

Initially, the microblogger justified his actions by saying he was trying to “train” the cat. Then he claimed the cat had climbed into the freezer of its own accord. After that he claimed the cat was now out, safe and warm, and playing with its owner.

He had been forced to back down after netizens asked questions such as, “Why would you leave the freezer door open?” and “How do you know he has been in there for exactly two hours?” Even after the user produced photographic evidence that the cat had emerged safely, netizens were calling for the cat to be taken off him, because his behaviour amounted to maltreatment.

After deleting the initial post, the user, now under the name of @_M eloey, posted a picture of the cat next to his phone which had the time and date: 16:36 July 30. But even this did not appease many netizens who continue to insist the cat be given to a more responsible owner.

Recently, a Shanghai woman named Zhou Ying who was found to have mistreated a kitten and caused its death saw her address, photograph and phone number posted online. Netizens insisted she publicly apologize or even be taken to court, but Zhou is yet to acknowledge wrongdoing.

So are Peta and Morrissey right about the Chinese? Alhough cruelty to animals is far from a thing of the past, the public is evidently getting more enlightened. Perhaps they should boycott Morrissey’s music…oh, wait.


Chinese netizens vault Steve Jobs news to top of Weibo trends

Posted: 08/25/2011 1:20 pm

The resignation of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO has reverberated around the interwebs today, and it’s no different here in China. While some of the comments might be overkill (if you didn’t know it, you’d think Jobs had already passed away), there’s no doubt that the man behind the iconic iMac, iPhone and iPad is beloved in the cozy confines behind the Great Firewall. After news broke that Steve Jobs resigned, it vaulted to first place among trending topics on Sina Weibo. As of five hours after the announcement, there were 1.4 million updates regarding Steve Jobs posted to Weibo.

Like comments on Twitter and other western websites, most comments showed concern for his health. One person involved in China’s IT industry, Hu Yanping, wrote:

@胡延平: 此时此刻,我不关心Apple,不关心库克,不关心股价,不关心iPhone,不关心iPad,不关心Mac,不关心iOS,更不关心 Microsoft,Google,Nokia,HTC们如何因祸得福因福得祸,我只关心一个人的健康,衷心希望他能战胜胰腺癌,多桀的生命能多些时日, 不被打扰,不被调侃,与家人相伴,与Apple无关。

“At this very moment, I don’t care about Apple, I don’t care about Cook, I don’t care about the iPhone, I don’t care about the iPad, I don’t care about the iMac, I don’t care about iOS, I don’t care about how Microsoft, Google, Nokia, HTC, and others will benefit from this news story, I only care about the health of a person! I hope he can win the battle and have more time to spend with his family without any interruption. This is not about Apple.”

Many people on Weibo are also tweeting (can this word be used in conjunction with Weibo?) some quotes attributed to Jobs that they find inspirational. And others… well, they are concerned about what happens to Apple’s product line without its visionary leader:


Ming Xiaohao: Will Apple continue to provide astonishingly good products?


Steve Jobs quit! People who don’t have an iPhone now must go buy one! Because it might be the last signature product from Apple.

_叶钰瑛:乔布斯你不能辞职 苹果会没有以后的

Jobs, please stay, Apple won’t have future without you!

Sina also created 4 polls to ask netizens their opinion on Apple’s future. The first asked if users would continue to purchase Apple products after Jobs’ resignation. 2,788 people voted:

  • 32% said they will continue buying Apple products
  • 32% said they may buy for another 2 or 3 years due because of habit, but are unsure beyond that
  • 31% think Apple without Jobs won’t be the same
  • 5% say they won’t purchase Apple products anymore, noting “we buy Apple because of Jobs”

A second poll, in which 3,179 people voted, answered the question: What’s the impact of Jobs’ resignation on Apple?

  • 52% said a huge negative impact, Apple won’t be the same without Jobs
  • 36% said not too big a negative impact, cause Jobs is still the chairman
  • 4% said no impact, because Jobs has not been in control since he became ill anyway
  • 2% said no impact, Apple will be fine without Jobs.
  • 7% said it is too hard to tell

Thanks to social media expert and bilingual contributor MissXQ (Twitter, Weibo, blog) for the translations.


Proof that sending lewd images online knows no boundaries

Posted: 07/8/2011 12:14 pm

Anyone who pays any attention to the news will know that New York congressmen Anthony Weiner resigned last month after sending lewd photos of his… uh… junk to women over Twitter. But it now seems that tweeting naked pictures of oneself is far more popular than originally thought.

Next up is a sub-district office director from Baiyun District in Guangzhou, Liu Ning. He sent photos of himself sans clothing to his mistress on China microblogging service Sina Weibo, apparently unaware that, well, it’s public.

He’s been busted just as badly as Congressman Weiner, with images of himself circulating on Sina Weibo and in the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.

(On another note, one wonders why a man with his particular physique would find it compelling to share naked photos of himself?)

Shanghaiist notes that, coincidentally, a recent conference in Guangzhou for Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference members outlined how to use Weibo for political discourse:

Caixin Online reports that during the session (which had officials signing up for accounts on the feckless People’s Daily weibo service), attendees ‘laughed lightly’ when Liu was referred to. We’re sure some shifting in seats and looking to the side was also involved on top of that.

You can read more here:


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