The Nanfang / Blog

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



Shenzhen to get world’s largest ferris wheel

Posted: 01/27/2014 11:00 am

Splendid China Folk Village, which is located in Shenzhen Bay, is set to get the world’s largest ferris wheel next year, Shenzhen Economic Daily reports. The plan was announced at the pre-Spring Festival press conference by CEO Miao Zhuang and will mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the village.

The village has two areas, Splendid China Miniature Park and China Folk Culture Village, the wheel will presumably be built in the theme park. The exact date of the new ferris wheel’s unveiling is yet to be announced.

Since the original 1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel, built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., there have been eight world’s tallest-ever Ferris wheels. The record holder is the 165-metre (541 ft) Singapore Flyer, opened to the public in March 2008.

Giant ferris wheels are a time-tested way of cities announcing themselves on the world stage.


Shenzhen overtakes Hong Kong as world’s 3rd busiest port

Posted: 01/17/2014 7:38 pm

Shenzhen has knocked Hong Kong out of the top three busiest ports in the world. The Special Economic Zone now ranks behind only Shanghai and Singapore after handling 23.3 million 20-foot equivalent units last year, The Standard reports.

It is the first time Hong Kong has been knocked out of the top three since records began. The number of containers handled by Hong Kong last year fell by 3.6%. This is worrying news for Shenzhen’s neighbour as a survey by The Economist claimed that Hong Kong is at serious risk of losing its pivotal business center position in Asia to other first-tier Chinese cities.

The Standard has more:

A contributing factor to the drop in rank was that ships were diverted in March as port workers at Hongkong International Terminals, under Hutchison Whampoa (0013), went on strike for 40 days for higher wages.

Meanwhile, according to The Economist’s Asia Business Outlook Survey 2014, Hong Kong is at risk of becoming irrelevant as a business center in Asia, with Beijing and Shanghai vying for the honor.

A total of 334 senior executives were interviewed last month for the poll.

“It puts pressure on Hong Kong as `the gateway to China,’ as the center of decision-making shifts to Shanghai and Beijing,” said Ross O’Brien, Hong Kong director at The Economist Corporate Network. He added that Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a connection point between China and the rest of the world is decreasing.

Also, pollution, housing, schooling and other quality of life issues are losing ground, O’Brien added. But infrastructure, professional services, and gathering of talent and capital are still unparalleled

If it’s any consolation, the Economist Intelligence Unit calculated 6 months ago that Hong Kong was the “best” city in the world when taking into account stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Shortly before that, China Daily published a blog post by David Gilbert of Randomwire comparing the quality of life in the two cities. Gilbert, who had lived in both for two years each, concluded that each had its own distinct pros and cons.


Guangdong-Singapore smart transit card launching 2014

Posted: 08/22/2013 10:04 am

A new dual-currency transit card, which will work in Guangdong Province and Singapore, is set to launch in the first half of 2014 under the name “SINO Visitor Pass”.

In Guangdong, the service will be operated by Guangdong Lingnan Pass Company, and will be able to hold credit in both Renminbi and Singapore Dollars. This will be especially convenient to travellers such as businessmen that regularly pass through both regions.

“This means that in the future, visitors can also gain access to tourist attractions, food & beverage, retail deals and other lifestyle applications [at over 100,000 points] in both countries with this pass,” said CEO Nicholas Lee of EZ-Link in a statement. EZ-Link will provide the service in Singapore.

The card was unveiled at the fifth Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council (SGCC) in Guangzhou today. Its use may eventually be expanded to other areas of China.

Singapore’s Minister for Transport Liu Tuck Yew said: “We have a strong and mutually beneficial partnership with Guangdong. As Singapore companies contribute to Guangdong’s economic transformation, Singapore is also seeing strong number of Guangdong tourists and businesses here.”

Liu added: “Last year, we received 266,000 Guangdong tourists; this is about 15 per cent of total Chinese visitors to Singapore. In the same year, 12 Guangdong companies with a combined investment of US$240 million (S$306.4 million) set up presence here. We are pleased with these positive developments and hope to do more with Guangdong.”

Kaushal Parikh, based in Singapore, told The Nanfang today: “A survey revealed Singapore as the No.1 destination for Chinese tourists. So this will help boost trade and ties, and ease to tourists.”

The new card isn’t the only dual-currency card on the market.  Shenzhen Tong and Hong Kong’s Octopus have also teamed on a single transit card that can be used in both locations. It stores both RMB and Hong Kong dollars.

Photo credit: EZ-Link


Guangzhou-bound flight returns to airport after smoke seen coming out of tail

Posted: 04/12/2013 1:00 pm

A China Eastern Airlines plane bound for Guangzhou had to return to Hangzhou Airport after being in the air for ten minutes when smoke was seen coming out of the tail on the morning of April 10, Qianjiang Evening News reports.

Flight MU5211 took off at 9:53 a.m. after a delay of almost two hours. Mr. Jiang from Guangzhou, who had flown home from Hangzhou several dozen times and was flying with China Eastern for the first time, was decidedly unimpressed. Many passengers were shaken by the experience but there were no injuries.

A representative of the company told the newspaper that the delay was caused by stormy weather. Shortly after taking off, passengers told an air hostess that they smelt smoke, which led to the problem on the A320 plane being detected.

In February this year, China Eastern Airlines flight MU5093 to Singapore had the same problem, but again there was no fire and there were no casualties.


Guangzhou Public Security official calls for China to introduce caning

Posted: 01/30/2013 6:22 pm

Chen Weicai

As Shenzhen introduces fines for certain types of “uncivilized behaviour,” a senior public security minister in Guangzhou has come up with another idea for deterring bad behaviour in public.

Chen Weicai, a departmental head of Guangzhou’s Public Security Ministry, called for China to introduce caning for male offenders at the National People’s Congress yesterday, Sohu News reports.

In his speech, he explained how caning worked in the Singaporean system: “Males who commit petty crimes or public order offenses are punished with six strokes. If they faint after say, two strokes, then they have six months to receive the other four.”

Chen said that, with the death penalty, China was good at deterring serious crime, but not good at giving petty criminals a lesson they won’t forget.

Chen is apparently unperturbed by the fact that he was laughed at by most of the room, and intends to keep advocating this on a national level.

To lighten the mood, Chen cracked a joke, saying that when women are looking for a prospective husband, they can check his bottom to see whether he has been disciplined. If so, then they know he will be well behaved.

Chen has a reputation for putting forth outlandish ideas. In 2010, he suggested at a provincial level congress that, to prevent swindlers from using text messages to cheat people, everybody should have to use their national I.D. number to register a phone number so their text messages could be monitored.

Many netizens suggested greedy officials be the first to be punished. Another wondered whether Chen wanted to be a victim of such a punishment. Others also opined that Chen was a pervert.


Nanfang TV: Forget the Singapore baby-making video, it’s all about Guangzhou Fire

Posted: 08/14/2012 2:14 pm

Singapore has been in the news over the last few days over a video that encourages Singaporeans to get a bit naughty.  The island nation is facing a declining birthrate and thinks it has found a novel way to tackle the problem: by producing a video that encourages Singaporeans to celebrate National Day by “making a baby, baby.”  (You can watch it here, if you have a VPN.)

The video is noteworthy for its uniqueness (read: hilarity), but also because the sultry male voice in the video is none other than Roshan Gidwani.  Gidwani’s family lived for several years in Guangzhou prior to his move to Singapore, and this is where his rap career initially got off the ground.

The Singapore baby-making video reminded us of one particular rap Rosh did years ago, so we dug deep into The Nanfang archives and uncovered this gem: the Guangzhou Fire video.  The video, we think, was shot in 2007, and Rosh looks much younger back in those days.  It was done with the full support of the then-Guangzhou English Channel.

Guangzhou Fire is the latest installment of Nanfang TV.  You can watch the video below, on Youtube, or Youku.


Fashion alert! Britain’s Topshop ‘pops up’ in Shenzhen

Posted: 05/2/2012 11:40 pm

Hundreds of eager people flocked to Shenzhen’s King Glory Plaza for China’s first Topshop as it opened its doors on Tuesday morning. Throughout the day, the store was packed, proving popular with shoppers queuing to get inside.

Vivien Zao (left) and Lei Sheng Nan (right) holding up their new purchases

As large crowds gathered for the opening, the British fashion retailer was already amassing high levels of interest with more than 4,500 followers on Weibo.

One female shopper almost feinted standing in the long queue to use the changing room. She was determined not to lose her place.

While store manager Jeffrey Zhang said the demand had beaten his expectations, some shoppers had a mixed response to the new store.

Lei Shengnan, 26, from Shenzhen snapped up some purple denim hotpants: “I waited half an hour to use the fitting room but I did because I really like the style. It’s exotic compared to other native Chinese fashion shops.”

Vivian Zao, 24, also from Shenzhen wasn’t as complementary, describing the store as small compared to her Topshop experience in Singapore.

Li Yue from Shanghai

Li Yue, 20, from Shanghai, said: “I think the clothes Topshop produced aren’t good this season. I’m expecting better in Shanghai, but I don’t know if Topshop will open there. I just heard it will.”

With all of the momentum and hype, Topshop’s innovative ‘pop-up’ concept store will be on the move in a couple of months’ time. It’s the first brand of billionaire Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group retail empire to set foot in the greater China region.

The opening is seen as a test ahead of possibly launching more pop-up stores. Beyond that, it expects to open its first flagship store in China next year.

Fei Space’s Ray Lee, who brought the Topshop and Topman brand to China, explained to The Nanfang why he opened up in the Pearl River Delta. “We know the Beijing market, we know the Shanghai market. Shenzhen is a really different market. It’s also a very modern city as opposed to a very traditional one like Shanghai or Beijing.”

The Topshop store


[Updated] Abercrombie and Fitch to enter China market via Hong Kong

Posted: 04/17/2012 8:10 am

Update on store opening at the bottom of the article

The naked torsos of Abercrombie and Fitch (A+F) models are coming to Hong Kong this August. With their sex-appeal making the American fashion retailer famous worldwide, Hong Kong will be the first flagship store in the greater China market.

The move is part of a bigger effort to expand their international presence outside America. New flagship stores are opening over in Munich, Germany and in South Asia, Singapore is the only recent beneficiary of the latest store openings.

Abercrombie and Fitch on the lookout for "models"

Last August, A+F’s sister brand Hollister made its first foray into the Pearl River Delta, opening a flagship store in Hong Kong’s Festival Walk, while at the start of the year, in downtown Shenzhen, it opened its doors to customers in the MixC shopping mall.

Recruitment for “models” is well underway for the soon-to-be-based Pedder Street retailer in Central district.

A “model” recruiter for A+F reckons the store will open on August 27.
Abercrombie and Fitch have published long-awaited details on the opening date of their new Hong Kong store.

The date and time is August 11, at 11am.

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