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These Are The Top 10 New Online Pop-Culture Memes in China

Posted: 12/29/2014 9:30 am

no zuo no die

With each passing year comes a new crop of pop-culture phrases. And regardless of origin, be it TV, music, or trending websites, only a select few survive beyond their 15 minutes of fame.

The Chinese National Language Monitoring and Research Center has compiled a list of the most popular Chinese phrases of 2014 based on an online poll. Which, if any, do you think will stand the test of time?

1. Mengmengda (萌萌哒)

Since we can only say 可愛 so many times, a new phrase has been created to describe babies, children, small animals, and adult women in China. Meaning “extremely cute”, the phrase comes from Japanese manga and anime, and is frequently used on the Douban website.

2. “It’s so beautiful that I don’t dare open my eyes” (这画面太美,我不敢看)

Taken from Prague Plaza, the Jolin Tsai song featuring Jay Chou, this phrase takes the earnestness of Mandopop and subverts it into a sarcastic way to describe a weird situation.

3. Facekini (脸基尼)

Used to protect the face from unwanted tanning, this term speaks to the influential rise of the “Chinese auntie”; the same group of women responsible for buying up gold, and terrorizing public plazas with their dancing. The facekini garnered international recognition when it was featured in a pictorial by the popular Parisian fashion magazine CR Fashion Book.

4. Doubi (逗比)

Unlike its more commonly used cousin “shabi“, Doubi carries more positive connotations. The term is used to describe someone who is funny in a strange or silly way.

5. “No zuo, no die”

A meme unto its own, this Chinglish phrase is used to express smugness at the imminent failure of others. Exclusively written in English, it’s a way to tell others not to be stupid.

6. ”[I] too, am drunk” (也是醉了)

With origins that may either be a literary way to offset the flattery of others with irony, or an expression of a local dialect to show helplessness, what is known for certain about this phrase is that online gamers use it to deride players who have performed poorly. It has also become a reply to Internet posts or comments that don’t make any sense.

7. APEC Blue

Used to describe a brilliant blue sky, something of a rarity in Beijing, the phrase comes from the extraordinary lengths taken by the Chinese government to ensure the international summit, held in Beijing earlier this year, was free of any air pollution. Despite officials’ insistence that this phenomenon would become commonplace in the smoggy capital, the phrase has gone on to describe something that is both beautiful, yet fleeting.

8 Wealthy and Unrestrained (有钱人性)

This phrase originates from the response of netizens to an April news story about a man who knew he was being swindled, but kept paying money out of curiosity. It’s now used to ridicule people for doing strange things because of money, like building a private elevator.

9. Pulling hatred (拉仇恨)

The rise of the tuhao, or newly rich that aren’t cultured or educated, has meant that China needed a term to describe them. That’s what this phrase speaks to: the hatred and jealousy caused by tuhao boasting about their money.

10. “You can, you up; no can, no BB”

This phrase means “don’t criticize if you can’t do it yourself”. Along with “no zuo no die”, this phrase was lauded by Chinese newspapers as an achievement of Chinese culture for having made it into the user-submitted website, Urban Dictionary.

Photo: kaifu


Sohu and Tencent Fined for Sharing Obscene Content

Posted: 09/19/2014 8:01 am

Users at an internet cafe in China.

China’s biggest web company, Tencent, and one of its biggest video-streaming websites, Sohu, were each fined RMB 50,000 by the National Office of Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publication for disseminating pornographic material, China News reported.

The online content watchdog, under the leadership of the Central Leading Group for Propaganda and Ideological Work, posted a list of 14 cases involving organizations and individuals accused of spreading pornography online via WeChat.

During an inspection in late August, the Beijing Law Enforcement Department found Sohu had disseminated obscene online games and reading materials. The obscene content included a number of lewd video games with titles such as Virtual Teenage Girl Strategy 3.

Tencent was blamed by the office because WeChat and Tencent Weibo, two apps run by the company, were found to have provided platforms for spreading the pornographic materials.

A man in Lanzhou, China accidentally broadcasted porn on a big outdoor screen.

Chinese video downloading website Xunlei was also fined RMB 50,000 after the office found that one of the website’s downloading apps allowed users to download pornographic video content.

A Beijing tech company and several individual suspects from Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang were also being investigated, according to the report.

Earlier in May, Qvod, one of the country’s most popular online video-streaming and downloading websites, was fined RMB 260 million ($42.3 million) for sharing pornographic materials and violating copyright infringement.

The series of fines given out by the office show renewed efforts to “sweep out yellow and strike out illegals”, referring to an anti-pornography and anti-illegal publication campaign.

Photos: Getty ImageSina Weibo


Chinese Reporters Banned from Writing or Contributing to Foreign Press

Posted: 07/10/2014 2:44 pm

The State Committee on Films and Broadcast Media (SCFBM) is cracking down on Chinese journalists. From now on, they will be forced to sign a contract that forbids them from writing or contributing to the foreign press, reports Caijing. The rule may also extend to posting material on social networks.

SCFBM says the new rule is designed to protect national secrets and copyright. In a recent interview with Caijing, the SCFBM added:

Recently, some industry workers have engaged in professional misconduct over the use of information, and have wantonly transferred and disseminated secret information, and have put this information attained through professional means on social media. Some industry workers have exploited their position or influence for inappropriate gain, leading to an illegal transgression. This behavior has disrupted the systematic broadcast of news, and has damaged the Party and national interests. To strengthen the information management of industry workers is to strengthen the establishment and preservation of the urgent requirements of systematic news broadcasting. This is also to guarantee the healthy development and promotion of domestic news.

The SCFBM then explained the requirements this law will make upon news industry workers:

First, in dealing with information related to national secrets, industry workers must abide by the “Preservation of National Secrets Law” and other regulations. They are forbidden to illegally copy, record, or store national secrets; forbidden to transmit national secrets in any way or form; forbidden to transmit this information as an individual. Secondly, in regards to information not classified as a national secret, newsrooms must establish a unified management system whereby a signed contract that forbids the transmitting of secrets by holding the person responsible. News industry personnel must abide by all these regulations. Workers can not work for other foreign media or websites, work as a “special correspondent“, special author or special columnist.

No specific details were given pertaining to what will happen to journalists who breach the new contract.


Chinese Too Embarrassed To Utter The Words “I Love You” To Family

Posted: 06/17/2014 8:50 am

The awkward father and daughter relationship in the movie Eat Drink Man Woman. Photo credit: Daily Life

Did you know that 87% of Chinese college students find it embarrassing to tell their fathers “I love you”? It’s true, according to Guangzhou Daily.

It’s no secret that Chinese can be emotionally reserved. Although saying “I love you” is common in English, the phrase is rarely expressed among Chinese families, Global Times reported.

“I love you” in Chinese and English. Photo credit: New Castle China Town

Sure, college students might be embarrassed to say it; but, you might be surprised to know that their parents are equally as embarrassed to hear it.

In one clip taken from Anhui TV station showing college students telling their parents they love them, the parents’ responses were priceless: “What is going on?”, “Are you drunk?”, or “Are you pregnant?” One father seen in a similar video clip by Shanghai TV replied bluntly: “I am going to a meeting, so cut the crap.”

The Global Times interviewed Peking University sociologist, Xia Xueluan, who said Chinese parents are different from their American counterparts and are not used to hearing the phrase from their children. Instead of expressing positive emotions, they are more prone to express negative language when educating children, Xia added.

Things change when looking at the actions of those same Chinese students: a full 76% said they would send text messages or call their fathers on Father’s Day. Some said they would help out with household chores or give their fathers a shoulder massage, the report said.

At the end of the day, 98% of respondents will use Weibo or online forums to send their love to their fathers, which will probably be retweeted or seen by hundreds or thousands of people; but, not their fathers.

Photos: Daily Life, New Castle China Town 


That Awesome Story About a Child Defacing a Chinese Passport Isn’t True

Posted: 06/4/2014 1:28 pm

passport defaced china chinese national child draw onOne particular Chinese social media story has gotten a lot of attention lately from news outlets worldwide: a Chinese national gets stuck in South Korea because his four year-old son doodled all over his passport.

Those children! While we can’t stay mad at such innocent precociousness, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned here in trying to better take care of one’s own passport. Why can’t more news stories have morals to them?

It turns out, however, that this story may not be true at all. Purveyor of video games and fan boy mediator Kotaku recently pointed out that there are several anomalies seen in the photo of a passport defaced by a child that bring its authenticity into question, such as:

  • all key identification (name, passport number) completely eradicated
  • passport photograph also altered to hide identity
  • ink lines retain same pixel width throughout
  • ink drawings retain a flat plane inconsistent with the bending of the paper in a three-dimensional space (a la MS Paint)
  • no smearing on a document with a gloss covering
  • ink markings fly off right side of page into space
  • immaculate detailing of a flower judged too advanced for a four year-old child

Have a look for yourself:

passport defaced china chinese national child draw onThese all appear to be good points, though that last one seems a little harsh; after all, we are talking about Chinese children. Are children from other parts of the world able to detain their parents at customs with such artistic bombastic aplomb? We suppose we’ll need to allow an independent international body like UNICEF to settle that issue.

Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft points out the story may have been inspired by a similar case published earlier this year in which a Chinese man was also detained in South Korea when his passport was defaced by his son.

But if that is the case, and this story is proven to be a hoax, then how will people of the world learn this important life lesson?

Photos: Kotaku


The Nanfang is on WeChat!

Posted: 08/26/2013 6:01 pm

The Nanfang has been on Facebook and Twitter for quite some time, but neither of these services are available in China without a VPN.  For Mainland China, we’ve been sharing our stories on our official Weibo account.

But that misses one of the fastest-growing social networks in China at the moment: Weixin/WeChat. Today we’re happy to announce we’re finally live on WeChat.  You can follow us using the QR code below, or by searching for the account named The Nanfang.

We’ll be sharing a selection of stories and must-see events on our WeChat account, so follow us!

We’re also getting our mobile site in order just in time. The mobile version of The Nanfang works decently well on iOS devices, but there are still some bugs on Android. Hang in there, as our development team is working on it and you’ll notice changes in the coming weeks.

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