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Free Education and a Popular Romcom Lead to Chinese Baby Boom in America

Posted: 10/14/2014 3:47 pm
finding mr right tang wei

Tang Wei’s pregnant character arrives in Seattle, USA at the beginning of “Finding Mr Right”.

Expectant mothers in China are hopping onto airplanes in ever larger numbers to give birth abroad, and it’s not set to slow down anytime soon. What is it that lures would-be parents to foreign lands? Clean water? Clean air? Those surely help, but there is one key factor that trumps everything else: the enormous savings associated with being enrolled in a “free” education system.

According to Worldwide magazine, about 600 Chinese mothers went abroad to give birth in 2007, growing to 5,000 in 2010 and over 10,000 in 2012. That doubled again to 20,000 in 2013, and is expected to hit anywhere between 50,000 and 60,000 in 2015, according to the Mother-Child Management Association.

The primary destination for new parents is now the United States after Hong Kong introduced limits on Mainland parents giving birth in the territory. One person told the magazine:

On any given flight going to the USA (from China), there is likely to be five pregnant Chinese women. In any given neighborhood of prosperous cities like Beijing and Shanghai, there is likely to be several expectant mothers going to the US to give birth to their baby.

Aside from access to free primary education, Chinese parents also consider how much money they will save by having their child attend a US school as a “US citizen” instead as a “foreign exchange student”.

finding mr right tang wei

Tang Wei in a wedding dress in a scene that isn’t her wedding from “Finding Mr Right”.

A child with US citizenship enrolled in the US education system will save a Chinese parent a total of $600,000, the report said. The savings continue to rack up as the child continues to post-secondary education. If we use public colleges in California as an example, an exchange student will pay $12,000 in annual tuition while a “US citizen” will pay just $2,000. Therefore, the Chinese parent will be able to save $300,000 over four years of college.

Intermediary consultancies advertise by saying a baby with US citizenship is a financial windfall:

Give me RMB 100,000, and I’ll give you a US baby worth RMB 9.8 million

finding mr right tang weiLast year, a romcom featuring Tang Wei called Finding Mr Right (or its Chinese name, Beijing Meets Seattle) featured a Chinese parent having babies abroad and using the private maternity facilities available. Afterwards, intermediary consultancies reported a huge spike in business with clients referencing the movie when they called.

Meanwhile, Seattle has experienced a huge upsurge in Chinese tourists as a result of the film. Tom Norwalk of Visit Seattle, an organization that promotes Seattle tourism, said Finding Mr Right “has captivated a younger generation in China, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.” Norwalk also said more young Chinese women are visiting Seattle.

Traveling may be expensive, but the investment may pay huge dividends if children are born in America.

finding mr right tang weiPhoto: Seattle Globalist, Screen Daily, Yellow Cranes Tower, Wikipedia


Chinese Man Smuggles Turtles Destined for the Dinner Table Across Canada-US Border

Posted: 09/29/2014 9:49 am

redeared turtle

An affidavit filed with the US federal court on Tuesday revealed a Canadian resident of Windsor, Ontario was arrested for smuggling 51 turtles hidden under his sweatpants while attempting to cross the Canada-USA border at the Detroit-Windsor crossing, reports the Toronto Star.

READ: Shark Fin Washed In Hydrogen Peroxide Sold To Unwitting Consumers

Kai Xu has been charged with smuggling and illegally exporting fish or wildlife by a US court, and may be sentenced up to 10 years in a federal prison.

Xu was found to have 41 live turtles taped to his legs, and another ten turtles “hidden between his legs.”

READ: Foreigner Caught Smuggling Live Birds
in His Jeans at Guangzhou Airport

This collection of “family jewels” included Eastern box turtles, Red-eared sliders, and Diamondback terrapins and are estimated to be worth between $1,300 to $1,500.

Xu was apparently planning to board a flight to Shanghai, but the final destination for the leg-strapped turtles was likely on a dinner plate.

Ed Grace, deputy chief law enforcement officer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, noted that there is demand for the turtles in Asian food and collector markets. “Not just with turtles, I see it with ginseng, I see it with how wildlife in the United States can be, you know, coveted by collectors or for food markets,” he said.

Guangdong Province is often the final destination for a huge number of smuggled animals, many of which are intended for consumption. Previous cases include chinchillas, pangolins, another incident involving turtles, and another case of trying to stuff animals down one’s pants, this time involving birds.


Photo: the Star


Chinese iPhone Buyers Brawl in the US as Local Launch Nears

Posted: 09/24/2014 8:58 am

new haven apple fight iphone 6A fight broke out in a line-up of people waiting to purchase the new iPhone 6 among two “rival groups”, leading to suspicions the buyers plan to resell the product to a Chinese market at inflated prices, reports Sina.

Ten people identified as “Chinese nationals” by Sina were involved in a brawl outside an Apple store in New Haven, USA on September 22. Three people were arrested, one of whom was sent to hospital but is okay.

Since the iPhone was released on Friday, police have been repeatedly called in by store managers complaining of unruly behavior, reports NBCDFW. New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman described the situation:

There seem to be two groups, rival groups, mainly of Chinese people who are coming in from New York on a daily basis and are trying to buy as many phones as the store will allow to sell any one person. These rival groups have been challenging each other over their places in line. At times, these challenges have resulted in violence.

A grandson and nephew to two of the people taken away protested against the arrests, saying, ”We do nothing!”

The iPhone’s price varies based on model, but reports indicate it is worth three to four times its original value when resold on the Chinese market. Reuters reports of many opportunists exploiting the delayed launch of the new Apple product in China.

The demand for the iPhone 6 has led to many smuggling attempts at China’s borders. In the three days since the phone’s launch, 600 iPhone 6′s have been seized at the Huanggang and Futian crossing in Shenzhen.

Mass numbers of Chinese are also said to have been the source of conflict in line-ups for the iPhone 6 in Japan, also leading to police involvement.

However, it looks like the wait in China may finally be over. Tencent is reported as saying the iPhone 6 is in the final stages of approval, and should be available “very soon”.

Photo: Sina Video


CCTV Congratulates Banned TV Show For Emmy Win

Posted: 08/27/2014 3:08 pm

big bang theory sheldon cooper jim parsonsBreaking Bad may have been the big winner of this year’s Emmy awards, but Chinese citizens know who the real winner is: Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory.

In verifying the show’s cultural significance in China, CCTV posted a comment on Weibo congratulating Parson for winning the award for Best Performance of a Lead Actor in a Comedic Role for his portrayal of the worst friend/roommate/boyfriend you could ever hope to have:

big bang theory emmy win

There is a type of humor called ‘Sheldon’
The Best Performance of a Lead Actor in a Comedic Role is: Jim Parsons for ‘Big Bang Theory’. This is the fourth time Parsons has won the Emmy! But actually, his path has not always been smooth sailing. From his first appearance, the program could not find a television network willing to purchase it. However, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ has been an exception. After reading the script for the pilot episode, Jim thought that this character was right for him… let’s congratulate him!

But what should be Chinese fans expressing their pride at Parsons well-deserved Emmy win has instead been an outpouring of rage. Netizens are still furious about The Big Bang Theory having been unceremoniously banned from video streaming sites earlier this year.

Here are some comments from this post that emphasize people’s anger over the ban on what may be China’s most beloved foreign comedy show:

Prohibited from broadcast, so I’ll just say ‘bird’ (a Chinese expletive) [waving.emo]

Isn’t this show prohibited from broadcast? What’s the point of mentioning this?

Therefore, stop the ban on broadcasting this show!!!!

In fact, the news editor (that wrote this post) was thinking: the ban on the show has nothing to do with me!! I’ll just show my appreciation for Sheldon; what’s wrong with that?! I actually really (expletive) want the ban to be revoked!!!

Why have this ban? And yet they still have the gall to publish this kind of news? [angry.emo] Detestable.

Can this show still be broadcast? A dubbed Chinese language version of this show will be nauseating! The Sohu subtitle translation of the show was so amazing!

The Sohu version of The Big Bang Theory was broadcast in English without any cuts and was accompanied by accurately translated subtitles. As well, additional notes were provided to clearly explain the numerous pop cultural references made in each show.

Fans have been awaiting a rumored move to network television where it is to be dubbed in Chinese, mostly likely to be aired on CCTV. With the next season coming up soon, we can only imagine how funny Sheldon will be by saying in Chinese: “Penny…. Penny… Penny…”


Photos: the Nanfang, CCTV


The Only Chinese Athlete at World Gay Games Wins Silver

Posted: 08/14/2014 12:49 pm

china world gay games athlete silver competition internationalA Chinese athlete has made it to the podium at the ninth Gay Games currently underway in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The winner, an apparently unidentified man from Taiyuan, Shanxi, won silver in the 18-24 year-old breaststroke competition, reports Sina.

The man described how he felt while taking part at the opening ceremonies of the Gay Games:

The atmosphere here at the scene is incredible! At the opening ceremonies, there was only me representing China! It was a difficult moment! Hope that next time our contingent can be even larger!

More than 60 nations and between 8,000 and 10,000 athletes that are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered are taking part in the 2014 Gay Games.

The motto of the Games is “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best”. The open nature of the Gay Games is reflected by its complete lack of qualifying standards for competing athletes, ensuring that any person from any country can participate.

china world gay games athlete silver competition internationalchina world gay games athlete silver competition international

Photos: China Daily


Teens Charged With Killing Chinese Grad Student in California Plead Not Guilty

Posted: 08/14/2014 9:28 am

ji xinran trial murder usc exchange student china Four teens charged with the grizzly murder of a University of Southern California grad student from China have pleaded not guilty, reports the Los Angeles Times. The suspects are accused of the July 24 fatal beating of 24 year-old Ji Xinran, who was attacked with a baseball bat as he walked home from a study group.

Jonathan Del Carmen, 19; Andrew Garcia, 18; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 have all entered a plea of not guilty. The suspects are to be held without bail until their next hearing on September 12.

Garcia and Del Carmen could potentially face the death penalty. As minors, the other defendants are too young to be given capital punishment.

Some 150 students, friends, supporters came to the Los Angeles courthouse to attend the hearing.

In 2012, two Chinese exchange students of USC were shot and killed as they sat in their car during a botched robbery.

ji xinran trial murder usc exchange student china

Photos: LA Times


China Denies Killing US Pets with Tainted Dog Food

Posted: 07/3/2014 7:24 pm
dog food safety scandal chinese imports chicken jerky fda

An online warning to US pet owners issued at

China has categorically denied that Chinese-made dog food has killed hundreds of pets in the United States, reports the Beijing Morning Post.

Lu Chunming, the deputy head of the Bureau of Quality Inspection, said the US Food and Drug Administration has not fully investigated the issue, adding the US agency has criticized Chinese-made products without providing scientific proof.

Lu stated that all Chinese exported products must meet its production standards, and the quality control is even stricter for brand names exported to the US.

Lu made his comments in response to an FDA post on May 16. The FDA says that, up to now, it has received reports of some 4,800 cases of dog illnesses in the USA, of which 1,000 have died as a result. The FDA states all illnesses have to do with a consuming a specific type of chicken jerky that originates from China.

dog food safety scandal chinese imports chicken jerky fda

An online warning to US pet owners issued at

However, the FDA is leaving room for error, stating it was “not able to identify an exact cause-and-effect nature of that relationship” with the chicken jerky treats. The agency says it has been working with Chinese authorities and scientists to resolve the problem.

Dogs that have eaten the contaminated product will exhibit the following symptoms: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination.

dog food safety scandal chinese imports chicken jerky fda

Lu contradicts the FDA’s findings, emphasizing that neither any complaints nor disputes have ever been brought up before, and that trade between the countries has developed smoothly.

All the same, US media reports warning against the dangers of Chinese imports have been published before. The FDA has been warning the US public about Chinese pet food since 2007.

Even though Lu is adamant about the high safety regulations of Chinese exported goods, Lu doesn’t have the confidence of Chinese pet owners who have taken to importing dog food from the USA to feed to their pets.

Photo: the internet pet vet, News Inferno

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