The Nanfang / Blog

Dongguan taxation bureau caught touting adult products on its official website

Posted: 02/26/2014 9:05 am

We’ve read that money is tight in Guangdong these days. The government is tightening its spending (so it says), and one local official has recently quit his government post and turned to entrepreneurship, apparently because he wasn’t getting paid enough. But so far, we have to give it to the Dongguan Local Taxation Bureau for the most awe-inspiring way to generate government revenue in this grim financial climate – selling advertisements, including those for adult products, on its official website.

The bureau’s sly move was brought to light after a reporter from Nanfang Daily found the bureau’s official website was teeming with ads selling company loans, phone plans and adult products by typing Dongguan Dishui(东莞地税 )into the Chinese search engine Baidu, China’s equivalent of Google, the newspaper reported on February 25.

One official from the bureau told the newspaper that the domain name – (now the ads are all gone) – was its old website and was abolished last year. The bureau’s new domain name has changed to, according to him.

He said the two characters Guan Wang (官网), meaning “official website” in English, was generated by Baidu in its search results, and the bureau has contacted Baidu to fix the apparent “mistake”.

Home page photo from Nanfang Daily 


Nanfang 3.0 is live, bugs and all

Posted: 07/8/2013 9:00 am

Well hello there.  The Nanfang has changed since you last stopped by, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

To those of you who’ve followed our development, you’ll know that the co-founders of the site and our numerous contributors have done an amazing job bringing daily news to our readers.  Our traffic has grown exponentially since we launched two years ago, and particularly within the last six months.  But the site we were working on was based on a fragile foundation that wasn’t helping us do all of the things we want to do.

With today’s launch, we hope to rectify that.  The Nanfang is known for its Insider Blog, but we’re a lot more than just that.  We want to do a better job of showcasing our listing and event information, make it easier for people to upload information, and make the site more interesting to browse.  Our aims were ambitious, and I think we’ve pulled it off… sort of.

No doubt you’ll find a few empty spaces, mis-sized photos, error messages, and more in the coming days.  We have a team of staff working frantically to get things in order. Launching a revamp of this magnitude is not easy, and we really appreciate you bearing with us.  Over the coming weeks, we’ll bring a few stragglers, namely our Classifieds and Jobs sections, into the new fold.  We also have more plans that will be unveiled this year, and we hope you’ll like them.

The Nanfang is a group effort involving staff, journalism students, developers, designers and interns contributing from around the Pearl River Delta, across China, and in multiple time zones.  We have no profit and no revenue.  Sure, we’d like to earn some eventually, but that’s not why we do what we do.  We love the Pearl River Delta, and this is a labour of love.

We hope you enjoy the new site, and we’re always open to feedback at [email protected]


The Nanfang Team


Hacker breaks into Guangdong exam website, offers to digitally change test scores

Posted: 08/7/2012 7:00 am

If hacking were an Olympic Sport, then China would be a sure thing for the gold medal. Late last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce fell victim to Chinese hackers, the latest in a line of sensitive websites that Chinese hackers are thought to have gained access to, leading Hillary Clinton to call it a very serious threat.

The latest attack was turned inward though, and theoretically had a very creative business purpose.  A youth was able to hack into the official website of the Personnel Examinations Bureau of Guangdong Province on August 1. On the navigation bar of the website, the hacker changed the “consultation” link to an advertisement which offered to digitally change people’s exam scores for RMB500 .  Despite the hacker’s claims, he only gained the ability to change the “consultation” bar and had no way to access the scores database, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily.

Visitors to the website found that all answers to questions given after clicking on “consultation” had been changed to “the spirit of hacking has never disappeared, but our beliefs have become slightly vague”, then a QQ number appeared saying “I will solve all problems for you.” Everything the hacker wrote has now been deleted.

The hacker claims that he still can alter the web data, but he refused to show reporters the process or explain how he could change exam scores.

Tampering with exam scores is common in China. Last week an official in Zhongshan lost his job and will face further punishment after it emerged that he had tampered with his son’s exam result to give him a better chance of becoming a government official.

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