The Nanfang / Blog

Brit faces jail time after being charged with bigamy in Guangzhou

Posted: 07/25/2013 2:38 pm

A Brit and his Chinese wife are facing up to two years in prison after he became the first foreigner to be charged with bigamy after a lengthy investigation in Guangzhou, Global Times reports.

The Nanfang reported on the story in April, when it first came to light:

It started in 2005, when Jerry (an alias), 48, came to Guangzhou for business. His wife Mary (alias), 49, stayed behind as a housewife in the UK. They had been married for over 20 years and have four children together, Xin Kuai Bao reports. Mary told reporters her husband came to China to work in the freight business.

Shortly after arriving Jerry met Luo Ting (alias). He mentioned to his wife at home that he had met this woman, who he said was an indispensable help for his work. Mary visited Guangzhou and met Luo Ting in the early days, so Luo Ting was aware that Jerry was married with kids.

In October 2006, Jerry went back home. Mary read Jerry and Luo Ting’s chat records by chance, and found piles of their intimate pictures in his computer. The two referred to each other as “husband” and “wife”. She kept all the evidence and had a fight with her husband before he flew back to China.  At that time, Luo Ting was pregnant with their first child. They would end up having a second as well.

In March 2012, Mary entrusted her lawyer Wang Li to report the case to the Guangzhou Police Department. As this is the first bigamy case in Guangzhou related to foreigners, it took many months for the process to slumber on. Early this year, Jerry was finally arrested by the Guangzhou Police and Luo Ting was released on bail to look after her young kids.

Wang Li told reporters that once the jury finds Jerry guilty of bigamy, he will probably not be allowed to enter China again. It also won’t be easy for Luo Ting to visit the UK. Therefore, it’s expected the family will be split.

Jerry is actually Jim Smith, who’s 48 years old.  Him and his Chinese wife were charged at the Yuexiu District procuratorate this month after Smith’s wife of 22 years filed charges against the couple.

These charges have been a long time coming. 


What kills the most kids in Guangdong? You’d be surprised

Posted: 07/16/2013 11:00 am

Drowning has become the most common cause of death among 5-14 year olds in Guangdong Province, according to the Guangdong Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 4,400 people a year drown in Guangdong and the majority are children. They are particularly vulnerable at this time of year when water sports are at their most popular, gdchinanews reports.

A 5-year study that took in 10 counties, a number of districts such as Guangzhou’s Yuexiu and villages such as Wuhua in Meizhou and Taishan in Jiangmen showed that 1,114 people a year drowned in those areas. The ratio of male to female victims was 7:4 and the ratio of rural to urban victims was 8:3.

Drowning accounts for over 96% of fatal accidents among that age group in the province’s rural areas, and 70% in urban areas.

Drowning also accounts for 15.2% of suicides in urban areas.

Only 0.62% of these deaths happen in swimming pools and 0.6% happen in bathtubs and barrels. The rest happen in rivers, lakes, canals and the sea.

Stories such as this one occur often to remind us that children should never be left unsupervised when swimming.


Customers at La Perle in Guangzhou complain about VIP-only bathrooms

Posted: 07/9/2013 7:00 am

Customers at La Perle in Guangzhou’s Yuexiu District have complained about the bathrooms in the upmarket department store being accessible only to VIP card-holders, Xinkuaibao reports. To get this VIP card, customers must have spent 250,000 RMB at the store or 50,000 RMB there in the past six months.

Ms Liao, the public relations manager of the department store which is located on Huanshi East Road, explained that La Perle was trying to give VIP card-holders a private space. But we all know what can happen when people can’t make it to a toilet.

Because customers had kicked up a stink about the lack of toilet access, a reporter from the paper went to find out for himself what was going on.

On the second floor, there is a ladies toilet for VIPs. There is a gents VIP toilet on the third floor. The other floors all had toilets that were accessible to everyone.

While some say this is fair, others have said that all customers should be treated equally.

Liao explained that the VIP restrooms were installed in April 2012 after being under construction for a year. The walls are made with the best Italian ceramics. Everything is automatic and ultra-modern and the bathroom itself has everything from a changing room to a nursery, according to Liao.

In response to the complaints, Liao said: “We never meant to offend customers who don’t have VIP cards. If a customer has, for example, a small child who desperately needs the toilet, then our staff will consider allowing them in. ”

As far as we know, this is the first department store in Guangzhou to have VIP toilets.


Guy – who clearly desperately needs cash – offers to sell his legs for 200,000 RMB each

Posted: 10/10/2012 12:10 pm

We’ve all known people who’ll do anything for a buck, but China has once again established its status as a land of extremes.

A 50 year-old man in Guangzhou who had serious knee injuries since 2007 offered to sell his legs for 200,000 RMB each yesterday, local media have reported.

When he appeared on the footbridge in Yuexiu District’s Wuyang Xincheng, he told curious pedestrians that he had sustained the severe injuries while working at a bank in Yuanhuacheng in Haizhu District.

After undergoing surgery, the bank refused to acknowledge responsibility for the injuries, and has never covered the cost.

The bank said he took them to court twice in 2009 and in both occasions the court ruled that the bank was not responsible for the injuries, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.

So it sounds like those legs are still available.

Note: A correction was made at 5:23 p.m. October 10. He offered his legs for 200,000 RMB, not 20,000.


Department store clears out dealers’ stock without permission

Posted: 09/21/2012 1:00 pm

Meidong Department Store in Guangzhou’s Yuexiu District removed the stock of dealers based on the first floor of the store without warning after a contract dispute on August 8, according to Yangcheng Evening News. The feud is yet to be resolved.

The department store, which is located on Nonglinxia Road, has been in business for 1 year and 2 months. Ahead of an expected change of ownership, the department store asked all dealers on the first floor to move out as it plans to start selling different brands.

However, the dealers refused because their leases had not come to an end. Many of the dealers ran jewelry stores.

Meidong Department Store then removed all of the dealers’ stock without permission. About 1.3 million yuan worth of goods were removed. As well as jewelry, this included lamps, cameras and television sets. Meidong Department Store promised it would settle the accounts but said nothing about compensation.

One of the dealers, surnamed Han, showed a contract that he had signed with Meidong Department Store to a reporter. Han pointed out that the term of the lease is from April 1, 2012 to April 2, 2013. The dealers are still waiting for a statement from the department store.


Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV