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Posts from the ‘Front page of the day’ Category

It’s the law: Chengguan in Guangzhou now have to be nice

Better late than never: new regulations in force from today in Guangzhou require all chengguan in the city to be courteous in the enforcement of their duties and to use words like “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry”. The new regulations, entitled “Guangzhou Metropolitan Comprehensive Law Enforcement Work Standards” (广州市城市管理综合执法工作规范), state clearly that chengguan may not use profane or threatening language while enforcing their duties, may not damage private property, and may not use any form of violence or intimidation. As is well known, the chengguan can definitely do with some anger management (see for example previous Danwei post here).

The front page of today’s Information Times (信息时报) has the story, and on page 3 the newspaper has included a helpful graphic with correct and incorrect speech bubbles to ensure there can be no misunderstanding of the new regulations. Also, on page 5 the newspaper has today printed mugshots of the 30 most wanted criminals in Guangdong (see below). Read more

Shenzhen bans “skew weeing”

Errant weeing will no longer be tolerated in Shenzhen. From yesterday, new regulations made any instance of uncivilized behavior in public bathrooms in the city liable to a 100 yuan fine. As Shenzhen Evening News reports today, however, enforcing straight weeing is much easier said than done. Read more

Bo Xilai outshone by “people’s judge” Zhai Shuquan

Yesterday, August 22nd, Bo Xilai’s trial got underway in Jinan, Shandong Province. Accused of accepting bribes, corruption, and abuse of office, Bo gave a spirited defence of himself while frequent posts on the court’s official Weibo feed sparked animated discussions of the case in the international press corps. The same vivacity has not appeared in today’s domestic coverage of the case. Nonetheless, a speech made by Zhou Qiang, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, has also made headlines today. Zhou announced that Zhai Shuquan, who hails from rural Nongan County in Jilin province, should be held up as a “model” and a “people’s judge” for his incorruptible comportment and his toughness on corruption regardless of who is in the dock. Read more

China’s two greatest Internet rumor mongers and “black PR” philanderers arrested

Although the entire foreign press corps and many Chinese Internet users are focused on the trial of Bo Xilai right now, many newspapers and websites are devoting space to a news story and propaganda campaign about online “rumor mongering”. Two suspected rumor mongers have been arrested.

The front page of yesterday’s Beijing Times 京华时报 carries a headline screaming “Qin Huohuo detained”, leading on to a page ten story entitled “Qin Huohuo’s online black society rumor mongering brought under control”. Qin Huohuo 秦火火 (real name Qin Zhihui 秦志晖) and Lierchaisi 立二拆四 (real name Yang Xiuyu 杨秀宇) are influential web figures detained on Tuesday by Beijing police on criminal charges of “starting quarrels and provoking trouble” and “illegal operation of a business” as part of a “prologue” to a broader State Public Security Bureau crackdown on illegal online activity.

Qin and Yang have since March 2010 headed a lucrative “black PR” business called Beijing Erma Interactive Marketing and Planning Company 北京尔玛互动营销策划有限公司 (no website for which could be found), one of the over 15,000 Chinese “water army” (shuijun 水军) companies paid by other companies to artificially generate grassroots online activity for their benefit. Erma’s client services include web marketing, creating online scandals or events, damaging the reputations of rivals or competitors, deleting negative comments from online forums, and generally creating and spreading rumors. All this is done in cooperation with online “opinion leaders” with large numbers of social media followers, who are be paid to re-post or forward particulars news or stories.

The most sensational claim in the article is that Erma was responsible for manufacturing the Guo Meimei scandal, which “was actually a plot that was planned by Internet marketers and internet water armies”. Read more

Xue Manzi: How Chinese social media can be a force for good

Update August 25:

Soon after this was published, Xue Manzi ran into trouble with the police. See this Shanghaiist story: Chinese-American investor Charles Xue arrested in Beijing in ‘prostitution’ sting.

It seems that other social media figures are also being targeted by police. On August 25, Daily Telegraph correspondent Malcom Moore tweeted the following:

Zhou Lubao, the whistleblower who exposed the luxury watch of the mayor of Lanzhou, has also been arrested. Night of the long knives?

Link to original tweet

end update——–

The front page yesterday of the Hainan-based Southern Metropolis Daily featured a headline for a page three story entitled “13-year-old girl collecting bottles to help her grandmother moves whole country’s netizens”.

The girl in question is Wu Xiaodie, from Jiuzhou village within the Haikou metropolis of Hainan province. Her family is very poor, her mother left when she was a baby, her father works as a laborer outside the city, and her paternal grandparents raised her. But Xiaodie’s grandmother needs medical treatment to remove a chest tumour and her father’s meager wages are not enough to afford it. So to try and save enough money, Xiaodie collected discarded bottles to exchange for small change at recycling depots. Her story was first reported on 15 August by the Hainan-focused HiNews website, complete with photos of her sifting through piles of trash searching for bottles.

On the morning of 17 August, the Southern Metropolis Daily, HiNews, and CCTV News all published calls on their official Weibo accounts to assist Xiaodie by donating through a special telephone hotline, with the appeal being reposted over 10,000 times, including by large media outlets such as the People’s Daily and Yangcheng Evening News.

However, the big break for Xiaodie came at 7 pm on 17 August, when famous angel investor and 2013 Danwei Model Weibo Worker Xue Manzi posted a public service project to raise donations for Xiaodie’s cause on the Sina Weibo Micro-Charity webpage under the title “13 year old girl collects bottles to help her grandmother cure her illness”. The fundraising goal was set at 100,000 yuan. By the evening n 18 August, donations had reached a total of 37,928 yuan. One day later the figure stood at over 80,000 yuan and briskly rising, with almost one thousand people having made donations. Read more

Chengguan go easy on man who constructed Beijing’s “most awesome illegal building”

The news has been dominated in recent days with stories relating to the somehow sudden discovery of a three-story villa covered in shrubbery sitting atop a 26-story building in western Beijing. Now, as construction (or rather, deconstruction) workers set about removing grapevines from atop the villa, the Beijing Times reports that the chengguan, China’s notoriously thuggish “urban management officers”, have adopted a softer approach to the man behind Beijing’s “most awesome illegal building”. Danwei readers will remember the chengguan for their recent killing of a melon vendor in Hunan. This time, according to the Beijing Times’ feature report, “the chengguan will not issue a fine as the villa owner has already commenced demolition.” Read more

“Cash and gifts” will get your child into the right class

Last year the New York Times published an exposé on the culture of corruption in the Chinese schools admissions system, with rich parents able to buy their children into the best schools. But less well documented is that parents with children in primary and middle schools can actually pay to have their children placed in the better classes of the year-group. Despite official bans to the contrary, many schools disproportionately favor particular classes within a student year-group, lavishing it with better teachers and resources in order to boost test scores in an attempt to make the school more attractive to parents (and boosting bribes payable for admission). In this process some students get a much better shot at getting into leading high schools and universities.

The front page of yesterday’s Yunnan-based Spring City Evening News 春城晚报 carries the headline “Investigating the ‘unwritten rules’ of primary and middle school class allocation: some schools even allocate classes based on parental occupation”. The page-six feature article laments that no sooner had the ‘school admissions war’ in Kunming finished, than the ‘class placement war’ has begun.

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The branded sex toy business – Zhang Xiaoyu

The BBC recently published a story titled Opening a sex shop in China, glossed as such:

In China, sex is not a frequent topic of conversation, but one 23-year-old graduate in China is hoping to change that.

Ma Jiajia is not like other young entrepreneurs in the country.

Her foray into the world of business has involved opening a sex shop – a venture that comes with its own risks and rewards.

In February 2004, nearly ten years ago, Danwei published a story titled Emily Meng owns a sex shop. This is the first line:

The G Spot is owned and managed by a twenty something Chinese woman named Emily Meng.

So a twenty-something woman opening a sex toy store in Beijing is not exactly new. On the other hand, this is probably a first for China: On May 15, Chinese nude model Zhang Xiaoyu 张筱雨 announced to her 450,000 Weibo followers the launch of her branded simulation sex toy, somewhat obliquely titled the ‘Zhang Xiaoyu reverse mould device’ (张筱雨倒模名器). The device is a small-scale model of Zhang’s back, buttocks and thighs with a prominent vibrating simulation vagina, coming in a pack complete with lubricant and nude photographs of Zhang.

The product page on the official Zhang Xiaoyu website claims the device is the “only one in the world’ to offer a “4D new orgasm experience” that literally “surpasses reality”. The device is capable of simulating vaginal muscle contractions, boasts of its lifelike texture, and comes with a prerecorded soundtrack of Zhang’s moans and cries of pleasure, which will “shout you to a pleasurable penetration”. It declares itself to be the “most realistic sex experience in the world” and allows you to “have sex with Zhang Xiaoyu to your heart’s content”.

The device has an original retail price of 783 Yuan, but can generally be bought through licensed distributors for 580 Yuan. It has average reviews of five out of five stars from almost 200 evidently satisfied customers on online adult retailer Xmeise.com. Zhang’s website is definitely NSFW, but it is professional and informative, giving the impression of a highly organised and well-crafted business. Read more

“Temperature warriors” take on China’s heat wave

The front page of the Nanhu Evening News tells us today that “The news that everyone is paying attention to right now is the heat.” This has been the case for the past few weeks. As we covered on Danwei, newspapers in Shanghai recently wondered if the summer of 2013 might end up being even worse than the heatwave of 1934. Now, the Zhejiang, Jiaxing-based Nanhu Evening News has given a face to the fight against the heatwave facing China. The front page of this newspaper is dominated by a photograph of a man in a boiler suit with his arms dangling down a manhole. The headline below demands that people “Pay respect to the temperature warrior.”

This caption of this photograph reads, “Yesterday, beneath the searing midday sun, the ground temperature in central Jiaxing reached more than 70° centigrade. On the south ring road, a water service repairman named Gong Jinqian lay on the scorching ground, fixing a broken water meter for local residents. He spent more than half an our on the furnace-like ground until the meter was fixed, and when he got up, his entire body was drenched.”

Gong Jinqian may have been the most photogenic hero in Jiaxing yesterday, but he was not alone in his bravery. Read more

“Are you still prostrating yourself before foreign milk powder?”

The vast majority of Chinese daily newspapers yesterday featured the massive New Zealand milk powder product recall as a front page story, most as either the leading headline or as a large and prominent graphic feature. The imagery is very much that of a scare campaign, with dozens of papers using evocative images of microscopic bacteria. The cover of the Xiamen-based West Strait Morning Post even showed the grim reaper lurking behind the recalled products. The New Zealand flag was also prominent on some front pages.

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