Soon after the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, donation fever gripped China as individuals and companies lined up to donate funds for disaster relief. Some of this enthusiasm turned sour: Internet users drew up a spurious list of the top ten “international iron roosters” 国际铁公鸡 accusing global brands like Samsung, Nokia, and Coca-Cola of donating nothing to the earthquake relief effort despite reaping in millions in profits in the China. Read more
The black Audi has a reputation in China as the car of choice for the rich and powerful. Or for anyone pretending to be rich and powerful. And sometimes the dividing line between reality and pretense can become blurred. With the headline “Car blocks entrance to small community, is it the car that’s awesome or the driver?”, the front page of the Zhoukou Evening Paper from Zhoukou (周口) in eastern Henan today relates the story of a black Audi whose driver, a traffic policeman, clearly considers himself above the law. Read more
“In the Ya’an earthquake disaster zone I sobbed twice, and both times were by the side of cooking pots”.
The Chongqing Times newspaper today has a special section on the earthquake that occurred in the city of Ya’an (雅安) in Sichuan province last weekend. The special section, entitled “We are all Ya’an people now”, looks at the state of affairs 72 hours after the earthquake with the observation that “The destroyed area is calm and collected as it was before“. In eight pages of in-depth coverage, we see the extent of the destruction, how the survivors are being looked after, and how some people are trying their best to get on with their lives. One page in this special section outlines the findings of a journalist who went to take pictures of damaged homes, and found himself looking at a myriad destroyed stoves and pots as a cruel metaphor for the immense destruction wrought on people’s lives and livelihoods by the earthquake. Seeing all this destruction, there were two occasions when he wept.
This is probably not going the get the hated chengguan any love, but one of their number has made a short video in the style of a popular recent television advertisement to try and “clear up some misunderstandings” surrounding his profession. His video probably did nothing of the sort, but you can’t fault him for ripping off another television advertisement to try and stem some of the overwhelming negative press his profession generates. Or perhaps you can. Read more
The newspaper Daily Sunshine (晶报) from Shenzhen in Guangdong province today includes a special section entitled “Evil returns from the grave” (恶的还魂) (or perhaps another translation could be “The recycling of evil”) as a “reflection on the relationship between animals and humans”. The largest part of the newspaper’s front page is taken up by a Xi Jinping headline and a large image on the ongoing standoff on the Korean peninsula. The top corner of the front page refers to the sudden cancelling of the Tarantino film Django Unchained. Read more
The Danwei Bulletin is a new weekly report produced by Danwei and published on the FT’s China Confidential website and sent to premium subscribers. The Danwei Bulletin is a briefing of company and market news collected from the Chinese news and social media before the information appears in English language reporting.
A brief summary of each week’s report can be viewed on the China Confidential website, and the full edition is available on subscription. For more information on The Danwei Bulletin or about our custom media monitoring and research services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay ahead of the news
The examples below illustrate how the Danwei Bulletin readers get the scoop on business stories long before they hit the international media.
April 25 – Danwei Bulletin
Despite gold prices dropping in the last week, demand in China remains strong
Chinese social media websites were buzzing with reports of mainland Chinese visiting Hong Kong to buy gold. One photo that was widely shared shows a branch of the jeweler Chow Tai Fook with shelves completely empty after a visit by goldbug mainlanders.
May 3 – South China Morning Post
Chinese mothers beat Wall Street to force gold price rebound
Attempts by Wall Street funds to drive down bullion value through short selling thwarted by Asian mothers swooping in to buy for weddings.
May 9 – Bloomberg
At least 30 tons of gold were sold between April 29 and May 2 in Hong Kong, up more than 50 percent from last year, according to estimates by the city’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society.
Nongfu Bottled Water – major bottled water and beverage brand
April 3 – Danwei Bulletin
Bottled Water – Scandals continue
Wang Hai, a veteran Chinese anti-fraud activist, has suggested that there may be quality problems with Nongfu Spring tea beverages… Nongfu… has been on the defense recently, fending off charges that its water sources are polluted
May 3 – CCTV English – China Central Television News
Nongfu Spring, China’s leading bottled water, pulled from shelves in Beijing as it failed national standards.
May 4 – Shanghai Daily
Industry body seeking Beijing ban for Nongfu Spring water
The Bottled Water Sales Association of Beijing published a notice yesterday saying that Nongfu Spring water was not only in violation of national standards but also guilty of false advertising and misleading customers.
Xiaomaibu literally means small selling department, and refers to Chinese corner shops or small convenience stores usually run by an individual or a family. The person who runs such stores may sleep inside the store. The range of products and services sold in such stores varies immensely. This post highlights such xiaomaibu in a few locations around China, looking at the most popular products sold in each store along with particular services offered that make each xiaomaibu an essential local dispenser.
Just see Swallow in action – China’s champion search and rescue dog in the making. Read more
• 该职位的薪金和福利参照市场水平，具体数额将根据应聘者的工作经验有所调整。 Read more
At the north-eastern corner of Anhui University’s old campus in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, there’s a scenic pond that’s inhabited by a bevy of black swans. The swans have been there for more than a decade already, and were – as the front page of local newspaper Star News (市场新报) laments today – an object of fondness for locals.
Yet early this morning, five of these black and beautiful swans were found floating lifeless on the surface of the pond. The latest instance of floating dead animals in China – first pigs, then ducks, and now black swans – these mere five black swans became an object of heated discussion on the Internet right after the announcement was made.
How did they die? Was it a natural disaster or another man-made one? As Star News tells us today, upon hearing of the news yesterday it immediately sent a journalist to the scene to find out exactly what happened. What he found was just one more filthy pond filled with oily water and garbage. Read more
In the city of Huangshi in Hubei province there’s a lake called Cihu Lake. Situated close to the Yangtze River, the lake area appears to be an idyllic scenic spot. Yet, especially in light of recent events, Cihu Lake is blemished by the existence of ten pig farms that are situated on the south-western edge of the lake. After 108 pigs were fished out of the lake in the last few days and several thousand more in lakes and rivers elsewhere in China, the local newspaper Dongchu Evening News wanted some answers, so it sent a journalist to the ten pig farms on Cihu Lake to investigate. The situation the newspaper uncovered is startling. Not only were all the pig farms technically illegal, none of them had the proper paperwork, and the farms were falsifying the labels on their pigs’ ears.
Yet making this deplorable situation worse is the state of government regulation being applied to the pig farms, regulation which can only be described as messy and inefficient. So while we may not yet know the full details of where all the dead pigs in the rivers originated from, the out of control pig farms on Cihu Lake can shed a lot of light on the situation.