Black Shanzhai village near Beijing


In the last few months, the word "shanzhai" (山寨) has lept from obscurity to become one of the most common buzz words on the Chinese Internet and the subject of many blog posts and articles in the Western media.


Literally meaning "fortified mountain village", the word's connotations of being outside the law led to its use to describe pirate products, knock-offs and home-made imitations. Although "shanzhai" usually connotes low quality, the word is also used favorably to describe a certain rebellious and creative spirit.

Over Spring Festival, your correspondent stumbled on a village in Huairou County, Beijing called "Heishanzhai" or Black Shanzhai. The village has a donkey meat factory (billboard pictured) where you can buy Black Shanzhai Donkey Meat.

Links and Sources
There are currently 7 Comments for Black Shanzhai village near Beijing.

Comments on Black Shanzhai village near Beijing

...which is in fact just dark grey horse meat branded with a donkey logo and "beijing 2008".

Would anyone actually trust that donkey meat? It could very well be horse instead.

Very nice find, Jeremy. Did you really just arrive in that town and realize what fate had handed you?

Donkey ain't bad at all. It has an unusual color, not sure if horsemeat could be substituted.

LACJ: Yes, just stumbled on the village on the way to somewhere else.

Chinamatt: Horses are more expensive than donkeys so I don't think they would sell horse meat.

I love donkey meat. It's hard to find in the south.

I'm not sure if anyone'll get this comment, but I'm in Beijing and looking to look around... How does one get to this place?

One could try buying a map.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives