Danwei Noon Report

Hunan TV's new publicity stunt

Danwei Noon Report is a daily roundup of new and old media coverage about China from Chinese and English sources. Today's report was written by Joel Martinsen and Jeremy Goldkorn

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Those naughty people at Hunan TV are entertaining the masses again

Naked Hunan TV contestants with eggs

As a publicity stunt, Hunan TV's talent contest Star Girl Show (星姐选拔) has published a series of photos of contestants, all of them naked and holding a large egg. On each egg is written a different key word: the contestants were told to express their feelings about the word through their poses.

The pictured contestant's egg has the keyword Li Yuchun, the androgymous winner of last year's Super Girls contest. Other keywords are:

• Inside story / behind the scenes plot 黑幕
• Fans 粉丝
• Vote 投票
• PK (i.e. knock someone out of a competition)
• Explosion (used in the sense of sudden surge in popularity of a TV show) 炮轰
• Poison tongue (recently used to describe Li Yong, the much-mocked presenter of CCTV's China Dream talent show) 毒舌
• Dream 梦想
• Sour sour yoghurt (dairy giant Mengniu has been a big sponsor of Hunan TV's talent shows) 酸酸乳
• Tears 眼泪
• TV viewing ratings 收视率
• 18 years old 18岁

(Link - in Chinese)


Beijing to look safer in 2008
Beijing's makeover continues in the runup to the 2008 Olympics. As reported in the Mirror, anti-burglary window bars are to be removed from all buildings on the ring roads and other major thoroughfares by the first half of 2008.

This is part of an overhaul of the exterior appearance of the city's buildings, one of fifteen city beautification projects currently in progress. Not to worry, buildings along the ring roads won't become easy pickings for thieves - only external window bars are affected by the regulation, so they may be replaced by internal anti-burglary measures.

The other fourteen beautification projects are listed as: demolition of illegal structures; "urban villages"; major roadways and areas; structure exteriors; pitched-roof conversions; flight corridors; urban outskirts; rail right-of-way environmental overhaul; renovation of old neighborhoods; telecom, radio, and TV transmitters and receivers; billboards; power lines; unfinished buildings;
interchange bridges; unfinished demolitions. (Link - in Chinese)


Reality TV meets the Olympics
CCTV has launched a competition among Chinese citizens to select a coxswain for the 2008 Olympic 8+ rowing teams. According to The Beijing News:

Candidates for the Olympic coxswain position will be drawn from across the country. 89 winners will enter the first season of tryouts on CCTV, with 10 men and 10 women winning spots on the national Olympic rowing training team in February 2007. Following three months of training and a second televised selection round, two men and two women will prepare for the Olympics with the national team. Ultimately, one man and one woman will be chosen to compete in the Beijing Olympics.

A "civilian Olympic champion" is possible because "a coxswain does not need a superhuman physique; an ordinary person could win a spot after a year or so of training." (Link - in Chinese; the Wall Street Journal published an article by Mei Fong about the same subject at the end of August - link, subscription required)


Ogilvy buys real estate ad agency
From a report by XFN:

The Ogilvy Group China has agreed to acquire Black Arc Advertising, a Chinese agency specializing in real estate-related advertising and promotions, the company said in a statement.

'The property sector is one of the fastest-growing and most important in the Chinese economy. Our investment in Black Arc Advertising puts Ogilvy at the forefront of the property marketing space and allows us to participate in the significant marketing opportunities being created in this area,' said TB Song, Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Greater China. (Link)

The article does not mention how much Ogilvy paid, nor does it note that the real estate market in Chinese cities has been a little depressed in the last few months as government measures to discourage speculation have kicked in.


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Pen and handkerchief in hand

Hu Jintao caricature in Yangcheng Evening News
Guangzhou newspaper Yangcheng Evening News has published a drawing of President Hu Jintao; the drawing is circulating around the Chinese Internet by email. ESWN explains:

In the western world (plus Hong Kong and Taiwan), leaders like Bush, Donald Tsang and Chen Shiu-bian are often presented in drawings. But in mainland China, it is forbidden to do so until Guangzhou's XKB presented the drawing of Chairman Hu Jintao yesterday on page A15 with the story: "For Whom Did The Secretary General Shed His Tears?" This was not a piece of sarcasm, but an inspiring story about a late Peking University professor who died from cancer and how Hu Jintao wrote to his daughter with pen in his right hand, handkerchief in his left hand and tears in his eyes. Official reaction to this breach of protocol is unknown at this time.

UPDATE: The cartoonist who created this drawing has been suspended: see ESWN for details.


Xenophobia in Qing Dynasty treaty ports
Here's an interesting blog, discovered through Danwei's referral log: Jottings from the Granite Studio. Aside from saying nice things about Danwei, the blog is described like this: "A Qing historian reads the newspaper...notes from a student of China and Chinese history". The blogger's research focuses on "anti-foreignism and colonialism in the coastal ('treaty port') cities of the Qing Empire."

What is the difference between xenophobia and 'anti-foreignism'?


Paralympics on acid
Imagethief comments on the new mascot for the "Beijing 2008 Psychedelic Paralympic Games". With pictures! (Link)

There are currently 3 Comments for Hunan TV's new publicity stunt.

Comments on Hunan TV's new publicity stunt

I didn't read YCWB on Monday, but I did see the cartoon in XinKuai Bao, which is owned by the Yangcheng group, that day. I might be wrong but doesn't seem like the sort of thing that YCWB itself would (be able to) run.

Danwei, please stay on the cartoon story!

I think the fact that cartoons of leaders are running at all these days (ESWN has details of a couple of previous ones) is a hugely positive sign.

Thanks for the shout out.

Regarding xenophobia and anti-foreignism: admittedly the line is blurry, and the detailed explanation probably interesting to only about three people on the planet and one of them is my advisor.

The short form is that the former implies an "unreasonable or irrational" fear and hatred of foreigners whereas the latter suggests actions or beliefs on the part of a community or people in reaction to a threat or aggression by foreigners against that community or people.

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