« May 9, 2010 - May 15, 2010 | Main | May 23, 2010 - May 29, 2010 »

May 22, 2010

Another Foxconn employee jumps to death

The Associated Press reports:

The latest victim, logistics worker Nan Gang, 21, leapt from a four-story factory building about a half hour after finishing his shift at 4 a.m., reported the Xinhua News Agency, quoting a city police spokesman, Huang Jianwei. Nan, a migrant from central Hubei province, landed on his head and died at the scene, Xinhua said, without providing further details.

A total 11 Foxconn workers have jumped off buildings this year, and two of them survived.

Talking harmoniously about the subway

Micah Sittig translates temporary rules in effect at Shanghai's Metrofans BBS for the duration of the Expo:

4. Beginning today, all posts on the topic of baggage inspections/X-rays must contain only reasonable recommendations and opinions, or reports of insufficient care in inspection work. Posters must not publish on this site any negative information on the topic of security, such as questions, criticism, boycotts, or exposés. Moderators have the right to remove any negative information on security, and will not entertain any complaints.

The hidden tolls of coal mining

The Asia Society's China Green has a new video on the hazards of coal mining.

A letter to Andy Xie, the business writer

At Chinese Box, Bradley Gardner writes about the property bubble and its analyst, Andy Xie (谢国忠).

May 21, 2010

Nazis at the Shanghai Expo

The Local translates an account from the German-language Süddeutsche Zeitung of frustrated tourists hurling abuse at members of the German pavilion's staff.

The skirmishes reportedly began on one of the first days of the expo, which runs from May 1 to October 31. On that day a long line of people, including some in wheelchairs, became enraged with delays and began tearing flowers out of the ground and throwing them at the pavilion.

Some shouted "na cui, na cui," which the paper said was Chinese for “Nazi, Nazi,” Schmitz confirmed.

via Shanghaiist.

The history lessons of Yuan Tengfei

Yuan Tengfei is a Beijing middle school teacher whose charisma and controversial history lessons that circulate as online videos have won him the nickname "most awesome history teacher".

Volunteering without a license

Eckart Loewe, volunteer in southern China for over a decade, accepts a CCTV interview. The fame brings him a warning from the local public security agencies: keep a low profile or else.

Southern Weekly on Thailand and democracy

The Chinese media have covered the protests rather heavily, with the implicit message frequently being that chaos is the expected outcome when developing countries embrace democracy. Seeing connections being drawn between Thailand and China's own internal democracy dialogue, Southern Weekly's editorial board published a debate, translated below:

Dodgy CCTV journalism and map clampdown

CCTV stealth-interviews blogger William Long and distorts the size and character of his audience.

Does Twitter matter in China?

Evan Osnos at The New Yorker:

Can Twitter really tie people together in a country where it is blocked? Before writing a profile of artist Ai Weiwei — published in the magazine this week — I had only a vague sense of Twitter’s presence here. It has been blocked since last June...

...[O]ne night I went to dinner in the central city of Chengdu with Ai Weiwei, who had been using Twitter all afternoon to invite like-minded people to join him for the evening. Most of them were strangers to him and each other, but, as I describe in the piece:

His fans began showing up in twos and threes, a lively crowd of mostly young professionals, including lawyers, Web designers, and journalists. The restaurant eventually ran out of seats, so it set up folding tables and plastic stools out front, and soon Ai’s group stretched along the sidewalk. It was a digital free-for-all...

China building port in Sri Lanka

From The Financial Times:

At Hambantota, a remote fishing town on Sri Lanka’s south coast, Chinese engineers are digging a channel through the region’s pristine beaches, connecting the Indian Ocean with a vast inland pit, whose soaring concrete walls dwarf the earth-moving equipment working below.

Next year, the project managers will fill this man-made crater with water, creating the first phase of a new international harbour that will service the passing ships of the oil trade between east Asia and the Middle East.

"Folk is the new rock"

The Beijing Gig blog interviews Jennifer Conrad, Web & Music Editor for Time Out magazine, whose latest issue, a music special, features a Sergeant Pepper-inspired cover by Chairman Ca.

The only red line in Chinese journalism

The Global Times reports on a China-Germany Media Forum held Thursday in Shanghai:

While acknowledging the progress of China and its media industry, Kohler asked the Chinese attendees, "As editors-in-chief, how much freedom do you give to the editors and reporters?"

The question immediately triggered colorful responses from Chinese journalists.

"The German media believe the Communist Party of China has set a red line for all of us," said Chen Xiaochuan, editor-in-chief of China Youth Daily. "That line does not exist."

China has thousands of newspapers, magazines and TV stations, which espouse different views because of their different values. They focus on everything, from environmental protection to civil rights, Chen said.

"However, we may have one red line, which is the common belief that the Dalai Lama is a separatist," he said.

May 20, 2010

Taking a bite out of crime one pay-off at a time

The Black China Hand visits a police station where some gifts are being presented.

BYD electric taxis hit Shenzhen's streets

By G.E. Anderson on Forbes' China Tracker:

BYD, a private, Hong-Kong listed automaker based in Shenzhen, announced May 17 that it had put 40 all-electric taxis into service in the city of Shenzhen.

The taxi is BYD's E6 model, a cross-over vehicle with a lithium-ion battery that, according to BYD, will travel up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) on a single charge.

Miss World Bikini finalists visit Great Wall

A photo gallery from The China Daily, shot at Simatai.

China's huge cement deal in South Africa

From The Financial Times:

China on Thursday confirmed its biggest investment in South Africa for more than two years, underlining growing commercial ties between the two countries.

Jidong Development Group, China’s second largest cement maker, and the China Africa Development Fund will acquire a majority stake in a new R1.65bn ($221m) cement plant.

Jidong and CADF will invest R382.5m and Chinese banks will provide about R450m, with the rest of the money coming in the form of equity stakes from two South African partners – Continental Cement and Wiphold, a black women’s empowerment group – and loans from NedBank, one of the country’s largest banks.

Details on cleaver attack in Hainan

Details have emerged about the latest school attack that took place in Hainan. In this case, the students were attacked by a group of young men whereas the previous attacks this year have all involved lone knifemen. From The Daily Telegraph by Peter Foster:

The attack in the small hours of Wednesday morning was the ninth in a series of similar attacks in the last two months...

...The latest incident was aimed at students who were asleep in their dormitory at the Technology Vocational School in Hainan, the southern Chinese island.

According to reports by a local news website, hinews.cn, a group of men broke into the dormitory injuring nine students, including one whose hand was reportedly severed in the attack. The student was taken to the provincial capital Haikou for emergency surgery...

...They reportedly targeted the school hours after arguing with the students at a barbecue. Four were injured in the initial clash.

May 19, 2010

Electric bicycles: some numbers

In The Economist:

[L]ocal output grew from a few thousand bikes a year less than a decade ago to more than 22m last year, along with millions of kits to turn ordinary bicycles into electric ones. Annual sales have reached about $11 billion...

...The biggest manufacturer, Jiangsu Xinri Electric Vehicle Co, produced 1.8m “e-bikes” last year. Its lead is under threat from at least half a dozen other manufacturers. One rival, Tianjin Aima Science and Technology Co, says it is gearing up to make more than 5m bikes a year; Jiangsu Yadea Technical Development Co hopes to triple its sales to 3m this year.

Must-reads on Ai Weiwei

Evan Osnos of The New Yorker has an excellent, lengthy profile of Ai Weiwei in the magazine this week (subscription required). He has also compiled a list of great links about Ai in a blog post.

Lhasa to require real name registration for printing and photcopying

From The China Daily:

Those using services to reproduce printed or written material in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, will have to show their ID cards and have their ID numbers registered under a new rule to prevent illegal activities.

The rule was announced at a meeting of the management of the city's reprography sector held on May 10, the Lhasa Evening News reported.

Copy service providers are required to strictly adopt a real-name registration system, the report said.

The name and address of the company or the organization and the name and number of copies, as well as the name of the person who handles such services, should be taken down.

For individual users, the relevant name, address, ID card type and number should be registered, according to the new rule.

Blogger interrogated after criticizing Shanghai Expo

On Global Voices:

A blogger, A Bad Friend, was summoned by security police for interrogation over tea upon writing an article, 10 sins of EXPO 2010, on his blog. After the tea session, he wrote another article, “La Dernière Classe”, recording the conversation between the security police and himself.

More on the Nanjing group sex case

In The Boston Herald:

They were members of a modern-day swingers’ club in China, where people met online and then gathered in homes or hotels for group sex parties involving dozens of men and women.

Last month, Ma Yaohai, a 53-year-old college professor and 21 others went on trial in the southeastern city of Nanjing, accused of "group licentiousness" — the first time anyone has been charged under a 1997 law in a case that has snagged huge public interest with its titillating details...

...Entering the court at the start of the two-day trial on April 7, he blurted out, "How can I disturb social order? What happens in my house is a private matter."

Shanzhai bananas

Bole bananas! Check them out on Shanghaiist.

May 18, 2010

A new type of party at KFC

The "autonomous region" blog presents a KFC "Circumcision Party" promotion.

Huang Guangyu, formerly China's richest man, gets 14 years in prison

This is the entirety of this morning's Xinhua news release about the sentencing of Huang Guangyu:

Former chairman of Chinese electronics retailer giant Gome Huang Guangyu was sentenced to 14 years in prison by a Beijing court Tuesday morning over illegal business dealings, insider trading and bribery.

Karaoke club owners lament return of Internet to Xinjiang

The China Daily has a lengthy piece on the return of the Internet to Xinjiang after a 10 month blackout. It includes quotes from a variety of different people including this man, who was not so happy:

"Our income almost doubled after the Internet was cut," said a manager called Zhang at the Bayinhe Karaoke Club in Urumqi, the regional capital. "But our bookings dropped sharply over the weekend because the Internet is back. It seems like our good times are over."

May 17, 2010

USSR planned nuclear attack on China in 1969?

By Andrew Osborn and Peter Foster in The Daily Telegraph:

The Soviet Union was on the brink of launching a nuclear attack against China in 1969 and only backed down after the US told Moscow such a move would start World War Three, according to a Chinese historian.

Hong Kong by-election thwarted by Beijing

From The Financial Times:

Legislative by-elections in Hong Kong, pitched by the leading candidates as a “de facto referendum” for faster political reform, appeared to fall victim on Sunday to intervention by Beijing as voters largely shunned the polls...

...The plan ran into trouble when the pro-government parties decided not to contest the by-election after China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, which usually operates in the shadows, publicly condemned the “so-called referendum” as a “blatant challenge” to China’s authority.

Nigeria, China to spend $23 billion building oil refineries

Feom BusinessWeek:

Nigeria and China agreed to seek funding of $23 billion dollars to build three new oil refineries and a petrochemical complex in the West African country, the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said.