Posts tagged ‘Sina Weibo’

29/04/2014

In China, Another Argument for Peeing in Public – China Real Time Report – WSJ

While peeing in public may be frowned upon in many places, mainlanders apparently take a slightly more tolerant attitude to the practice. In Hong Kong, this cultural clash has led to a number of altercations after mainland parents let their children relieve themselves in the territory’s streets.

But at times, evacuating one’s bladder in public apparently can have its upside.

According to local media in the southwestern city of Chengdu (in Chinese), there is at least one young man who now believes that when the call of nature is heard, just go with the flow.

Xu Yuanguang was riding home from work on his motorcycle last week, the Chengdu Business News reports (in Chinese), when he felt a sudden urge. The 29-year-old shop employee pulled off the road on the outskirts of Chengdu and took  aim at a nearby pile of dirt.

After completing his task, he spotted a colorful object that had been uncovered by the sudden flow. Intrigued, he dug it out, only to find a terracotta figurine.

He and co-worker Yi Zhimin – who had been riding with him — reported the find to the local Bureau of Cultural Relics.

via In China, Another Argument for Peeing in Public – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta
09/04/2014

The Real China Housing Collapse: ‘Vintage’ Buildings – China Real Time Report – WSJ

They don’t build ‘em like they used to, and when it comes to housing in China, that’s probably a good thing.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the price behind the breakneck pace of China’s construction boom since the reform and opening is becoming clear, with buildings collapses frequently involving those constructed in the 1980s and ‘90s.

That was evident last week, when a five-story residential building constructed in 1994 collapsed in Fenghua in coastal Zhejiang province, killing one person and burying several others in the rubble.

Only an eyebrow-raising 22% of China’s housing stock was built before 2000. But its recent vintage doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll last very long: According to an unnamed government official Xinhua cited this week, China’s buildings are generally expected to last for just 25 to 30 years. The reason is poor quality of construction and design, Xinhua said, adding that many seismically unsafe buildings from the ‘80s and ‘90s in the country still exist.

As of Tuesday afternoon, some 1.6 million comments were posted on Weibo about the Zhejiang collapse, with most microbloggers expressing astonishment and fear while blaming local authorities and developers.

“Developers run completely rampant over us,” wrote one user. “Where can ordinary people go to seek justice? Don’t tell me authorities just wait until there’s an accident to start paying attention?”

“In other countries, an 8.0 quake only kills eight people,” wrote another. “Our houses collapses even on days without a hint of trouble.”

At least six multiple-story buildings have collapsed in China since 2009—including one in Shanghai under construction that bizarrely toppled over virtually intact—though not all have caused casualties. In one particularly deadly 2009 incident, 17 people were killed after a two-story building constructed in the 1980s collapsed in Hebei after a heavy rain, Xinhua reported (in Chinese).

via The Real China Housing Collapse: ‘Vintage’ Buildings – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta
28/02/2014

Chinese criticize state firm behind Three Gorges dam over graft probe | Reuters

A scathing report on corruption at the company that built China’s $59-billion Three Gorges dam, the world’s biggest hydropower scheme, has reignited public anger over a project funded through a special levy paid by all citizens.

Ships sail on the Yangtze River near Badong, 100km (62 miles) from the Three Gorges dam in Hubei province August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The report by the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog last week found that some officials at the Three Gorges Corporation, set up in 1993 to run the scheme, were guilty of nepotism, shady property deals and dodgy bidding procedures.

Between 1992 and 2009, all citizens had to pay a levy built into power prices across China to channel money to the dam’s construction, a project overshadowed by compulsory relocations of residents and environmental concerns.

“The relatives and friends of some leaders interfered with construction projects, certain bidding was conducted secretly … and some leaders illicitly occupied multiple apartments,” the graft watchdog said on its website(www.ccdi.gov.cn).

The Three Gorges Corporation published a statement on its website on Tuesday saying it would look into the issues the probe raised, and strictly punish any corrupt conduct and violations of the law and party discipline.

The accusations – made as part of President Xi Jinping‘s crackdown on deep-rooted corruption – have spread rapidly across China’s popular Twitter-like service Sina Weibo, and some of China’s more outspoken newspapers have weighed in too.

via Chinese criticize state firm behind Three Gorges dam over graft probe | Reuters.

Enhanced by Zemanta
14/02/2014

E-Commerce Gives a Lift to China’s Rural Farmers – Businessweek

A recent series of food safety scandals has created a hunger in China’s big cities for natural or traditionally grown food, absent buckets of fertilizer and pesticide. Two beneficiaries of this new market are Li Chengcai, 83, and his wife, 76-year-old Cheng Youfang, who grow white radishes in fields shadowed by the Yellow Mountain range. They get orders online from distant urban customers willing to pay more for flavorful, safe food.

E-Commerce Gives a Lift to China's Rural Farmers

The couple lives in Bishan, a village of 2,800 residents, in an old stone home on a narrow street lined with crumbling mansions. Rich merchants built the homes more than a century ago when the village, in southern Anhui province, was in its heyday. Many villagers, including their four daughters, have left for the cities. In 2011, China’s population was more than half urban for the first time. But Li and Cheng, who are illiterate and speak only their local dialect, say they have no plans to leave. Fortunately, a new opportunity has come to them—as it may to many more farmers in the next few years.

About a year ago, Zhang Yu, a 26-year-old “young village official”—that’s her actual title—knocked on Li’s door. In the summer of 2012, as national newspapers carried heated debates about genetically modified organisms and food safety, Zhang and a few other young colleagues had an idea. In their capacity as village officials they launched an account on Sina Weibo, a microblogging site, to post items about the fresh, traditionally grown produce of the Yellow Mountain region. Soon afterward they began an online store through Alibaba Group’s Taobao.com platform to connect local farmers with urban buyers. The first order, for 5 pounds of sweet corn, came from a resident of the wealthy port city of Dalian.

via E-Commerce Gives a Lift to China’s Rural Farmers – Businessweek.

Enhanced by Zemanta
18/01/2014

The internet: From Weibo to WeChat | The Economist

WHEN Luo Changping, an investigative journalist, tried on November 22nd to post the latest chapter of his big scoop on WeChat, a popular Chinese mobile messaging service, censors blocked it. But he was able to work round them. In a follow-up message he told his subscribers they could send him the words “Chapter Seventeen”; users who did so automatically received the post on their mobile phones, uncensored.

WeChat, or Weixin in Chinese, is known mostly for private chatting and innocuous photo-sharing among small circles of friends. With more than 270m active users, it has become the star product from Tencent, an internet conglomerate. Some have compared it to WhatsApp, an American messaging service. More quietly, it has become the preferred medium for provocative online discussion—the latest move in China’s cat-and-mouse game of internet expression and censorship.

 

Mr Luo began posting his serialised stories on WeChat in May. They related how he had exposed the alleged corruption of Liu Tienan, a senior economic official. He had tried tweeting them on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog on which he had accused Mr Liu of corruption months earlier, but internet censors blocked him from doing so: hence his switch to WeChat. Though his initial attempts there were also blocked, the loophole that enabled him to send out the file is typical of WeChat’s more relaxed approach to censorship.

A WeChat account works much less publicly than accounts on microblogs (of which Sina Weibo is the most prominent). Anyone using Sina Weibo can see almost anyone else’s tweets and forward them on, meaning a single tweet can spread very quickly. On WeChat, it is usually only subscribers to a public account who will see a post (though such posts may also be viewed on a separate web page), and if a subscriber forwards a post, only that subscriber’s circle of friends see it. Its non-public accounts are even less open. Information on WeChat spreads at such a slow burn that authorities feel they have more control over it. Also in contrast to microblogs, many types of public account (like Mr Luo’s) can send out only one post to subscribers a day, making them much easier for authorities to monitor.

Mr Luo does not always have problems sending out his stories on WeChat and, since switching to the service, he has posted the equivalent of a blog post every week or two, and built a following of more than 60,000—“higher than the actual subscription figure of many Chinese magazines”, he says. WeChat is now his prime delivery platform for newsy titbits, including sensitive information that would be censored more rigorously on microblogs. (He has not published for Caijing magazine, his former employer, since being transferred in November to a non-reporting position at an affiliated research institute.) Meanwhile, he makes much less use of his Sina Weibo account, even though it has more than four times as many followers: “The ground for public opinion has begun to shift toward WeChat,” he says.

The rise of WeChat is a business phenomenon in its own right (see article). But it is also a measure of how adaptive and resilient China’s political and social discourse has become—almost as adaptive as the censorship regime that seeks to contain it. Recently a number of public intellectuals have lamented the decline of meaningful discussion on weibo. The microblogs were full of user-led activism in 2012 but, starting in 2013, officials have dramatically escalated their efforts to control them. Propaganda outlets have intensified attacks on the spread of rumours online, authorities browbeat online celebrities to be “more responsible” (at least two have been arrested on unrelated charges), and microbloggers can now be jailed for up to three years for tweeting false information that is forwarded 500 times or viewed 5,000 times. President Xi Jinping, in a speech to party leaders in August, said that the internet was the prime battleground in the fight over public opinion, and that officials must seize control of it.

via The internet: From Weibo to WeChat | The Economist.

Enhanced by Zemanta
09/01/2014

Chinese Director Zhang Yimou Fined $1.2 Million for Violating One-Child Policy – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Chinese Internet users often bemoan the fact that China’s wealthy are able to easily skirt the country’s one-child policy by simply paying the fines. But local officials appear to be making a point when it comes to one high-profile offender.

Chinese film director Zhang Yimou and his wife , Chen Ting, were fined 7.48 million yuan ($1.2 million) by the family planning bureau of Binhu district in the eastern city of Wuxi for having three children, the district government said on its verified account on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

The district government said the fine was based on Ms. Chen and Mr. Zhang’s personal income in each of the three years before their children were born (2000, 2003 and 2005)—a total of 3.58 million yuan ($591,000). Aside from exceeding family planning limits, the couple wasn’t married at the time of the births, according to the family-planning bureau.

via Chinese Director Zhang Yimou Fined $1.2 Million for Violating One-Child Policy – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta
28/12/2013

Photos of Xi Jinping eating at a popular Beijing restaurant go viral | South China Morning Post

Fans of China\’s President Xi Jinping said they were pleasantly surprised after photos of him dining in a popular Beijing steamed bun restaurant went viral.

baozi1.jpg

Pictures, taken and shared by fellow diners, showed a casually-dressed, smiling Xi queuing up at a Qingfeng steamed bun restaurant in the capital. Xi, who appeared to be dining alone, was seen to have placed his own order at the counter, paid for it, and carried his tray before sitting down to enjoy his meal in the room full of people.

Diners, after realising who they were sitting close to, strove for a glimpse of Xi. Many used their phones to record the unusual encounter, which Xi didn\’t seem to mind.

\”Only leaders who care about ordinary guys will do this, and he will win respect and care from his people,\” wrote one blogger.

\”I can\’t believe my eyes – President Xi lined up, paid his own bill, and fetched his own food,\” read a message posted on the official Weibo page of the People\’s Daily.

Others, however, weren\’t so impressed.

\”It\’s just a show and people should stop reacting like they were slaves\” one microblogger wrote .

\”Start thanking him when China has fixed the food safety issues,\” read another comment.

An average meal costs 16 yuan (HK$21) at a Qingfeng steamed bun restaurant, a popular chain store in the Chinese capital, according to restaurant review websties.

via Photos of Xi Jinping eating at a popular Beijing restaurant go viral | South China Morning Post.

01/12/2013

Cameron tweets in Mandarin on Weibo for China trip | South China Morning Post

British Prime Minister David Cameron has joined Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, and posted his first message ahead of a visit to Beijing, Downing Street said Saturday.

121111.jpg

“Hello my friends in China. I’m pleased to have joined Weibo and look forward to visiting China very soon,” he said in English and Mandarin in his first message.

It has since been forwarded more than 24,000 times.

Cameron has attracted more than 101,000 followers since setting up his account, which helpfully points out that he has the star sign Libra.

A Downing Street spokesman confirmed to AFP that the account was genuine.

The British premier’s social media savvy has come a long way since he said in 2009 that he was not joining Twitter because “too many twits might make a twat”.

He set up his own Twitter account in October 2012 under the handle David—Cameron, which now has more than 525,000 followers.

Cameron is due to leave for China on Sunday on a trip aimed at fostering good relations with the new leadership in Beijing and forging business links.

He will be accompanied by a delegation of ministers and business leaders on the visit, his first to the Asian powerhouse since President Xi Jinping took office in March.

via Cameron tweets in Mandarin on Weibo for China trip | South China Morning Post.

26/08/2013

Mooncake Austerity Hits China’s Mid-Autumn Festiva

WSJ: “First baijiu, then red carpets, and now mooncakes. For Chinese government officials, the list of taboos keeps getting longer.

One month before the country celebrates its annual Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese authorities said Wednesday that they are barring officials from buying mooncakes—a centerpiece of the holiday—as well as giving presents or hosting dinners on the public dime.

Traditionally, mooncakes are gifted (and often re-gifted) as a form of tribute during the festival, exchanged among family members as well as among companies, their clients and employees. “But this kind of polite reciprocity, when overdone, becomes a kind of squandering of cash,” ran an editorial in the People’s Daily on Thursday, praising the mooncake crackdown.

About the size of a hockey puck and traditionally stuffed with anything from red bean paste to salted egg yolk, these days, the once-humble mooncake is barely recognizable. Some are now made of solid gold and others come swathed in pure silk. Such is the luxury nature of some mooncakes that in past years, talk of a “mooncake bubble” circulated, while in 2011, China’s government proposed that workers pay income tax on the value of cakes gifted to them by their employers.

Given the frenetic pace of mooncake gift-giving, they’ve long been seen as an easy vehicle for corruption. Many environmental NGOs have also condemned the modern crop of mooncakes, criticizing their elaborate packaging as wasteful.

This week’s mooncake crackdown is part of a broader attempt to quell anger about public corruption, which in recent years has been stoked by the sight of officials gorging on lavish banquets and indulging in other excesses, including luxury watches and more. Thursday’s editorial in the People’s Daily, for example, cited the anti-mooncake move as part of President Xi Jinping’s effort to educate Party members about the evils of the “Four Winds,” i.e. “formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and waste.”

On Thursday, some users on Sina Weibo, China’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service, though, were less than impressed. “”The system doesn’t change, these kinds of trivialities aren’t of any use,” wrote one.

Others mourned the idea that the confections were facilitating corruption. “A holiday that was once simple and pure has been transformed by China’s corrupt bureaucracy into something with a different meaning,” wrote another. “How sad.”

Still others took the opportunity to rail against mooncakes in general. Despite the holiday zeal for them, many languish uneaten for weeks after they’ve been gifted. “They’re just a mix of stuff high in fat, high in sugar, and high in additives,” wrote one user.

“They’re not tasty and they’re expensive,” added another. “No wonder that other than during the Mid-Autumn festival, people don’t eat them.””

via Mooncake Austerity Hits China’s Mid-Autumn Festival – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

26/08/2013

China’s Bloggers Rally Around Bo Xilai

BusinessWeek: “Official China has been touting it as a breakthrough for government transparency. But has the decision to live blog the five-day trial of Bo Xilai, which closed Monday, backfired? That’s a relevant question as a flood of support for the charismatic former high-flying princeling has erupted on China’s Internet.

Former Chinese politician Bo Xilai speaks in a court room at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, eastern China's Shandong province, on Aug. 25

China posted portions of the five days of court proceedings in Jinan, Shandong Province, on Sina Weibo (SINA), China’s largest microblogging site. Chinese checking out the trial online got to see an unusually spirited defense put up by the 64-year-old Bo, the former head of China’s southwestern megalopolis Chongqing who almost made it into the top echelons of the Chinese leadership.

The decision to show the trial online demonstrates an admirable new candor, according to state-run media. “The public hearing and the Weibo broadcasts reflect the transparency and openness of the country’s rule of law,” said a commentary on the website of China’s official party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, on Aug. 22.

STORY: Can Bo Xilai Be China’s Comeback Kid?

But that’s not the takeaway for everyone. Instead, many on the Web have written of a newfound admiration for Bo, who has been charged with bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power (the verdict—likely harsh—will come later, at a time still unspecified),and who fell from official grace last year after a murder perpetrated by his wife came to light.

“I’ve changed my view of him! He is much more gentlemanly than those with power and he really does know the law,” said one tweet by blogger He Jiangbing on Sina Weibo, translated by blog Tea Leaf Nation, which monitors China’s Internet. “This man has remarkable logic, eloquence and memory. As someone who likes smart people, for a moment I almost forgot about his avarice, evilness and ruthlessness,” wrote another microblogger, also on Sina Weibo.

While the decision to tweet key parts of the trial has indeed surprised many, others are less impressed. “The selective postings can only show selective openness and selective justice, and cannot be said to represent the truth,” said Liu Wanqiang, a Guangxi-based journalist, reported the BBC on its website on Aug. 22.

VIDEO: Can Bo Xilai’s Trial Change China’s Government?

In contrast, way back in 1976, the trial of Mao’s widow Jiang Qing, a member of the so-called Gang of Four, was shown live on television for all to view. While few Chinese then had their own TV sets, much of the population gathered communally around televisions to watch and discuss the live proceedings.

Beijing over the past week has launched a crackdown on spreading rumors on the Internet, which some fear will be used to squelch online free speech. Already authorities have announced arrests, including the detention of a muckraking journalist for “criminal fabrication and dissemination of rumors online,” reported the official English language China Daily on Aug. 26. Interestingly, little effort appears to have been made so far to scrub the Internet of the pro-Bo commentary.

“China is a country that respects and protects free speech, but people should also bear in mind that greater online freedom is guaranteed by greater responsibility,” stated the official Xinhua News Agency in a piece calling for greater efforts to police the Web on Aug. 21. “People should maintain moral principles and denounce any activities that harm the reputation and interests of others so as to stop the Internet from decaying into a land of abusive language and rumors.””

via China’s Bloggers Rally Around Bo Xilai – Businessweek.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 482 other followers