November 29th, 2011
08:19 AM ET

China Social Media Trends – Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

Sources include Chinese social media sites such as Sina Weibo ranking page (风云榜), Baidu Beats, and Weibo Top News (新浪新闻). Please keep us posted with what's buzzing on your radar and let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

Top Trending News Terms

Chinese netizens criticize school bus donation to Macedonia – China’s donation of school buses to Macedonia has triggered criticism online, where netizens called this decision "ill-considered" given their country’s poor safety record and a recent crash that killed 19 preschoolers. More details here and you can read the Global Time editorial defending this donation here.

According to the report on Ministry of Tofu, one viral Weibo comment was reposted by thousands of netizens: it reads, “Even if we are poor, we won’t deprive Macedonian children of education. Even if we have to suffer, we won’t let Macedonian children suffer” (再苦不能苦了马其顿孩子,再穷不能穷了马其顿教育!). This is a wordplay on the Chinese government's political slogan: “Even if we are poor, we won’t deprive our children of education. Even if we have to suffer, we won’t let our children suffer.” (再穷不能穷教育,再苦不能苦孩子).

Hepatitis C outbreaks in Anhui – A Hepatitis C epidemic has broken out in Woyang county in Bozhou, Anhui Province, and may have been caused by unsafe injections (dirty needles). Officials from the Anhui Provincial Health Bureau said on Monday 56 potential carriers of the virus were examined and 13 were tested positive. Many of the Hepatitis C carriers are children. More details here and more images here.

Xiao Yueyue mini movie – A short movie has been made in commemoration of Xiao Yueyue, the young girl who was repeatedly run over by a car in the presence of indifferent pedestrians. The clip, entitled "Xiao Yueyue mini movie" (小悦悦微电影), encourages viewers to show more compassion towards one another. More details in Chinese here.

Sina Weibo Top Trending Terms

*Viral Video* Angry girlfriend in subway – A candid video of a girl yelling at her boyfriend in the subway has been widely circulating on Chinese social media portals. In the clip, the girl insulted her boyfriend for “having no money” and said “guys without money are trash (男人没钱是垃圾)”. The boyfriend remained silent the entire time.

The video sparked heated online discussion on whether it is socially acceptable for men not to have a large bank account. You can follow the discussions in Chinese on Sina Weibo's dedicated topic page here.

U.S. Troop Deployments: Digging into the data
November 17th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

U.S. Troop Deployments: Digging into the data

When U.S. President Barack Obama addressed Australian troops at a naval base in Darwin after promising to deploy 2,500 U.S. marines to northern Australia over the next several years, it got us thinking: which other surprising locations are American soldiers sent to?

So I found some statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense from December 2010, got hold of a couple of highlighter pens, and got to work.


Post by: ,
Filed under: Data • General • Personal musings
November 17th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

Ai Weiwei: Every sentence I say is monitored

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has posted images of himself holding tax documents online, to attest to his innocence of charges of tax evasion. Ai has published the pictures on his Google + page, despite the fact that the Google site is blocked in China.

Chinese authorities say Ai's company Fake Cultural Development Ltd. owes $2.3 million in back taxes, and have threatened to jail his wife – as the legal representative of the company – if the amount is not settled.

The artist paid $1.3 million towards the disputed bill into a tax bureau account this week. The payment allows him to continue to fight accusations of 'economic crimes' that have been leveled at him by the Chinese government.

Ai's tax bill caused outrage among some Chinese netizens and inspired an online movement to raise the cash. Some 30,000 contributors donated money to the artist.

Ai Weiwei told News Stream he plans to challenge the rest of the charges against him, but is not optimistic about winning his legal appeal.

He spoke to us from a park near to his house in Beijing, and admitted his movements are under constant scrutiny.

Post by: ,
Filed under: China • General • Social networking
November 8th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

In China, donors to Ai Weiwei's tax bill send message to Beijing

Ai Weiwei says he can't stop his supporters.

He can't stop them from folding RMB notes into paper planes and throwing them into his garden at midnight.

Earlier today, I talked with Ai Weiwei on the phone about the grassroots fundraising movement. He was thankful for the support but added, "I never asked the public for donations."

Ai said most of the donors are Chinese in their 20s and 30s - some giving up their first month's salary. He noted that a few retired Chinese have given him donations as well.

According to the artist, they are also using their money to make a political statement or a "ticket to vote."  FULL POST

November 2nd, 2011
06:22 AM ET

Longest complaint email address...ever

How do you usually report counterfeit currency?

You probably called the bank hotline or emailed the customer complaints department.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, not if you are complaining to one Bank of China branch in Fujian province, which asks people to send complaints to what must be one of the world's longest email addresses.

How long?

Try 76 characters long: 0xLJB3F6C4C9D3EBCFD6BDF0B9DCC0EDzFJPJKFBCNYXJGL@mail.notes.bank-of-china.com.

One shocked netizen, @木遥, posted a picture of the bank sign on China's popular microblog Sina Weibo last Saturday, triggering more than two thousands comments and tens of thousands of reposts.

While some netizens laughed about the sheer absurdity of the email address, many expressed frustration towards the bank, accusing the management for “deterring customer complaints intentionally”.  FULL POST