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Shanghai Daily,上海日报

Global Lens on China


China's boyfriends for hire

China's boyfriends for hire


CHINA’S largest online marketplace, Taobao, offers everything from inflatable donkeys to live mice to breast implants. And now fake boyfriends are available for purchase, too.

Men offer their companionship for as little as 1,000 yuan ($160) to as much as 10,000 yuan ($1,599) a day—and even charge extra for romantic activities such as handholding, going to the cinema together, cuddles, or joint Internet surfing (yes, even that).

But the “rent-a-boyfriends” aren’t really for lonely hearts. More commonly, women, usually in their late twenties and up, hire them to put on an act for their parents—a novel way for them to stave off marriage pressure.

This week marks the Chinese New Year—when that pressure reaches a boiling point. As millions of rural-to-urban migrants return home to celebrate China’s most important holiday, legions of unmarried women will be lectured by extended family about their singlehood. Enter the burgeoning rent-a-boyfriend industry.

Full Story

Foreign Affairs | February 20, 2015, Friday

Lurching start for Tesla in China

Lurching start for Tesla in China


FOR $104,000, Yu Hangmei expected a car that could, at the very least, be driven. What Ms. Yu said she got instead was a new electric Tesla Model S sedan and a malfunctioning charging station. 

While driving through her town in coastal Zhejiang Province recently, Ms. Yu, 45, realized that even though she had plugged in the vehicle, the battery was almost dead. “I thought after a day of charging it was fully charged, but turns out it wasn’t charged at all,” said Ms. Yu, an artifact exporter. 

Tesla owners need an electric charger specifically calibrated to the vehicle’s voltage and current requirements, still something of a rarity near her home. “Luckily I bumped into a fellow Tesla owner online who let me charge at his place. It took three hours.” Tesla owners in China are a well-connected bunch. Not only do they tend to be wealthy, but their avid use of social media means word of such car problems can spread in minutes. And finding charging stations is a regular complaint.

Full Story

The New York Times | February 10, 2015, Tuesday

Chinese students were kicked out of Harvard's model UN after flipping out when Taiwan was called a country

Chinese students were kicked out of Harvard's model UN after flipping out when Taiwan was called a country


STUDENTS from the Chinese delegation at the Harvard Model United Nations event in January were kicked out by organizers after they saw Taiwan listed as a country rather than region and demanded it be changed, Shanghaiist reported Tuesday. The angered participants wanted the conference handbook, which included Taiwan as a country, to change its heading to "country or region" to accommodate Taiwan. 

One Chinese teacher left the conference in protest, the Global Times reported. The disagreement escalated to the point in which organizers removed several students and threatened to call the police.

Full Story

Business Insider | February 10, 2015, Tuesday

An intimate look at the people and places behind ‘Made in China’ labels

An intimate look at the people and places behind ‘Made in China’ labels


THE “Made in China” label is a cut and dried requirement for anything manufactured in China, but it’s also loaded with implied connotations. It calls to mind the sprawling manufacturing cities on China’s mainland, where the depth of the labor pool far eclipses that of the US. It might be tantamount to calling a product cheap, since cheap labor is why so many companies have their stuff made there. And it can stir up thoughts of supporting local businesses instead. 

But for most of us, “Made in China” is a familiar phrase attached to an abstract reality. Two Swiss designers decided to get a closer look at the people and places that do the actual making in China. “Since we are industrial designers, the ‘Made in China’ label has always been something we were curious about,” says Gregory Brunisholz, of Anaïde Gregory Studio. 

Five years ago Brunisholz grew even more curious after trying to work with a Chinese manufacturer to produce a light installation in Geneva. “It was a full-on cultural clash, via Skype discussions.” Curiosity sufficiently stoked, Brunisholz and Anaïde Davoudlarian pursued a Swatch Art residency program, got it, and spent six months in China photographing everything from family manufacturing operations to megafactories. The result is the Made in China Diary, a travelogue brimming with photos of markets, factories, and stacks on stacks of products. 

Full Story

Wired | February 10, 2015, Tuesday

Why China's ultra-rich haven't warmed to superyachts

Why China's ultra-rich haven't warmed to superyachts


THE world’s largest global economy has plenty of ultra-wealthy people. Here’s why so few are buying superyachts.

If there is one country where many people can afford to superyacht, it’s China. Now the world’s largest economy, some 11,000 Chinese citizens are considered ultra-wealthy, with assets over $30 million, according to wealth intelligence firm, Wealth-X.

But, the superyacht industry hasn’t caught on big in China.

Superyachts are officially defined as boats whose hulls at the water line measure longer than 24 meters, or 79 feet. A superyacht — typically a private boat that requires a professional crew to operate — costs $6 million on up. Just 34 –or 0.7 percent — of the world’s 4,836 superyachts are based in China, according to a 2013 study by the Auckland Government.

Full Story

Fortune | February 10, 2015, Tuesday

Ageing China draws investors to its

Ageing China draws investors to its "hot as Internet" healthcare sector


INVESTORS are rushing into China's booming healthcare business, helping M&A deal values surpass those of the hot Internet sector, as the country prepares to cater to hundreds of millions of elderly patients.

Encouraged by a relaxation of foreign ownership rules last year and a rapidly ageing population, private equity firms such as TPG Capital [TPG.UL] and industry players including Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd are investing in Chinese hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and device makers.

The prospect of 223 million people aged 65 or older predicted to live in China by 2030 is just too enticing for these companies, despite significant risks such as weak hospital infrastructure, rising valuations and a dearth of doctors.

Full Story

Reuters | February 10, 2015, Tuesday

Incredible photos of China's eagle hunters keeping an ancient tradition alive

Incredible photos of China's eagle hunters keeping an ancient tradition alive


IN parts of China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, men have been using birds to hunt for meat and fur for centuries. China's ethnic Kazakh minority is now doing all it can to preserve that ancient art.

Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer has documented one such effort, an eagle-hunting festival which was organized by the local hunting community in Qinghe County in China's northwestern Xinjiang province last month.

The hunters, who ride on horseback with an eagle on their arm, are known locally as the "Lords of the Birds," the BBC reported.

Take a look at Kevin Frayer's stunning photos of the eagle hunters below.

Full Story

The World Post | February 10, 2015, Tuesday

Chinese couples shun Year of the Sheep babies

Chinese couples shun Year of the Sheep babies


NEWLY married, Zhang Xun was keen to try for a baby -- at least until friends told her that any child born in the upcoming Year of the Sheep would face a lifetime of bad luck.

Perturbed, she convinced her husband to delay their plans to conceive. They now hope to have a baby in 2016 - the Year of the Monkey, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

"I'm just superstitious," she told CNN.

One of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, the sheep gets a bad rap.

Many people believe that sheep babies end up with characteristics associated with their birth signs -- docile and destined to be followers, not leaders.

According to one common folk saying, only one in 10 people born in the Year of the Sheep find happiness.

Full Story

CNN | February 8, 2015, Sunday

Please make China’s rural life look less ‘miserable,’ state media tells TV producers

Please make China’s rural life look less ‘miserable,’ state media tells TV producers


China’s state media has a request for the country’s TV producers: Please stop making the lives of the country’s more than 900 million farmers seem so “miserable” and “ugly.”

Once a beloved national staple, TV dramas featuring rural life hit peak popularity in the 1980s, just as China started its process of economic reform that fueled the creation of a new generation of the middle class. More recently, though, their popularity has waned, with viewers these days preferring ancient costume dramas (preferably those with cleavage), those featuring urbanites or Korean and American TV dramas, often viewed via video streaming sites.

Among those TV productions with a rural theme remaining, said an article published Tuesday by the People’s Daily, many tend to present only a shallow image of such lives.

Full Story

Wall Street Journal | February 4, 2015, Wednesday

Why Chinese people call Katy Perry 'Fruit Sister'

Why Chinese people call Katy Perry 'Fruit Sister'

为何中国粉丝叫Katy Perry“水果姐”?

DURING the Super Bowl halftime show, Chinese Internet users were abuzz about a woman called "Fruit Sister."
Sounds mysterious, but you already know who she is. "Fruit Sister," or "shui guo jie," is what people in China call Katy Perry -- referring to her tendency to wear fruit costumes and bring giant fruit with her on stage.

In the past, the pop star has performed in sparkly watermelon-cup bras, sung while holding a large inflatable strawberry and even burst out of a giant banana.

She's also talked about growing and eating her own fruit, so it's a pretty fair nickname.

But "Fruit Sister" isn't the only Western celeb to get an interesting Chinese alias. Here are a few others and the stories behind them:

Full Story

CNN | February 3, 2015, Tuesday

As China continues to grab increasing media attention worldwide, our partner runs a regular column to reveal what overseas media are saying about China and how they view the country's fast economic, social and cultural development.


Check it out at http://www.guancha.cn/WaiMeiKanZhongGuo/


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