Archive for March, 2007

Chonqging Holdout Part II

March 13, 2007

In a follow up to my last post “China’s Most Incredible Holdout.”  I have translated an editorial that appeared on 3/11/07 in Nanfang Daily.

Origional can be found here
 In the past we’ve only seen the conceited actions of real estate developers forcing other’s to move their homes, rarely witnessing the kind of action taken here by the holdout in Chonqqing. Originally, there wasn’t a single person in this world that a developer couldn’t touch, but now we’ve finally been taught a lesson by someone who resisted. However what really has made people feel unfortunate is that the individual putting up this fight is not a common person, not a common person preventing the developer’s brutal demolition and relocation according to state law, but rather this unknown person has baffled people with their real ability to do something here. This force can make the Developer grin and bear it, it can even make the housing management flatly deny its existence.  This household resisting eminent domain really is something.

And then I suddenly realized, in the end this incredible of a holdout is probably going to reach an agreement with the developer.  Furthermore, the excessive price the Real Estate businessmen paid for this is ultimately going to land upon the shoulders of average homebuyers.  Whatever the case, be it real estate businessmen or a holdout, with everyone making a big fuss, the unlucky one’s here are the average homebuyers.  The rules of the game revealed here have only made people sigh in outrage.

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China’s Most Incredible Holdout

March 8, 2007

The following is a news article translated from Southern Metropolis Daily. This is about a building site in Chongqing that has brought about suspicion on the web forums in China.

钉子户 = literally means “a slug house” but it means someone who refuses to move out from their house. I have translated it as a “holdout,” there might be a better translation but its all I could think of.

The original can be found here.

More pictures here

打更匠:这是售楼部吧
This must be the sales office building

mertin:可能是文物⋯⋯
It might be some sort of historical relic

yanlimm:这要练习攀岩啊?
Maybe people are practicing rock climbing here?

硬是:不知道这楼将来怎么盖,很考验施工技术啊
How are they going to build this building? This is a true test of construction technology

普通朋友:人家把周围挖了是要建护城河的
They excavated the surroundings to build a moat!

At the beginning of this month, a post titled “history’s most incredible holdout” started circulating on a famous BBS, the content of the post is a picture of a 10 meter deep pit dug around a solitary small two story building, just like a small boat in the middle of the ocean.

Netizens were all shook, either crazily praising “the most incredible holdout” or puzzled as to how anyone would live in there, and how would the building be developed. With regards to the source of the picture, the opinions of the netizens vary. Some people mistook this for last year’s “Most incredible holdout of Shanghai.” Both buildings do have resemblance. Some people also said this is from Chongqing, as they had passed through there in the past few days.

This reporter thus initiated investigation and interview

The isolated island on the side of the light rail

This reporter discovered, the picture first appeared on the internet on the 26th of February. At that time it was clearly written as: “Chongqing City JiuLong Hill District Yangjiaping Pedestrian Street. Author stood on Yangjiaping light rail station and took this picture.” Its possible because of the relative obscurity of the original BBS, and its wide circulation on the web that the original explanation was lost.

Local residents of Chongqing explained that this building is quite famous, alot of people in Chongqing have seen it. If you ride the light rail and pass through Yangjiaping station you are able to see a peculiar landscape: in the middle of a construction site stands a solitary small two story building, the surrounding soil has all been excavated, just like it was built on an isolated island. A chongqing resident then took a picture and named it “China’s most incredible holdout.”

Contractor Temporary Residence? Household resisting eminent domain?

One netizen said this wasn’t a holdout at all, it was actually the contractor’s temporary residence, there were also other netizens who supported this position.

After verification, this was determined as Chongqing city’s “Broadway” real estate construction site currently being put up in the residential quarter. A saleswoman who works for Weilian Real Estate Sales Company stated that the “Broadway” project is already in its second stage, the first stage has already completely been sold, and the small building is a holdout unwilling to relocate. The second phase is currently excavating the foundation; the circumstances are just like what you can see in the picture. For more information I was told to inquire with the developer, but I was unable to get through to their telephone.

Nobody is living in there now.

One netizen revealed, this house used to belong to the Yangjiaping Housing Management Office, according to theory, it’s a state-owned house, but for historical reasons it was rented out to a private leaser. The leaser wanted 200,000,000RMB from the developer or else he wouldn’t move. His family had some background and connections, so the developer didn’t dare take action. As a result this “wonder” was created.

Nevertheless, this netizen’s statement has not been verified. During an interview, Yangjiaping Housing Management Office’s Vice-Secretary Liu Ling indicated the situation was unclear. Furthermore, a worker on duty stated this building is a holdout who has stayed behind.

What the netizens are most interested in is if anyone is living in this building. If there is someone, how do they get in and out? An editor of the Chongqing Morning Report who everyday on his way to work passes through the area said that the building is deserted, there’s no furniture or he hasn’t seen anyone inside, and dug out like this its impossible for anyone to get in.

in pursuit of education…

March 7, 2007

In China everyone wants to send their kids to College. In Yantai city, which is on the coast of Shandong, more than 20,000 students lined up to attend a College Recruiting Fair. Over 240 police officers were needed to help control the crowd. The sad thing is for those who even managed to get inside and sign up for some school, after graduation they still have to fight for a job. In one case 600 college graduates were competing for 5 toll booth operator positions.

link to article in Chinese

Netbar’s restricted in China for 2007

March 6, 2007

As of 2007 no more new permits will be given out for web bars, and any that were under construction must be completed within the next 6 months. Furthermore, the new regulations emphasize the restriction of 18 and under in Internet bars.

In my experience these laws have had difficulty being implemented. While Beijing is regulated and you need to use a I.D to surf the Internet, when I was in Harbin nothing of the sort was required. In Harbin web bars I regularly saw people looking at porn, kids clearly under 18 using the Internet, and operating hours that were well past city regulations.

Article HERE (Chinese)

The Hamptons of China

March 5, 2007

IN Yiwu, a city of 680,000 in Zhejiang province, where the average income in 2005 was 19010 RMB, there also 82,118 cars(80% are privately owned), more than one car per 10 people. Now, these are not normal cars. Zhejiang is supposedly has one of the hottest provincial economies in China, but the wealth gap here is just unbelievable. Article can be found here

According the city transportation bureau’s statistics there are: (in 2005!)

2 Maybachs, 56 Ferraris、2 Spyker V8’s、5 Lamborghini’s、8 Lotus’、2814 BMW’s、1302 Benzes、3698 Audi’s、163 Porches、36 Hummers、8 Rolls Royce’s、32 Bentley’s、184 Caddilacs。

Party cadres busy promoting “social harmony” at their annual meeting. What better way than to drive up in a Ferrari!