Mid-Week Links: Chinese center may enter NBA draft, blue paper finds increased terrorism in China, and Cathay’s sexy cabin crew unis

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong wave as they arrive at the airport in Addis Ababa
The first published picture of Li Keqiang’s wife, Cheng Hong, via Reuters

Hope you’re already looking forward to the weekend links.

Making sense of Chinese numbers. “This kind of number-language has become an infinitely malleable shorthand among Chinese web users: 1 means “want,” 2 means “love,” 4 means “dead” or “world” or “is,” 5 means “I,” 7 means “wife” or “eat,” 8 means “get rich” or “not,” and 9 means “long time” or “alcohol.” The numbers 5201314, for example, mean 我爱你一生一世,or “I will love you forever”; 0748 means “go die”; and 687 means “I’m sorry.” (See here for more examples.) Chinese has plenty of other number-based slang, such as erbaiwu, or “250,” which means “idiot,” or “38,” pronounced sanba, which means “bitch.” And of course there’s the association of certain numbers with good or bad luck, and the subsequent demand for addresses and phone numbers with lots of 8s (“get rich”) and minimal 4s (“die”).” (Chris Beam, New Republic)

Another story on stand-up in China. “On the question of ‘difference,’ though, there is some disagreement. ‘The difference is entirely a product of the state system, and not cultural at all,’ claims Mia Li, a 29-year-old from Shandong province who performs a monthly stand-up routine at one of China’s sleepy bars. Sarcastic, Chinese, and female (a rare combination), it’s not surprising that Li takes comedy more seriously than most: ‘To tell a joke is to remind people of something true that they forgot to laugh about,’ she says. ‘A joke is simply not funny if it’s not true. In China, the truth is just not talked about, because it conflicts with the Party-sanctioned version of “reality.”’” (RFH, The Atlantic)

Unsurprising yet unfortunate findings. “Domestic terrorism surged last year as China faces threats to social stability, read the nation’s first blue paper on national security published on Tuesday. // Issued by the University of International Relations and the Social Sciences Academic Press, the report found that domestic terrorism appeared to have expanded.” (Global Times)

Jack Ma’s letter to his employees. “Mr. Ma who is famous for his saying ‘customers first, employees second, and shareholders third’ did write a letter—but it was only to employees. Taking the eccentric, inspirational tone that has become his signature, Mr. Ma praises the perseverance of his employees—whom he refers to as Aliren, or Ali people in English—even as he warns of huge new pressures that Alibaba will face as a public company.” (WSJ)

Corollary: A flowchart to “define” Alibaba. (WSJ)

Tourist spots overwhelmed. “Statistics show that during the three-day vacation, more than 5.5 million tourists visited 150 scenic spots in Beijing. The popular alley, Nan Luo Gu Xiang, saw 150,000 tourists on its peak day, surpassing the peak flow of the Palace Museum.” (CNTV)

Such as… “Beijing’s two flagship outdoor music festivals, Midi and Strawberry, which coincided with the May Day holidays, were criticized for having too much litter, the Beijing News reported.” (Global Times)

That territory… “China has warned Vietnam not to disturb activities of Chinese companies operating near disputed islands in the South China Sea, after Hanoi condemned as illegal the movement of a giant Chinese oil rig into what it says is its territorial water.” (Reuters)

Don’t wave around a goddamn weapon if you don’t want to get shot? A local man was shot dead by the police in the wee hours Monday when he attempted to attack his wife, the police said.” (Xinhua)

Whoa. “A mother concealed the fact that her son was HIV-positive when he received treatment at a hospital for severe head injuries, putting six medical workers at risk of exposure to the virus.” (ECNS.cn)

Buddhist monks breakdancing in tribute to Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys interlude, via That’s Online:


“Cathay Pacific union says female cabin crew’s uniforms ‘too sexy.’” (SCMP)

“In Air Pollution Fight, Beijing Replaces BBQ With Burning Buses.” (WSJ)

“Asians outperform white students because they try harder: study.” (Sina)

“Dennis Rodman claims Kim Jong-un did not execute his uncle.” (That’s Online)

“Traveler’s Guide to Xinjiang’s Heavenly Lake.” (Far West China)

Jeremy “Lin laments end to ‘up-and-down year.’” (Houston Chronicle)

All of Jeremy Lin’s dunks, for some reason. (Stuarte.co)

“Hong Kong star Chapman To dared mainland netizens to boycott him, So they did.” (Offbeat China)

“Young man buys 50 public billboards to make marriage proposal ad.” (ECNS.cn)

Finally, finally…

Students Hong Cheng High School in Guangdong province wear face masks to attend class because of a nearby garbage transfer system, via The Nanfang:
Masks in school because garbage transfer system

    2 Responses to “Mid-Week Links: Chinese center may enter NBA draft, blue paper finds increased terrorism in China, and Cathay’s sexy cabin crew unis”

    1. Claus Rasmussen

      >> Sarcastic, Chinese, and female (a rare combination)

      What ?! I must have been very unlucky (or look ugly), because I’ve met a lot of razor tongued Chinese women.


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