Tag Archives: Beijing

New Beijing bike-share company sued for discrimination (Translation)

The following is a partial translation of a Caixin article, 北京公租自行车涉嫌户籍歧视被起诉, published June 20 and written by Wang Qingfeng (王箐丰).

Caixin Online (Journalism Intern Wang Qingfeng) — Just this month, Beijing saw the launch of a public bike share service. On June 20, long-time Beijing lawyer Li Fangping called the hotline to register for the just opened Chaoyang District bike share service, but Li was told those with IDs from outside Beijing were not eligible for the service. Li then decided to sue the bike share provider, Goldnet Communication Technology Beijing Co., Ltd.

Beijing’s Dongcheng and Chaoyang districts reportedly opened the bike share system June 16 with 2,000 bikes at Jianguomen, Sanlitun, and 63 other locations. Those with second-generation Beijing ID cards can use a bike for free if under an hour, after which the fee is 1 RMB/hour, with the maximum daily fare set at 10 RMB for up to three days. …

The Beijing government information office’s official weibo wrote on June 18: “According to the operator, because the system is in its pilot phase, only second-generation Beijing IDs are supported. Even first-generation Beijing IDs will not work. But opening the service to all of our Beijing friends is the next step in the process.”

I personally have been a big fan of a similar service in Washington, D.C., which is also coming this summer to New York, and has already shown up in Boston and Boulder, Colo.

'Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry' Debuts at Sundance

Just as Ai Weiwei was detained in Beijing, Alison Klayman was working to finalize her years-in-the-making documentary on Ai’s life and his recent political outspokenness. I haven’t seen the full film, but it apparently received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend.

“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” is something I’m looking forward to, but for now we can still see the Frontline version, a new New York Times excerpt, and Ali’s piece on Ai’s time in New York.

In the spirit of the year of the dragon, here’s a picture of 2008 fireworks at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing, a building designed by Ai.

Chinese New Year 2008 at Three Shadows, by Graham Webster

Polluting in the new year!

First, of course, happy new year to all those greeting the year of the dragon this week. I, for one, am suitably stuffed.

Second, via Angel Hsu, this image depicting what is most likely a huge cloud of noxious firecracker emissions as Beijing celebrated the new year (which, being lunar, coincided with the new moon). Beijing has promised to provide real-time data on PM-2.5 (particle matter under 2.5 microns), thought to be a category of pollution that acutely threatens human health.

The U.S. embassy in Beijing has for years offered live data from a sensor in its compound, and the addition of the Chinese data is welcomed. Just look at that spike!

Click for full size.

(To see for yourself, visit http://zx.bjmemc.com.cn/ and click on the PM2.5 tab.)

Pics: U.S. VP Joe Biden visits in Beijing neighborhood eatery

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Beijing is designed to lay the groundwork for later meetings between U.S. officials and rising leader Xi Jinping, who is currently Biden’s Chinese counterpart. Opting for a local favorite rather than a sterile array of table cloths and serving dishes, Biden made some waves on Weibo and in the U.S. media for mingling with local Beijing residents.

Evan Osnos has a write-up and a pool photo.


From Weibo, a picture in the vicinity, apparently while Biden was eating near the Drum Tower.


Someone's cell phone shot of the VP's party at Yaoji Chao Gan.

And from a past meeting between President Obama, President Carter, President Hu, and Vice President Biden:

President Barack Obama, along with President Hu Jintao of China, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and Vice President Joseph Biden, listen to former President Jimmy Carter during a reception in the Yellow Oval Room in the Residence of the White House, Jan. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Police-led protests? Satire and the 'Jasmine Revolution' [translation]

Twitter and several online communities lit up last night with talk of gatherings in several cities in China that had apparently been organized online and were given the moniker “Jasmine Revolution.” The people who gathered, according to the reports I’ve seen, were quickly dispersed or arrested by police.

My first note is to caution that this is fundamentally different from the mass mobilizations in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere. These gatherings were comparatively small, and were apparently primarily composed of members of a relatively small online sphere of radical discourse.

My second note is to translate an apparently satirical blog post that I saw first through a listserv posting.* This is a rough translation, but it gets the story across. The post comes with numerous pictures, a few of which after the jump.

The new term was about to start and our teacher sent out a memorization assignment [前赤壁赋/qiancibishu, a work from the Northern Song dynasty that I don’t know anything about]. I tried to do the memorization in a quiet place, but made awful progress. I wondered if it would go better at Wangfujing [a major commercial street in Beijing].

I was just studying in front of McDonalds, and unable to concentrate, I realized several police cars and some police officers had shown up. Then, out of the crowd came a team of people [police] who suddenly dispersed, some standing nearby and others at a distance.

I tried my best to concentrate, but soon there arrived a group of photographers.

Later, more people came and stood at the door of the McDonalds, and quite a few more police showed up. The police presence gradually grew, and the crowd gradually dispersed.

When I left, I noticed that the police at the perimeter had moved closer.

What was happening? I took a few pictures.

(All of these pictures can be downloaded at Picasa)

Why would people stop to watch an unusual number of police? The People’s Police love the people; the people love the People’s Police? [This I believe is a play on a slogan.] When I was taking pictures, someone hit me in the head. How could whoever did this be so audacious as to attack people [renmin] in front of almost 100 police. And how could the People’s Police turn a blind eye?

If you know the truth, please don’t say it. Let people live with their illusions.

Of course, it is possible this was meant as an honest story, but it seems thick with sarcasm to me. The implication here is that the police were somehow complicit in the event. The post is written from the perspective of an innocent, diligent student. The reader is perhaps expected to understand that the beating suffered during the process of taking pictures was at the hands of a plain-clothes police officer.

[UPDATE: A less satirical post is translated at Sinocentric. –Feb 20 23:33:29 PST 2011]

* I’m not sure where this was first posted, but the Picasa name and the blog here seem to match. Those more familiar with Chinese blogs please advise!

More pics after the jump.

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