Everything about China and it's culture

Everything about China and it's culture


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  • The royal wedding between William and Kate is fine china

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    A company of china got the order to make the dishes to be used in the royal wedding between Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton.

    Guangxi Sanhuan Group, based in Beiliu, a city of the southern province of Guangxi known locally for its pottery and porcelain, said he was chosen from more than 500 signatures to bring the vessels of the royal wedding, after going through a tough competition with companies around the world.

    The company now will produce about 16,000 porcelain products for marriage.

    Company officials said the products are divided into five categories, including dinner plates, coffee shop, a set of salsa, a commemorative bowl and a plate of remembrance.

    Be used at the wedding or given to guests as souvenirs.

    The design of the dishes will be generally uniform and present a picture of Prince William and Kate Middleton in a heart with the words “William and Catherine” written underneath.

    “When we won the order, the heads of our company were very happy and excited,” said Gary Qiu, marketing manager of Guangxi Sanhuan Group.

    “They put a lot of attention to this. The whole production process, including preparation, was prepared with a very tight timetable. In addition, we use the more advanced pottery kilns of China to make these products,” he added.

    Established in 1987, Guangxi Sanhuan has a success story: a once state-owned company was privatized during the last decade, has had a huge reputation as a manufacturer of ceramic and porcelain of high quality.

    The firm employs over 8,000 people and is known to produce tableware for export to Europe, America and Southeast Asia.

    The company plans to end production of porcelain to mid-January, and workers are satisfied with the publicity generated by the order.

    “When we learned we were very happy and proud,” says He Kun, an employee of 31 years in Guangxi Sanhuan.

    In addition to the official order of Chinese manufacturing firms have already begun to take advantage of the British royal wedding and have made thousands of replica engagement rings and other objects of imitation, facing the April 29 event


  • Shanghai, Beijing to be third, fourth choices for billionaires: survey

    Shanghai and Beijing could become the third and fourth choices for the world’s billionaires in ten years, though New York and London will remain the world’s top two cities, a latest survey has found.

    Singapore is now the most popular city in Asia Pacific for the globally wealthy individuals, local Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported Thursday. About 22 percent of the billionaires from East Asia said they would consider Singapore as their first choice when emigrating, compared with 17 percent for both Canada and Australia.

    A research analyst at Knight Frank said Singapore is attractive thanks to its favourable tax policies and comparatively lower housing prices for luxury real estate.

    Monaco remained the world’s most expensive city in terms of luxury properties at 65,600 U.S. dollars per square meter, followed by London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the report said. The luxury property price in Singapore is 27,100 U.S. dollars per square meter, lower than Hong Kong’s 27,100 U.S. dollars.

    The luxury property prices in the world’s top cities also rose as collective worth of the global high net worth individuals (HNWI) community increased by 22 percent last year.

    “It is not surprising that many of the world’s luxury property markets benefitted. The biggest increase in wealth was in Asia Pacific, at 35 percent, and that is where we also recorded the biggest increases in property prices,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of the report

    About 14 percent of the respondents in East Asia said they would consider moving to China.

    Paris, Tokyo, Brussels and Los Angeles took the third to sixth positions in the current rankings of world’s top cities. Singapore is the top city in Asia, coming in at the seventh position globally. Beijing was the eighth and Shanghai the 18th. Hong Kong ranked the 17th globally.

    The wealthy also said they expected some of the cities in Brazil, Russia and India to rise in their global rankings over the coming years.

    “The three biggest winners point to a rebalancing within the Brazil, Russia, India and China (Bric) grouping, with the main cities to watch being Mumbai, Moscow and Sao Paulo. They look set for a dramatic upswing in their status, with each expected to climb by between six and eight places over the next decade,” the report said.

    The survey, covering 5,000 individuals who has wealth of over 1 billion dollars, was aimed to assess key markets across the world in terms of their provision of investment opportunities and their influence on global business leaders and the political elite, said Knight Frank and Cibi Private Bank.

     


  • Chinese scientists discover way to turn homosexuality on and off in male mice

    Big news from the world of science today: A group of Chinese scientists from the National Institute of Biological Sciences have appeared to find a way to regulate sexual preference in male mice.

    The secret apparently lies in the brain chemical serotonin — male mice bred without this chemical lose their sexual interest in females.

    These findings have been published in the international weekly science journal, Nature, and is understood to be the first time that a neurotransmitter has been shown to play a role in the sexual preference of a mammal.

    LiveScience.com translates the research by neuroscientist Yi Rao and his collaborators into simple layman terms:

    Rao and his team genetically engineered male mice to lack either serotonin-producing neurons or a protein that is crucial for making serotonin in the brain. Both types of altered mouse couldn’t make serotonin.Unlike typical males, mice deficient in the neurotransmitter showed no inclination to mount sexually receptive females more than males, nor did they prefer to smell females’ genital odors or bedding. Instead, they climbed onto males and serenaded them with ultrasonic love songs more frequently than normal. Males emit these vocalizations when they encounter females to make them more receptive to mating.

    While all of the males who possessed serotonin mounted females first, nearly half of the mice that lacked serotonin clambered onto males before females, and about 60 percent spent more time sniffing or hovering over the genital odors and bedding from males than from females.

    When the researchers injected a compound into these mice to restore neurotransmitter levels, they found that the animals mounted females more than males. But too much serotonin reduced male-female mounting, suggesting that the amount of this chemical must stay within a certain range to foster heterosexual rather than homosexual behaviors.

    Does serotonin play a similar role in the sexual orientation of other mammals, and in particular, humans? Researchers are quick to warn us not to read too much into the results.

    Said Professor Keith Kendrick, a neuroscientist at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, to the BBC: “In terms of having potential relevance to understanding human sexual preference/orientation, we are of course far less influenced by odour cues in this context than mice are. There is some very limited evidence for altered responses to selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the brains of homosexuals, but we have been using psychoactive drugs which either increase or decrease serotonin function for quite some time now, and while effects on sexual arousal, impulsivity and aggression have often been reported, no effects on sexual preference/orientation have. At this time therefore any potential links between serotonin and human sexual preferences must be considered somewhat tenuous.”

    While the results of this research has gained widespread interest in the international media, mainstream Chinese media appear to be relatively uninterested for now. So far, the only mainland Chinese publication to have reported the finding is the Shanghai-based Wenhui Daily 《文汇报》.


  • Red Tibetan Mastiff pup in China is world’s priciest

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    WOULD you pay 10 million RMB (S$1.5 million) for a dog? Well, someone has.

    A coal baron from the north of China paid just that amount for a red Tibetan mastiff, Big Splash.

    The dog, now priciest dog in the world, comes with massive dietary requirements, as they are known to weigh as much as 130kg: Big Splash needs enough chicken and beef to feed his growing 81.8kg frame. And not forgetting the sea cucumber and abalone.

    Tibetan mastiffs have become furry status symbols in China, possibly ousting mansions and jewellery.

    Not only is red thought to be a lucky colour among the Chinese, but Tibetan Mastiffs in particular are considered holy animals that endow their owners with good health and security.

    Tibetan mastiffs, believed to be one of the oldest precious breeds in the world, used to be the best friends of Queen Victoria, King George IV and Genghis Khan.


  • Shanghai Disneyland is on the way

    At an investor conference a few weeks ago, Walt Disney Company released official artwork of Shanghai Disneyland. The new park is set to open in 2015 (after they finish bulldozing people out of the way and sucking up Shanghai’s tourism budget) and is expected to draw 7.3 million visitors annually.

    From a strange Disney-obsessed corner of the blogosphere, we hear that our park is set to “break the mold”, whatever that can mean when talking about mass-produced consumer products.There will be no Main Street USA, and as astute observers of the drawing have noticed, there’s lots of pretty water and a mountain.

    Also, apparently we’re eventually getting three parks: Magic Kingdom is the only one confirmed, but rumors are of Epcot and an Animal Kingdom to follow.


  • China’s mistresses come out from under the covers

    Mistresses, a group considered scandalous in Chinese society, have set up their own official websites, associations to protect their rights, and even an annual festival.

    They share their experiences of being financially supported by married men and even exchange their "lovers" on online.

    A Shanghai Daily investigation uncovered one online forum – www.xeixe.com – apparently operated by "China’s Association for Mistresses."

    The forum, which has been online for more than seven months, is only accessible by its 700-plus paid-up female members, all of whom claim to be mistresses of married men.

    The mistresses publish links to their posts on the front page of the website and describe their relationships with wealthy men as well as the expensive gifts they receive: 20,000 to 30,000 yuan (US$4,560.8) a month in pocket money, luxury products, cars and even apartments.

    Some ask others about how much money they can get from their lovers and what methods could be used to "squeeze more money out of them."

    They call themselves "new-age professional mistresses" who are young, bold, shameless, not shackled by Chinese traditional values and who don’t have to work a single day because their lovers pay them a higher salary than they could ever earn.

    Their work is simple – to maintain secret sexual relationships with married men to satisfy their desires. They describe having sex as "rolling on the bed sheets."

    The topics most discussed on the forum include shopping, making friends, sharing experiences and even breast enhancement. Some of the mistresses offer free online courses on training to be the perfect lover – someone who should be sexy and witty and "totally different from a man’s ordinary wife."

    The forum hosted an online chat, inviting several men to be interviewed on their attitudes to mistresses, and what kinds of women they would look for to have an affair.

    (more…)


  • Scientists in panda suits!

     

    In December the world watched (and giggled) as panda researchers donned panda suits for the good of the species, in an effort to reduce human contact and prepare them for the wild. This time they dressed up for the transfer of Cao Cao and her cub Cao Gen to the outer ring of the Wuloong Panda Reserve in Sichuan.

    Cao Cao began her training in preparation for release into the wild last year, which is when she gave birth to Cao Gen. The move this week is kind of a big deal, as Cao Gen will be the first cub born in a semi-natural environment to be released into the not-quite-wild.

    When they aren’t moving the pandas, researches make as little contact as possible, observing them via an extensive video surveillance system instead. Cao Cao and her cub’s new environment is 40,000 square meters large at an elevation of 2,200 meters above sea level.

    Researchers decided to move the pandas after reports that Cao Gen had been exhibiting wild instincts, snarling at humans during his physical examinations. This is a good thing, as it is an important instinct in the face of predators such as leopards in the wild.

    And it’s soon to get even better than panda suits, if you can believe it. The reserve’s directors recently accepted a suggestion made by 82-year-old leading panda expert Hu Jinchu, who argued that the panda keepers should dress up like leopards and roar in order to encourage survival instinct. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for photos. (Videos after the jump!)


  • Spring Festival travel rush tests China’s railway system

    A surge in passenger is testing China’s railway capacity as millions head home ahead of the Spring Festival on Thursday.

    China began its 40-day Spring Festival travel rush on Jan. 19. Some 2.85 billion passenger trips are expected to be made.

    The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important Chinese holiday. It is a time for family reunions.

    An average 2,265 train are transporting 6.2 million passengers daily, up 12.5 percent from last year.

    Authorities have also stepped up the crackdown on tickets scalping, with police arresting 1,800 scalpers and confiscating over 14,000 train tickets.

    "China’s railway capacity has improved much over the years but it is still far from meeting the surge in passenger trips," Wang Yongping, a railways ministry spokesman said.

    Trains tickets are hard to buy, Wang said.

    Xu, a middle-aged man, bought a ticket at Beijing West Railway Station for his trip home to the southwest China province of Sichuan after queuing an entire day and a night.

    "You’d better call it a fight rather than ticket-buying," he said.

    Despite the hard "fight," Xu felt lucky because he did, in the end, get a ticket.

    "Now I have to buy something to eat," he said while carefully tucking the ticket into his jacket’s inner pocket.

    Unable to get train tickets, over 100,000 migrant workers in southern Guangdong Province, a major manufacturing base, are going home by motorcycle.

    (more…)


  • Ferrari celebrates 999th car sold in China

    Italian supercar-maker Ferrari is celebrating its 999th car sold in China, with a special show in Shanghai. Ferrari just couldn’t wait till 1000.

    15 of Ferrari’s luxury sports cars are on display, no doubt attracting attention from the growing ranks of affluent Chinese.

    Models ranged from classics like the Spider and Modena, to limited editions like the Enzo. With a top speed of 350 kmh, just 400 of the Enzos were built. Other top performance cars include the 430 Scuderia and the GTB599 Fiorano. All aimed squarely at China’s growing ranks of affluent Chinese, in particular the younger generation like Johnson Zhang who spent about $590,000 on his 458 Italian. Zhang owns the 999th Ferrari sold in China.

    Johnson Zhang, The 999th Ferrari car owner said "Thank you Ferrari for allowing me to realise my dream as a man — to own a 458 Italian. The figure nine has very good meaning in Chinese. It means long-lasting, perfection and sustainability".

    Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa is aiming to sell 600 cars in the next two or three years.

    Amedeo Felisa, Ferrari CEO said "That means to position China as the second market in the world just behind U.S."

    Ferrari set up its China branch in 2004 and has witnessed the growth of the world’s most populous nation into the world’s biggest car market. Ferrari is one of the country’s best known luxury car brands, with many like Li Wei aspiring to own one someday.

    Li Wei, 29-year-old tourist said "It’s too expensive but I still like it very much. For example, the limited edition art model, the 599GTB Fiorano, which costs around 11 million yuan (1.6 million USD) was bought by a Shanghai buyer. I hope one day I would be able to own a car like that."

    China is set to become the world’s biggest luxury market in five to seven years, according to a Boston Consulting survey conducted last year.


  • Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Teams Up With Disney

    The 27th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival — which opened on January 5, 2011 and will last to February 28 — has teamed up with Disney to develop its ice and snow brand.

    This year’s festival was jointly hosted by the National Tourism Administration, Heilongjiang provincial government, and Harbin municipal government.

    Themed "Happy Snow, Passionate City", the 27th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival consists of five parts and more than 100 activities, such as ice and snow themed tours, art, trade, and culture. The event is aimed to becoming an international grand festival.

    The event has five main exhibition areas, namely Harbin Ice and Snow World, Ice Lantern Garden Party, Sun Island Scenic Area, Yabuli International Ski Resort, and Zhaolin Park, covering 40 ski fields and three grand ice and snow scenic areas.

    This year, the Harbin Ice and Snow World will team up with Disney to jointly develop the world’s top ice and snow tour brand.

    The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is held annually from January 5 and lasts for more than one month. It has become one of the world’s four major ice and snow festivals, together with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Cananda’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival.





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