Social Media Is Killing Marriages

You thought social media is making people lose their jobs only?  Well in China it’s making marriages end. People are switching their status from married to single and social media could be responsible, according to experts.

Statistics from the ministry show the country has been witnessing a continuous rise in divorces since 2002.

A report by the ministry of civil affairs in June found that 3.637 million couples divorced in 2014, up by 3.9 percent from the previous year, Xinhua reported.

Yu Kun, a Beijing-based psychologist, said among all extramarital affairs of his clients, about half of them were initiated through the internet.

But most experts said social media generally only affects relationships that were already strained.

In some cases, social networking apps can be a tool in dismantling an already fragile marriage, according to Chen Yiyun, an expert from the marriage and family research institute under the All-China Women’s Federation.

Social media is never the root cause of divorce, said Han Junmei, a commentator on

“Incompatibility undermines marriages and social networks just increases the possibility of breaking up,” she wrote.

Social media is not the only factor behind the rising divorce rate. The younger generation’s attitude toward marriage has also changed.

“In the past, people were more conservative and saw it as a shame to get divorced,” marriage consultant Shu Xin said.

“Nowadays, people care more about the quality of marriage and are more willing to break social norms for the sake of happiness.”


China Firm To Punish ‘Unscheduled’ Pregnancies: Report

A Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission, reports said, provoking a media firestorm Friday.

“Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan.

“The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved,” it added. “Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan ($161),” it said.

News portal The Paper published a screen shot of the document, adding a company representative had admitted the lender sent the notice to its staff but said it was only a draft seeking employees’ comment.

Violators will not be considered for promotion or awards and their incentives and year-end bonuses will be cancelled “if their pregnancy severely hindered their work”, the policy said.

The circular triggered scathing criticism from Chinese media, with the state-run China Youth Daily lambasting it as bizarre.

The company “does not regard its employees as living human beings, instead it treats them as working tools on the production line”, it said in a commentary.

Official interference in personal matters has a long history in Communist China, with the “one child policy” birth control rules, which were imposed in the late 1970s limiting most couples to a single offspring, being the most well known.

Under the rule of Mao Zedong, workers normally needed their employers’ permission to marry.

A worker at a different bank in Henan told the Global Times newspaper that their company asked staff for their pregnancy plans at the beginning of every year.

Photo Credits : AFP

China Yulin dog meat festival under way despite outrage

An annual dog meat festival in south-west China has begun, amid uproar on the part of animal rights activists. About 10,000 dogs will be slaughtered for their meat at the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin in Guangxi province on Sunday and Monday to mark the summer solstice, state media said.

One retired school teacher from Tianjin hit the headlines when she purchased dozens of dogs to save them. Residents and vendors in Yulin say the animals are killed in a humane way. Activists say the killing is cruel and an online campaign to ban the festival has been signed by more than 3.8 million people so far and the campaign has attracted considerable support this year from celebrities both domestic and foreign.

The tradition of eating dog meat dates back four or five hundred years in China, South Korea and other countries, as it is believed to ward off the heat of the summer months, according to state news agency Xinhua.


China illegally fishing in Africa, Greenpeace study finds

Chinese companies have been illegally fishing off the coast of West Africa, environmental campaign group Greenpeace said in a study Wednesday, at times sending incorrect location data suggesting they are as far away as Mexico or even on land.

The number of Chinese-flagged or Chinese-owned fishing boats operating in Africa has soared in recent decades, from just 13 in 1985 to 462 in 2013, the international advocacy group said.

It said it found 114 cases of illegal fishing by such vessels in periods totalling eight years in the waters off Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The boats were mainly operating without licences or in prohibited areas.

Among them, 60 cases involved vessels of the China National Fisheries Corporation (CNFC), a state-owned company charged with developing fishing in distant seas.

“While the Chinese government is starting to eliminate some of the most destructive fishing practices in its own waters, the loopholes in existing policies lead to a double standard in Africa,” Ahmed Diame, a Greenpeace Africa ocean campaigner, said in a statement.

The cases were reported by the Surveillance Operations Coordination Unit of the Dakar-based Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission, various national lists of infractions, and by Greenpeace itself, it said.

A Greenpeace ship found 16 cases of illegal fishing by 12 Chinese-flagged or -owned vessels in one month last year, the group said.

Some of the ships Greenpeace observed were reporting incorrect Automatic Identification System (AIS) information, the campaign group added, including data that suggested they were in Mexican waters — or even on land.

The CNFC under-reported gross tonnage for 44 of its 59 vessels operating in West Africa, the report alleged, a practice which enables companies to evade licensing fees and could potentially mean they were fishing in prohibited areas.

The Chinese ships were “taking advantage of weak enforcement and supervision from local and Chinese authorities to the detriment of local fishermen and the environment”, said Rashid Kang, head of Greenpeace East Asia’s China ocean campaign.

“Unless the government reigns in this element of rogue companies, they will seriously jeopardise what the Chinese government calls its mutually-beneficial partnership with West Africa,” he added.

Chinese companies are increasingly looking abroad for resources, with fish stocks no exception.

Fishing resources are also an element of the competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety. China has clashed with Vietnamese and Filipino fishing ships in the region, sometimes boarding vessels or chasing them off with water cannon.

Photo Credits : AFP

What It’s Like To Rent A Boyfriend In China

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 ($160) equivalent sh 14,613 to as much as ($1,599) equivalent sh146,046 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.

Although the exact number of renters is hard to come by, and it is still considered a last resort, there is certainly rising interest in the industry. Online searches for the term “rental boyfriend” rose by 884 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to Taobao. Although there are also girlfriends for rent, a quick look online shows that the majority of people advertising themselves as fake partners are male.

Fewer Chinese parents than expected seek 2nd children

China’s push to encourage more couples to have a second child after decades of restrictive family planning policies has fallen short of expectations in the first year, state media reported Monday.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission received less than half of the expected two million annual applications for couples to have a second child, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, without citing exact numbers.

The world’s most populous country has restricted most families to a single child since the late 1970s, but the Communist Party has started easing controls, allowing couples to have two offspring so long as one of the parents is an only child, rather than both.

The change began with a pilot programme in the wealthy coastal province of Zhejiang before expanding nationwide. Couples must still submit an application to the commission before having a second child, and not all have been approved.

China has a population of 1.36 billion, the National Bureau of Statistics said last year, but its working-age population fell by 2.44 million last year.

Over-60s accounted for 14.9 percent of the total, it said, and projections show that they will represent one in four of the population — 350 million people — by 2030.

The new policy mostly affects couples in urban areas, where the family planning policy has been implemented more strictly than in the countryside.

But education and housing are expensive in cities, and reliance on children in old age is lower, making multiple offspring less necessary.

China’s birth limit policies have at times been brutally enforced, with authorities relying on permits, fines, and, in some cases forced sterilisations and late-term abortions.

Photo Credits : AFP

China cleavage censorship ‘lacks authority’: state media

Chinese censors should pay more attention to public opinion, a state-run newspaper argued Wednesday, after an online backlash over the removal of all cleavage from a TV show about China’s only female emperor.

“Empress of China”, about the Tang dynasty ruler Wu Zetian, who came to power at the end of the 7th century, was abruptly taken off the air soon after its debut on satellite station Hunan TV late last month, ostensibly for “technical reasons”.

When it returned a week later, the show — which stars actress Fan Bingbing in the title role — had been conspicuously edited so that shots of female characters in mildly revealing period dresses were instead tightly cropped to remove any sight of the bulge of a breast.

The move ignited the fury of China’s Internet users, who contended that censors had gone a step too far and had sought to rewrite the country’s fashion history.

The Global Times newspaper, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, noted in an editorial that while the censorship was “largely done out of moral concerns”, the resulting public outcry should serve as a warning for the future.

“While it is powerful, censorship lacks authority,” it said. “In this sense, when using censorship, more considerations should be given to public opinion to garner support and avoid similar incidents.”

The rules governing censorship in China are opaque and reasons are not provided for why cuts are made, but negative portrayals of contemporary politics are often banned, as are revealing scenes and issues that authorities believe could lead to social unrest.

The Global Times insisted that the system of control was necessary. “The reality is that censorship exists in many countries and it is unlikely to be reversed in China,” it wrote.

The strict approval process has been criticised as arbitrary at times, with films and TV series often scuttled at the last moment — and sometimes, as in the case of “Empress of China”, even after they have begun airing.

Last month, the premiere of acclaimed director Jiang Wen’s latest film, “Gone with the Bullets”, was abruptly delayed due to eleventh-hour demands by censors.

An online survey released by the Sina Weibo microblogging service on Monday found that nearly 95 percent of respondents disapproved of the “Empress of China” censorship.

According to the culture ministry website, Tang dynasty women inherited the traditional Chinese “ruqun” jacket and gown combination “and developed it further, opening up the collar as far as exposing the cleavage between the breasts”.

“This was unheard of and unimaginable in the previous dynasties, in which women had to cover their entire body according to the Confucian classics,” it says. “But the new style was soon embraced by the open-minded aristocratic women of the Tang Dynasty.”

Chinese access to Gmail cut, regulators blamed

Chinese access to Google Inc.’s email service has been blocked amid government efforts to limit or possibly ban access to the U.S. company’s services, which are popular among Chinese seeking to avoid government monitoring.

Data from Google’s Transparency Report show online traffic from China to Gmail fell precipitously on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday, although there was a tiny pickup on Monday.

Taj Meadows, a spokesman for Google Asia Pacific, said Google has checked its email service and “there’s nothing technically wrong on our end.”

In a Tuesday editorial, the Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times newspaper raised the possibility, without confirmation, that the government had cut access to Gmail.

“If the China side indeed blocked Gmail, the decision must have been prompted by newly emerged security reasons,” the editorial read. “If that is the case, Gmail users need to accept the reality of Gmail being suspended in China. But we hope it is not the case.”

Earl Zmijewski, vice president of data analytics at U.S.-based Internet analysis firm Dyn Research, said his tests showed that China’s government had blocked Google IP addresses in Hong Kong used by people on the mainland to access Gmail services.

Calls to the government regulator, the China Internet Information Office, were unanswered Monday. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she did not know about any blockage.

China to help Kenya with hacking probe

The Chinese government through its consulate in Kenya has promised to help the Kenyan government investigate allegations of cybercrime after 77 of its nationals were arrested earlier this week.

A statement from the Chinese embassy in Nairobi said initial investigations pointed to a “telecommunication fraud case”, an apparent response to Kenyan concerns that those detained may be Chinese spies.

“China and Kenya enjoy long-standing friendship, and the Chinese side resolutely supports the Kenyan side in combating all forms of illegal and criminal activities,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the statement.

“We will actively cooperate with the Kenyan side to carry out investigation and handle the case in accordance with law. Meanwhile, we also hope that the Kenyan side can safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens being involved and properly deal with this case in a law-abiding and just way,” it added.

The 77 were arrested for running a cyber crime ring in Nairobi, after CID officials raided a home in the posh Runda estate they were staying in.

Communication materials and equipment were impounded during the raid.

The Chinese ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xian Fa, has been summoned to explain whether his government was aware of the group’s activities. The Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohamed, insisted that the Chinese government must fully cooperate with the investigation.


China unveils their own copy of Range Rover ‘Evoque’

At first glance, the new car unveiled at a motor show appeared to be an updated model of the Range Rover Evoque.

With its signature body shape, lights and radiator grill and silver logo across the front edge of its bonnet, it was the spitting image of the British bestseller.

But in fact, it was a brazen copy of the hugely popular UK-designed ‘baby’ off-roader – and a fraction of the price.

Its uncanny similarity to the Evoque’s distinctive design provoked an angry response from Jaguar Land Rover, which may take legal action to protect its brand.

The British manufacturer has just opened its first car factory in China in a venture with local firm Chery.


Why Chinese men are the most single in the world

More and more Chinese men are single – but they don’t want to be. Why? There aren’t enough women to go round.

There were 34 million more men than women in China in 2011. Part of that is natural – usually there are 105 boys born for every 100 girls. But the Chinese gender ratio at birth is much more stark. It was 116 boys to 100 girls in 2012.

The one child policy is largely to blame. Brought in to curb population expansion, the policy allowed only one child per family (there are now various exceptions, including for families whose first child is a girl.)

The result? Large numbers of surplus men who will likely never get married. In fact, one study has predicted that by 2030, 1 in 5 Chinese men in their 30s will never have married , while another states that 94% of unmarried people in China are men.

(This is a familiar problem for sociologists. A similar surplus, this time of women, was recorded after the First World War.)

Some parents are trying to find partners for their sons at physical markets, where people post personal ads detailing their characteristics, as well as their work and educational achievements.


Government officials stealing dead bodies to meet cremation quota

Two Chinese officials bought corpses from grave robbers to meet government cremation quotas, local media reported, as Beijing pushes to enforce its controversial and highly sensitive burial policies.

The officials from Guangdong province bought the bodies from a man who stole more than 20 in night-time raids on graveyards, the official news agency Xinhua said, citing Chinese media.

“Both were local officials in charge of funeral management reform,” said Xinhua, naming them He and Dong.

“They told police that they bought the corpses to finish government cremation quota,” it said, adding that Dong had paid 3,000 yuan (Sh45,000) each for 10 bodies.

China has a long history of ancestor worship, and in many areas a traditional belief that an intact body is necessary for a peaceful afterlife, so that burials are preferred and families are keen to build tombs for their loved ones.

But the government has launched a campaign encouraging cremation to save land for farming and development.

The bodysnatching scheme went up in smoke in June when a man in Beiliu in the Guangxi region, next to Guangdong in southern China, reported his grandfather’s body had been stolen, the Xinhua report late Sunday said.

The family had been guarding the tomb in a bid to ward off potential grave robbers, but could not prevent the theft, Xinhua said.

Authorities had demanded a minimum number of cremations in the unspecified towns where Dong and He worked, but residents had begun burying dead relatives in secret to bypass the regulations.

“Pushed to meet their quota, the two officials sought to purchase the corpses and send them to funeral parlour for cremation,” Xinhua said.

China’s drive to see more deceased people cremated rather than buried has been widely opposed across the country.

Six elderly people in the eastern province of Anhui province were said by domestic media in May to have committed suicide to ensure they died before new regulations banning coffin burials come into force, domestic media reported in May.

Officials elsewhere have launched massive campaigns to “flatten graves” to create land for farming and development, with 400,000 graves demolished in the central province of Henan in 2012, according to reports, provoking a nationwide outcry.

Are you aware that the weave on your head could actually be goat hair?

A BBC news report has uncovered what could just be the most embarrassing rip off targeting African women.

The much loved weaves, wigs and hair extensions hitherto believed to be of Brazilian or Indian origin could actually be from goats in China.

The report followed the process from how and where the hair is collected, processed and packed to when it is sold to unsuspecting traders.

The hair is usually labeled, apparently, according to its origin; Brazil, Peru or India, but this is rarely true.

Of the 39 countries that form the largest buyers of these products, 37 of them are from Africa.



China cult members sentenced to death for killing woman who refused to join hem

Two members of a radical religious cult who beat a woman to death in a McDonald’s restaurant after she refused to join them will be executed under a court order.

Zhang Fan, 29, and her father Zhang Lidon, 55, were given the death sentence on Saturday, following trial at the Yantai Intermediate People’s Court in Shandong, eastern China, state media have reported.

Both are members of the banned “All-powerful Spirit” cult in China, also known as the Church of Almighty God, which believes Jesus has been resurrected as a Chinese woman who is also the founder’s wife.

Together with three fellow cult members they were found guilty of murdering 37-year-old Wu Shuoyan who they claimed was an “evil spirit” after she allegedly refused to give them her telephone number.

Read more:

China bans stars who have used drugs from national media

China’s media watchdog says that stars who have ever used drugs or visited prostitutes will be banned from state television and other media outlets.

The ban is meant to keep the industry healthy, reported China Daily.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said recent cases had set a bad example for the country’s youth.

A series of celebrities including Jackie Chan’s son have been arrested on drug charges this year.

The Chinese government said celebrities who break the law should not be invited to appear in programmes, and transmission of their works should be suspended.

The ban also covers online media, film and publishing.

Read more:

China overtakes US as world’s biggest economy

China has finally overtaken the USA as the world’s biggest economy – at least when the figures are adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity.

According to the International Monetary Fund the combined purchasing power of China’s citizens now outstrips that of America’s.

And by the end of the year will China should make up 16.48 per cent of the world’s purchasing-power adjusted GDP for a total of $17.632 trillion (£11 trillion).

The US, by contrast, will make up 16.28 per cent, or $17.416 trillion.


Chinese city paints street lane for mobile phone users

A 100ft-stretch of pavement in the city of Chongqing claims to be the first street for mobile phone addicts in China, with a lane specially painted for people who have their eyes glued to their screens.

“First mobile phone sidewalks [sic] in China,” says a blue sign at the entrance to the street, which has been divided in two with a white line.

Mobile phone users are instructed to use one side, with white arrows painted on the ground to show them the direction to walk in while they gaze at their devices.

The idea appears to have been copied almost exactly, down to the stencils spray painted on the pavement, from a project by a television programme on the National Geographic channel earlier this year.

That programme found that only a few people changed which side of the pavement they walked on after spotting the signs.

However, officials in China said the markings would help to quietly remind pedestrians that “it is best not to play with your phone while walking”.

Mobile phone addiction is rampant in China, as it is worldwide. One recent survey by, a recruitment site, suggested that 80 per cent of the 10,000 white collar workers it polled admitted “severe addiction” to their phones.

China Loves Hairy Armpits

As a response to men flaunting their body hair on social media, a call out for women to do the same formed on a Weibo — China’s Facebook/Twitter equivalent — page.

The page asks for the best hairy armpit selfies women have to offer. So far, the page has more than 28.5 million views, and thousands of girls have submitted exactly that, even though the deadline for submissions was July 22nd.

For those of you who are not into it, the idea is actually great. “Girls, you should have confidence that you are beautiful just the way you are, shaven or not,” the page reads.

It doesn’t seem like there’s an actual prize to be won other than being proud of all your naturally hairy bits and knowing that others out there are too.

Hairy interesting.