October 25, 20122 Comments


A master’s graduate coming from rural China did not find an ideal job in the city and returned to his village to work on the farm. His father, who has been a peasant for his entire life, felt so humiliated and depressed by his son’s choice, or rather, lack of any, and attempted suicide. On [...]

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October 18, 20123 Comments

China’s ‘Basketball Grandma’ fighting aging and poverty becomes Internet star

Zhu Shumei, 76, has captured Chinese net users’ hearts lately. Standing only 150 cm tall (5 ft.), the hunchbacked granny plays basketball every day on a university campus in Jinhua, Zhejiang in East China. After photos of her exercising got viral on Chinese social media, netizens gave her a lovely nickname: “Basketball Grandma.” However, her life is not as sunny as she seems.

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September 4, 2012One Comment

3,000 children back to school with chairs and desks from home

From NetEase In China, September 1 is a typical back-to-school day and also time for parents to prepare school supplies for their children. In Shunhe county under the city of Macheng, Hubei province, one part of preparation of key importance is find passable desks and chairs at home and let their kids bring them to [...]

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August 30, 20122 Comments

Photos: Physically and mentally handicapped people enslaved by factory

From IFENG and NetEase A plaster-making factory in central China is reportedly enslaving mentally handicapped workers, who toil in hazardous conditions, are dragged out of bed at 6 a.m. every day, fed on nothing but noodles only twice a day and paid a mere 500 yuan (US$78) a month. In early August, an anonymous internet [...]

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April 26, 2012One Comment

Chinese rural children malnourished, anemic and poisoned

Additional sources: People’s Daily Online, Southern Weekend, China News Approximately 40 percent of children in rural China are stunted as a result of maternal and childhood malnutrition, according to a 2009 UNICEF report.  Corruption and incompetence at the local level have only made the matter worse by sickening even more children. In Gaohan Village, Yunnan [...]

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April 16, 201212 Comments

Curious Chinese ask stereotypical questions about India; a smarty-pants answers them all

The following content comes from a discussion thread in a forum in Baidu dedicated to topics related to CBS sit-com The Big Bang Theory. (A condensed version can be found here.)The author asserted that he spent 8 months in rural India and stayed with his Indian classmate, during which he did research for his thesis [...]

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April 15, 20124 Comments

Video: Children travel on zip-line across abyss to and from school

From NetEase, QBNews Hongde Village in Guizhou province, enveloped by mountains and turbulent rivers, cannot be accessed using any form of road vehicle. The only viable transportation method connecting the village with the outside is train. The nearest train station to Hongde Village is only less than two kilometers (1.3 miles) away. But a gorge [...]

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March 31, 20122 Comments

Left-behind rural woman poisoned herself and three kids, another tragedy in hollowed rural China

From NetEase & Mop On March 27, a 27-year-old woman in Sichuan province attempted to kill herself and her children with toxic herbicide, after she was severely depressed by the prospect of having to bring up their three young children alone while her husband is a thousand miles away. All four were still in hospital. The [...]

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March 28, 201212 Comments

Photos: Chinese family of 3 lives in transformed public restroom

From NetEase Skyrocketing housing prices and rents in Chinese cities have always been a vexing issue for urban dwellers in the past decade. Luckily, necessity is the mother of invention. Migrant workers who really have to tighten their purse strings have come up with a variety of ideas, ranging from ‘Egg House’ to ‘Capsule Inn’, [...]

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March 5, 20123 Comments

Photos: Sex workers in southern Chinese village mired in drugs, AIDS and poverty

From NetEase Forum Sex, drugs and AIDS are eroding Gejiu, or “the Tin City”, in Yunnan province. The city has more than 5,400 registered injection drug users, at least 70 percent of whom are infected with HIV. Thousands have reached a stage where their immune system has been damaged, and their HIV has become a [...]

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December 28, 20115 Comments

Photos: How much time does the reality leave to a dream?

From Xinhua and Weibo Chinese photographer Fan Shunzan graduated from Department of Photography at Chinese Academy of Fine Arts and Ecole Nationale Supérieur de la Photographie d’Arles (France’s National School of Photography in Arles). At the famed Pingyao International Photography Festival 2011, his photo series, titled How Much Time Does the Reality Allow For A Dream, attracted much [...]

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September 22, 20118 Comments

Photos: Lunch is a luxury and rarity to China’s rural children, and you can help them.

Previously, one Ministry of Tofu post noted that in many Chinese rural villages, schools do not have a standard dining hall. School children from poor families bring raw rice, soybeans, Chinese cabbage and salt to school and steam them for meals. Only a handful of students from slightly better-off families can afford lard and cured meat. Some families [...]

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September 16, 20112 Comments

Chinese veterans lose war on poverty despite winning battles

A veteran wearing dozens of medals and insignias was spotted begging on the street, according to a web post on MOP, a popular Chinese discussion forum, provoking another wave of public criticism over the country’s mistreatment of those who went through fire and water and made huge sacrifices for the territorial integrity of the land [...]

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September 13, 20119 Comments

Photos: Empty chairs become the pain of rural China, especially on Mid-Autumn Day

From Xinhua Due to the massive urbanization process, the traditional pattern of agrarian life in which men farm and women engage in the weaving and spinning has been tweaked in many rural regions in China. However, restrictions and discriminatory policies on family register (hukou) system, housing, education and other social security have rendered it very difficult for [...]

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September 9, 20115 Comments

Photos: Chinese blaze new paths in Africa

From NetEase In the past eight months of 2011 alone, Chinese direct investment in Africa amounts to 32.3 billion U.S. dollars. “Chinese can be seen every day. There are traces of China everywhere,” Africans say. Over one million Chinese are now carving out their own paths in today’s Africa, and tasting the glory and hardship [...]

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September 1, 2011One Comment

Photos: Hangzhou’s “Taxi bros” cabbies race with tough life

From NetEase 220 yuan ($34) per day as a commission demanded by the company in the form of operating charges and rent; 200 yuan ($31) on gas. So even before a “taxi bro” (a casual slang for cab driver) in Hangzhou hits the road early in the morning, he is already over 400 yuan ($65) [...]

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August 15, 20112 Comments

Chinese migrant workers live in graveyard

From Xinhua It has never occurred to Liu Junfeng that his parents would be living in “a place like that.” However, when he came for the first time to Taizhou, eastern province of Zhejiang, where his parents work, he found one of a few makeshift huts butting on graves would be his sweet home. Liu [...]

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May 13, 2011No Comments

Picture of the day: Migrant worker climbs on crane, strips off pants to get wages

The problem of wage arrears is endemic in construction sites and factories across China. A report from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reveals that by the end of 2008, there was a total of 225.42 million migrant workers in China, and about 5.8% of them did not get all due wages before the Chinese New [...]

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April 26, 2011One Comment

Picture of the day: Chinese rich and poor exchange glances

A migrant worker from a rural region pulling a wooden cart was gazing at a man driving a convertible Beetle when the car owner also turned his head and looked back at the worker. (Picked from MOP)

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April 26, 2011One Comment

“Rat packs” living in Beijing’s underground to be driven out

From Beijing Times 22-year-old Shi is a salesperson in a department store near Muxiyuan. Her fiancé Guo is a trucker at a logistics company. They live in a makeshift room in a tunnel, one of thousands built in 1960s and 70s as air raid shelters. At 6 p.m. Shi bought some leafy vegetables for food [...]

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