A Blend of The Weird & Useful: June 2015

0615_newsThe Cost of Plastic Surgery

A Dongguan cosmetic surgery clinic is being sued by four TV stars for using their likenesses in ads. The case of TV host Li Xiang, actresses Xiong Naijin and Zhang Jiani, and actress/singer Qi Wei, went to trial in the Intermediate People’s Court on May 1. The hospital denied the pictures were of the celebrities, saying the images couldn’t be identified. They also claimed no connection with the hosting website, but evidence revealed it was registered to the hospital. Plaintiffs were awarded RMB 80,000 and a written apology. China’s right of publicity prohibits the use of another’s image for commercial gain without consent. (Guangzhou Daily)

Baby Bump Bandits

In a case that reached court on April 28, Dongguan police arrested 32 pregnant or “breastfeeding” women and 25 accomplices. The January sting was the result of a two-week investigation that alleges an organized crime syndicate teamed up in groups of four, one driver and three women, to canvass crowded areas like hospitals or bus stations. Using their pregnancy or infants as a distraction to steal from unsuspecting bystanders, they are thought to have hit cities throughout the Pearl River Delta. Divided into 11 teams, 130 policemen watched supermarkets, bus stations and hospitals in Dongguan, Huizhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and a raid at a rental property in Guancheng turned up 247 cell phones and RMB 70,000 cash. Statements by the police said it is common for the women to have four or five children for purpose of committing the crimes and to delay a trial after their arrest. (news.dayoo.com)

Right Name,Wrong Person

During hotel stays around China, a Dalian man has not enjoyed an uninterrupted night’s sleep since late 2013, unless he first waits up for the police to take him into custody. On frequent business trips around the country, the problem starts after Mr. Li registers with the hotel during check-in. He then is accustomed to catch and release arrests, sometimes after police have forcibly entered his room in the night. It boils down to a mistake made by the Dalian police department who erroneously registered Li as a drug trafficker because they share a name. Expecting the harrassment, Li now calls to turn himself in before turning in for the night. (news.sun0769.com)

Massive Queue Slows Drivers

Summer is traditionally the busiest time of year for drivers’ license tests, not accounting for the 300,000 people already on the waitlist as the months heat up. Statistics from the Vehicle Management Center show that about 70,000 of them didn’t pass the written test, 90,000 are waiting on the road test and 130,000 still need to take a skill test. The center is expecting the wait to grow with university students on summer vacation, but mostly they cite increasing levels of difficulty for the accumulation. At an average of two and a half tries per student to pass the skill test, it is estimated that it will take 100 days to certify those students alone. Since 2013, the test has been modified each year in a bid to reduce unskilled drivers on the road. (news.timedg.com)

Case of the Mistaken Victim

In the investigation of the stabbing of a Huangjiang Town middle schooler, police found that the culprits attacked the wrong target. After school on May 8, the 15-year-old student was walking to a bus stop about a kilometer from his school when four older boys blitzed him, wielding knives and beating him. Pierced twice in the chest, he was lucky enough to make it to a nearby clinic in time to be saved. Police investigation later discovered that a female classmate allegedly solicited the attack on another girl due to an argument over a bus seat the day before. Her father insists that the boys acted on their own and refuses to apologize saying that it’s not his daughter’s fault. (news.ycwb.com)

T-Mark closes for two months

Dongcheng’s T-Mark superstore, having recently reported low sales numbers, closed for renovations on June 1. Construction should take one or two months and will reduce the sales floor space and add an eco-tourism “experience zone” where customers can try farming techniques and activities. Shilong’s 6,000-sq. meter Carrefour, the town’s largest supermarket, closed on May 31. A survey by Guangzhou Daily showed that over 60 percent of respondents have moved online to buy groceries more than three times a week, and 49 percent go to the supermarket only once a week. (Guangzhou Daily)