China Splash January 2017


Fresh Steaks made with organic glue
In December, a story exposing how small pieces of beef are glued together and made into slices of steak went viral. A video interviewing an industry insider showed that carrageenan is widely used in this kind of assembled steak. It also showed how to produce it. By dissolving a small amount of carrageenan in water and evenly adding to the beef. After, all that’s needed is firmly wrapping with cling film into in a long, round shape and keeping outside for six hours and then keeping in the freezer. Once frozen, the meat hunk is cut it into small slices and one can hardly tell the difference, especially after margination and packaging. Look carefully at the ingredients list and you might find food additives, including carrageenan. Although extracted from edible seaweed and widely used in food industry for thickening and stabilizing properties, it’s still considered cheating when the “steak” is not actually a steak. (Via

baoziDumbed down Buns
In December, two cases investigating the sales of poisonous steamed buns (baozi) were up the Dongguan No. 2 People’s Court. Since January 2012, a breakfast shop named Tianjian Fresh Meat Steam Buns in Dalang’s Futian Market had been selling baozi that mixed baking powder with potash alum and earned about 250 RMB from daily morning sales. In the second case, a shop called Sisters’ Steamed Shop in Dalang’s Malian Village sold baozi made with potash alum without any proper license. Potash alum is an illegal chemical compound, which makes cakes and buns extraordinary fluffy and white, but damages memory and intelligence. They were both charged with criminal production and sales of sub-standard food. The first shop owner Xiang was sentenced to one year in prison and a 6,000 RMB fine. The second owner Tao will be held in jail for six months and needs to pay 3,000 RMB. (Via


The Best Father In The World
A sanitary worker turned famous after eating a bowl of dumplings on Dongzhi Festival (Winter Solstice). On December 21, Zhengzhou Bus Company in Henan Province treated all the sanitary workers in bus stops to dumplings. When Zhang was handed a hot bowl, he became tearful and cried: “It’s been a long time that I haven’t had such a good meal.” Zhang earns 2,130 RMB every month and contributes 2,000 RMB of it to his son’s home mortgage. People sympathized with Zhang and condemned the son. In an interview, Zhang further explained that it made sense for him to give the money: “Who else can I give except to my son?” He said his son—working as a security guard—has three daughters and mortgage and treats his father very well. He has some recycling jobs, which is enough to support himself. The family of eight is squeezed into a 58-square-meter apartment, but Zhang is pretty satisfied about it so far. (Via

No More Default Pointless Apps
Are you annoyed by all the irremovable apps (bloatware) on your mobile devices? After July 1, they won’t bother you again. On December 24, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released a new regulation that will take effect on July 1, 2017. It stipulates that manufacturers and internet providers must ensure that all the non-basic apps are removable. Basic apps refer to those relate to system operating, device normal functions, basic communication and app downloading channels. Manufacturers should restrain dealers from installing additional apps, as well as, inform customers about the risk and safety measures that come with any additional apps. The new rules also mention that without users’ consent, manufacturers and providers shouldn’t collect users’ personal information.


A Bizarre Robber or…?
Throughout history, people have tried an infinite amount of strategies to rob banks, but using an excavator perhaps not the most efficient way to do it. In the early morning of Christmas, a man surnamed Luo drove a digging machine into a China Construction Bank’s a self-service chamber in Meizhou, Guangdong. The roll-up gate, the front door, wall and four ATMs were totally destroyed by the vehicle. Local police arrived, arrested Luo and confiscated the excavator and the trailer. There was no cash loss reported, but due to the damage, the bank was closed until it was fixed. It’s still not clear if Luo’s purpose was to rob the bank. However, the news went viral and one netizen commented: “If he put construction shields around, a few cones and construction signs, he might have been able to fake it.” (Via

DGUT gets Funded Again
Dongguan’s oldest and biggest university, Dongguan University of Technology (DGUT) has gained another 250 million RMB donation. The money comes from 10 major enterprises, departments and individuals, as well as 100 million RMB from the school’s education foundation. Lingnan Landscape Co., Ltd gave 5 million RMB to the school to inspire more research with DGUT examining water pollution prevention and ecological preservation in the future. They also plan to hire a professor to be the company’s technical consultant. Since last September, DGUT has launched the “construction of a high-level technology university” project and will receive a 3.5 billion subsidy lasting from 2015 to 2020 that comes from municipal and provincial governments. (Via

The Highest Minimum Wage Cities
On December 13, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released the latest monthly and hourly minimum wages of 32 provinces and municipalities. Shanghai topped the list in monthly wage with 2,190 RMB, followed by Shenzhen with 2,030 RMB, Tianjin with 1,950 RMB, Dongguan with 1,895 RMB and Beijing with 1,890 RMB. The lowest monthly wage area goes to Qinghai at 1,270 RMB, which hasn’t changed since 2014. Beijing has the highest hourly wage at 21 RMB and Hainan marks the bottom at 12.6 RMB. This year, nine regions increased their minimum wages. (Via CCTV news)


Drunk Driving Crackdown
As Chinese New Year approaches, most people get busy with all kinds of annual dinners and banquets. The Dongguan traffic police instead wait out on the road, looking to catch those who drink and drive. On the night of December 22, nearly 1,000 traffic police were on duty at over 100 checkpoints around city center in a widespread drunk driving sting. In all, 33 people were found to be driving while drinking, eight of them were suspected to be drunk. In an earlier action on December 15, 42 people were caught and six of them were drunk. The widespread checkpoints will continue until February.