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71-Year-Old Man From Xinjiang Marries 114-Year-Old Bride

The unusual marriage between a 71-year-old man and an 114-year-old woman in Xinjiang has caught the attention of Chinese media and social media users. According to the disabled groom, his 114-year-old bride was the first one to care for him.

Manya Koetse



The unusual marriage between a 71-year-old man and an 114-year-old woman in Xinjiang has caught the attention of Chinese media and social media users. According to the disabled groom, his 114-year-old bride was the first one to ever care for him.

Chinese media report that in the city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, a 71-year-old Chinese man recently married his 114-year-old bride. The two lovebirds first met in a nursing home and applied for their marriage certificate a year later. The wedding ceremony took place on October 9.

The unusual couple was in the company of several bride maids of an average age above 80, and best men aged over 70.


The groom, named Zheng, told a local news station: “I’ve always been poor and uneducated. I broke my legs when I was hit by a train at the age of 20. I would’ve never dared to dream that I would still live to see such a wonderful day.”

Zheng also explained he had been living in a social welfare center for a long time. Although he was well taken care of, he always missed that one special person by his side. His bride Zhang Shuying was the first one to care for him: “I am disabled and nobody would marry me; people usually ignore me. Until I met her. She doesn’t mind that my legs are no good, and I don’t mind that she’s (..) years older than me. As long as she lives, I will be with her every day, to talk to her and pour her a cup of tea, and take good care of her.”


News about the special marriage has also made its rounds on Chinese social media. “This type of news always makes me very hopeful about the future,” one person responds.

A female netizen writes: “I have this feeling that my future lover has not been born yet..”

“People have the right to pursue love no matter what age they are,” one netizen says.

– By Manya Koetse
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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at, or follow on Twitter.



  1. Avatar


    October 12, 2016 at 6:58 am

    молодцы, здоровья и счастья на долгие годы!!!

  2. Avatar

    Dmitry Dzhagarov

    October 12, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    71-year + 22 years = 93 not 114 something wrond in this article

    • Manya Koetse

      Manya Koetse

      October 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      You are completely right. We took it over from a local news source (““我是个残疾人,一直就没人看得上我,没人愿意跟我结婚,只有她不嫌弃我没有双腿,我也不介意她比我大22岁,只要她活着一天,我就每天陪着她说话,给她端茶倒水,好好伺候她……”) but you are right that the number don’t add up. Thanks!

    • Avatar


      November 3, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      black lives don’t matter

  3. Avatar


    October 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I know you got it from a online source (local news station) but the source got every facts wrong other than the marriage of these old couple.

    1. The couple are Uyghurs from Maralbeshi County (Bachu in Chinese) in Kashgar. The names of bride and groom in the article are Chinese names.

    2. The wedding took place in Maralbeshi County Not in 平度市 in Shandong province the source claimed.

    3. She is not 22 years older than him. 114 – 71 = 43

    Thanks for the article but I hope you can use little more credible sources like Xinhua:

    • Manya Koetse

      Manya Koetse

      October 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you for your comment. At the time of publishing, the available sources were limited (the Xinhua source mentioned by you is a day after the What’s on Weibo article), but you are right that the local news station mentioned some mistakes which we did not notice. Thanks!

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China Books & Literature

“The End of an Era”? – Beijing Bookworm Closes Its Doors

Manya Koetse



As news of The Bookworm’s closing makes its rounds on social media, Beijingers have responded in shock, mourning the loss of an iconic and meaningful meeting place for book(worm) lovers around the city.

The Bookworm Beijing, at Nansanlitun Road, is a bookshop, library, bar, restaurant and events space that has become a center of cultural exchange for Beijing’s foreign community since 2005.

The location is a beating heart of Beijing’s literary world; a place where writers, journalists, students, diplomats, academics, and all kinds of people – both foreign and Chinese – come together to exchange knowledge, read, and sit down for a glass of wine.

Today, the Bookworm announced its sudden closure via WeChat, writing:

It is with heavy hearts that we are forced to announce the impending closure of The Bookworm Beijing after 14 wonderful years in Courtyard No. 4 off SouthSanlitun Road. Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of “illegal structures”, and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease.”

The announcement further says that the location will be forced to suspend operations “most probably” as of Monday, November 11, and that the Bookworm will attempt to reorganize and find a new location.

News of the Bookworm’s closing has been becoming a topic of conversation on various social media sites from WeChat to Twitter and Weibo.

Famous Chinese journalist and author Luo Changping (罗昌平) writes on Weibo: “The Bookworm is forced to close! It used to be next door to my former office, and it was once like my living room. Sigh.”

Shanghai comedian Storm Xu called the closure of the Beijing Bookworm “the end of an era,” saying he looks back on many good memories there.

“They had many events, good food, special books; I used to go there a few times per year,” one person writes. “This really is so sad,” other Weibo users respond.

There are also various Weibo commenters who also mention that news of Bookworm’s closing comes just a day after the news that publisher of magazine-books and online bookseller Duku Books (读库) is forced to close its Beijing warehouse for the sixth time.

Over the past decade, many popular venues in Beijing have been forced to close their doors or relocate. Beijing hangouts such as Bed Bar, Salud, Vineyard Cafe, 2 Kolegas, Jiangjinjiuba, Mao Livehouse, Hercules, Aperativo, The Bridge Cafe, Great Leap Brewery Sanlitun, Jing-A Taproom 1949, and many others have all been closed over the past years.

Nightlife hotspot Sanlitun bar street was demolished and bricked up in 2017 as part of the mission of the city management to gentrify the area.

Changing Sanlitun in 2017.

The demolishment of “illegal structures” in the city has been an ongoing effort of the local government for years. These efforts became especially visible in late 2017 when people in Beijing’s Daxing area faced a large-scale evacuation campaign after a big fire broke out there on November 18, killing 19 people.

The large-scale evacuation campaign was also expanded to other areas of Beijing in a campaign by the municipal authorities aimed at unlicensed developments to target “illegal structures” and “buildings with potential fire hazards.”

But many people on Weibo and WeChat questioned if the campaign was actually more about politics than about safety concerns – something that was strongly refuted by state media outlets at the time.

These questions will remain unanswered, also for the Bookworm. Is its closure really about closing down an “illegal structure,” or are there more politically-motivated considerations playing a role here? On Weibo, some commenters say the location is closed down for being a home of free discussions and “free thinking,” while others say that no matter what the place is, the building’s safety and legal status is what matters here.

Perhaps the future will tell. We surely hope the Bookworm will soon pop up and open its doors in another location very soon.

Those who are interested can support the Bookworm by coming by and buying books, which will be heavily discounted, until November 11.

By Manya Koetse

Images: Bookworm images by The Bookworm, edited by What’s on Weibo.
Sanlitun Image: Might have been taken by Manya in Beijing 2017, but we’re not 100% sure so let us know if we’re mistaken.

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China Local News

Online Anger over Inappropriate Toast by Dutch Watch Brand Executive at Chinese Dinner Party

This is how NOT to do a toast in Dutch!

Manya Koetse



Instead of teaching guests at a Chinese dinner party how to say “cheers” in Dutch, this viral video shows how the Chinese are told to join in saying “dikke lul,” the Dutch expression for “big d*ck.”

UPDATE: FYI – the videos relating to this incident have been taken offline after the publication of this article. There are no active video links in this article.

The Amsterdam-based watch & jewelry brand Rosefield has recently come under fire within the Chinese community in the Netherlands after a video went viral showing Rosefield’s CEO and its Head of Sourcing proposing an unusual toast at a Chinese dinner party.

The video, that was viewed over 173,000 times on Dutch site, shows a woman in a white blouse bringing out a toast, saying:

In Dutch, we say ‘ganbei’ or ‘cheers’ in this way, and it would be nice if you all can say the same, we say: ‘dikke lul.‘”

The people at the table then proceed to toast saying “Dikke lul” – which, in fact, is not the Dutch word for ‘cheers’ but for ‘big dick,’ something that the Chinese people at the table are seemingly not aware of.

On WeChat, Chinese-language newspaper Asian News (华侨新天地) reported about the video and identified the Dutch woman and man at the table as the CPO and CEO of Rosefield Watches, a fast-growing luxury brand that is active in various countries.

Asian News describes the incident as a way of “ridiculing Chinese friends,” and writes it has triggered anger online.

Asian News (华侨新天地) is a Chinese language newspaper founded in 1992. It is mainly distributed in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Its WeChat account has some 120,200 followers, and the post on the ‘cheers’ video was among its most-well read on WeChat this week.

The blog post noted that ever since the ‘dikke lul’ video has gone viral in the Netherlands, it has become one of the first results showing up when searching for the vulgar expression ‘dikke lul’ on Google.

Although it is not clear where the video was filmed and how it ended up on short video site Dumpert, it is rumored in WeChat groups that it was recorded during the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair earlier this month, and that the Chinese guests are business relations of the Dutch brand (unconfirmed).

The comment section on the Dumpert site shows that although some Dutch commenters think the video is funny, there are many who find it “vulgar,” “rude,” and “distasteful.”

Although many (overseas) Chinese expressed anger in various WeChat groups – some expressing regret over a Rosefield watch they recently purchased – the Asia News blog does remind readers that we do not know the context of the video, and whether or not there was a certain pretext or common understanding to the joke.

Nevertheless, the blog states, this kind of behavior is not professional and if a company such as Rosefield wants to earn money in China, “it should also respect Chinese culture and people.”

Although there have been ample discussions about the controversial video on Wechat, there are no online discussions about this issue on Weibo at the time of writing.

Over the past year, many foreign brands became a focus for controversy in China.

In November of 2018, Italian fashion house D&G faced consumer outrage and backlash on Chinese social media for a video that was deemed ‘racist’ to China and for insulting remarks about Chinese people allegedly made by designer Stefano Gabbana.

Swiss investment bank UBS sparked controversy in June for a column which mentioned “Chinese pigs.”

Over this summer, various foreign companies apologized to China for listing ‘Hong Kong’ as a separate country or region on its websites and/or t-shirts.

Still curious about how to actually say ‘cheers’ in Dutch? It’s ‘proost’ and this is how you pronounce it correctly.

By Manya Koetse

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