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China’s Street Cleaners Left In the Cold

China’s street cleaners work under extreme conditions. The story of one public cleaner has become a trending topic on Weibo. Netizens urge the government to improve the working conditions of their “angels of the road”.

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Recent severe weather in Dalian (Liaoning) made the story of a street cleaner one of the trending topics on Sina Weibo (#环卫工吃雪解渴#).

Public cleaner Xiyi Wang and his wife worked for 13 hours to shovel snow on the streets in the freezing cold. The extreme conditions, under which the pair did not have any food or water, led them to quenching their thirst by swallowing snow. The picture became trending on China’s social media after it was published in a Liaoning newspaper (source).

Besides praising the hard work of China’s public cleaners, netizens on Sina Weibo express their sympathy for the bad circumstances under which street sweepers have to work. In Chinese media, street cleaners are often also called “angels of the road” (马路天使). However, their working circumstances are far from heaven. The story of Xiyi Wang only shows the tip of the iceberg.

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Public cleaners in China generally work long hours and receive the national minimum pay. Normally there is no workstation for them to take a break or recover from the cold. Hot food or drinks are not provided. Furthermore, working safety is an important issue. Street cleaners are exposed to dangerous situations when cleaning heavy traffic roads. Since the beginning of this month (Dec 2nd, 2014), four street sweepers have been reported dead in road accidents.

Many Sina netizens appeal to the government through social media, asking them to provide a better working environment for street sweepers and improve their social welfare, because, they say, they deserve a better life than this.

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– What’s on Weibo, by Fan Bai

Follow What’s on Weibo on Twitter. 

About the author: Fan Bai is a freelance translator and writer. Born and raised in China, she is now based in the UK.

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China Local News

One Dead, 17 Injured in Guangxi Kindergarten Knife Attack

News of a brutal kindergarten attack in Guangxi has shocked Chinese netizens.

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A brutal attack on a kindergarten in the city of Beiliu, Guangxi Province, has left at least one dead and 17 people injured. (Update April 29: Two victims have now passed away due to the attack.)

The incident occurred on the afternoon of April 28, when a man stormed into the school with a knife and started stabbing the pupils and teaching staff. The man attacked at least 16 children and 2 teachers. Blurred videos of the scene showed injured children in the playground area, some sitting up and some lying on the floor.

The 25-year-old man from Guangxi’s Guannan village was arrested shortly after the attack and his motives remain unknown at this time. One video on Weibo shows the man being taken away by police. Some online rumors (unconfirmed) suggested the man was going through a divorce and that his wife works at the kindergarten.

Local authorities in Beiliu and Yulin are calling on people to donate blood while the hospital is treating those who were injured in the attack. Images shared on Weibo showed people lining up to donate blood.

In June of 2020, a similar kindergarten attack left 39 children and staff injured.

On Weibo, the incident has become a trending topic, with many people expressing anger and sorrow over the attack.

“Is this another ‘mental disorder’ [case]?” (“又是精神病?”) many commenters write.

“This news really breaks my heart. Those poor children have done nothing wrong, they are innocent,” one person writes. Many others write that they hope the man will be severely punished. “He should be executed on the spot,” some say, with others writing: “Having a mental disorder is not an excuse.”

By Manya Koetse

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

Delivery Man in Anhui Run Over by Ambulance Sent to Rescue Him

From bad to worse: this Eleme delivery man was run over by an ambulance after being hit by an SUV.

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On April 12, a delivery man in the city of Bozhou, Anhui province, was run over by an ambulance arriving at the scene of an accident where he had just been injured.

Shocking footage circulating on Chinese social media shows the delivery man lying in the middle of the road when the ambulance arrives and runs over his leg. The incident happened around 12:00 in the afternoon (link to video, viewer discretion advised).

While the delivery man already suffered injuries because he was hit by an SUV shortly before, things quickly went from bad to worse when the ambulance that was supposed to come to his rescue crushed his leg. The man is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital in Mengcheng county.

Statement on Weibo by the official Mengcheng county account (@蒙城发布).

According to recent news reports, the ambulance driver has currently been suspended and is under investigation.

The incident received a lot of attention on Weibo today, where the hashtag page discussing the double accident received over 150 million views (#外卖员被救护车二次碾压#).

Many comments relating to this incident are focused on the role of the traffic police at the scene of the accident, with people wondering why there was no guard standing next to the victim.

Thousands of commenters also address how sorry they feel for the victim, especially because the lives of many food delivery drivers – facing long working hours and low wages – is already tough enough.

According to Toutiao News (头条新闻), the delivery man works for Chinese food delivery giant Eleme. Wang Gang (王刚, alias) is approximately 30 years old and has a wife and a child. He had only been working for Eleme for a few months and reportedly did not have any prior accidents.

In Monday’s double accident, Wang suffered a mild skull fracture, seven broken ribs, and a fractured lower leg. He is in stable condition.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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