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Hangzhou Now Offers Women-Only Parking Spaces…Extra Wide

One Hangzhou parking lot recently introduced women-only parking spaces that are 1.5 times bigger than regular parking spaces. Although some netizens appreciate the extra space for female drivers, there are also many who deem them sexist.

Manya Koetse

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One Hangzhou parking lot recently introduced women-only parking spaces that are 1.5 times bigger than regular parking spaces. Although some Chinese netizens appreciate the extra space for female drivers, there are also many who deem them sexist.

A parking lot in Tonglu County, Hangzhou, recently introduced eight parking spaces especially meant for female drivers. The parking spaces, 1.5 times bigger than regular parking spots, are marked with pink lines and a female symbol.

womens2

The women-only parking spaces, located at a service area near the Hangxinjing highway, are part of a parking lot with 370 spaces, that also include handicap parking spaces. Pan Tieyong (潘铁勇), the manager of the area, told Qianjiang Evening News that the spaces were meant especially for female drivers experiencing difficulties to park in reverse.

Qianjing Evening News writes that there are many who appreciate the extra space, but that there are also people who think the female-only dedicated space is sexist.

On Sina Weibo, the female-only parking spots have become a point of discussion. Many netizens applaud the idea of wider parking spaces, but think they should be for unskilled drivers in general – male or female.

“This is a good idea for bad female drivers,” one Weibo user comments: “But what about the bad male drivers? Can they park there, too?” Another user writes: “These kinds of parking spaces should be available to any new driver who is insecure about parking in reverse.”

20150513095215238_MediumFemale-only parking in Shanghai (Time Out)

“This has to do with being a good driver or not; it has nothing to do with being male or female,” one netizen comments. “Where are the feminists!?” one other netizen cries out.

This is not the first time female-only parking spaces are introduced in China. A Shanghai mall also has female-only parking since May of last year. The introduction of designated parking areas for women in the city of Dalian in 2015 also sparked some controversy.

enhanced-11870-1406053953-11Women-only parking space near a Chinese mall (Buzzfeed).

China is not the only country implementing female-only parking spaces. Many parking lots in Germany also have designated women’s parking spaces, also causing debate over this phenomenon being sensible or sexist. According to German newspaper Bild, the designated spaces are actually discrimination against men, not women.

According to Washington Post, the German female-only parking spots were originally introduced to protect women from potentially being assaulted in dark parking lots. Many cities therefore established safer parking spaces for women, that were well lit and located closer to the road or buildings.

In this way, the original intention of female-only parking spaces in Germany differs from those in China, where the extra large parking spots reinforce stereotypes of women being worse drivers than men.

“Well, I think it’s a good thing,” one female netizen says about the parking spaces: “I am a bad driver, and I am happy to have this extra space. If you think it is sexist, just don’t park there.”

Manager Pan Tieyong says that the female-only parking spaces are currently very popular. As he tells Qianjiang Evening News: “If all goes well during this trial period, we will consider introducing more parking spaces especially for handicapped people and for female drivers.”

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. 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 manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

1 Comment

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    Diandian GUO

    May 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    They could have just titled it Parking Spot Extra or Parking Spot XL, for all those who are lousy with parking. It is a common perception that female drivers tend to get nervous when parking. Perhaps this has something to do with sense of space and distance. But it does not mean that men are always confident. Imagine a greener male driver who really wanted to park his car in the female-spot for the extra space, but could not due to the exclusive sign… Women are not all lousy drivers; similarly, men should not be assumed to be perfect drivers either…

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China Local News

Oil Tanker Truck Explosion Sends Shock Waves through Wenling, Zhejiang

A major oil tanker explosion has left over a hundred people injured and at least ten dead in Wenling, Zhejiang.

Manya Koetse

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On June 13, the explosion of an oil tanker truck has caused chaos in the city of Wenling in China’s Zhejiang province, leaving at least 112 127 people injured and nine 10 people dead.

The explosion took place in the afternoon at approximately 16:40 near the exit of the G15 Shenhai highway, causing a loud bang and wrecking some homes in the vicinity.

The hashtag “Zhejiang Wenling Tanker Wagon Explosion” (#浙江温岭槽罐车爆炸#) and other related hashtags (#浙江温岭一油罐车爆炸#) are attracting millions of views on social media site Weibo on Saturday evening (local time), with Chinese media and netizens sharing the footage of the damage caused by the explosion.

“My god, this is so scary,” a typical comment on Weibo says, with many people expressing their shock over the major incident.

Emergency and rescue workers are currently still at the scene to assist victims and clear away the wreckage caused by the explosion.

On Saturday night around 21:15 local time, Chiense state media outlet CCTV was still broadcasting a live stream through Weibo showing the latest images and footage of the situation and interviewing injured people in the hospital.

Local authorities and Chinese media are warning people not to go near Wenling’s Daxi to keep the roads clear for rescue workers.

Meanwhile, people on Chinese social media are spreading praying emoji’s and candles, expressing their sympathies for the victims of today’s explosion.

By Manya Koetse

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China Local News

China’s Shulan City in “Wartime Mode” after Recording 13 COVID-19 Infections

Local authorities announced a “wartime mode” lockdown due to 13 new local coronavirus cases in Shulan.

Manya Koetse

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The city of Shulan in China’s Jilin Province is top trending on Chinese social media today after local authorities announced a “wartime mode” lockdown due to 13 new local coronavirus cases.

These are the first local infections in the entire province after a period of 73 days, China News reports, with other previous cases all being infections from abroad.

Last week, on May 7th, a female resident was the first to be tested positive for COVID-19. The city in northeast China is now the only place in the PRC to be marked as “high risk.”

One page on social media platform Weibo dedicated to the topic of Shulan going into “wartime mode” (“战时状态”) had received over 190 million views by Monday evening local time.

What does this “wartime mode” entail?
– All residents stay home, lockdown of residential compounds
– All public places closed
– Schools closed
– All public transportation suspended
– No more selling of fever-reducing medicine in clinics or stores

According to CGTN, a total of 290 people who have been in close contact with the infected patients have been traced and placed under medical observation.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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