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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.”

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 Dumpert.nl, 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

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Food & Drinks

This Is the BBQ Restaurant Jack Ma Visited in Zhengzhou

Jack Ma’s late-night snack means overnight success for this Zhengzhou skewer place.

Manya Koetse

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Whatever Jack Ma does or says makes headlines in China. The superstar Alibaba founder has especially been a topic of discussion over the past week since his meeting with Tesla’s Elon Musk at the World AI Conference in Shanghai, where the two billionaires had a discussion about the risks and rewards of AI development.

But on social media platform Weibo, Chinese netizens have not just been discussing what Jack Ma has been saying over the past few days – what he has been eating has also become a topic that has attracted thousands of views and comments this week.

A BBQ skewer restaurant in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, gained overnight fame after a visit from the business magnate and his group. The Alibaba delegation visited Zhengzhou for a meeting concerning a strategic partnership between Alibaba and the local government.

Jack Ma visited the barbecue skewer restaurant around one o’clock in the morning, and was photographed and filmed by many people standing around.

Ma visited Dehua Pedestrian Street and Zhengdong New Area before arriving at the Zheng Xiwang restaurant. Ma was with a small group of people and spent a total of 700 yuan (around 100 US dollars).

Grilled skewers are popular all across China, but especially in the Zhengzhou region, which is also nicknamed the “holy land of skewers.”

Image via Dianping.com.

The Zheng Xiwang restaurant visited by Ma was founded in 1991 – although it was just a street stall at the time – and has been thriving ever since.

Besides skewers, Jack Ma allegedly ordered stir-fried Hunan prawns and spicy clams.

As Ma’s visit to Zhengzhou and the restaurant has gone viral, some social media users write that they have also visited the restaurant immediately after, sharing photos and their receipts as proof.

Weibo user Jia Chengjun (@贾成军) from Henan shared photos of people lining up to get a table at the popular restaurant.

According to various reports on Weibo, the restaurant’s owner initially offered Jack Ma the dinner for free, but the billionaire refused and paid anyway. His payment method will not come as a surprise; he paid with Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay.

“Why would you offer him a free meal anyway?” some netizens wondered: “He surely has more money than you!”

Curious to try the same food as Ma? Zheng Xi Wang is located at the intersection of Fuyuan Street and Yingxie Street in Zhengzhou (福元路与英协路交叉口向西160米路北(银基王朝南门)).

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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