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Nanjing To Implement Security Partitions in Public Buses and Introduce “Grievance Awards” for Drivers

After the Chongqing bus crash, the safety on Chinese public buses is the talk of the day, with Nanjing taking new security measures.

Manya Koetse

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Amidst safety concerns over disruptive passengers in China’s public transport system, Nanjing is introducing security partitions in buses and special awards for drivers who do not respond to aggressive behavior by passengers.

This week, the safety on China’s public buses is one of the most-discussed issues on Chinese social media, following the horrific crash of a bus in Chongqing caused by passenger’s aggression – which is just one but many incidents involving disruptive passengers on public transport.

On November 3rd, Chinese media report that the city of Nanjing will implement security partitions in all of its city buses to protect drivers against passenger abuse.

The Nanjing Public Transportation Group will arrange that around 8000 buses in Nanjing will be equipped with such dividers in 2019, People’s Daily writes on Weibo.

Nanjing bus drivers are also requested not to respond to (angry) passengers and not to hit or talk back. Drivers who suffer abuse and do not react to it will receive a special compensation for pain and suffering called wěiqujiǎng (“委屈奖”), literally: “Grievance Award,” with prices going from 10 yuan ($1,4) to 200 yuan ($30).

Such a compensation was previously already introduced in some places in Anhui province.

“Grievance Award”, cartoon by Sina news.

In the case of the Chongqing crash, that killed 15 people, security footage from the bus’s black box showed that the driver fought back when he was hit by a female passenger, leading him to lose control over the steering wheel and plunging into a river.

Among the thousands of people commenting on Nanjing’s new safety measures, there are those in favor of the dividers and those against it. Those who are not supportive of the measure say that the partition might be dangerous because it would not allow passengers to help out in case the bus driver suddenly becomes unwell.

Public opinions seem to be less divided over the idea of the “Grievance Award” for drivers, with many criticizing it and finding it “laughable,” saying that one cannot put a price on several levels of feeling wronged, or that it is “undignified” and “irrational” to expect of drivers not to defend themselves against aggression.

Many comments also mention that the focus of these kinds of measures should lie on the punishments for disruptive passengers, instead of awarding drivers for suffering abuse.

“The bus should also have a system where people swipe their [public transport] card that is tied to their identity, so that troublemakers can be blacklisted,” some suggest.

Others say that bus drivers should be equipped with a taser gun to fend off aggressive passengers.

Some commenters write: “Bus drivers are also people, people who work in the service industry, not in the maltreatment industry!”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 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.

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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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©2020 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

On Wuhan’s ‘Reopening Day’, Even Traffic Jams Are Celebrated

As the COVID-19 lockdown has ended in Wuhan, many people are happy to see the city’s traffic finally getting busy again. “I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them.”

Manya Koetse

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It was chilly and grey in Wuhan when the coronavirus epicenter city went into a full lockdown on January 23 of this year. On April 8, 76 days later, it is sunny and twenty degrees warmer outside as people leave their homes to resume work or go for a stroll.

The end of the Wuhan lockdown is a special day for many, as the city finally lifted the 11-week-long ban that shut down all travel to and from the city in a radical effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, city residents returned to work as public transport started again. Roads, bridges, and tunnels were reopened, and the local airport resumed flights.

On Chinese social media, various hashtags relating to the Wuhan lockdown end have become popular topics. Using hashtags such as “Wuhan Lifts the Ban” (#武汉解封#), “Wuhan Open Again after 76 Days” (#武汉暂停76天后重启#), and “Wuhan Reopens” (#武汉重启#), the end of the coronavirus ban is a much-discussed news item, along with the spectacular midnight light show that was organized to celebrate the city’s reopening.

The Wuhan lightshow, image via Xinhua.

“Today has finally arrived! It’s been difficult for the people of Wuhan,” some commenters write.

According to China’s official statistics, that are disputed, over 3330 people have died from the new coronavirus since its outbreak; 80% of these fatal cases were reported in Wuhan. On April 6, authorities claimed that for the first time since the virus outbreak, there were zero new COVID-19 deaths.

Some state media, including People’s Daily, report that the reopening of restaurants and food shops is going smoothly in the city, as people – for the first time since January – are back to buying pan-fried dumplings and noodles from their favorite vendors.

Meanwhile, the fact that the traffic in some Wuhan areas is back to being somewhat congested is something that is widely celebrated on social media.

Some call the mild traffic congestions “great”, viewing it as a sign that the city is coming back to life again after practically turning into a ghost town for all these weeks.

“I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them,” one Weibo commenter writes.

“I won’t complain about congested traffic again, because it’s a sign the streets are flourishing,” another Weibo user posted.

While netizens and media outlets are celebrating the end of the lockdown, several Chinese media accounts also remind people on social media that although the ban has been lifted, people still need to be vigilant and refrain from gathering in groups and standing close to each other.

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

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
Follow @whatsonweibo

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.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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