Brace yourself if you’re no fan of made up holidays. The most nonsensical of all such holidays is happening in two days. It’s the eleventh annual Serfs Emancipation Day in Tibet. A holiday quite literally forced on people if ever there was one.
Mobike, Ofo Bike, Hello Bike, Didi Bike… loads of bike sharing bicycles crowd the streets in Chinese cities. Remarkably few are being used. Riding a Mobike on the streets of Shanghai feels like joining a Formula 1 race in a 1986 Peugeot 205.
A buyer in China paid EUR 1.25 million for a pigeon. The Chinese interest in racing pigeons has been growing for quite some time now, driving up the prices. I visited the CEO of a shipyard in Wenzhou, who then had just bought a Dutch pigeon for EUR 250.400 - a record amount at the time. He dropped everything to talk pigeons.
He’s still at it, Chen Si. Since 2003, he’s been patrolling the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge every weekend to find and stop people who are about to jump into the river to end their lives. I met up with him in 2010. This week, GQ China did so as well.
In Urumqi, a Chinese city divided by deadly racial violence and suppression of its muslim Uighur population, an ethnically mixed baseball team is training to win the national championship. Against all odds.