Erika Sanchez Wong

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The InternChina Blog

Fake things market – Shan Zhai model

I’m Martin, a new Marketing intern at the InternChina Qingdao office. It’s my second time in China – I love this country ! I am also quite interested in fashion and the concept of counterfeits.
Before I came to China, I knew that China was infamous for its counterfeit items. In many countries and even in France, where I come from, the local authorities are working hard to reduce the amount of available counterfeit items. But the first time I came to China in 2016 in Nanjing, I was impressed how easy is it to find fake things and how it is displayed shamelessly by market seller on streets or in mall, or by people. Sometimes there can be some great high-quality fakes, sometimes there can be some really terrible fakes. Look at these Abibas and New-Barlun branded shoes ! Or this Abiboss sweatshirt (a great mix between Hugo Boss and Abibas brand) and this CEANHL bag, interesting Anagram.

Where can I find fake branded things?

You can find these fakes everywhere ! You can find them on the internet on sites like Taobao, in souvenir shops, and also in big markets. In these places, you need to bargain. While you can find these markets all over China, I will talk about the ones I know in Shanghai, where you can meet so many foreigners eager to find cheap fakes. In Shanghai, so many French visitors come to the market that some sellers have even learnt how to say the prices in French ! The starting price can be as much as five times higher than the true value of the item.

What products can be counterfeit?

Well-known and luxury brands are often imitated – you can find a lot of fake Louis Vuitton and Chanel products. You can also find fake tech, including cheap Beats by Dre and even fake smartphones ! There have been copies of the Apple iPhone called Goophone on the market. Even worse, in 2011, a string of fake Apple stores were found across China. In the same vein, in Qingdao, i’ve seen a lots of fake branded shops, in a mall that seemed normal, like a lot of copy of Polo brand. Or a Enzo shop. (Just one K and its ok)

Shan Zhai (山寨)

This trend of counterfeit products is not just a few sellers in markets. It can be considered a serious business model here in Chins. Due to a mix of history, culture and a pragmatic economy, business based on fake and pirated products has its own name in Chinese : shanzhai.  The Shan Zhai model works thanks to more than 60% of Chinese people living in rural areas that are imitating the consumption trend in urban areas. This model has allowed some companies to break into a new market. For example, we can talk about Tencent’s QQ instant messaging service which is a carbon copy of the Israeli messaging service ICQ. Now, QQ is one of the most popular instant messaging services in China, and floated on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2004. Indeed, it is for some companies a way to start with nothing by pushing down the cost of R&D and then implement new features to existing products to better fit the local needs and expectations. Some people defend the Shan Zhai model, saying it brings economic and social benefits by providing customer more choice at lower price. Foreign companies complain about the lack of strict rules concerning property rights in China, and trying to push Chinese governments to strengthen their control over counterfeit.

If you are interested to visit fake markets and experience China, don’t hesitate: https://internchina.com/apply/

Cultural, Eating Out in Chengdu, Eating out in Zhuhai, Travel

Sugar painting(糖画)

In China, it is usual to see some folk artists producing sugar paintings with liquid sugar along the streets, in the parks, and touristic areas.

InternChina - Chinese sugar painting
InternChina – Chinese sugar painting

The artist sits before a wooden stand where there is a polished slab of marble in the middle. On the side of the stand is a bamboo arrow and a wooden plate painted with various patterns in a circle such as a 龙 (Chinese dragon), bird, dog, or a flower basket.

InternChina -Sugar painting is especially popular among kids
InternChina -Sugar painting is especially popular among kids

Children especially usually select a figure by spinning the arrow on a wheel which will randomly land on such popular figures as a dragon, fish, monkey, dog, bird, or flower basket.

Sugar painting is very different from normal painting and was originated from the Ming Dynasty when sugar animals and figures were made in molds as part of a sacrifice in religious rituals. In the Qing Dynasty, sugar painting gained more popularity. At that time, many people made a living by sugar painting, shouldering a carrying pole and setting up stalls in crowded streets, in front of theatres and busy public places.

InternChina -Me and my Sugar Dragon 2012
InternChina -Me and my Sugar Dragon 2012

There are two main categories: plane painting and solid painting. For the plane painting (which is the easier one), the painter uses the brown sugar or white sugar as the raw material, the bronze spoon and a shovel as the tool, and the slab of marble as the “paper”. To acquire liquid sugar, the artist has to cook the solid sugar in a pot before painting. Since the hot liquid sugar could freeze solid if it cools, the artist has to produce his work very quickly.

Using a small spoon to scoop the syrup which looks like silk and thread, the handi-craftsman concentrates his strength on the wrist and takes the spoon as a brush pen, rising and pausing strokes, up and down, left and right. Soon a sugar painting of an animal, flower or a bike is finished, and the painter separates the painting from the marble with a shovel, puts a bamboo slice on the painting or wraps it with a transparent plastic bag.

InternChina -Separate the painting from the marble with a shovel
InternChina -Separate the painting from the marble with a shovel

If you have a sweet tooth or an eye for art – apply now to enjoy the Chinese culture and everything it has to offer. 

 

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Nightlife, Things To Do in Chengdu

Guide to Chengdu’s Nightlife II

Two weeks ago I already introduced you to Chengdu’s nightlife and gave you an overview of some of the areas and selection of places to go. In case you missed it, check out my last blog (http://www.internchina.com/en/about/blog/2013/08/guide-to-chengdu%C2%B4s-nightlife-i/).
Apart from the bar and clubs already mentioned there is a lot more to discover in Chengdu’s nightlife. There is a vast range of establishments to choose from, including fancy nightclubs, chilled out riverside bars, small music festivals and American style house parties in the suburbs.

Lan Kwai Fong (兰桂坊)

Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu, named after the infamous party street in Hong Kong, is a purpose-built entertainment complex in the heart of the city centre on the riverbank that caters for the better-off crowd. It offers some restaurants, cafes and shops, but even more clubs and bars for the party crowd.

Lan Kwai Fong attracts an international crowd with its numerous establishments like CC Club, MIU, The Imperial Family NO.1 Club, Lan Kwai No. 8 Club, just to name a few. You can easily go do some club and bar hopping during the night to see which one suits you best.

Shao Lin Lu Bar Street (少陵路酒吧街)

Shao Lin Lu is a bar street in the city’s west and has a more Chinese vibe to it. You will seldom find foreigners in this area, which can make your night out a never-ending row of ganbeis (bottoms up) with random Chinese people who are just happy to meet you. You can find about 10 clubs right next to each other – like True Color, 88, BABI and yet another Muse.. 😉

Riverside Bars

The Riverside in Chengdu offers quite a few bars to hang out at different locations. There are bars along the river near Jiuyanqiao and west of Ren Min Nan Lu. One of the best ones is probably the reggae themed Jahbar. There are regular free jam sessions and cheap Tsingdao beer in a nice setting. What more can you ask for.

Flower Town (三圣乡)

Flower Town in the Southeast of Chengdu is a in a quite rural suburb and offers a relaxed setting for some of Chengdu’s wildest parties. Unfortunately, there are rumors about plans from the city government to rip down the main bar street and construct yet another touristy ‘ancient’ shopping street.

Dojo: This is the venue for the infamous Flower Town House Parties. The music on the three floors ranges from Hip Hop to Funk and Minimal to Dub Step. Additionally, there is lot of other entertainment, like Beer Pong, fire shows, live visuals and a bouncy castle. The bar offers all sorts of drinks and snacks like homemade pizza and baiiu watermelon.

Morning Bar(早上好): The Flower Town branch of the Morning Bar has a mix of open air and indoor areas to chill out. There are some live performances and even occasionally small music festival here.

 

For event listings in Chengdu check out http://www.gochengdoo.com/en/calendar/ and http://www.chengduliving.com/forum/

For more info and addresses in Chinese and Pinyin check out http://www.gochengdoo.com/en/listings/itemlist/chengdu/night_life/ and http://www.chengduplaces.com/

 

 

Chengdu is not only a booming business city, but a great place to party as well! Join us here.

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Nightlife, Cultural, Eating Out in Chengdu, Things To Do in Chengdu

Guide to Chengdu´s Nightlife I

Chengdu is a really vibrant and energetic city, that offers you the opportunity to experience the fast-growing modern China as well as the mythical ancient China while doing an internship in a company or take part in our language classes here. Apart from that there is also a really diverse nightlife that caters for all different tastes of music, beer and atmosphere. In fact Chengdu is meant to have the highest density of clubs and bars per capita in China.

Living in Chengdu for more than 4 months now, I had the chance to do in depth research into Chengdu’s nightlife and want to share my insights with you. Since there are so many places to go to, I will split it up in two blogs in which I try to give you an overview of the bars in the different city areas – but this list is far from complete.

Yu Lin (玉林)

Yu Lin is a traditional local living area in the city centre, which fortunately has been spared by the recent building boom and has a really nice and relaxed vibe to it. You can find hundreds of little eateries that offer delicious food to very affordable prices. Additionally Yu Lin boasts a wide range of small bars with regular live music from local and foreign artist. Places to go

  Machupichu (马丘比丘): a small and chilled bar hidden in a side street off Yu Lin Nan Lu (玉林南路) with live music on the weekends. When I asked the Dutch owner why he chose the name he said, because like the ancient Inca town, his bar is small and hard to find 😉

Little Bar (小酒) old & new: with two locations in Yu Lin, this bar is a one of the oldest establishments in Chengdu. The old branch is really relaxed place where you can have a beer with friends and mingle with the locals. Whereas the new bar is the bigger one of the Little Bar’s and has a decent sized stage and dance floor to host the weekly live shows.

 Tong Zi Lin (桐梓林)

Tong Zi Lin is the place where most foreigners live in Chengdu, hence has a bit more westernized bar and club scene.

Shamrock: This sports bar is popular which shows a lot live matches (rugby, AFL, NFL, etc.) and also
is the home base of the local Western-Chinese rugby team. Ladies night on Fridays.

Jellyfish: Very popular with foreigners (males) and Chinese (girls) alike, this is the place to work on your international relations. 😉 They have a new larger location in

Beer Nest I :- A great bar opposite the Poly Centre with a variety of > 60 beers, wines, whiskeys, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. There is a cozy upstairs sitting area with sofas and a lovely outside terrace where you can enjoy long summer nights.
The Beer Nest II (Bar and restaurant) :- A second Beer Nest? Yes! But in contrast to the first Beer Nest, this one offers imported and mostly craft draft beers and tasty European food as well. Additionally, this location also offers great events like their bi-weekly Quiz Night and monthly Entrepreneurship Meetup- how cool is that?

Jiu Yan Qiao (九眼)

Close to Sichuan University campus, there are various bars and clubs in this area. The surrounding street BBQ places are always good for a midnight snack after long night out.

Lan Town: Regular events with DJs from Chengdu and other Chinese cities playing a wide range of music from Hip Hop to Dub Step and Drum and Bass make this a place worth visiting if you are up for more urban sounds.

Muse: You can find a Muse in almost every major city in China and the concept is always the same: stylish interior, pumping sounds and the occasional dance show on the stage. Good for a fun evening and a couple of whiskeys mixed with green tea.

 Dong Men Da Qiao (东门大桥)

Hemp House (麻糖): Relaxed atmosphere with a big outside area to linger around with a chilled Beer Lao after work. In the evenings they have either live bands or DJs playing until late at night.

For event listings in Chengdu check out http://www.gochengdoo.com/en/calendar/ and http://www.chengduliving.com/forum/

For more info and addresses in Chinese and Pinyin check out http://www.gochengdoo.com/en/listings/itemlist/chengdu/night_life/ and http://www.chengduplaces.com/

 If you want to join us in Chengdu check out our internship positions and apply now!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu InternChina events, Cultural, Things To Do in Chengdu, Travel, Weekend Trips

Conquering Emei Shan: 10 000 Steps to Heaven

DAY 1
The Chengdu community of InternChina visited one of four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, Emei Shan. Moreover, it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Personally, I totally agree with the UNESCO.

Since the national park is pretty huge, we decided to make a two day trip to the area. We started early in the morning in Chengdu and took a bus to Emei Shan City. When we arrived we had early lunch to energize us before the hiking. Straight from the beginning the hiking was quite challenging. But we had had the goal of reaching the mountaintop, so we did not lose our ambition. Firstly, we explored the main valley of the mountain range.

The Nature of Emei Shan natural park is breathtakingly beautiful. This is a place of pure nature! (I felt a bit like walking through Jurassic Park)

After climbing a lot of steps up and down we met the Emei Shan’s famous wild monkeys. Thea’s meeting with the monkeys was a bit more intimate than ours. Therefore, Thea generously donated a bottle of her water to please the monkeys. We were really tired after a long day of hiking and climbing, so we looked for a nice hostel. Some local helped us find a decent place in the middle of the mountains. Since we were obviously really hungry we were happy about the great local food served at the hostel. Everybody enjoyed a satisfying dinner.

DAY 2

We all knew the earlier we get to the mountaintop the better. Hence, we woke up at 4.30. To win some time we took a bus to come closer to the mountaintop. This two hour ride was an adventure for itself. The driver seemed to be quite ambitious and did not hesitate to use every chance to speed up. After making progress, we conveniently had to climb the last stage to the mountaintop – another 2 miles of steps up atan altitude of over two thousand meters. This was a massive challenge for everybody of us because none of us actually never been on a mountaintop like this before. We started questioning ourselves if it was a good decision to do this trip but we were so close to our goal.

And when we reached the mountaintop we immediately recognized that every step was absolutely worth climbing!

3099 meters.

We were surrounded by clouds. This was an amazing experience. There is a huge Buddhist statue on the mountaintop which is really impressive as well as beautiful. Considering the fact that this is a mountaintop the area is surprisingly spacious. Next to the statue and temple there are numerous viewpoints. It truly is amazing! Peering down from our high perch made all the other mountains seem so small, similar to how you look to the clouds from a plane. At some point we were able to take a look down into the depth. This makes you feel quite humble. Emei Shan is truly a majestic place.

For some Chinese people we seemed to as much an attraction as the mountain itself. A lot of people asked us to take a picture with them. This procedure nearly lasted 15 minutes. But we did not mind at all and were happy to do it. In total we spend two hours on the mountain. Then we split up. Some of us wanted to have the adventure of using the cable car in this height, some of us climbed the stairs back down.

All in all, this trip had been really great and definitely the best nature trip I’ve done so far. I’m curious what will be my next adventures in China but it will be really hard for any sight to compete with Emei Shan.

Interested in experiencing China’s majestic natural beauty first hand? Why not come to China! Apply now or send us an email for more information.

Before your stay, Cultural, How-to Guides, Languages, Mandarin Guide

Max’s Take on Chinese Slang: Essential Phrases You Need to Know

If you ever find you have a hard time understanding people chatting around you, it is time you start to learn some “real” Chinese.

囧 (jiong) can be dated back to an ancient Chinese word, which meant light. However, because it looks like a sad and silly face, the meaning of jiong’s that is most familiar to the public is sad, embarrassed, and helpless.

牛逼 (niu bi), also known as NB,  is used to comment on a person’s behavior when they did something  sensational or shocking. Usually it’s considered sarcasm.  For example, if someone is boasting that he could do something difficult easily, you could say “You are NB”.

我去 (wo qu), also know as 我了个去 (wo le ge qu), literally means “I am going”. However, it has nothing to do with going somewhere; people say it only to show that they are shocked by some unexpected things, usually negative.  For example, when you found you lost your wallet, you can say 我去.

给跪了 (gei gui le) literally means “to kneel down for”. Kneeling down in Chinese culture means succumbing. If you kneel down for somebody, you show that you yield to that one. But now, as people say 给跪了, they are showing that they cannot help.

打酱油 (da jiang you), traditionally means “to get some soy oil”. In the past, people used to take their own bottles to grocery stores to get soy oil. So that’s where 打酱油 comes from.  But today 打酱油 is used to describe people when they take part in something but do not put any efforts or make any results.

Want to broaden your linguistic hold of Chinese? Why not come to China? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information.

Cultural, Qingdao Blogs

The German History of Qingdao

Today I would like to give you a little insight about the German History of Qingdao. The reason, why I wrote this blog is, because a lot of people always ask me about the city´s exciting history, therefore I started a research for our Internchina interns and I would like to show you my results!
In 1914 the First World War broke out!

The Japanese wanted to continue to hold Qingdao for the remainder of the German lease and Chinese government then yielded to Japanese pressure. In 1938 Japan re-occupied with its plans of territorial expansion onto China´s coast, which lasted to 1945. Since the inauguration of China´s open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, western Qingdao developed quickly as a port city. Now it is the headquarters of the Chinese navy´s northern fleet.

The German occupation influenced Qingdao a lot, which used to be a small fishing village. Upon gaining control of the area the Germans equipped the poor place with wide streets, solid housing areas, government buildings and a rarity in large parts of Asia as that time and later. The area had the highest school density and the highest per capita student enrollment in all of China.

Commercial interest established the Germania Brewery in 1903, which later became the world-famous Qingdao Brewery. Also the Germans left a distinct mark on Qingdao´s architecture inevitably during the colonial period that can still be seen in its historic center and train station. Qingdao´s Old Town located in the German concession area is rich in European buildings. The mixture of historical sites and attractions in the old Qingdao city indicates the city´s diverse international cultures.

If you would like to learn more about the exciting history, come to Qingdao and apply now via mail or directly on our website!

Sources:
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Cultural, Things To Do in Zhuhai

Massage (按摩ànmó)

Hey everyone, it’s Sunny! Today, I want to tell you something about Chinese Massage.Normally, I am going to health care massage every week. It is also divided into body massage, foot massage and facial massage. But facial massage is mostly only for girls in spa centres or beauty centres. I strongly suggest to try foot massage! For me, it is the best thing in the world, haha. Body massage and foot massage have always similar prices in Zhuhai, about 40-60yuan RMB per hour. Once you come to Zhuhai, I will tell you where is the best place to go!

Massage (按àn – to press, 摩mó – to rub sth.) has the traditional Chinese medicine zang-fu organs and meridian theory as a theoretical basis. Combined with the western medicine, anatomy and pathology diagnosis, the technique uses specific areas of the human body to regulate the body’s physiological and pathological conditions, in order to achieve a natural physical therapy method. The massage treatment can be divided into health care massage, sports massage and medical massage.


Massage is one of China’s most ancient medical methods
In primitive society, the people working in productive labor or gladiators were often injured. When people had a wound, they would instinctively put a hand on it to stop the bleeding. When the wound got swollen, people tried to alleviate the pain and instinctively touched and kneaded the hump to make it smaller or disappear.
Other people found out that with stone chips you can alleviate some specific ailment. They repeated these applications, and through that started to develop proper massage techniques. Time continued and these tactics were further developed and accumulated. During the process of practice, massage gradually changed from unconscious accidental action into a system that was used freely by people as a treatment. Thousand of years ago, our ancestors laid the foundation for massage and gradually formed the massage we know today.

There are oracle bones with inscriptions from the Shang-Dynasty, they date back to 1400 BC and there are some with „massage“ written on them.

Medical massage
Massage is one of the Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies, and it is also one of the oldest human applications to use for physical therapy. In addition to surgical treatment (namely & experience massage), you can also treat diseases like gynecology, internal medicine and pediatrics etc., it is also an effective cure for chronic diseases and functional diseases.

Currently engaged in medical massage is mainly the blind massage. The blind massage clinics and hospitals for Traditional Chinese Medicine have massage as physiotherapy.

Health care massage
Health care massage refers to healers using massage techniques, that send a stimulus through your body which eliminate fatigue, cure physical problems and prolong life.
There are different techniques applied, such as kneading, pool neck method, cotton friction method, back lumbar method, shoot game, limb shake extraction method. It’s movements are soft, flexible, easy. Regardless of men, women and children, no matter what your physical strength is, if you have a disease or not, everyone can try health care massage.
With the development of China’s market economy, people’s material wealth growing, increasing also people’s health care need. Today you have all kinds of health care massage services, like domestic health care massage, infantile health care massage, beauty massage, reduce weight massage, foreign and tourism massage, pet massage etc. Modern health care massage equipment is widely used in family life!

Sports massage
Sports and health, combining both is the best you can do for your body.
Sports massage protects an athletes good condition, improves and develops his/her potential and physical fitness. In recent years, domestic and foreign practices show that an excellent performance became more and more important.

Would you like to try a massage together with Sunny and learn more about Traditional Chinese medicine? Then come to Zhuhai and apply now for one of our great internships or language classes: http://internchina.com/en/contact/apply or  send us an email to info@internchina.com

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