For decades, Hong Kong has attracted shoppers with its tax-free designer knock-offs, antiques of recent vintage, and just about any kind of electronic gear imaginable. Most shoppers are there because they actually want to buy something. But some are forced onto long shopping marches, and one tourist died of a heart attack recently after arguing with a tour guide after refusing to shop. [More]
Reader Paul was trying to enjoy fried pop tarts at an outdoor city festival in his hometown when his debit card was nearly stolen by a fake ATM. Someone had modified an arcade cabinet and placed it outside a bank where it had captured the overflow traffic spilling out of the bank lobby. [More]
Newly released court documents indicate that over a half-dozen companies knew about the rotten egg smells exuding from Chinese drywall since 2006, but they stayed quiet and kept selling the junk. [More]
While the NY Times picks on a small apparel company over the logo of a dead newspaper and the National Pork Board wants you to know that Unicorn is not the other white meat, countless companies in China are actually infringing on trademarks, often with hilarious results. [More]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has banned one of the biggest food inspector groups in the nation from operating in China, reports the New York Times, because of conflict of interest concerns. It turns out the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) was using employees of a Chinese government agency to inspect Chinese government-owned farms, which sort of misses the point of independent certification entirely. [More]
You do not want to piss of 1.3 billion potential customers. That seems to be the conclusion arrived at by the honchos of KFC China, which has apologized for a botched coupon promotion that left some customers with empty buckets. After canceling the promotion in April, KFC was roundly criticized and was even subject to “quasi-violent protests.” Who says there isn’t freedom of speech in China?
Another presumably young, healthy employee at Foxconn’s factory in Shenzen, China has died under mysterious circumstances. The reason for the 28-year-old engineer’s death still isn’t clear–but he did die at home shortly after working 34 hours straight at the factory. [More]
Do you like farts? Documents and depositions unearthed by ProPublica and the Sarasota Harold-Tribune show exchanges between homebuilder WCI Communities and drywall distributor Banner that reveal the sulfur-emitting drywall problem was known as far back as 2006, and yet customers and authorities were not notified. In one deposition, a Banner executive refuses to admit that sulfur-stinking drywall might bother others, seeing as he himself, on certain occasions, enjoys the sweet aroma of another man’s butt gas: [More]
Is Foxconn, the huge electronics company that manufactures for global brands such as HP, Dell, and Apple (yes, they make the iPad and iPhone) a towering fortress of secrecy where employees cower in fear, ten people to a dorm room, or a normal manufacturing outfit that has had a weird cluster of employee suicides recently? [More]
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released the names of the top manufacturers of stinky, dangerous drywall, which emits high levels of hydrogen sulfide (the source of its stinkiness). According to the agency, drywall from the manufacturers, all based in China, emitted hydrogen sulfide at levels up to 100x greater than samples from non-Chinese manufacturers. [More]
As with many great technological advances, at the forefront of people’s desire for unfettered access to the Internet lies… in porn. Just ask the thousands of Chinese web users who have networked together and shared their collective ingenuity in recent weeks, all in the name of accessing the Twitter page of a Japanese porn star. [More]
GoDaddy.com, of the annoying Danica Patrick commercials, has announced that it will no longer sell .cn domain names. Why? It is not willing to comply with new rules from the Chinese government which requires domain holders to provide photo ID, says Wired. [More]
An AP investigation has found that, barred from using lead in children’s jewelry, some Chinese manufacturers have substituted cadmium — which is more dangerous. The AP tested one piece of jewelry that was 91% cadmium by weight. The heavy metal is a known carcinogen and is used in rechargeable batteries, pigments, electroplating and plastic. Children can ingest the cadmium by sucking or biting on the jewelry. They do not need to swallow it. [More]
So long, Hummer. Sort of. GM and Chinese company Tengzhong are closer to their deal to sell the Hummer brand.
The waters of international trade with the Chinese are perilous and murky to say the least. Sometimes it seems that all we do is buy, buy, buy. Not so. We do have something that the Chinese want. Chicken feet. Apparently, our chicken feet are awesome.