Ten Incomprehensible Things That Only Happen in China

The following strange things can only be seen and experienced in China. (Image:   Cory Doctorow via flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)
The following strange things can only be seen and experienced in China. (Image: Cory Doctorow via flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

The following strange things can only be seen and experienced in China, which would be totally incomprehensible to foreigners.

1. Nets installed outside of buildings to prevent suicide

After the 11th suicide in less than a year at the Foxconn Shenzhen Plant, the nets went up, slowing the number of suicides. Altogether, in the past half a decade, 17 Foxconn workers have killed themselves by jumping from the building.

Foxconn, the single largest private employer in mainland China, manufactures many of the products — motherboards, camera components, MP3 players — that make up the world’s $150 billion consumer-electronics industry. Foxconn’s output accounts for nearly 40 percent of that revenue, writes Wired.

The suicides, some would say, could be linked to appalling working conditions at the factory. Wired writes that reports of “sweatshop” conditions and allegations of forced overtime were coming to light, and when one jumper left a note saying he committed suicide so his family would receive compensation for his death, the program for compensation for families of jumpers was canceled.

nets, suicide

The nets are a sad reminder of all the people who have committed suicide. (Image: Secret China)

2. Olympic games child singer replaced with prettier girl

Lin Miaoke was the girl who sang the song at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games — or so everyone thought. In fact, Lin was only standing on stage lip syncing, the real singer was actually Yang Peiyi who sang the song. Yang became the shadow singer because Lin was considered more eye-catching.

Lin Miaoke, Yang Peiyi

Left: The sweet Lin Miaoke. Right: The real singer, Yang Peiyi. (Image: Secret China)

3. Fake Apple stores are becoming more common in China

Fake Apple stores are popping up everywhere in China and the way to tell they are fake is they have the name “Apple Store” instead of just “Apple.” These fake stores sell real Apple products, the catch is that they provide customers in China with Apple products quicker than they would be released.

fake products

There are more fake Apple stores than real ones. (Image: Secret China)

4. Unsafe buildings

Many concerns were raised when a new building collapsed — still intact. China’s construction practices were put under the spotlight revealing some uncomfortable facts that buildings are put up in a hurry, by mostly unskilled migrant workers and developers making shortcuts.

collapsed buildings

The whole building collapsed, but the structure was still intact. (Image: Secret China)

5. Engineer loses job for playing video games

A software engineer was so addicted to the game “World of Warcraft” that he lost his job. His father hired game players to kill every role his son played in the game.

World of Warcraft

A role in the video game “World of Warcraft.” (Image: Secret China)

6. Bad behavior

Due to quite a few reports of poor behavior of Chinese citizens whilst abroad, the Chinese government passed a law to regulate and punish Chinese tourists for improper and damaging behavior.

The Daily Mail reported that provincial and national authorities will be in touch with unruly citizens when they return to China, and if necessary, the police, customs officers, border control, and even bank credit agencies will be contacted.

They are hoping the strict measures will discourage Chinese tourists from doing anything inappropriate or illegal while abroad, writes The Daily Mail.

Bad behavior includes: disorder on public transportation — including flights — damaging public facilities or historical relics, ignoring social customs at tourism destinations, and becoming involved with gambling or prostitution.

uncivilized tourists

Chinese tourists put their legs into the pond outside the Museum of Louvre in Paris. (Image: Secret China)

7. Tainted milk

Traditionally dairy was only a small part of China’s Han ethnic group. In the 2000’s China’s officials started a campaign to encourage the people to drink more milk for better nutrition.

Soon the dairy industry was booming, with majority of the milk coming from small farmers, and by 2006 around 80 percent of the dairy farms in China raised less than five cows.

With dairy prices remaining low and cost pressure throughout the industry, milk started to be watered down by the middlemen who collected the milk from the farmers.

To hide the fact they were watering down the milk, melamine was added — a toxic chemical that inflates protein levels, but does not appear when the milk is tested.

Soon the melamine-tainted milk was used in infant formula making thousands of Chinese children sick with kidney stones and other health problems. Six children died from consuming the tainted milk and more than 30,000 became ill.

Even today there is still fear of milk being contaminated, with infant formula being bought from other countries, like Australia, and sold on the Internet for exorbitant prices, making it hard for mothers sometimes to find the formula they want.

milk, melamine

Milk produced in China had been found to contain with melamine. (Image: Secret China)

8. Bridge collapses within months of being built

The Gaoguan Bridge in Fujian Province collapsed killing one person and injuring 22, revealing more concerns for China’s construction practices.

collapsed bridge

The Gaoguan Bridge in Fujian Province. (Image: Secret China)

9. Ghost towns

“We’ll build it and we’ll make them come,” is China’s policy and belief behind building all the apartments, which have now earned the name, “Ghost towns.” But there is a plan in place to fill these buildings.

“A lot of times what China will do is they’ll move in universities, they’ll move in state-owned enterprises, state-owned businesses, and banks just to get an economic pulse going,” according to independent journalist Wade Shepard and author of “Ghost Cities of China.”

ghost town

Ghost towns can be seen  everywhere in China. (Image: Secret China)

10. Pollution visible from space

Pollution in China has always been a problem, but in 2015 it reached critical levels with Beijing issuing a red alert status. This image taken my NASA shows just how intense and wide spreading the pollution is. It was so bad residents in China were purchasing fresh air online from an overseas company.


Image provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows the air pollution in China is serious. (Image: Secret China)

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