Migrant Workers Can’t Get Paid, Walk Home for Chinese New Year

This man spend his lunch time every day reading for an illiterate coworker.
2015 February 14 afternoon, as a result of not having enough money to buy train tickets because their employers are behind in paying them, several dozen migrant workers in Yunnan province Dali prefecture prepared to walk home from Dali for Chinese New Year. Photo source: Zhang Hao/东方IC

From NetEase:

Internet Reports Migrant Workers Walking Home for Chinese New Year Because Their Employer is Behind on Paying Wages and They Are Unable to Buy Train Tickets Home

2015 February 14 afternoon, Weibo netizen @苏辰的农民工 made a post claiming that several dozens of migrant workers have worked at a construction site for a year and with Chinese New Year approaching, have been unable to obtain their wages from the management of the engineering/construction project. Homesick and without money to buy train tickets, they’ve chosen to walk back to their hometowns from Yunnan province Dali prefecture. As it is understood, these migrant workers are variously originally from Sichuan province cities Mianyang, Yibin, Zigong, Neijiang, Luzhou, Guangyuan, Ziyang, Leshan, and Meishan; Yunnan province cities Lijiang, Dali, Chuxiong, and Lincang; Guizhou province cities Liupanshui and Zunyi; Henan cities Kaifeng and Luoyang; and Shaanxi province Hanzhong city, and Fujian.

According to workmate Chen Yumei, on February 10th, they organized some of their workmates to [collectively] demand their wages [from their employer], only to ultimately have over 100 of their workmates detained and beaten. Because Chinese New Year approaches, they in their yearning to return rush home for the holiday have no choice but to walk home, “even if the journey home is several hundred to even thousand kilometers, we know our families are waiting for us to go home to reunite for the holidays, so no matter how distant the destination is, we must rush back.”

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Comments from NetEase:

领导都是驴 [网易广东省深圳市手机网友]:

The Workers’ Union is a joke.

网易贵州省贵阳市手机网友 ip:1.204.*.*

Where’s the Yunnan provincial Party Committee?

美女放开那老头 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

Ah! If your wages were paid to you, then the [government/company] leaders would only be able to eat home cooking for the holiday!

网易云南省保山市手机网友 ip:183.224.*.*

Being detained is the key detail here, you know what I mean!

牛比亮亮 [网易北京市手机网友]:

Key detail is “migrant workers demanding their pay were detained by the Public Security Bureau [police]”.

人民萬歲萬歲萬萬歲 [网易湖北省咸宁市手机网友]:

Unbelievable that going home for Chinese New Year has become an impasse!

[email protected] [网易四川省手机网友]:

Such irony. Just the other day, CCTV-2 was reporting about Dali’s progressive status in not being in arrears on migrant workers’ pay! Now it has become a joke!

网易江西省南昌市手机网友 ip:182.85.*.*

Why doesn’t CCTV ask if you are happy?

管正 [网易陕西省西安市手机网友]:

People who are shameless do not need to be kept alive.

负枷行者 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

There are no comments at present, you are not welcome to express your views.

[Note: This comment was posted soon after the article was published, mocking the “no comments at present” message in the comments section when no comments have yet been made, insinuating that critical comments are being censored.]

Chinese New Year is February 19th. It will become the Year of the Ram. If you support chinaSMACK’s mission to provide a glimpse of Chinese internet trends and culture through translation, please become a patron. Thank you!

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • lacompacida


    • Vance

      Are you blaming America for these migrant workers’ situation? Or did I misunderstand? Oh well. Everybody else always blames America for all their problems. I will say that if These were Americans, they would have quit that job on the first missed paycheck.

      • Alex Dương

        Just as a heads up, lacompacida regularly uses sarcasm in his comments.

        • Vance

          Thanks. I’m still pretty new here. I don’t know you all yet. lol.

      • 宋易

        No, would have sued the pants off the company, run them into the ground, and probably been awarded several times what they were owed.

        • Vance

          That’s true. I didn’t think about that option.

        • Jesus H. Christ duh Lawd

          there is no tort law in china

      • Jahar

        Of course it’s America’s fault. If the workers didn’t have to work in factories making goods for capitalists, the workers could live at home.

      • Jesus H. Christ duh Lawd

        it is common in china in construction to get paid once yearly

    • Edward Kay

      Google translate?

    • David

      Google translate: US imperialism migrant workers in dire straits ah.

      I will assume Lacompacida is making fun of people in official positions who always blame America for the trouble of Chinese people. They insinuate that Chinese always treat other Chinese well, which this article (and many others) disproves.

      • Kai

        It says “migrant workers in Imperialist America live in an abyss of suffering”.

        It would be a parody of a well-known communist propaganda slogan that says people in imperialist/capitalist nations live in an abyss of suffering, but it wouldn’t suggest Chinese officials blaming America for the troubles faced by Chinese people, or suggest that Chinese always treat other Chinese well.


        • Lol von Random Name

          As fake and poisonous eggs and cardboard pork buns has clearly demonstrated, and that baby formula is known throughout the world. (I dont blame Chinese people in general, its just what unregulated markets do.)

  • mr.wiener

    Demand to receive their wages and are detained and beaten…
    and the worst part of this is no one is surprised to hear this anymore.

    • lonetrey / Dan

      You’re right… I just realized that I would’ve been surprised and outraged back in 2010 (when I started browsing CS).

      Now I’m only outraged.

    • Harold Janson

      sounds bad, but it also sounds like only half the story.

      • David

        The other half of the story being from the poor owners of the construction company on why they kept the wages for a year? I think we can assume so he can spend it on his mistress. Now it is a fair and balanced story.

        • Harold Janson

          Well, the other half of the story is what were the terms of the contract for payment and what did they do that constituted “protest”? There’s a trend in this country that when actions fail the actors suddenly become innocent, harmless and having committed no wrongs… rarely does this ever hold true once examined. It’s not entirely uncommon that work gangs have most of their pay withheld to be sent home… living off an allowance to keep them from pissing it away on booze and gambling. From what I understand, this payment typically goes to the leaders of the gangs. For developers, the labor cost is peanuts, far less than even the shitty materials they’ll use. Now… if you are in the middle, it’s a great opportunity to pocket it yourself and blame the developer… the workers are not the shiniest pennies in the fountain. Just an educated guess, but if you are a gangleader, snapping up a good chunk of cash and running with it while blaming the developer…. the workers get angry at the developer (who they do not know) and can get riled up… making it more likely that the developer will end up paying it out again. Hey, free money.

          To be quite frank, I don’t trust any chinese on their claims and just assume they are lying or concealing most of the truth (because 99 times out of 100 they are)

          • Eric Hill

            You’re right, Harold – migrant workers are nothing more than carousing miscreants who’d just as soon slit your throat, if you paid them enough to buy their own knives. Certainly, they’re never farmers from the countryside, remitting damned-near 100% of their wages so that their families can have acceptable lives. I just want to say, f*ck people who think like you (and do a little research – maybe even talk to some of these ignoble savages – before running your fool mouth).

        • Kai

          It isn’t necessarily true that they have “a year’s” wages unpaid. The article only says they’ve worked there for over a year, not that they haven’t been paid at all. The safe presumption is that they haven’t been paid enough for them to afford the usual train ticket home.

          While he ends up crossing over into exaggerating a negative generalization, Harald also provides some more relevant contextual information and considerations.

          • Harold Janson

            Hell, it could be as simple as not getting the year-end bonus they were hoping for or expecting…

          • mr.wiener

            Indeed it could, but that is speculative. The amount of times migrant workers are cheated out of wages makes it depressingly likely that this happened again here. It’s the old trick to get workers to work without documentation or the correct Hukao then at the end of the build say:
            “Here’s half your wages, I go to KTV with the chief of police every other weekend, whatcha gonna do about it?”

  • AbC

    And people wonder why productivity is lower in China… The workers don’t even know if they’re going to be paid at the end, why put in any effort.

  • Vance

    I have now seen a number of articles about events that stem from migrant workers not being paid. I see alot of Netizen comments rightfully against the company big guys and many comments wishing the local authorities do something, but I do not remember one comment suggesting the most obvious course of action these migrant workers can take: get together, pick an important date in the construction schedule, and all WALK OFF THE JOB as one group. They are not getting paid anyways. This isn’t about hours or obscure medical “benefits” or even pay rate. This is about just getting paid for your work. The most basic thing. There is no point in staying at work there if you are not getting paid. A few bosses lose their workforce suddenly and maybe others will think twice before withholding pay. I know they can hire more, but it will be an inconvenient interruption in their project to have to hire and organize a whole new workforce. At least so I would think.

    • Zappa Frank

      They will lose the job and someone else will be hired. Other option is a strike, that I suspsect is illegal in China. A communist country with no rights for workers

      • Vance

        So much for the “workers’ party”. Other’s would be hired, but what I don’t understand is, why don’t these migrant workers quit and spend their day looking for a job from someone who might pay them? Sure for awhile they may have to walk everywhere and not eat right, but it seems that is happening to them anyways. Why work for that? You can get that for free!

        • Zappa Frank

          Don’t know if you are aware of their working system. To work they got a dormitory to live, food and eventually some assistance. If they refuse to work what can they do? Where to live?

          • Vance

            So room and board is part of their compensation? That is much of a person’s living. Do they have contracts or agreements regarding monetary pay? They’ve got to have some spending money for clothes and toilet paper and such I would think.

          • Zappa Frank

            a room (shared) food and are a usual part of the agreement for most low-level Chinese jobs, even for restaurant you should arrange rooms for your waiters and are expected to have something to eat in the restaurant, a different way to intend the relation with the boss compared to western countries. I don’t know other details since I’ve known this world only superficially

      • ClausRasmussen

        Strikes are not illegal in China AFAIK but they require connections to be effective. Otherwise you would risk being beaten up by gangs, Chengguan, or even the police

        “Connections” in this case doesn’t have to be someone that owes you a favor (although that would also do) but to be connected in the wider sense of the word to the organization that wield the real power in China: CCP

        Had these workers just had a CCP member on their team and organized a workers committee they would have had far more leverage in their struggle to get paid

        Unfortunately migrant workers doesn’t have luxuries like that, it is almost the definition of being a migrant worker

        • David Fieldman

          The foreman of a construction company was beaten to death here recently for demanding wages for his team and himself. No arrests were made. In another situation, a mother was beaten to death in front of her daughter for demanding back wages.

          • don mario

            and sadly no fucks were given. #china

    • Harold Janson

      The structure of employment in construction makes this more or less impossible. The workers are essentially divided up in “gangs”. Most workers coming onto the job are brought into it by someone else. If your gang is unreliable, you’re gonna get the axe. The work that the manager can bring to the gang is also generally hierarchical in nature. If you have a reputation for a bad gang, you will lose the connections that get you the work to begin with, and so on and so on. For a developer, getting workers is the least of their concerns, as the foremen can easily call up any number of connections to get a gang on site in short order.

      • ClausRasmussen

        Basic construction work also require no skills and very little instruction (“move this pile of dirt from here to there”) so the workers are immediately replaceable. Factory workers are often in a better position

        • Harold Janson

          Factory workers who are unpaid can easily shut down a plant and gank machinery as “compensation”… On a work site, most of that machinery is leased, rarely owned by the developer, the tools are cheap, the materials are cheap and heavy. There’s not much you can do that will impact anything, and the few things you CAN do are going to endanger the lives of many more…. at which point, have fun in prison with zero sympathy.

          • David Fieldman

            Harold, if they dared do that, the owner would call in chengguan (urban managemrnt goons) who would gladly break open heads and crunch knee caps with impunity. If things got really out of controil the riot police would be summoned and then bedlam would break loose.

          • ClausRasmussen

            There are plenty of stories where factory workers striked successfully. Also to call in chengguan you have to be well connected and factory workers can be that too, especially if they are resident workers and not migrants

      • ScottLoar

        Good explanation. The workers coming into the job are brought into it by one of their own. Laborers and factory workers aggregate together according to their hometowns and extended kinship, knowing that in a strange and unfriendly place the minimum insurance of safety is knowing that those from the same hometown are less likely to sell you out. Of course, the owners, the ones who pay, have no such inhibition or loyalty.

        Go to any factory, any work site, and the preponderance of workers from distinct places is usually the norm.

      • Vance

        It just seems like there’s no point to it if you don’t get paid. ALthough in one of these comments it was pointed out that they do get room and board so that is something. I understand maybe working a few jobs for “cost” (room and board) to build a reputation as a great gang, but to have to walk a hundred miles to get home for the holiday? What about their hong bao? I am thankful I live where I live and I that I work in the design side of such projects. Engineers and engineering technicians are nicer to each other!

    • Jimmy Huang

      there are too many migrant workers in China. if they don’t want this job the employer can easily switch to another migrant groups. in fact migrant workers can protest to anyone but no one gives a fuck . partly because they are mostly uneducated and can be easily manipulated by government. incident like this is very common in China, people get used to it now.
      that’s why made in china is so powerful…

  • Small twon

    China is supposed to be ‘communist’ nation. Why not follow the communist doctrine ? start union. go strike !

    • David Fieldman

      @Small twon, there is a union. However, it is owned and managed by the CCP in true commie fashion. “Strike,” are you serious? The strikes you mentioned would be by the chengguan (urban management thugs (pigs) called in to inflict as much damage as possible against the protesters.)

    • Martin

      LOL no communism to be found in China, never was, it’s an authoritarian regime, it has been since the last emperor Puyi was overthrown, KMT, CCP, same fucking thing, none of them offered to make China a more equal, more democratic society.

  • monster

    so sad!
    sometimes i wish one day there is a storm break down the huge gap and unfairity again.
    if there are more people as my mom in china, there is some hope.
    she keeps fighting against there rubbish officials all her life.she is so proud, quite several officials died early under her curse.but do not know why, these people teased my mother as she listed all died very early.
    no people dare to tease my mom here.

    • David

      HAHA are you saying your mom is killing bad government officials? I hope this is what you are saying. Just smile if the answer is yes.

      • monster

        do not know why, anyway these people all had bad lucks.
        i do not know if voodoo really works, last year the witch told my mother my father would die soon, so my mother followed what the witch said, burnt some my father’s clothes at the cross road,soon a man drove a car dead exactly there, my father got fine also.
        of cos, my mom dares not to tell anyone else.

        • mr.wiener

          …… I swear your posts are getting more bizarre.

    • bujiebuke

      Would your mother’s maiden name happen to be Stark?

      • Mihel


  • Eric Hill

    Hmm… China’s constantly on the verge of an epic housing market crash due to overbuilding… There are presently over 221 million migrant workers – a majority of whom are continuing to build homes… I wonder what will happen when the crash finally comes to fruition, and all of these noble developers pull up stakes en masse, leaving China’s largest, strongest, most disenfranchised workforce penniless overnight? I certainly have no idea – because there’s simply no precedent for it. Keep your plane tickets handy…

  • David Webb

    where is the source that is related to this story. I am not seeing any citing. Not saying i don’t believe this story but even the picture was taken from somewhere else. I went on NetEase and am I suppose to just believe this story out of the blue. There is not even a citing on the company’s name. Whenever I see a story that don’t even use the original photo and just attach the photo from some other source to create the false visual impression, I start to get skeptical of how credible this story is. Also it’s not even plausible to walk that kind of distance, China is enormous. even if you walk from one province to another is next to impossible that shit don’t even make any physical sense. By the time those workers finish walking, New Year would have been ended.

    Also why is ChinaSmack insist on reporting such unbalanced news about China across the board. I have been following this blog for a while. Almost every news about China written by Fauna has been negative, probably some sell out Shanghai Chinese bitch looking for some foreign dude or with some foreign dude. Yeah I just got a bit personal here but Fauna, you just seem to fit into that stereotype. You know what’s funny though, all you white boys here gonna flame me on what i just said but it would be fucking hilarious if what i said turned out to be true and trust me it won’t be as far fetched as you might think. When a woman and a man get into a relationship, the woman will eventually take up the mentality of the man, his view on life and the world. It will inadvertently influence the woman. This Fauna just seem to really fit into this category.

    Most Chinese don’t try to improve their English unless they want to work in the West or try to hook up with some foreigners to get a green card. And I don’t know what motive was behind Fauna when she decided to go hardcore on English studying. Especially based on all the news article from Chinasmack, obviously you have a pretty clear political agenda on representing China in an extremely negative light. Most news is about workers issue, human suffering, chaos, murder, social disorder, and etc. I am not saying such issues shouldn’t be reported or fixed asap but when there are 50 articles to pick from, and the 10 articles you choose to write about are all negative, then it’s very clear to me how your mind set works.

    Those issues that have been reported should definitely be fixed but when you do unbalanced report and keep picking up on negative stories around the clock. That’s a problem. Because now you are just using this medium that you have created for yourself to project your own political agenda. For as many negative stories out there in China, there are just as many positive stories. Or else the country wouldn’t be able to function and collapse from social upheaval. When you choose to pick 90+% of all the stories to be about human suffering, that is the same shit as North Korea cherry picking negative stories about America and portray the country as hell on earth.

    I hope you are still living in Shanghai. Soon, someone is gonna knock on your door step. I know someone in the CCPPD. You are getting reported.

    • Mihel

      Aren’t you cute?

    • ClausRasmussen

      Whoa… before writing such a long rant you should really had spent a few minutes reading the FAQ about how this site works

      • David Webb

        I just got through all the FAQ, i’ts like the Muslims, they preach about peace while chanting death to the Jews and death to America. The FAQ, while it sound nice, but obviously the posts that have been going on this blog site has deviated from mostly what the FAQ has stated since 2008.

        This site has now become nothing but Chinese negative news. Which intentionally or maybe unintentionally serve 2 purposes, 1. meld different stories that project an extreme slanted view of Chinese society, as a consequence oversea Chinese end up thinking just how uncivilized and fucked up the Chinese society is. 2. as a result of such negativity and bias reporting, long be hold, unsurprisingly. Those racist white expats and foreigners end up feeling a sense of European superiority over the country they are leeching off (skeptical? just read the comments). And other whites who stumbled upon this web site and now read off this kind of slanted reporting to feel good about themselves. As a result, develop a negative sentiment toward Chinese people.

        If Fuana thinks i am joking when i say I will write a report to the CCPPD about this site. She got another thing coming for her. I suggest her to respond to me through the e-mail that I have sent and have a real discussion about what this blog has become. And see where it goes from there. Cause if this shit continues, someone is getting fucking arrested.

        • Alex Dương

          You’re going to write a report to “the CCPPD” about a site that translates Chinese netizen comments?

        • Teacher in China

          Who pissed in your corn flakes this morning?

        • Eric Hill

          hahaha – I’m lovin’ it – this whiney little brat just keeps on going! Careful, everyone – he’s telling daddy on you! Bahahaha!

        • ClausRasmussen

          Here is how it works: Someone post a story on the Chinese internet. It could be the editorial staff at a site like NetEase, it could be Xinhua, it could be CCTV, or it could be an ordinary Chinese netizen, but it really doesn’t matter who.

          What matters is that the story then attracts the attention of other Chinese netizens that upvote the story on different forums and comment on it. If the story or the comments gets so many votes that it becomes trending THEN it becomes a story on ChinaSMACK

          The beauty of ChinaSMACK is that they (almost) do no editorializing, they reflect on what is happening on the Chinese internet, translate it, and provide it in a format that is convenient for Westerners to read and comment on

        • Eric Hill

          So… you hate “whities,” Europeans (see: “whities”), Muslims and free speech? Which school of fascism do you most closely identify with? You see, I’m doing a paper about colossal, racist pricks, and some additional demographic data would contribute immensely. Don’t worry, I won’t mention your real name since, evidently, neither will you (a common tactic among fascist internet trolls, incidentally).

        • Mihel

          […] the Muslims, they preach about peace while chanting death to the Jews and death to America.

          Careful with the accusations there!
          Fauna might be too busy discrediting chinese people to give a fuck, but who knows some extremist reads your comments and gets a little too offended and next thing you know you have a gun pointed at your head…

        • Guest

          Yet another person blindly spouting the party line without ever having thought about what you’re saying.

          I suggest you go outside, open your f*****g eyes, have a look around you, and use you brain to have a good think about what you see. And use your actual brain, not that brain washed lump of pig shit the CCP implanted in your head when you were still very young. You might start to see things in a different light.

          • Kai

            You guys really shouldn’t jump to conclude the sentiments (unfair and prejudiced as they are) David Webb voiced are the product of CCP brainwashing.

            There are plenty of people who misunderstand the mission and format of this our sites, and misinterpret the prevalence of content that can be argued as “negatively” reflecting upon China and the Chinese as some organized agenda to malign China and the Chinese when it is really just a function of what tends to consistently and reliably command the people’s attention.

        • BrandeX

          “oversea Chinese end up thinking just how uncivilized and fucked up the Chinese society is”

          It is uncivilized and fucked up. Fact, period.

          We may be here for various reasons, but most of us (like 98% of local people too if they actually had the chance) would gtfo of here asap when finished with whatever we are doing here.

          • David Webb

            What a way to prove my point.

          • mr.wiener

            That is quite enough.
            I have met Fauna and she does not fit your insulting stereotype.
            If you continue with your ridiculous threats and bluster you WILL be subject to moderation…. but I think that is your intention anyway.

          • David Webb

            O damn, you have met her in person. Well, Mr. wiener, please enlighten me on how she does NOT fit into my perception of her. I am all ear and If you can show me how wrong I am. I am more than willing to change my mind. I am not a stubborn troll as you or anyone else here would like to think of me. I said what i have said because I believed in it and if I am wrong then I am wrong but not until someone can prove to me that what i have said was wrong.

          • mr.wiener

            I will not indulge you in this as it has not a damned thing to do with the topic and I will not be baited into discussing my friends with trolls or people with axes to grind.

          • David Webb

            it has everything to do with the topic. Her own personal belief, her life style, how she wanted to learn more English even though there was very little incentive to do so if you live in mainland China. Unless you have the reasons that I have stated in my previous comments. Her own personal belief and values got direct correlation to how this website has been set up.

            I remember so clearly, there were complaints by other viewers about how some of the articles that were chosen was not even the top trending topics in mainland China and the viewers were able to prove it. And based on what i have seen in the past from this site. I have made the deduction on what kind of person she could possibly be. As I have witnessed many different people from all walks of life. One can’t deny the fact that one’s political belief fundamentally dictate and shape how you behave in your own personal life. If you have a tendency of worshiping the Western culture, inevitably you become inclined to admire or even worship the people of Western society too. I’ts one thing to have mutual respect of another society but when you develop a form of inferiority complex through your own personal delusion, then there is a problem.

            I am not trying to bait you into anything. I truly do believe what I have said about her is true until proven wrong. And the fact that you dodged my point further demonstrate that she might not be too far from what i have described her to be. And you don’t seem to be a Chinese also, I could be wrong but I am assuming that you are a white expat maybe, just based on how you responded to me? If so then it even further proves my point about her.

            If Fauna was living in the West or a place with predominately English speaking demographic, then there is absolutely nothing I could say about her having the drive to learn English. I would have respected her for that. But she lives in Shanghai, so I question what is the motive behind her drive to learn English and from the result of learning English. she made this blog site, with just about every single news article being negative about the people of China and the Chinese society.

            And at one time, there were articles, weeks on end about Chinese girls hooking up with white boys until the comment section became a total flame war between Asians and whites. Throwing racist rants toward each other (something I did not participate). I remember this site stopped posting such crazy topics after that shouting match between the readers.

            So from all this information that i have absorbed throughout my time of following this blog. It’s only natural to conclude on what kind of person Fauna is in real life.

          • mr.wiener

            Whereas I have only observed you for the last 30 mins and have already formed strong opinions about you.
            You can ask Fauna about her personal life and see if she diens to answer you, but from my perspective it is none of your god damned business.

          • Jahar

            You speak English. You must also fit that stereotype then.

          • Teacher in China

            You go on and on about anyone studying English in China having ulterior motives, yet you do so in very good English yourself. You seem like a Chinese person, am I right? Why don’t you illuminate for us your surely grandiose and honorable reasons for learning English yourself? According to your own logic, it must be because you’re after a green card or that you worship foreign culture. Is only one of those things true, or both of them?

          • Xia

            He is just an Internet troll trying to hug attention.

          • Kai

            a. There’s plenty of incentive to learn English in a historically and aspiring international metropolis like Shanghai.

            b. Sure, there were complaints by other viewers (including yourself) about some of the articles published, but their complaints all revealed an ignorance of how cS works and its limitations. I don’t recall anyone “proving” anything about us being dishonest in how we choose articles to translate. Feel free to directly link us to such comments by such commenters. I expect multiple examples since you used the plural.

            The criticisms I remember involved people complaining that we were cherry-picking netizen comments that do not sufficiently reveal how racist or bigoted Chinese people are, citing comments from articles that had less upvotes and less views than the sources we chose to translate.

            c. Your deduction is mostly personal insecurity and wishful thinking. You’d rather demonize Fauna instead of consider that she might have entirely reasonable and non-malicious reasons for practicing her English and translating trending Chinese internet content, trends, pheonomena, and culture.

            d. Do you know what cherry-picking is? Starting at a conclusion and working the data to support it. You’ve done this very thing in how you’ve slandered Fauna. You’ve started with the conclusion she must be a Chinese bitch who fawns over the foreign and sought any and all rationale to justify it, ignoring everything else about her that is also accessible to you, such as the many times she has publicly defended China and the Chinese from the unfair criticisms and attacks of others. These data points don’t fit the narrative you WANT to believe in order to rationalize your straw man and outpouring of hostility here.

            e. mr.wiener hasn’t dodged your point. He has decided not to dignify your false accusations and slander with any further response. Your attempt to pigeonhole mr.wiener as a “white expat” reveals your desperation to dismiss disagreement that should make you question and reevaluate your position and behavior here.

            f. We posted the entire series of videos involving European-Chinese couples over the course of 5-6 weeks, once each week. We “stopped” posting because we had posted the entire series. Sure, there were insecure bigots in the comments to that series of articles and videos, throwing racist rants at others (like you), but you’re wrong about what those articles were about and why they stopped. They were made by the Delegation of the European Union to China and they stopped because they ran their course, not because of the shouting match by readers.

            g. What a person produces can indeed be used to determine something about them. I think you have misinterpeted what Fauna has produced because you are looking through a certain lens of insecurity. Therefore, your conclusions about what kind of person Fauna is in real life is faulty.

            Likewise, what you have produced here says a lot about what kind of person you are as well. It shows us that you’re not above making fallacious arguments and using threats to bully people around over disagreements you do not fully understand and have not made yourself available to understand or even inquire about. You shot first instead of asking questions.

          • He Who Be Free

            Suck dick Webb

          • Guang Xiang

            Man, bitch thinks he can deduce how people are without even meeting them. Well, from my time following your rant, you seem like an insecure and salty Asian with an inferiority complex and only the guts to pick on a woman.

          • Kai

            1. Where is the source that is related to this story?

            Ask our source, which we provided you. Realize that is how the story was presented by our source. If you want more information, do your own research. If you could read Chinese, you would’ve seen what NetEase’s source was, which would’ve provided you another avenue to inquiry, investigate, and research.

            2. Are you suppose to just believe this story out of the blue?

            No, which is why we provide sources and clearly explain how our website works. It should be apparently that just because something is popular doesn’t make it true. You have to use your own critical reading and thinking skills like any rational, intelligent consumer of information.

            3. No company name, false visual impression, etc.

            Blame whoever did the original report. Consider there might be reasons why the construction company/developer wasn’t named. I’m not sure what “false visual impression” you’re referring to. That photo is ostensibly of the migrant workers involved, taken by the original reporter.

            4. It’s not even plausible to walk that kind of distance.

            So? The article didn’t say they’ve done so, just that they’re ostensibly doing so. There are any number of plausible reasons for why they are doing so. It could be they’re that ignorant, that desperate, or hoping to attract public attention in doing so to help their cause. Just because someone professes to do something you don’t find plausible doesn’t mean the whole story is automatically no longer credible.

            5. Why does ChinaSmack insist on reporting such unbalanced news about China across the board?

            We don’t “insist” and we don’t make judgements of what is “unbalanced news about China”. We try our best to let reported metrics from mainstream Chinese portal sites and social networks dictate what we should translate. There are of course confounding factors and pitfalls to this methodology, which we proactively acknwoledge in our very prominently displayed FAQ.

            6. Almost every news about China written by Fauna has been negative.

            This is mostly a misleading vividness fallacy.

            7. Probably some sell out Shanghai Chinese bitch looking for some foreign dude or with some foreign dude.

            Now you’re just revealing your personal insecurities and prejudices to fallaciously justify your discomfort and animosity.

            8. Yeah I just got a bit personal here but Fauna, you just seem to fit into that stereotype.

            How? So anyone who is involved in regularly reporting something that interpret as negatively reflecting upon China and the Chinese is a “Shanghai Chinese bitch looking for some foreign dude or is with some foreign dude”? What about all the Chinese reporters, many of whom are heterosexual men, involved in news content production inside and ourside of China?

            No, it is more likely you’re upset with how many people do indeed reaffirm their prejudices against China and the Chinese through content on cS and instead of combating their ignorance and hate, you’ve chosen to read the worst motives into and shoot the messenger.

            Why stop at Fauna and cS? Why not blame the Chinese netizens who make such content popular? Why not blame the Chinese media or netizens who produce such content?

            I’m guessing your instinctual response is something related to “not airing dirty laundry”, that it is one thing for Chinese people to consume and discuss “negative” content about their own country and people but it is another for any of them to share that with non-Chinese people or enable them to talk shit about China and the Chinese.

            My question then is: do you feel the same way about all the people who translate and import negative news and content about other countries into China for the consumption of Chinese people?

            9. When a woman and a man get into a relationship, the woman will eventually take up the mentality of the man, his view on life and the world. It will inadvertently influence the woman. This Fauna just seem to really fit into this category.

            Well aren’t you misogynistic. Fauna’s actually pretty headstrong and stubborn.

            10. Most Chinese don’t try to improve their English unless they want to work in the West or try to hook up with some foreigners to get a green card.

            Or they just recognize that proficiency in the lingua fraca of the world has many practical benefits, including but far from being limited to the ones you mentioned. Maybe they like reading English-speaking people make fools of themselves?

            11. When there are 50 articles to pick from, and the 10 articles you choose to write about are all negative, then it’s very clear to me how your mind set works.

            It’s very clear you suffer from the misleading vividness fallacy, ironically just like Chinese netizens do when they report and bemoan negative phenomenon in their country.

            12. Those issues that have been reported should definitely be fixed but when you do unbalanced report and keep picking up on negative stories around the clock. That’s a problem.

            If you feel the reports are unbalanced, blame our original Chinese sources. If you feel they keep becoming trending topics, then blame the original Chinese media and original Chinese netizens that keep making them trending.

            You can blame us if we misrepresent a story as trending when you have evidence it doesn’t meet that criteria.

            13. You are just using this medium that you have created for yourself to project your own political agenda.

            Don’t mischaracterize the political agenda you have projected onto us as our own political agenda.

            Our agenda is completely different but also far more subtle and nefarious.

            14. For as many negative stories out there in China, there are just as many positive stories.

            This is difficult to quantify in terms of proportion of content on the Chinese internet and media. It is however not difficult to understand that sensationalist, controversial, or “negative” content tends to resonate with audiences more than “positive” content does. This is true on cS with its readers as it is true on the Chinese internet with Chinese netizens as it is true in the world with people of the world in general. You need to make your peace with this general predisposition and phenomenon of life.

            “Cherry-picking” involves dishonesty in selection of information. We very clearly outline our criteria and limitations. Feel free to make an actual substantive argument with supporting evidence about how we are dishonest with the criteria we seek to abide by. Do we cherry-pick stories? Not if they are legitimately trending. Do we cherry-pick comments? Not if they are indeed the most upvoted or arguably representative of popular sentiments found in the Chinese netizen comments.

            15. The FAQ, while it sound nice, but obviously the posts that have been going on this blog site has deviated from mostly what the FAQ has stated since 2008.

            How so?

            16. This site has now become nothing but Chinese negative news.

            Your misleading vividness fallacy yet again.

            17. Which intentionally or maybe unintentionally serve 2 purposes,

            You’re proving my point that you are upset with the ignorance and hate of others but instead have chosen to shoot the messenger.

            Ironically, we at cS feel a lot of English media about China leaves much to be desired. Did we go attack them, call them names, and threaten to report them to some authority? No, we created our own media to share what we felt was worth sharing.

            For example, we consider the political issues and intrigue found in a lot of mainstream Western media about China to be overemphasized when the average Chinese person is much more concerned (in our opinion) with social problems and issues.

            Even then, we didn’t set out to report social problems and issues, we sought to let Chinese netizens themselves determine what we should translate as much as reasonably possible. This is why we often end up with “trivial shit” like a goose taped to a car’s truck or a randy lion.

            18. Your threats and email.

            Your threats do not suggest you want to have a “real discussion”. It suggests you’re willing to terrorize people for what you think or want, even if it is wrong or misguided.

            I won’t hold my breath thinking anything I’ve said here is going to “prove” you that wha tyou have is wrong. You seem pretty wed to your rationale and extremely uncivil behavior to blindly slander and threaten someone you don’t know. You sound like one of those people who start a conversation with a Chinese local by whining/criticizing/insulting their country/people/government and then expect the other person to have a “real discussion” with them. I’m saddened that you didn’t have the self-awareness to see how poorly you’ve conducted yourself.

          • BrandeX

            Hardly. No one hates mainlanders more than other Chinese, foreigners have little to do in that regard.

          • Foreign Devil

            Doesn’t Fauna also produce Koreasmack and japansmack? So she is not just focusing on giving bad news or gossip from China. I thought smack means the low down dirty secrets .. the “dirt” so to speak.. the latest gossip. Just don’t read it if it offends you. You come across as a real rat and lowlife with your personal threats to the owner of these successful websites. IF your turncoat letter writing campaign should result in troubles for the website owners or a shutdown of the site..it would just prove to us all what a totalitarian dark country you live in. The fact this site has existed so long actually gives me hope for China.

          • Xia

            No wonder Chinese locals think foreigners who come to live in China are losers back in their home country.

          • mr.wiener

            I’ll make you a deal. If you don’t associate me with imbittered ijits like Brandex , I won’t associate you with imbittered idjits like david webb.

          • Xia

            I don’t care what you are associating. :P

          • BrandeX

            Nongming aren’t cognizant enough to even have anything remotely related cross their minds.

          • jaded

            Well its more of the inferiority complex coming through like david webb here.

          • Xia

            Or expat assholes feeding a stereotype.

          • jaded

            But it’s ok to feed the stereotype of expats as ‘losers in their own country so they come to China? That is a fallacy, there are some loser expats here but they are far from the norm.

            However what isn’t a stereotype is the woeful condition of this country and the low character of many of it’s people. The Chinese often complain about it themselves. As indeed the news source of Chinasmack is what’s trending on Chinese websites not western news channels. It really could be considered ‘fucked up’.

            However you can’t accept it and like David webb you attack and flame. So yes it is an inferiority complex, also obviously felt by you.

          • Xia

            “But it’s ok to feed the stereotype of expats as ‘losers in their own country so they come to China? That is a fallacy, there are some loser expats here but they are far from the norm.”

            It may not be the norm in China, but it certainly is the norm at Chinasmack’s comment section. No one is asking these expats to feed the stereotype. But when they are always complaining stuff like “Chinese are so fucking annoying, they get on my nerves everyday!” or “China is so dirty. Why the hell am I here?”, they have just done it themselves.

            The rest I feel no need to comment on. It’s enough for you to know that during all my years in China I have read lots of complaints on the Internet, but there’s hardly anything worthy of complaining in my daily life.

          • jaded

            This is an English language platform regarding life in China. Of course expats will vent about the frustrations involved with living here.This is due to the fact that they are talking about REALITY.

            China IS dirty in many parts, many (not all) are annoying with their disgusting behaviour, and other various issues. They are not STEREOTYPING, they are reporting through their own 1st hand experience.

            Stereotyping is casting negative views about someone according to their race or nationality through IGNORANCE such as ”all Chinese eat dog, and Africans are criminals etc.

            The expats who vent about China are doing it through their day to day EXPERIENCE from living here. This doesn’t make them losers.

            Again it’s the inferiority complex showing itself; accusing foreigners of just wanting to make China look bad, and in denial about the reality here: óh no there’s nothing worth complaining about in my life, life is so good here, this is a harmonious society, such a great country everybody’s so friendly and all the other BS.

            I understand loving your country,but you would get lot more respect if you just acknowledged reality. Also you could travel to another country, compare and then make a judgment.

          • Xia

            Maybe you should just acknowledge that you and I can very well perceive reality differently. Your judgement is not an universal norm for how everybody will perceive the country. It’s your personal liking, so keep it to yourself.

            What makes the expats here look like losers is that they complain so much about China, yet they can’t help but to be in China. This implies that they are doing it much against their own will and are compelled because of life’s circumstances. They don’t have the mastery over their own lives and are forced to go to places they don’t want to be. By complaining about being stuck with living in China despite all the negativities they perceive everyday, even though it’s not what they want to, they just devalued themselves. That’s what makes them look like losers.

          • jaded

            Yes I can acknowledge that we perceive reality differently, I perceive reality as, well… reality. I see it for what it is. You however ‘put your head in the sand’ and pretend its not there, even though anyone with two eyes and two ears would know.

            Actually it’s more than my personal liking. Any foreigner who witnesses the disgusting behaviour and the lack of care about anybody or anything, would have the same opinion. Therefore many foreigners do.

            Yes there is the argument if you hate it so much then go home. Yes are some who are economically trapped here. However it’s not always that black and white. Some have ties here, such as long term GF or Wife and can’t just drop everything and go. This by the way, is called responsibility and also termed by many as LIFE.

            There are others here, who, believe me, live a very good expat life here. They don’t want to go anywhere as their company are paying everything for them and they live like kings.

            I personally will not be bringing my future kid up in this environment, and so will be returning back home at some point.

            Indeed many people in China with money send their kids overseas for their education, with a view to moving there in the future. What does that tell you? That Chinese nationals don’t want to be stuck here either.

          • Xia

            The most arrogant and foolish thing a man can say is to claim that what he perceives is the objective truth. But in fact, everything we perceive are processed through our personal biases. See it for what it is, it is your personal opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

            Of course there are those who are living like kings and those who are living like beggars in any country. Same for the expat community, same for Chinese nationals. But the guys on Chinasmack who spend their free time complaining about their life in China are hanging a shield with “My life sucks” written all over it.

        • Balkan

          Dear David, one of the wonderful things here is that you get to hear and read about views that can be completely different from yours. If you are disturbed and offended by what you read here, you can make an easy choice: close the browser tab and continue surfing to the portals that support your views.

          As for YOU threatening someone about arrests, you clearly don’t understand how China works. I hardly doubt they will be alarmed by whatever report you file to CCPPD. It’s more likely that is will never be read at all.

        • Jahar

          You need to post here more often. I think this might be the most entertainment I’ve ever gotten here.

          • David Webb

            lawl, i post from time to time. sometimes i don’t post anything for months on end. But every-time I post, I do get a crap load of responses tho. My previous posts have generated a lot of polarization. This post is a bit more more one sided.

          • Jahar

            I was implying that your nonsense amuses me. but as I read more I changed my mind. Most of what you posted is personal and insulting. And you seem to have very little idea about how the world works.

        • Xia

          She didn’t invent these articles. They were taken from the Chinese Internet the way they are, so as a matter of fact we Chinese people have written these articles and comments ourselves, because truth be told, that’s how we roll. Now your complaints sound a lot like you are feeling an inferiority complex about China and about being Chinese. People with true integrity and self-esteem won’t be bothered a bit by what trash some low-lives on the Internet are talking. Only people without guts get agitated over a flame war by some random foreigners. So stop making a fool of yourself and shame our country!

        • He Who Be Free

          Suck cock wumao

    • ScottLoar

      You make my comment about translation trivial by comparison. Let’s see how our moderators respond.

    • Eric Hill

      “I know someone in the [very “important” agency].” Ah, the calling card of a true coward.

    • Teacher in China

      You do get the part about this site relating to how they choose their stories, right? These are the most popular stories on the Chinese internet translated into English for those of us who can’t read Chinese. This has been confirmed to me time and time again since I got married to a Chinese woman. Her English reading isn’t great, so she doesn’t read the site, but whenever I’m looking at it, she has always read the story on the Chinese internet somewhere, usually a day earlier or so. I think your criticisms are misguided, and your personal attack on Fauna was completely out of line. You should be a gentleman and apologize to her.

    • Don’t the rest of you just love these ‘Fake Westerner’ shills for the Chinese government? They can’t even speak English. You should really try much harder, ‘David Webb’ – or whatthef%&*ever your real Chinese name is…. Hehe.

      Go soak your head. You screwed your own economy and now you want to hide the truth from others. Well, we already reached our bulls$%t quota of Chinese propaganda. You’re not going to get very far trying to convince us of any more.

      China overproduces, overestimates, overreacts and is highly underqualified to dispense truth. You should just quit before you get any further behind. The hole you have dug is quite deep enough already.

      Good luck climbing out!

      • Jahar

        A very common given name and a 4 letter family name. Easy to remember for them.

      • Kai

        Your presumption that “David Webb” is a “fake Westerner shill for the Chinese government” is as misguided as his presumptions about Fauna.

        The rest of your comment is more about expressing prejudices and criticisms than substantiating an argument, just like his comment was.

        • Guest

          Nice try…

          You don’t know me. I’m much wiser than you think. You
          are clearly wrong, clearly supporting your ‘brother’ and full of the
          same ‘Stepford Wives’ nationalism as the greater majority of the people
          in China. You are clueless. Your assumption that I’m incorrect coupled
          with you knowing absolutely nothing about me is evidence enough. At any
          rate, you’re probably from the same family as your brother, David and,
          as I said before…you can keep your Chinese propaganda BS to yourself.
          You’ve only probably been breathing (pollution) for about twice as long
          as I lived in China. I don’t need anyone to ‘educate me’.

          you should go try and reform your own educational system. It’s very good
          at producing broken and defective products, like yourself. Probably
          because, whether the students study, attend class or know anything at
          all, they’re given a free pass – so mom and dad don’t have to waste the
          money they spent their lives saving. All they have to do is keep testing
          over and over until they pass (usually, by copying from others). That
          is, after all, how much of China’s development happens anyway. Too bad
          it has rendered nearly the entire country uneducated. They call people
          ‘engineers’ here – but they are nothing more than assembly line workers
          in the West. I suppose that’s fine, if it makes you feel better…hehe.

          If I were you, I would do some research before spreading your fake
          confidence online. I don’t ask a 3 year old how to drive a car and I’m
          certainly not going to ask anyone in China for wisdom or opinions. I’ve
          done quite well, myself, for more than twice as long as you’ve been
          alive. When you get done hiding your naivete’ by being arrogant, maybe I
          could teach you a few things. Until then, you’ve already stopped
          learning – and there’s nothing anyone can do for you.

          We’re done now…you can go (and save your comments for someone who will bother to listen).

          • mr.wiener

            Cut and paste much bro?
            In case you failed to notice Kai is one of the mods here at the website David Webb was attacking…hardly bro material there. Stop with the bluster, you are just making yourself look silly.

      • Lol von Random Name

        Its great, especially when they misuse swear words. I teach courses on how to curse properly, I’d say $100 per hour for any interested CCP troll. msg me huehuehue.

    • Zappa Frank

      just a plain idiot

      • Free Man

        So much was written, but you put it into 4 beautiful words.

        • ClausRasmussen

          Yeah, it sums it up pretty well lol. I regret I wasted time answering him rationally

    • Jahar

      Uh, news is generally negative. Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “No news is good news”?

      Also, it’s just translations of popular Chinese blogs. No one here chooses what’s popular.

      And it’s from blogs. As in, NOT REAL NEWS. IF you want news, go watch the news.

      • Kai

        Not technically accurate. A lot of the stuff we translate is “real news” from real news channels and media. You just shouldn’t expect everything to be, because we’re pretty clear in communicating that we cover trending internet content, not just “news”.

        • Jahar

          My point is, you shouldn’t be expecting news from a blog.

          • Kai

            I understand, and my point was about a technical inaccuracy in how you expressed your point. They can coexist. “Blogs” are qualitatively different from “news articles” syndicated on mainstream portal news sections. You tried to clarify things for him and I tried to clarify things as well.

  • 宋易

    its reasonable to assume they walk 6km/hour. 1400/6*15(hrs a day walking)= 15 days. not months, but also probably too long to be worth. just have to turn around and come right back. :-(

    • ClausRasmussen

      … or, more likely, they didn’t do the math and got stranded somewhere along the route or hitched a ride

    • Yes!

      Mathematically you are correct, but i don’t think anyone except highly motivated soldiers on a Long March can do 6kmph for 15 hrs every day. They’d be too exhausted by the 3rd day.

      • 宋易

        What? Those are migrant workers! It’s easier than doing the work they don’t get paid for! :-D

        • arahavu

          They could get home faster if they worked for one week, earned $50, then used money to take a bus home.

          • 宋易

            Yeah, but… THEY HAD ALREADY WORKED, and not gotten paid.

  • 宋易

    Why does China not have a reputation for its practice of slavery?

    Attention rest of world: CHINA STILL PRACTICES SLAVERY.

    This is the worst of its sins, worse than denial of civil rights in general, and its not on anyone’s radar.

    • Irvin

      The whole world still practice slavery, they just exchanged chains for money.

  • Balkan

    Poor people:-(

  • Jahar

    You know what China needs? A political party dedicated to helping the worker. It would protect them from unfair capitalist practices, stop corruption, and ensure the fair treatment of everyone. Everyone could earn a decent wage. We could call it the Communist party.

  • Yes!

    Isn’t taking good care of the Working Class the bedrock of Communist ideology?

  • Foreign Devil

    Even foreigners in China face similar situations of their Chinese employers having way to much control over their fate. They control your legal status in China and can make you an illegal alien at any time. They usually provide your housing, only pay your wages once per month..so if you have any grievances, you have to hold them I’m for one month and air them after you get paid. There are even stories of bosses trying to detain or guard English teachers so they don’t make a midnight escape from school compounds.

    • Ale Jandro

      The best way to retain workers is to pay thethem late next month…

  • David Fieldman

    This is where Xi Jinping, for all his rhetoric of going after corrupt officials, be they his perceived or real enemies, should arrest the owners of this firm, freeze the bank accounts of the firm and the owners and demand the back wages be paid to these people who toil so diligently in order for the owners to skim profits and live a life of ease. Godamn despicable behavior. They should be named and shamed. Beating up people for demanding what is rightfully theirs is much too commonplace in this country. Since Xi Jinping wants to return to the basics of the CCP, Is beating workers who have been cheated part of the Marxist and Lenin doctrines? (Does Stalin lurk in the background?) What would Confucius say?

    • Ale Jandro

      Wake up man, the more you are on the top of the system the more corrupt you are.

  • Markoff

    well, you must be really stupid to work one yea without proper salary, don’t pay me ONCE full salary shame on you, don’t pay me 2nd time full salary shame on me…

  • Mighty曹

    I really feel bad for these folks who are simply trying to make it home for the new year. I saw a movie about a family trying to get train tickets. It’s sad.

  • UKMidlands

    It’s heartbreaking to read that the migrant workers have to walk home. The Chinese New Year is so important for Chinese families. Very sad they sacrifice so much and get back so little. Hope the situation improves for all migrant workers. Where are the authorities who are supposed to protect their rights?

  • Guest

    Human flesh engine the people who own these migrants money. Occupy the private property of the debtors until they pay up.

  • Dan

    Why are all migrant workers ugly?

    • mr.wiener

      Probably because they don’t have any money to spend on cosmetics, they waste their money on fripperies like…. food.
      Are all your comments so empathic?

      • Dan

        I would say it was more a comment on the discourse of poverty and difference being summoned in the above piece.

  • mac

    my chinese wifes father visits us for the chinese new year in beijing, they are from nanjing but he comes from guandong as he works there in construction, his old but his much stronger than me..he visits us because his wife is taking care of my new born son.. the contractor he work for hasnt paid them until now, and his older son also works there, this makes my blood boil and if only its in my own country ill go to their office and put a 1911 45 in the contractors mouth and demand my father in laws money!