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Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts

Monday, October 8, 2018

More Toy Guns and Hamsters Too in a Holiday Sale at Toys "R" Us in China

Last week I posted about Toys "R" Us commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China with a holiday sale featuring Nerf guns. I had seen the toy gun special at two different stores in Zhuhai, China. The very next day after writing the post, I happened to come across a Toys "R" Us store in neighboring Zhongshan. Unsurprisingly, this store offered the same deal.

Nerf gun National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Despite the sale, perhaps some parents don't think the best way to celebrate the holiday is to buy a gun which shoots projectiles, even if cushiony. Fear not, Toys "R" Us had another holiday special, this one on Silverlit laser tag guns.

Silverlit laser tag National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Some people may even find creative ways to use both types of toy guns at the same time.

For people who just aren't into any sort of gun, there were some other items on special as well. For example, if you fancy hamsters with a penchant for burgers, Hamsters in a House can do that.

Hamsters in a house National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Notably, according to the sign this special didn't start for two weeks until after the ones for the guns. I don't know why. I also don't know if these hamsters would appreciate a Nerf or Silverlit gun.

In any case, the month-long holiday promotion at Toys "R" Us ended today. This doesn't affect most toys sold there, but you will now have to pay more for some guns and rodents.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Toys "R" Us Celebrates National Day in China with a Special Deal on Toy Guns


"Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at Toys "R" US in China
A "Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at a Toys "R" Us in Zhuhai, China

Whether in Mudanjiang far to the north or in Zhongshan far to the south, during recent years I have shared some of the National Day sales I have come across in China. Recently in Zhuhai, a city bordering Zhongshan on China's southeastern coast, I saw a promotion that might strike some people as more notable than others because of the retailer and products involved.

The promotion was at Toys "R" Us. Although the U.S. based company no longer has stores in its home country, stores still exist elsewhere, including China. Asia in particular has been a bright spot, and the company hopes to sell its stores there, though there are complications at the moment.

So I wasn't very surprised to see a Toys "R" Us promotion for National Day at two different stores in Zhuhai. And I wasn't surprised the "Golden Week" holiday sale lasts for over a month. And I also wasn't surprised by the "I ♥ China" roller coaster on some of the signs.

Portion of Toys "R" Us "Golden week Toys Fun" sign with "I ♥ China" rollercoaster


But I will admit, they did do something I didn't see coming. They commemorated the founding of the People's Republic of China by featuring a special price for a Nerf toy guns combo — the N-Strike Elite Retaliator and the Microshots N-Strike Elite Firestrike.



Save 49.9 yuan! (about U.S. $7.25)


Retaliate against who? The signs didn't specifically say.

In any case, the special on Nerf guns reminded me of my old posts about children in China conducting "war training exercises". Now, to commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China they can do it at a discount.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Kindergarten in Shenzhen, China, Welcomes Students With a Pole Dancing Show

Advertisements for jobs and classes at a pole dancing school in Zhongshan
Advertisements for jobs and classes at a pole dancing school in Zhongshan, Guangdong (October 2017)


Six years ago I met a college student working part-time handing out printed advertisements for a pole dancing school in Changsha, China. Later, I met another student doing the same. After asking a few questions about the school, she invited me to take a look myself. Soon I was having an enlightening conversation with a manager during my first visit to a pole dancing school.

Since then, in a number of other cities in China I have come across signs of more pole dancing schools, and the activity's popularity has grown as a way to stay physically fit while enjoying oneself. Although pole dancing occurs in some locations, such as nightclubs, where it can more typically be found in the U.S., there are differences between the two countries in how it is perceived.

Still, when I first saw a remarkable tweet today from Michael Standaert, a freelance journalist based in Shenzhen, indicating his children's kindergarten had put on a pole dancing show for the young students on their first day of school, I wondered if it was some sort of joke.

He wasn't joking.

Below are most of Standaert's tweets on the topic, including videos of children watching pole dancing performances and some of his replies to others' comments. The tweets are from multiple threads and presented in the order they were tweeted. Read to the end to learn the school's decisive response.

It looks like opening day will be a bit different next year.














Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Boys With Big Branches in Ganzhou

Similar to a confrontation with four boys in Maoming four years ago, the other day in a park alongside the Zhang River in Ganzhou I met two boys with weapons.

two boys holding large tree branches in Ganzhou


Once again I was spared, and they allowed me to pass.

I didn't try taking a seat though.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Balloon Sculptures, Singing, and a Pelvic Thrusting Dinosaur: The Grand Opening of a Jewelry Store in Ganzhou, China

When I stopped by a jewelry store with a notable logo on the afternoon of its opening day in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, there were a few customers inside, but all was otherwise quiet. Especially given the hot weather and low pedestrian traffic at the time, this wasn't so surprising.

When I stopped by again later in the early evening, the weather had cooled down and the activities to celebrate the grand opening had heated up. Given what I have seen at a variety of promotions elsewhere in China, I wasn't too surprised to see somebody wearing an inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining people, especially children.

person in inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining


At an entrance to the store, somebody else was creating balloon animals and sculptures. I have seen the same thing at a number of jewelry stores elsewhere.

Balloon artist making a balloon model for a girl


There was also a stage set up besides the store. While I was there a woman sang, also not so uncommon for events likes this one.

But then things came together in a way that wasn't so typical in my experience, and it was something to behold.

I didn't know a Tyrannosaurus could move like that.

On reflection, the movements were somewhat similar to how some cockatoos dance to music. Not only are birds dinosaurs, but the Tyrannosaurus is more closely related to a bird than to a Stegosaurus. Perhaps that's what the person had in mind, though I am not aware of any birds dancing quite the same way.

In any case, the dancing felt a bit surreal to watch. I can't put the experience fully into words, so I have shared a bit of it in the video below. Although the Tyrannosaurus stopped dancing, or whatever it was doing, and returned to other activities while I watched, I kept filming a bit longer. There is more to observe than just the dinosaur, though it steals the show.

Take a look:

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Nine Children Day Photos from Guangzhou

As in a number of other countries, June 1 is Children's Day in China. Children younger than 14 get the day off from class, which lead some parents to question why they aren't legally entitled to a day off too so they can spend it with their children. On that note, many schools arrange activities for the day.

Yesterday I saw signs of the holiday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. Despite it being a Friday, the activity level at some places felt more like a weekend. One movie theater lobby I passed was packed with excited children — likely due to discounts or a school outing.

Below are a handful of photos I took yesterday. I can't say each and every scene is directly connected to the holiday, but they all definitely include children.

dance performance by boys
Dance performance at Sunny Mall


kiddie play area at mall
Busy children's amusement center at Sunny Mall


air hockey game
Air hockey at an arcade in the JN Sunday underground pedestrian shopping street


children making pizzas at The Pizza Factory in Guangzhou
Pizza-making party at The Pizza Factory in the Icon City shopping mall


woman and girl walking down Gaodi Street in Guangzhou
On Gaodi Street


girl posing in front of a sculpture for a photo
Photographic opportunity at Shangxiajiu Square


one girl lifting up another onto her back
Lifting up a twin sister at Shangxiajiu Square


girl giving another girl a piggyback ride
A piggyback ride underway


two children debating who should get a stroller
A (potential) learning moment for a boy who had tried to hijack a baby stroller

Monday, April 23, 2018

Gongbei-Ball Lives on in Zhuhai

In response to a post with a series of photos showing what happened to some blocks of ice left on the sidewalk in Yunfu, Guangdong, reader J P Hays commented:
Not what I expected in the slightest. I was expecting it to end sadly, with reports of people slipping on the ice and injuring themselves, not two kids having a fun time with it.
In fact, a couple other children were involved as well, but I didn't get any good photos including them. Fortunately, I indeed didn't witness any injuries, whether due to slipping or being hit by thrown pieces of ice. I don't know if that changed after I left though.

While putting together the ice post, the throwing aspect of it reminded me of a game I called Gongbei-ball that I saw played on Gaosha Middle Street in Zhuhai's Gongbei subdistrict two years ago. I was briefly back in Zhuhai yet again in February. One evening shortly after 8 p.m. I returned to the same street, which like Baisha Road in Jiangmen can be tricky to locate using online interactive maps. I wondered if the game was still played and whether I could be lucky enough to catch a match.

I am happy to belatedly report the game continues to thrive.

two boys and a man playing Gongbei-ball in Zhuhai


At least one of the boys playing appeared to be one of the same boys as before. And this time a man was playing as well. I'm still unsure of the precise rules, and like before sometimes suspected they were adjusted on the fly by the one boy. But it seemed to be the same game. There was one clear difference though. Instead of using a ball made from crumpled-up paper wrapped in tape, they used a regular tennis ball. Apparently the equipment change was authorized by the Gongbei-Ball Premier League.

If I have the opportunity to come across the game sometime again in the future, I will see if they will teach me the rules. I thought the paper ball had a special charm to it, but some things change. Maybe there'll be a different ball next time.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Forms of Ice in Yunfu

The science of what happens when a small restaurant dumps large chunks of ice out onto the sidewalk at a street intersection in Yunfu, Guangdong:

Ice I

chunks of ice on a sidewalk in Yunfu, Guangdong


Ice II

chunks of ice on a sidewalk in Yunfu, Guangdong


Ice Fun

kids throwing chunks of ice in Yunfu, Guangdong

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To Be Fed or Not To Be Fed on Two Wheels in Jiangmen

A moment from today on Xingning Road (兴宁路) in Jiangmen:

man and small girl riding an electric bicycle


A similar moment with an edacious contrast:

man feeding a boy a snack while they ride a motor scooter


Perhaps the girl had already finished her food.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween Night in Changsha, China

Five years ago I shared photos from Changsha, Hunan, indicating Halloween's growing popularity in China, and two years ago I shared a similar set of photos from Shaoguan in Guangdong province.

This year I was in Changsha yet again for the holiday. Later I will post more about the business/marketing side of Halloween. But first, below are some Halloween night photos from an area covering Hualongchi to Taiping Street which has several pedestrian streets and many shopping centers, restaurants, and bars. The photos range from children in costumes to people selling Halloween-related items to a dance club's spruced-up entrance. The last photo reflects that most people who were out weren't dressed up for Halloween. It didn't necessarily stop them from having a good time though.


two young women dressed up for Halloween in Changsha



two young men dressed up for Halloween in Changsha



two children dressed up for Halloween in Changsha



woman selling Halloween-related items in Changsha



young woman dressed up for Halloween in Changsha



young man dressed up for Halloween in Changsha



two young women dressed up for Halloween buying corn in Changsha



Halloween-themed entrance to the Muse dance club in Changsha



young woman dressed up for Halloween in Changsha



three children wearing Halloween masks in Changsha



disposed Halloween mask in Changsha



young men enjoying a late night meal outside in Changsha

Thursday, October 12, 2017

We Should All Be Feminists in Zhongshan

Without a doubt, my favorite moment last night in Zhongshan, China:

a child wearing a "We should all be feminists" shirt holding the arm of a child wearing a dress with a large white bow


Thanks to the mother for encouraging the child wearing the dress, who I hadn't noticed at first, to join in.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Two Examples of Localization With Differing Results: Starbucks and Uber

Multinational companies grant vary degrees of independence to regional teams. One reason for increased independence is to enable the company to best adjust to local conditions. One piece about how this can work out and one piece about how this can go awry:

1. Keeping with the recent Starbucks theme here . . . Russell Flannery shares some thoughts from Belinda Wong, the country CEO for Starbucks in China, about the freedom they have to localize the Starbucks experience there:
Overall, the localization effort seems more subtle than overwhelming, making its approach "similar but not so similar" to what the company does in the U.S., Wong says. "I have to think about where you live, where you work and how you travel," she says. "This has to speak to you and not to folks in other countries. I like the fact that we are not the kind of the company that enforces what has to be done in the U.S. to be in China, and I think that forms part of why we are successful in China: because we are able to make sure that everything is developed in China with the Chinese consumers in mind."
2. In a in-depth story of how Uber knowingly rented unsafe recalled vehicles to many of its drivers in Singapore (link briefly goes through Twitter*), Douglas MacMillan and Newley Purnell detail how the desire to localize headed in the wrong direction:
Singapore in 2013 was Uber’s first Asian city, a beachhead for expansion. Uber however struggled to find enough drivers, documents show. The cost of owning a car there is among the highest in the world.

Uber created a unit, Lion City Rentals Pte Ltd., or LCR, in February 2015 to rent Uber-owned cars to drivers for about $50 a day. Buying a fleet of cars was new for Uber, whose business model relies on not owning assets. . . .

Rather than buy most new vehicles from authorized Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. dealers, Uber’s LCR unit bought new sedans and SUVs from more than a dozen auto importers, the emails show. These small dealers operate in the gray market—a legal channel outside manufacturers’ authorized networks—where safety, service and legal contracts are difficult to enforce. The Singapore team calculated it would be able to buy cars for 12% less than at authorized Honda dealers, according to the emails.
The fascinating piece captures how things went downhill from there in a variety of ways.



*I used a Twitter generated link because the Wall Street Journal offers free access to its articles if visited from there and some other sites as well. Otherwise, a paywall may appear for some readers. I could achieve the same effect by embedding a tweet here. I will share some thoughts about this practice in a later post. The tweet that generated the link is here. The direct link to the article is here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Children Out to Dance in the Bengbu Night

I have been thinking a lot about Liu Xiaobo, the possibility VPNs will soon become much more difficult to use in China, and China's expanding censorship. For now, something on a lighter and cheerier note . . .

People dancing in groups at parks is a common sight in much of China. Most of the time it doesn't involve children dancing in the dark though. So below are a few photos taken after 9 p.m. this past Wednesday and Thursday at Datang Park (大塘公园) in Bengbu. During my brief time watching, the children appeared to be dutifully following the dancing program, though at least once a few separated out to do their own thing.


Children dancing at Datang Park (大塘公园) in Bengbu



Children dancing at Datang Park (大塘公园) in Bengbu



Children dancing at Datang Park (大塘公园) in Bengbu

Wednesday, July 19, 2017