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Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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Only In China!    

By Paul Fox
1725 Views | 4 Comments | 11/15/2016 12:53:21 PM

China has gone from Copycat to Innovator Extraordinaire in one generation.

There are many things that we westerners complain about in China, the 'Bean-Can-Man'; those that pay homage to the 'Flob God'; people walking on roads and driving on the pavement; the apparent lack of common sense; even the education system that is often more akin to palliative care than it is to teaching.

But there's one thing that the west can never crticise China for - Innovation!

There are those who would argue that China has the best public transport system in the world, and considering the population, it has to be damn good!

Fast trains flick commuters between cities at 300kph, buses are so cheap to use it's not funny, and there's none of the varying ticket prices that depend which stop you want to get off at. You can pay just RMB1 and sit on the bus all day if you want to.

OK, so roads are congested and the government charge a 200% tax on new cars, but most people use e-bikes to get around locally and they cost almost nothing to run.

Now China has gone one innovative step further with its public transport system and built the world's first 'straddling bus' (see picture).

If you have open internet access, you can see the full story here

If you are in China, you may need a VPN

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2016-11-15 13:04:29 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Paul, it amazes me how quickly China has jumped into the category of "innovative" and out of the category of "imitator". And I am not suggesting China is not innovative at all. I agree with you that the new products and ideas they come up with daily is astounding.

But only 14 years ago when I first arrived, the foreigners were endlessly complaining about how Chinese manaufacturers were all creating products that were inferior imitations of Western products and Chinese people were quietly agreeing with them. And from what I could see they were right.

In that brief period of time China really has gone from copycat to leading edge. A truly remarkable achievement.

However, I understand the "straddling bus" has recently come under a lot of fire and bad reviews. I know you wrote this article a while back and I held up its posting, so I'm wondering if, in the intervening time, you've read much about how it is faring as to praise or criticism?

#2016-11-15 13:29:07 by fj1383 @fj1383

I don't think that 'straddling bus' is the solution to congested streets. Knowing chinese drivers and being a driver myself here in China for the last 7 years I know that all this bus will do is scare drivers more and slow them down even more. When it comes to traffic jams the domino effect is very real in major cities around China, all you need is a few inexperienced drivers and they will cause chaos. So in my personal opinion the best solution is to make the practical and theorical test for a Driver's License more difficult.  Also the traffic police should increase the Maximum Speed from 60kph to 80kph on normal roads and control illegal parking more strictly. 

#2016-11-15 22:01:52 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


To be honest, no I haven't taken another look at this subject. I first saw it as a news report on MSN and quickly scribbled a blog. It's interesting, however, that you mention the 'poor quality goods' that China is renowned for producing, but there is another side to that story, a side that I have experienced first-hand.


I used to run a small business in Australia that was called 'Buy China'. Essentially, people used to commission me to source products from China for them.


Example: Joe is buying 5000 pcs a year, from a local supplier, for $10 each.

He would ask me to find/source that same product from China, in the hope of paying much less per pcs.

I invariably did so, and ALWAYS paid attention to the quality. So I would return to Joe with 2 or 3 samples. Let's say one was $5, one was $4 and one was $3. Joe would ALWAYS take the cheapest one - regardless!

There's obviously a good reason why one is $3 and one is $5, but Joe didn't care. His sole interest was in maximising his profit, so he would place an order for 5000 pcs @ $3 each.

Then, 6 months later, he would start to complain about the quality and his attitude would be, 'everything that comes out of China is rubbish!'


I remember one 'customer' who later decided that he 'didn't need me to find his products', so he jumped onto 'Alibaba' and subsequently spent $30,000 on a 20ft container-load of porcelain tiles. He was a tiler.

Once they arrived in Australia, his joy quickly turned to anger when he discovered that they contained asbestos. Not only did he lose $30K, but he had to pay for them to be disposed of. Asbestos is still used in some Chinese products, including brake pads, so one has to know what questions to ask. As far as this guy was concerned, Chinese people 'cheated him' out of $30K and everything that comes out of China is 'rubbish'.

It's only 'rubbish' if you BUY 'rubbish' !

#2016-11-16 16:24:00 by roughdiamond @roughdiamond


well bud you couldnt have sumed it up better

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