Chongqing Chicanery

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The Chongqing city government stepped in to the “Nail House” issue yesterday. The South China Morning Post reports that Mayor Wang Hongju said “the government would try to solve the standoff between the villa owner and the developer ‘appropriately’ but would not tolerate an exorbitant price or unreasonable demands.” This doesn’t bode very well for the couple holding out for their cash. This story remains huge on the Chinese internet and has even developed legs with overseas media, most of whom like me were probably intrigued by the image of the house stuck in the middle of the 10 meter deep pit. On reading a bit more about the case it seems increasingly clear the picture is the most interesting part of the episode, with the house owners blatantly playing up to the media.

I notice incidentally that a reader criticizes my “journalism” as sloppy because I only posted a picture and a couple of sentences of comment about the Nail House. A gentle reminder that this is a blog, with all the implications that carries. That doesn’t mean we drop standards when we post. Just that this is relaxed, personal, often-opinionated quick takes on what’s going on in China. If you want formal journalism, please see our stories in the magazine and on the website.

PS: One other point: this blog is almost totally unmoderated. Obviously inappropriate (we know it when we see it) or purely commercial posts will be deleted, but pretty much anything else goes. Except outright insults and the kind of pathetic racists drivel that sometimes appears at the end of an exchange of posts.

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