Running errands in our neighborhood this afternoon, the same guy tried to give us the same “massage” business card twice. He rolls with the gang of Rolex and Mont Blanc hawkers who approach us at least twice a day — before the gym and after the gym, and then whenever else we are brave enough to leave the apartment. (The most unique salesperson, who we have only seen once, offered us a laptop computer — right outside of Plaza 66.) Anyway, this brings us to today’s news that Beijing, in its effort to rid its streets of any “Chinese” characteristics before the 2008 Olympics, is cracking down on those who hand out illegal advertisements (you know, the kids who throw business cards into your pockets and bags, or even through the crack in your taxi window). We’re assuming the Rolex guys are included in a separate crackdown.
Anyone caught twice handing out leaflets on the street will be sentenced to detention or up to two years of community service, the [Beijing News] reported Monday.
Other activities subject to punishment will include mounting posters or spraying advertisements on walls. The telecommunications authority will suspend phone numbers published on illegal advertisements, the report said.
That’s a lot of suspended phone numbers. With classified advertising still a rarity here, many laborers leave their digits on neighborhood walls. Some have stencils, some have stickers and some kick it old school and use spray paint. Back to the story:
Unlicensed taxicabs and illegal vendors in the city will face similar punishments, the daily said.
Child beggars younger than 18 will be required to accept the government’s help and protection, the newspaper said, while those who organize the city’s gangs of young beggars will be heavily punished.
One would have to assume similar measures will be taken in Shanghai. We have heard there is something scheduled to happen here in 2010.
Photo from Baidu.