Photo by 2 Dogs
[So after going to my local PSB, they hadn’t heard of this regulation either. We are looking for the original Chinese email to get a confirmation of what THEIR local PSB told them, whether it was mistranslated and why. Hold your horses everyone, I’ll write a bigger update when it comes.] First I heard about the subway passport checks, with random foreign looking people being stopped by subway security to make sure all their papers were in order. Then this morning, I walked outside and saw that police officers were now in my compound waving down laowai to ask for their documents, and I thought “this is about as ridiculous as it gets.” No. No it wasn’t. Because now you guys aren’t allowed out past 11pm.
An office friend has forwarded an email from the Shanghai police (translated by office secretaries) that details what restrictions they’re trying to put on the foreign populace. Note: Office friend works at a legitimate university organization where all the foreign teachers are on legitimate work visas (none of that business visa stuff). It’s insane:
NOTE: FROM SHANGHAI POLICE
All foreign teachers/expats are required to carry their passport with them at all times, 24 hours a day; 7 days a week.
All foreign teachers/expats are required to register with their local PSB (Police Station) within 24 hours of arrival/issuance of a new visa or change of any details.
All foreign teachers/expats are required to return to their own place of residence each night or notify the local PSB if they are staying in another residence after 11pm, EACH NIGHT.
All foreign teachers/expats who travel outside of Shanghai must have a clearance letter from their employer and their employer must be aware of ALL and ANY travel arrangements.
ADVICE: FROM SHANGHAI POLICE
All foreign teachers/expats should avoid from “socialising” within local area of any of the EXPO sites.
All foreign teachers/expats should avoid plane travel or long distance travel rail/bus travel.
The Shanghai and district PSB have tightened up on these requirements and WILL be checking one in ten foreigners at their residences and on the streets. I have been advised by [redacted] that teachers should avoid travel / or trips out of shanghai and should be extremely careful when travelling [sic] within Shanghai over the next few months.
The first two have been in place for years now, but it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of of us not being allowed out without registering with the local police. Maybe I should have known better, but this has to be one of the most surprising changes in policy leading up to the Expo and really makes me wonder what exactly the Shanghai government is scared of. The only hope: like most hair-brained control initiatives they come up with, this one will be loosely controlled.
Because seriously, nothing kills the mood than stumbling out of Windows Too at three in the morning and whispering in your partner’s ear “But, baby, did you register me with your PSB?”