A 62-year-old American named Randy gained some online attention after he set up a stand selling breakfast foods on a street in Changzhou city of Jiang province, attracting chengguan to pay a visit, Tencent News reports.
Street vendors are generally the number one target of chengguan, China’s highly unpopular urban law enforcement officials. The puffed-up officials have been known to take violent approaches when dealing with illegal vendors, and while many of them are choosing to employ more ‘gentle’ tactics all-around, the confrontation between these particular chengguan and the unlicensed, foreign vendor has gotten attention on social media.
Randy sells bread, hot dogs, lettuce and water at his stand. He said he’s the manager of a company and has lived in Changzhou for seven years.
Recently chengguan came to inquire as to why he set up the stand, seeking information about his business license.
He told them it was marketing research for his soon-to-open restaurant in Changzhou. He wanted to test whether local customers liked his homemade cuisine. He said he rations the amount of food he’s going to sell every day, and as soon as he sells out, he packs up his stall and leaves.
About that whole license thing, Randy said he would arrange it soon.
After the chengguan talked with Randy, both parties shook hands politely.
Residents are buying breakfast from Randy’s stand.
Over 10,000 netizens joined in the online discussion over the issue.
One web user named 今生 said: “I am not gonna say anything about the chengguan but the laowai only. Look at him, he wears one plastic glove. How many Chinese people can do that?”
User 淡定 said: “Oh, it turns out chengguan fear laowai! They shakes hands with laowai. If he was a farmer, they would probably beat him to death.”
User 童眼 commented: “Foreigners often strive for excellence and keep improving. But Chinese people often cut corners and try all means to make most profits at the sake of losing others’ interest.”
By Lucy Liu
[ Images via Tencent News ]