Bike Battle Hits Beijing Streets
(Featured image) After last year’s car-hailing wars, in which Didi Chuxing comprehensively defeated American rival Uber, the latest battle for Beijing’s streets is being fought by the bike-sharing companies. In the yellow corner, local start-up Ofo currently has the most cycles on the street, but Mobike, its rival in orange, boasts a smart app which lets you find nearby bikes and has an English interface. Bluegogo is the plucky underdog. While they struggle for supremacy there are plenty of bargains for the user, but there are also rumors of dirty tricks, with rivals’ bikes being vandalized or dumped in canals. Still, whichever one you use, it’s a handy and healthy way to get home from the subway station.
Cook for Hope
Beijing’s favorite charity cook-off returns on April 27, as Cook For Hope takes place at the Green T House. Money raised will go toward vital heart surgery for nine-month-old baby Han, and one of the judges is our very own Pauline van Hasselt, who’s a trained chef as well as an intrepid reporter for beijingkids! Check our website for information about tickets and other ways you can get involved.
We Don’t Hate Peppa Pig, Beijing Insists
Confusion reigns over rumored controls on the publication in China of foreign picture books for children. In March South China Morning Post reported publishers as saying they had been told to reduce the number of translated books they published, although the order was not made public. Perhaps officals were stung by the international furor that followed, because denials quickly followed. Two articles in Global Times, often used as a mouthpiece for government policy, claimed the rumors had been invented by foreign media to make China look bad. However, it’s certainly true that Taobao has banned the sale of imported books, DVDs, and video games without permits. So if your little ones are addicted to Peppa Pig, it might be a good idea to stock up now.
Pinterest Pinned by the Great Firewall of China
Our eyes have been turned to many WeChat moments and chat flurries of outrage after Pinterest, the never-ending well of creativity, hits the dust in the recent blocking tirade in China. We don’t know why exactly Pinterest has been blocked, since it’s been an unscathed source of inspiration for many, including us here at beijingkids. But our guess is that it has to do with Pinterest’s recent acquisition of Jelly Industries, a search-engine company. Jelly was co-founded by Biz Stone, who happened to also co-found Twitter and Medium. These platforms are also blocked in a sort of Chinese government boycott against Biz Stone’s belief that Chinese laws are “antithetical to [Twitter’s] whole way of doing things.”
Babytree and Fisher-Price to Create Early Learning Platform
Beijing-based parenting website Babytree has signed a deal with American toymaking giants Mattel, to develop an early childhood online learning platform. Babytree was founded ten years ago by a former Google executive, and has become known as “the Facebook for Chinese parents,” with over nine million registered users. They will team up with the Fisher-Price brand, which produces toys including “Thomas and Friends,” to create a platform which “will host a wealth of resources for families, including child development assessment tools and customized parenting content and development curriculum, to enable many parenting styles and address the unique development paths of their child.”
Harmony and Steve
by Jin Chan Yum Wai
Photos: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, US China News, and Courtesy of Weber Shandwick, Cook for Hope, and Vanessa Jencks