20 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About China

If you look at the history of China, it’s no surprise that they make everything nowadays. They’ve been making everything since the dawn of time. China invented nearly all useful products of modern man, including paper, gunpowder, the compass, the printing press and even pasta and ketchup. Odds are, if you think you came up with something original, better check China because they probably did it years ago.

And why wouldn’t they? They have nearly 1.4 BILLION people over there. There are so many people that somebody is bound to think of everything eventually. Thousands of millions of people means millions of ideas. And millions of ideas means thousands of very strange ideas. At some point, those strange ideas gained support, and turned into trends, which turned into routines in China.

Not to say that what we do isn’t weird to them. Surely they would laugh at the idea of eating a half-pound hamburger for lunch. That’s enough meat to feed a large family the entire day in China. The Chinese would laugh at our education structure too, especially math. What, your first-graders haven’t mastered multiplication? Whatever happened to discipline?

But, hey, stereotypes aside, people are just people. We have more in common than not, and with the planet virtually shrinking every minute, we’re practically neighbors. We should try to accept our differences. But sometimes, it’s just too much-- offensive, disgusting and unbelievable. Here’s the ultimate China facts list that will blow your mind.

20 Millions Live In Caves

via en.wikipedia.org

In Yanan, Shaanxi, China, is just about smack dab in the middle of the country. In 1936 it was the birthplace of the Communist Revolution. Yanan is also home to 30 million people who live in underground caves. Many caves have been passed down generations, while others are up for rent at $30 a month. When one goes up for sale, which is rare, they sell for about $45,000. Like any neighborhood, homes vary, and some are much fancier than others. Fewer homes are updated with electrical and plumbing, and all are naturally energy efficient, cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Even Xi Jinping, China’s new progressive Paramount Leader, once lived in a cave of Shaanxi province.

19 Thousands Of Executions

via searchmap.eu

China executes so many criminals that they even have mobile execution vans to assist prisons. The exact number of executed is unclear, since records are kept secret, but the estimates are in the thousands, far more than all other countries in the world combined (USA had 28 in 2015). The reason for such high numbers, besides sheer size of population, involves the inclusion of non-violent crimes as means for execution, including drug trafficking, adultery and corruption. For years China administered death by firing squad, and still does, but lethal injection is now the primary method.

18 Breathing There Is Like Chain-Smoking

Ever see pictures of Chinese walking around with surgeon masks on? Well maybe some folks are worried about catching a cold, but many others just don’t want to breathe the air. Chinese air is filthy. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day has the same effect on your health as breathing the air in Beijing. Along with the Great Wall of China, the country’s air pollution can also be seen from space. The smog drifts across the globe and accounts for nearly a third of San Francisco’s air pollution. The water is toxic too, and it’s estimated that 90% of China’s drinking water in contaminated.

17 Worst Traffic Jam Ever

There are way too many people in China and therefore way too many cars. In August of 2010 they had the biggest traffic jam ever along the Beijing-Tibet expressway. The jam stretched across 62 miles, lasted ten days, and took up to five days to traverse. Luckily there is an escape though. In China you can actually call someone to pick you up in a motorcycle and take you where you need to be. Meanwhile the pick-up service also provides someone to drive your car through the jam while you’re gone. Seems they’ve thought of everything. Even on walking trails there’s a separate lane for smartphone users to text as they clumsily walk.

16 Chinese Police Geese

via weirdasianews.com

China has the most people, so naturally they have the largest army. Yet they have the second highest annual military budget in the world at a reasonable $200 billion, compared to USA’s astounding $600 bIllion. One way the Chinese military pinches its pennies is by using very old fashioned methods, like fitting uniform collars with protruding pins that poke a guard’s neck if he falls asleep. Along with dogs, China also employs geese to do police work. The big birds are loud, brave and have a keen sense of sight and hearing. China has also trained 10,000 messenger pigeons to carry-out military correspondence if modern technology should fail.

15 Reincarnation is Outlawed

via youtube.com

If you listen to the Beastie Boys, you’ve probably heard of the Tibetan Freedom Concert, but probably don’t know too much about the conflict. Basically, China occupied Tibet in 1950, suppressed the Tibetan culture, and forced their leader, the Dalai Lama, to exile in India. To further spite Tibet, communist Chinese leaders passed an absurd law to ban the reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhist monks. After starring in the 1997 flick Seven Years In Tibet, Brad Pitt wasn’t even allowed in the country for over 15 years. Other odd laws include elder visitations: a family must regularly visit any family member over 60.

14 Rentable Girlfriends

If you are getting married, or know someone who has lately, you may have heard about these super cheap wedding dresses online that are sold directly from China. A $2,000 dress can be purchased for like $150. But brides must order way ahead of time, and good luck getting a refund. The dress markup goes to show how much profit is made off of clothing, because stuff in China is dirt cheap. It’s estimated that 100 million Chinese live off of less than a dollar a day. And room and board isn’t the only thing that’s cheap, “girlfriends” can be rented for mere $30 a week.

13 More Christians Than Europe?

Due to the unmatched population surplus, there are actually more practicing Christians that worship in China than in the whole of Europe. In less than 15 years it is estimated that the number of Chinese Christians will surpass the USA. Impressive since less than 10% of Chinese people consider themselves members of an organized religion. Another 6% consider themselves atheists. Other popular religions in China include Taoism, Buddhism, Traditional, Confucianism and Islam.

12 Degree in Bra Studies

There are many dudes who saw lots of bras in college, but none of us actually received a degree for our research. At Hong Kong Polytechnic University you can actually get a degree in Bra Studies. It’s no doubt that China is the top exporter of goods in the world, so a textiles related degree isn’t actually that far fetched. Datang, Zhuji, China, also known as Sock City, produces over 8 billion socks per year, so Bra City must be pretty close by. But don’t go rushing off to China for that sweet degree just yet, there’s an actual Chinese law stating that you must be intelligent to attend college.

11 Baby Regulation Extremes

via swissinchina.blogspot.com

Of all the crazy laws that reign over China the most infamous one concerns offspring. From 1980 to 2015 there was a law that allowed only one child per family. With concerns of an aging population and hopes of a surge in the economy, the allowance was recently increased to 2 kids. Since Chinese society is quite bigoted, everybody wants a boy, and the girls get literally tossed aside. It’s estimated that China performed over 9 million abortions per year, compared to USA’s one million. During the 35 years of the one-kid policy, China estimates over 400 million abortions were performed. Families still must apply for permission to have kids. On a lighter note, China isn’t a big fan of diapers. So once those kids are allowed, they poop anytime and everywhere.

10 Time Is Majorly Skewed

The landmass of China is relatively similar to that of the United States. The big difference is that China opted out of their 5 timezones idea, and now they only have one. That’s great if you go vacationing across the country and you’re wondering what time your favorite sitcom comes on, because no matter where you are, it’s the same time. What gets weird is the timing of when the sun hits the horizon. In some areas of China the sun doesn’t even rise until after 10am, which must make it super hard to get out of bed.

9 Urine-Boiled Eggs For Dessert

First of all, they do eat normal food too. Half the world’s swine population reside there. But they cut down about 20 million trees a year to make about 45 billion chopsticks to eat with. And they don’t just stop eating at pork. Try eggs boiled in the urine of virgin boys, yes, human males. It’s considered a delicacy. Chinese people also eat huge cockroaches served on a stick. They eat live baby mice whole, and duck embryos in the shell. If it exists, there’s somebody in China that will eat it. And you thought dog meat was gross.

8 Dogs Get Exotic Paint Jobs

via thedailybeast.com

Many of those pets lucky enough to not get eaten are humiliated worse than death. Hundreds of dogs are painted and made to look like tigers, zebras panda bears and rainbows. Some dogs have abstract swirls painted on their sides while others have big eyebrows and moustaches drawn on their faces. In 2013 a painted mastiff masqueraded as a lion in a zoo and fooled people for several days. Cats have escaped this humiliating fad for now. Or perhaps the painter tried to color a cat, but then he just got too hungry and ate it.

7 Women Are Treated Like Trash

via plus.google.com

Due to small families preferring boys over girls for their one allotted kid in the past 35 years, the boy to girl ratio is a bit off. In Jiangxi, a province of southeastern China there are 143 males for every 100 females. So the boys club of China demeans women like it’s no big deal. Chinese women are objects to be controlled and owned, and for them to hold a place in the professional world is laughable. Globalization has spread whispers of feminism, but women in China are still considered Shengnu, or leftover women, if not married by the age of 27. And when they do marry they’re expected to be virgins. If they’re not, there’s common hymen restoration surgery, for a bargain at $700.

6 Jacked-Up Real Estate

If you have a lot of people, then you’ll need a lot of homes, but China went way overboard with that idea. In 3 years, between 2011 and 2013, China poured more cement than the USA poured in the entire 20th century. They were building a new skyscraper every 5 days; that’s over 70 a year. China has 15 megacities! A megacity has at least 10 million people. Colossal NYC only has a population of 8.4 million. But at some point during China’s rapid urbanizing, the bubble unexpectedly burst. There are 64 million vacant homes, including entire cities which are totally vacant.

5 Rampant Birth Defects

In China there’s a baby that is born every 30 seconds with a birth defect, that’s an estimated 900,000 a year, which makes up 20% of defects worldwide. If you’ve read this entire list so far, this is very sad, but not a big surprise. With the amount of pollution in the air, and water contamination, you know that mother is constantly exposed to harmful chemicals. Then consider the food sources. If live baby mice are on the menu, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, is nowhere even close, so just imagine how many pigs are crammed into pens, living off antibiotics, eating each other’s poop and lord know what else. Chinese food regulations were improved last year but they still have a way to go.

4 Gamers Go to Rehab

via businessinsider.com

The Communist government of China has banned Facebook and Twitter. They also banned video game consoles like X-BOX; a ban that was just lifted in July 2015. The reason for the ban was a serious wave of what China considered videogame and internet addicts. Boot camps were established to wean the addict off the technology with some tough love. The camps resemble a cross between the military and prison, with individuals dressed in camo uniforms and taking orders, and then sleeping in a cell behind bars. But addiction is hard to break. Even with the social media restrictions in place, Facebook has over 95 million Chinese users. Other popular sites blocked in mainland China include Instagram, The New York Times, YouTube and Google.

3 Counterfeiting Kings

“I ask, cause I’m not sure. Do anybody make real sh!+ anymore?” - Kanye West.

Maybe Yeezus wrote that one after a trip to China-- the country that makes everything, including the stuff they’re not supposed to. Chinese government has tried to decrease the counterfeiting. In 2011 they shut down 13,000 factories and arrested over 3,000 people. 67% of counterfeit goods are made in China and they won’t give up easy, it’s a $250 billion a year business. And it’s all fun and games until 2009, when 81 Americans died from counterfeit blood thinner medication. A fake Gucci purse, go ahead, but make sure your baby rattle isn’t painted with lead.

2 Jail Time Is Bought

via npr.org

Every year in China 600,000 die from simply being overworked. The Chinese suicide rate is twice that of the USA. Life is not a pretty picture for millions of souls. So if some rich guy wants to pay you to serve his jail time for him, you might take him seriously. The ruse begins at the initial court hearing when the imposter shows up in place of the real criminal and the authorities simply turn a blind eye. And once you’re in jail, there is another way out. If inmates can invent something technologically viable, they can shorten their sentence. Here’s yet another opportunity for the corrupt cash game, and new inventions are purchased outside of prison, then leaked to those wealthy inmates who had somehow missed out on the prior scam.

1 The Annual Dog Meat Festival

via mirror.co.uk

We’ve all heard the disgusting stories about the Chinese eating our favorite pets and they’re totally true. In just one festival alone, to celebrate the summer solstice, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival goes through 10 to 15 thousand canines. Celebs like Gisele and Ricky Gervais have tried to stop the fest. Gervais even stated that he had no problem with people consuming dog meat, he just didn’t want the poor beasts skinned and butchered alive. Cats are food too, with an estimated 4 million eaten each year.


Sources: NYTimes.com, AmnestyUSA.org, BusinessInsider.com

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