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China: Banning Shanzhai Culture?

Ni ping (倪萍), a famous CCTV host actress and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) put forward a suggestion for banning “Shanzhai phenomena” (山寨現象) in the recent CPPCC meeting.

The term Shanzhai becomes popular last year when a netizen, Lao Meng, decided to hold a Shanzhai Spring Festival Gala online. However, because of unknown pressure, the venue booking for the event was cancelled and the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) demanded all media stop reporting on Shanzhai Gala.

However, Shanzhai culture continues to move on. As the CCTV Consumer TV program, March 15 Gala (3.15 晚會), is approaching, a Hunan rights activist, Zhang Hongfeng (張洪峰), has decided to hold a March 15 Shanzhai Gala. Zhang said that he will release a people's investigation on fake consumer product in the Shanzhai Gala. (via people.com.cn)

Ni Ping's proposal to block Shanzhai culture and phenomena seems to provide more official legitimacy for blocking the above initiatives. In the past few days, Ni's proposal has become a hot topic and drawn a lot of debate and discussion in the past few days.

The term Shanzhai has several meanings various from armed mountain village, to small home-based factory, to copycat production. Ni Ping stressed that she referred to Shanzhai as copycat production, however, since she has been acting as the host of CCTV's Spring Festival Gala, her definition of copycat is in question (as Shanzhai Gala is far from a copycat production). Moreover, as recent anti-smut campaign has turned into political censorship, anti-Shanzhai campaign can become another threat to online free speech and expression.

According to local news report, Ni Ping has put forward 7 suggestions to stop Shanzhai's culture in the CPPCC meeing, and she said (via Tianya forum):

我是坚决反对山寨文化的,我认为法律上应该对此有明确规范。现在的年轻人都被所谓的‘山寨文化’影响得很厉害,认为这就是‘草根文化’的代表。但到底什么是真什么是假,什么是真善美什么是假恶丑,我们应该给年轻人更健康的教育。

I am determined to oppose Shanzhai culture and in my opinion, the law should have clear regulation on this. Nowadays, young people are seriously affected by the Shanzhai culture, they have the idea that this is the so-called “grassroots culture”. However, we should give our young people a healthy education on what are the genuine and what are the fake, what are true and beautiful, what are false and ugly.

“山寨”这个风刮得太猖獗了,网上到处都是,遍地泛滥,尤其很多未成年人都能上网,他们不知道哪个是真的哪个是假的。“山寨文化”假的多、复制的多、盗版的多。最可怕的是所谓的“山寨”都打着民间文化与草根的旗号,但干的完全不是一样的事情,很多都是盗版、造假。

The fashion of “Shanzhai” is too fierce, you can find it all over the internet. Now that many young people can go online, they don't know what are the genuine and what are the fake. A majority of “shanzhai culture” are fake, copycat and pirated production. What is more terrible is the fact that all these “shanzhai” productions are claimed to represent grassroots culture, but in reality, they are just pirated and copycat productions.

明星被“山寨”不是最重要的,关键是“山寨”中有很多盗版,所以要反对“山寨”文化和“山寨现象”,要从法律上和行政上采取手段,立法制止,同时从舆论上给予制止。

Popular stars being “shanzhai-ed” (meaning reproduced) is not a major problem. The issue at stake is piracy. In order to stop “shanzhai” culture and “shanzhai phenomena” we have to apply legal and administrative method, through legislation and through creating public opinion.

Below is a selection of reactions in the Tianya's post:

Gongzhoufu:

倪大妈还是管管自己刚割的‘山寨双眼皮’吧!

Madame Ni should care more about her newly cut “Shanzhai double eyelid”.

Kylelove:

这就是屁眼当代表的表现之一啊,保就业?她就不知道中国的山寨商家养了多少人,明显的两个相反的提案也好意思往上提.

This is a most typical performance of a asshole representative. To save employment? She doesn't know how many workers Shanzhai factories have employed. How can she suggest something that will result in completely opposite effect.

kewell2002:

呵呵~~山寨和盗版明显是两回事~~
  封杀ADIDSA容易~~封杀山寨春晚难哦~

Shanzhai and piracy are two different issues.
It is easy to kill ADIDSA, but it would be difficult to kill Shanzhai Spring Festival Gala.

好江山的人 Great country people:

倪萍呀,你别担心呀,从来就不会有人山寨你呀!
  
百家争鸣,百花齐放的道理都不懂吗?
  
你太CCTV了!

Ni Ping, don't be worried, no one will Shanzhai you
How come you don't even understand the principle of let thousand flowers bloom.
You are too CCTV!

你很低俗 You are vulgar:

我们山寨了西方民主,不过西方民主也山寨了我们周朝的共和。我们山寨了洋牌手机,我们山寨了核武器,但是我们不能山寨春晚。

We have shanzhai western democracy, but western democracy has shanzhai our Zhou Dynasty republic. We have shanzhai western mobile phone, we have shanzhai's nuclear weapon, but we cannot shanzhai Spring Festival Gala.

春心曉夢 Spring morning dream:

现在的代表呀,把吃饭拉屎的屁事都提了,可没有一个够胆提议如何惩治贪污腐败的问题,不知道他们代表的是谁?!

Nowadays, the representatives can only made suggestions on rice and shit, no one dare to suggest measure against corruption. I wonder who are they representing?

xxhujun:

当年国军是正规军,共军是真正的“山寨”军哦!

In our history, the national army is regular army, while the community army are the “Shanzhai” army!

百萬夢想 million dreams:

封吧,以后不叫山寨,叫牛寨,或天寨,换个称呼罢了 

Go ahead and block, let's not call it Shanzhai then, we can name it Nuzhai, Tianzhai, anything will do.

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