CHINA

A nightclub owned by the police?

To wish luck to a new business in China, messages are offered inscribed on red banners. But when the business in question is a nightclub and the well-wishers are the local police, neighbours start asking questions. Read more...

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To wish luck to a new business in China, messages are offered inscribed on red banners. But when the business in question is a nightclub and the well-wishers are the local police, neighbours start asking questions.

The club recently opened in Liuzhou, one of the main cities of Guangxi province (south). It's customary in China for family and friends to offer red banners, hung across the windows, to wish success to the owners of the hotel or restaurant. But on Chinese discussion forums, web users are dumbfounded as to the motives behind this banner - why would the police send their well wishes to the owner of a nightclub?

The photo has been circulating the Chinese web and was posted in an article on Boxun, a site specialised in human rights in the country. The reaction online says a lot about Chinese web users' confidence in their police force.

"A club can't open without being associated with the police "

One of our Observers for China, Anna Zyw, has put together comments posted on various forums.

On Wangyi (Netease): "Police and club-owners are always connected".

"It's either police officers or officials who've opened this club".

On The Third Media: "This is a real disgrace, it's corrupt. Why is this alliance between officials and businesses so frequent?"

On Hongdou (Kidney Bean): "It's normal, it happens all the time".

"Is it the actual police or government who've bought these banners, or was it just individuals who happened to be the police?"

On Beiqingwang (Youth Net, part of the MySpace group): "The owner must have police in his family".

On Red Net: "It's normal in China."

"What's the point of making such a big deal out of nothing?! It doesn't matter if they hang up their banners or not, a club can't open without being associated with the police anyway".

"Yes, but this time they're making a point of it. At least before it was hidden".

The Liuzhou club