Over the past decade China saw rapid economic expansion. But its growth model and controversial politics have not come without their fair share of problems.
Rising property prices, rising food prices, restrictions on investment, an emphasis on speed over safety, and lax environmental standards have led to some truly unique and sometimes crazy situations in China.
Rich people build mountain villas on top of apartment buildings, local governments incentivise burials at sea, and people are pour their money into everything from walnuts to cockroach farms.
We identified 35 strange things that have happened in China.
'Ghost marriages' have traditionally been arranged for young men who died before they could wed. But four men decided to sell 10 corpses without the consent of any of the families and pocketed 240,000 yuan ($39,000).
China lied about the little girl who sang 'Ode to the motherland' at the Beijing Olympics. Yang Peiyi, the real singer, wasn't considered cute enough and Lin Miaoke was brought in to lip sync the song. The music director Chen Qigang told the AP: 'The audience will understand that it's in the national interest.'
Land prices have surged in China making graveyards expensive. With that in mind, some Chinese local governments give families financial incentives to scatter the ashes of their relatives at sea. Guangzhou offered $US160, while it was reported that in Wenzhou families were offered as much as $US1,290.
Land is at a premium in China, especially in big cities. And the wealthy have taken to building elaborate homes on top of apartment buildings in China. While some of these are sanctioned, many like the mountain villa were not and the owner was asked to tear it down.
The Chinese government announced a 20 per cent tax on profits from home sales. But couples with more than one home have been getting divorced, taking one property each, and then selling one of the homes tax free, to take advantage of loopholes.
Yang Jing, a matchmaker at Diamond Love and Marriage looks for women and sometimes men at shopping malls. Wealthy Chinese pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to 'love hunters' like Jing to find their 'ideal spouse,' according to The New York Times.
Cricket fighting is considered a sport in China and those that are serious about cricket fighting spend time on breeding and training. While most crickets cost between 10-50 yuan ($1.50 - $US8), they can go up to 10,000 yuan ($1,635).
Nearly six thousand dead pigs were found floating in the Huangpu river near Shanghai. The river water tested positive for porcine circovirus, which affects pigs but not humans. For now officials say the water is still drinkable.
James Joyce's 1939-book 'Finnegan's Wake' became a surprise bestseller. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian at the University of California, Irvine, attributed this to a sudden interest in books that were once banned by the Communist Party.
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