Beijing, Mrs. Li


Mrs. Li is from Hebei. She has been a rickshaw driver in Beijing’s Jiang Tai area for 10 years.  With her three-wheeler she makes a business as a private taxi. The government has announced this business illegal many years ago, but you can find these taxis anywhere in Beijing outside the 3rd ring road. There are no standard charges, but usually the fare is much cheaper than a normal taxi.


We meet Mrs. Li around 4 pm. She has made 90 RMB so far today. Sometimes, she says, she makes less that 100 RMB a day.


Ever since the rickshaws have been banned, the police is hunting for illegal taxis. Mrs. Li tells that the police in the area know her well as she has been caught many times.


Every time she was caught, the “urban-management” police confiscated her motor. According to Mrs. Li, the motor costs her 10,000 RMB. Thus, she has to beg them to give her motor back. Since Mrs. Li’s husband is disabled, the police would always return her motor after giving her a fine of 1,000 RMB.


Mrs. Li tells that she gets along very well with her husband, who has been disabled ever since an injection damaged his nerves when he was a kid. Having to take care of two children, one is five and the other is eight, Mrs. Li is not able to take a regular full-time job.


Commenting on her cat-and-mouse game with her illegal taxi and the police, she says: “I have no choice, I just need to earn as much money as I can.”




Nanjing, Fruit Peddler


We meet a woman selling fruit, like mangoes and peaches, along the road. She does not want to be photographed. According to her, if the photos of her are uploaded to the web and found by the police, she may be easily recognized by them and cause trouble for her.


Every day at 7:00 a.m. she goes to a wholesale market to purchase fruit. After that she always goes to the same place on a street in the center of Nanjing to sell her fruit from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Then she will go home, as about that time the police (*) will start to patrol in the area. Once she was found by the police peddling along the road and all her fruit was confiscated. She adds that the police do not accept any fees that would allow her to sell her fruit. The profit she makes in one day is around 50 RMB.


Other peddlers surround us soon, laughing at her shyness and trying to persuade her to be photographed. One middle-aged man complains to us: “See the people in that institute coming here in their BMW? They belong to the upper class of the society and they own whatever they want. However, people like her, who are among the lowest class, have nothing but a small business to support the family. The government can entitle the elites to expensive cars, cheap houses, and many other things, but allows no space for these people to make a living. Is it fair? ”


(*) Actually it is not the police she is referring to, but we could not find a better translation for it. The woman is referring to certain people who patrol in urban areas, supported by the municipal government, to chase out peddlers, confiscate their goods and even beat them. Their excuse to do so is to maintain order and a “good face” of the city.



Beijing, Community Security


The police and the residents work hand in hand to create a safe community

The Community Security will serve you



Xinyuanli Police Station, Chaoyang Sub-Bureau of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau



Name: Gao Ruilin

Mobile Phone number of the community security:  13801028350

Call the police: 010-64674086   010-64674294




Tips from the police

(in Chinese all sentences do rhyme at the end; it sometimes looks a bit odd when translated )

Close the door and the windows, double check before leaving your house;


Ask for information of whoever knocks at the door, be cautious when suspicious;


Register when rent out a room, the background of visitors will be clear;


Be careful about water, electricity and gas, never be careless regarding leakages.


Bear in mind how to guard against fraud; the tricksters practice fraud with four tricks:

Hi-tech, money, false “prestigious doctors” and exchanging dollars;


Artful talks, intoxication, fortune-making and calamity prevention are outdated tricks.