Women in ancient China were told that drinking hot mercury would prevent pregnancy. Which is kind of true, since drinking mercury can lead to organ failure and death, so those women definitely wouldn’t be carrying a child anytime soon.
Chinese people born in the year of the dragon are actually less successful on average because parents try to have children during these years and it causes increased competition for limited university spots.
Number 4 is considered an unlucky number in China because it is nearly homophonous to the word “death” (pinyin sǐ). In a study of five years’ worth of real estate sales in the greater Vancouver area, researchers found that houses in Chinese neighborhoods with an address containing a 4 sold for an average of $8,000 less than their luckier counterparts.
Many unlicensed dog sellers in China perform DIY plastic surgery on sickly runts to make them resemble expensive breeds. The dogs are given painkillers and stimulants to appear active and healthy before sale. Most die within seven days. Licensed sellers dub the unfortunate animals “week dogs.”
A Chinese millionaire began selling cans of fresh air for $0.80 a can in response to China’s worsening air pollution. He made over $6 million dollars in a 10 month period.
In China, women who remain unmarried until their late 20s are given the term “leftover women”.
China is creating a car-free city from scratch: “Great City will be built around a high-rise core housing 80,000 people, entirely walkable, and surrounded by green space.” It designed to use less water, create less waste and generate less carbon dioxide than a normal city.
In just two years – 2011 and 2012 – China produced more cement than the US did in the entire 20th century.
Police in Chinese city of Shenzhen have come up with a novel “eye for an eye” method of punishing drivers who misuse their headlights and dazzle other road-users. Anyone doing so will be made to stare at the police’s own full-beam headlights for five minutes.
Breathing the air in Beijing is equal to smoking 21 cigarettes a day in health effects.
During the Qing Dynasty in China, emperor Qianlong was able to cancel taxes four times during his reign because the imperial treasury was so full.
Because the Russians did such a great job embalming Lenin, the Vietnamese flew Ho Chi Minh’s corpse to Russia once a year for a “refresh.”
To preserve the harvest, Mao Zedong had all sparrows killed (along with rats, flies and mosquitoes) because they ate grain. The result was an ecological disaster that resulted in the birds’ natural prey devouring the harvest.