Pictures of Shanghai subway, do outsiders ruin image of Shanghai?

| August 9th, 2010


The original post title on MOP was “Direct report of each Shanghai subway lines, YP compilation”.  What is YP? YP is an abbreviation for 硬盘 (Ying Pan: means hard drive) This slang is originated from KDS ( a Shanghai based (originally) computer forum, the user of the forum (Shanghainese) referred YP as all outsiders (外地人:waidiren) who supposedly are lower quality people than Shanghainese. The derivation was most popular hard drive brand being Western Digital, and WD is also the abbreviation for 外地 (Waidi) means outside or other places.

Shanghai being one of the most developed cities in China attracted hundred thousands of migrant population coming from everywhere else in China seeking better life and opportunities each year.  People of different social classes clashed in this world-class modern city.  “Out of place” scenes like the ones in this post often display in public places of Shanghai.  Shanghai locals blame the outsiders for ruining their city, they look down on the uneducated, uncivil, “lower quality” Waidiren.  Actually this inner racial (regional) discrimination has long been rooted in the society of Shanghai where Shanghainese are thought to be more superior than anyone else from other places of China.  Chinese people of other regions also criticize Shanghai locals being “racist”, conceded and egotistical. The constant battles between Shanghai locals and the YP are observed on the Chinese internet forums…

















72 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. xiao bai says:

    Plenty of these images are really not that ‘crazy’

    – shanghainese smoke everywhere (not only the waidiren)
    – whats wrong with sitting on a friend/partner if there are no other seats?
    – i see guys without shirt (or rolled up half way) everywhere in shanghai between may-oct, especially the old shanghainese in the Shikumen (these ppl are more shanghainese than the 20 year old little emperors/empresses on internet forums)

    I will admit that shitting inside the metro or on the platform is pretty insane, but men laying on the floor passed out drunk you can see every single night in the metro of London or Tokyo or Berlin for instance, so nothing shocking there really.

    How can you expect people coming from extremely rural towns into the metropol that Shanghai is without some adjustment problems? You want them to change? Start by thinking of ways how to help them adapt instead of only complaining.

    It makes me sick, all these chinese middle class that piss on the lower classes without wich there would be no middle class in the first place. The lower class builds the buildings and does the jobs they wouldn’t want to do. Its the same with immigration all around the world. The economy depends on them most to keep the wheels of society turning yet everyone above them thinks they are disposable and even unwelcome.
    Ridiculous hipocracy.

    • DEEPAK says:

      very well said sir

    • ShAdO says:

      Well said indeed.

    • SDS says:

      As right as you may be I think your message needs to be broadcast to places other than here since… well… most of us here one way or another don’t share such prejudices. In any case I doubt you will get through to certain middle-class since they are about as stubborn/arrogant as they complain of others to be.

    • lolz says:

      I don’t get how is this any different from the middle/lower class expats in China who always mock the Chinese and their way of doing things, all so that they can feel slightly better about themselves. Blogs like this one are full of such laowais, just look through the comments.

      On the other hand, mocking people and shaming them may just be a good way to change people’s behavior. After all, if laowais such as yourself think you are making positive steps to change China by bitching about certain topics, then why shouldn’t shanghai people think they are making positive steps to correct the country side folks’ behavior by bitching and mocking?

      The whole “upper class/middle class depends on the poor to survive” concept clearly is not popular in most capitalist nations. I can only imaging the poor in US or UK arguing this to raise taxes on the rich, they will get laughed out of the room. On a global level I don’t see how this is any different than rest of the world depending on countries like China to make cheap shit at extremely low costs in order to live more affordable lifestyles of their own. Yet that doesn’t stop rest of the developed world from mocking China to be a poor and uncivilized country.

      The true hypocrites are those who bash others but do not wish to be bashed themselves.

      • off topic bro says:

        Can you show me where is the laowais who think they are making a positive change in China by commenting on an english language blog?

        All I see are LZ’s with posts lambasting dumb waidiren. According to your definition and obvious defensive posts, Shanghainese are true hypocrites?

      • Al says:

        Poor and middle class groups in Western countries argue all the time for raising taxes on the wealthy, at one point in US history the wealthy were paying around 80% income tax. The idea that the upper classes depend on the lower classes to survive is not alien at all.

      • xiao bai says:

        Although this post is clearly about waidiren and not laowais…

        … I do fully agree on the ‘self-imagined-supremeness’ of laowai in shanghai, and how out of place it is. I think to a certain degree it has to do with a sense of post colonialism (even though mainland china’s colonial past is obviously very different from africa, south america or closer to home; hong kong) and western history education.

        You post a bit lower in this thread:
        “Clearly you haven’t really traveled to Canton but let’s talk about the real reasons why so many Laowais, especially english teachers types, hate Shanghai”

        Ok so, lols on the canton comment but this thing about english teacher types is dead on the money. I think that you are pretty right on the idea that indeed in shanghai, laowai (especially caucasians) are just not that special, though they do expect to be treated special. Why?

        I think first of all because many of them do make much more money that the chinese in their office/surrounding/social group. Ofcourse there are many many perversely rich chinese in shanghai, as in any world-financial-hub, so talking about them here dilutes the conversation.

        Secondly if you travel outside of shanghai/HK/BJ and a few other mega cities it is pretty incredible the way you are treated. I myself have travelled around a fair amount of major chinese holiday destinations as well as rural areas and unfailingly there are tons of chinese that kindly (usually) ask if they can make a picture with me/their baby/etc.
        This does make me feel special. However, I do understand why this happens and I try to think about it and not let it rise to my head, like many other laowais, unfortunately, do.

        Thirdly, laowais do get treated differently in shanghai, even by certain members of the public services. For instance, how often do you see a white guy/girl cross a red light on an electric scooter and the trafic warden doesnt even flinch, just to book the next first chinese to do so. I understand that they dont speak english and therfore want to save themselves a ton of work, misunderstanding and maybe even embarassment. But these kind of small everyday details add to the myth of being special.

        That said,

        I strongly disagree with you on the idea that
        “mocking people and shaming them may just be a good way to change people’s behavior”
        It lowers their selfesteem and therefore productivity and willingness to adapt and become more intertwined with their society, even if you take the chinese ‘face’ culture into consideration.

        The solution I believe to this is problem is one, and that is education. You need to educate people and reform the school system, which in many ways is still flawed in china. The same way education needs to be changed in the west to make laowai realise their place in the future of the world is not going to be on top anymore, or atleast, they wont be alone at the top anymore.

        However, in tough economic times, spending goes up on defence, and always comes down in education and culture, you know, the pillars of a society.

  2. At least those Waidiren don’t poke me in the eye with their umbrellas.

  3. Neirda says:

    When it came to basic politeness such as letting people out before getting in, I haven’t seen much difference between outsiders and shanghairen.

    • Schamotnik says:

      well, after all it’s about sitting down, we’re not talking about anything trivial here.

    • 在中国的一个 says:

      Letting ppl out first is not “proliteness” its just common sense. But then, after being in China for a while you notice that common sense is not as common as one might have thought.

  4. rldh says:

    Quite, when the Shanghainese can act ‘civilised’ themselves in their own city then they can talk about so-called ‘low-class’ waidiren. Shanghainese by far the rudest and most obnoxious people to be around in China, no more idea of queuing or basic manners than the nongmin from Nowheresville who at least have the excuse of knowing no better. And who are here, by the way, to build and service your city and let you lead your nice Shanghai middle class lifestyle. Shanghainese = Total A*holes.

    • SDS says:

      From my experience in Shanghai I would agree with you; although I’d hate to generalize 😛

    • lolz says:

      “Shanghainese by far the rudest and most obnoxious people to be around in China, no more idea of queuing or basic manners than the nongmin from Nowheresville who ”

      Clearly you haven’t really traveled to Canton but let’s talk about the real reasons why so many Laowais, especially english teachers types, hate Shanghai. The fact is that in China (and for the most part Asia) there are plenty of self-entitled Laowais (and this includes over-seas Chinese as well) who are expecting special treatments just because they are laowai. Well, in Shanghai just being Laowai won’t get you far. You have to actually be someone or have some kind of talent to standout in Shanghai. Needless to say, that does not go well with your average laowai who are used cut in front of the line, or getting treated like celebrities just because they are laowai. And then there is the envy; Your average Shanghai home owner, and there are millions of them, have higher networth than most of the laowais. Laowais don’t like to admit this but of course it hurts their egos.

      • gagi gagi says:

        Feeling a little defensive? I believe the article is addressing waidiren not waiguoren. I think your point is valid but the sense of entitlement that you claim foreigners feel is the same sense of entitlement that causes Shanghai people to discriminate against waidiren and maybe even waiguoren for that matter.

        • lolz says:

          As someone who was raised in Shanghai I don’t see why I wouldn’t be defensive against attacks which don’t have any merit.

          I would not equate the sense of entitlement by the Shanghai folks to the sense of entitlement which are characterized by laowai. Sure, some young punks in Shanghai may feel entitled just because they were born in Shanghai, but many of the Shanghainese who feel entitled feel this way because they worked their asses off living and continue to live in the most competitive city in China. It’s not an easy thing. Whereas most of the laowais feel entitled not because they have worked their asses off but because they are simply different than the locals.

      • Al says:

        So then Chinese people don’t cut in line?

      • rldh says:

        So your point is: there are too many loser laowais in Shanghai getting by just because they’re laowais, whereas in fact you need more than being a laowai to get by here. Contradiction, Mr Logic?

        Sorry that it hurts your national and city chauvinism, but fact is it’s still easy to get by here just on being a laowai, hence so many unqualified losers still head out here. And the fault for that lies (at least partly) with Chinese people. Why the cringing deference to people with big noses? Could it be deep-seated insecurity or fear that China still doesn’t match up? And could the recent antidote to that fear be the kind of adolescent chest-beating shown in your posts (and many millions of other little fenqing clogging up the internet)? Either way, cringing to bellowing, it’s all part of your tiresome growing up process, which sensible people on both sides should just walk by and ignore.

        And despite the fact you clearly assume that everyone posting here is a FOB whitey who needs schooling on all things Chinese, I’d like to ask how you explain the fact that all other CHINESE people hate the Shanghainese as much and probably more than the majority of laowais here. Hmm, let me guess: either you’ll put it down to envy and/or the fact that they are uneducated bumpkins who are even worthy to clean up your poo. Doesn’t explain all the Beijing intellectuals who rubbish the place (unfairly, as it happens), but I’m sure that won’t stop you.

        Seriously, everyone, Chinese or laowai, knows the equation: Shanghai = great city, horrible people / Beijing = horrible city, great people. If there was only some way to pick this place up by the outer ring road and shake all you up-your-own-asses, class-less, 暴发户 into the Huangpu and replace you with Chinese from anywhere else, this would be the perfect city. There’s more class and manners in any village in China than this whole place as is.

        • LOLZ says:

          “Sorry that it hurts your national and city chauvinism, but fact is it’s still easy to get by here just on being a laowai, hence so many unqualified losers still head out here. And the fault for that lies (at least partly) with Chinese people. ”

          Chinese, and I would Asians in general, tend to worship caucasians. That makes sense because much of the developed world is ruled by whites. Whites and other asians who think they are white (yourself, I presume?) thus came to expect to be worshiped by Chinese in China. In Shanghai that is a lot less so, which is why people such as yourself hate the city. See, you are helping me making my argument 🙂

          “I’d like to ask how you explain the fact that all other CHINESE people hate the Shanghainese ”

          I like how you suddenly became the voice of ALL OTHER CHINESE people. LOL.

          “If there was only some way to pick this place up by the outer ring road and shake all you up-your-own-asses, class-less, 暴发户 into the Huangpu and replace you with Chinese from anywhere else, this would be the perfect city. ”

          Ah, so much hate and you can barely contain yourself. Replace Shanghaiese with people from other parts of China? Ha. You do know that Shanghai is for the most part made up of people from other parts of China who came to the city within the last 3 or 4 generations right?

      • rldh says:

        Great Shanghai-style clincher at the end of your argument too. Shanghainese have more money than laowais, therefore we win/you suck. Says everything about this city you need to know: materialistic, money-obsessed, petty, competitive about things no one else is, and – and this is the killer – totally and wildly inaccurate. The product of growing up obsessed with nonsense in this self-regarding cesspool. Come friendly PLA bombs…

        • LOLZ says:

          “Great Shanghai-style clincher at the end of your argument too. Shanghainese have more money than laowais, therefore we win/you suck.”

          It appears that I have hit a nerve. No, Shanghai represents more opportunities than rest of the China, therefore you have have the best coming to Shanghai. The Shanghai mentality is simple: Modern Shanghai is built by people coming from all of China. All you need to do is to buy a piece of property and live there. If you can’t, well you just gotta work a little harder.

          Haters such as yourself will always hate, because you are mediocre. So Shanghai folks can be snobby, but what you tried to do in your original post was to out-snob them. I am simply calling you out. The country side people have their own reasons to hate Shanghai, and then there are laowais such as yourself who hate Shanghai because you wouldn’t be able to make it with your utter bullshit in a sea of other Laowais who for the most part will easily out bullshit you. You are upset because you are not just that special.

          • SDS says:

            Apart from the talk of laowais, I think what rldh was alluding to is the materialism/existentialism sported in Shanghai (not that I agree or disagree) which tends to enjoy, at least inadvertently, that image. The discrimination/chauvinist aspect is probably a different issue but I believe its somewhat tied to the fact Shanghainese people may have a more apparent pride in the wealth (etc.) they have accumulated much akin to the Western capitalist psyche. What rldh and others suggest, I think, is that Shanghainese people tend to take that pride to a more extreme level (like the Old English) that ostracizes virtually all others who are not ‘them’.

            Of course this is a bit of my own interpretation on what’s been said. Of course I’m not saying any other region is not guilty of similar discrimination (e.g. people from HK), so don’t get too worked up about it.

      • Ivan says:

        Your average Shanghai home owner, and there are millions of them, have higher networth than most of the laowais.

        And what’s the point of having a high networth and only being able to live in Shanghai. Not even gonna bovva, at cha!

  5. Manu says:


    it seems that what has been said in these posts may apply to Beijing too.

    Interesting !

  6. shenmeniao says:

    so is the guy between the escalators doing the slide down or taking a nap.
    and is that little kid…?

    Its no secret Shanghai people discriminate against outsiders. Its not going to change!

    In response to the headline…is the image of Shanghai really ruined?
    You want people, local or waidi, to stop smoking, shitting, lying on the floor of the subway…make rules, enforce them, fine people, create consequences…

  7. Crystal says:

    I think that Shanghai locals don’t need any “help” from outsiders to ruin their image 😉

  8. Korean Elite Force says:

    Stupid chinks are the worst. Teaching them how to be civilized is like teaching niggas to stay off crack. This is exactly why Korea should expel all chinks along with all of the euro trash and american white trash.

  9. Devin says:

    China has many people , also many types of them

  10. aishalllah says:

    haha dumb fuck.
    “foreign men you…IS smart”
    am i talking to some little korean slit eyed donkey here? not even sure i’m talking to a human. but you are korean anyway, so…

    why would anyone want to use disgusting fermented crap on anything, let alone your penis?
    that’s just sick. but you guys eat that stuff like you do dogs. oh shoot YOU SPELLED KIMCHI wrong LOL!!! i don’t think you’re korean at all, just……insanely gay.

    i already got your mom, you know – the one with the missing teeth that serviced all american G.I.’s during the K war?

    • Vasopressin says:

      Are you satirizing Chinese stupidity and hypocrisy? You don’t even know how to use uppercase letters much less write a coherent sentence. That fact that you have the nerve to whine about someones spelling is just baffling.

  11. st says:

    It’s pretty much like that in Hong Kong too.

  12. John says:

    What a bunch of pigs.

  13. xray says:

    Once awhile you need to rip one. What’s the big deal?

  14. aishalllah says:


  15. Mark says:

    Honestly, in terms of social behavior, HK and Chinese cities are not at all the same. HK people display (western) manners. You will not see people, old and young, rushing over each other for a seat, spitting on the floor, eating on the public transport, calling with a ridiculously loud voice.

    Both “foreign” and Shanghaiese people are doing this. IMO, inside-outside group labelings are like big carpets where you can sweep your own dirt under.

    And a word to the Korean moral knights here: in your society 25% of middle-aged suffer from depression. I suggest you use your youthful energy in cleaning up your own back yard.

  16. japboy says:

    this is chinky style^^ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋCHINESE=SAVAGES^^

  17. japboy says:

    chinese is always don’t wash dirty n smell terrible^^ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋCHINESE=CRIMINALS^^

  18. Good Grief, this only reminds me of the ruckus with John Rocker complaining about the New York Subway system a few years back.

  19. Lisa says:

    I understand that Shanghai-ers are very ego-centric in that they believe they are better than the rest of the Chinese people, but the term “outsider” in the title of the article seems a harsh doesn’t it?

    • Steven says:

      but that’s exactly how people call ’em.

      Same thing in Dongguan (part of Canton, or Guangdong province) as well.

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  22. American says:

    Interesting article, but not just people of Shagnhai who has a bad rep. I would say most of major cities China has rude and snobby people. They believe everything they do is correct, including their own bull sh*t pronouncation of the English language. The irony when I see f*gget little boys who think they can perform the same quality of hip-hop and rap music like Americans. In reality they sounds like broken microphones, who makes little or no sense. I always hear Chinese music with the exact same beats as Americans. What? can’t come up with your own originality? What a waste of air time. That’s why most Chinse singers directly from China cannot make it along with the rest of the world. They have to mimic and steal other nation’s style. Chinese music has the is one of the least appealing music next to Vietnamese.

    As for the Korean f*gs up there. You’re all born as ugly piece of sh*ts. That’s why all your famous stars has to get plastic surgery to cover their monstrosity. I guess Koreans can only sing in this world because they fail at everything else.

  23. voiceofhomer says:

    Lucky the west gets to see all these fun stuffs, in the USA it won’t be allowed.


    It is ILLEGAL to show these pictures on web.

    There are many photos like these in the US and Canada, but you cannot see them that’s because nobody will post them neither.

    Only way to see these kinds of pics is in anti China sites like this, what a pity.

  24. GeorgieM says:

    Shanghainese are far from perfect. I still see locals (not migrants) still rushing into train carriages before passengers can leave to make way for them. This is not only bad manners but just plain stupid.

    I still see lots of locals spitting. And talking very loudly. Or wandering around in PJ’s.

    So stop looking down on the migrants till you guys get your act together.

    Remember – the world is watching. And you are not fooling anyone.

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