China Pirates Village

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A Chinese property developer which secretly copied a famously picturesque Austrian village and then began rebuilding it in China is under criticism.

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So famed is Austria’s Alpine village of Halstatt (population: 900) for its scenic beauty and rustic architecture that it has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has also become a major tourist trap.

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Such is the village’s popularity amongst easily impressed East Asian tourists, and Chinese ones in particular, that one enterprising Chinese property developer decided to copy the entire village and rebuild it as an upscale housing development and tourist attraction alongside one of China’s famously pristine lakes.

Construction on the Chinese version of the village began in April, in Guandong near Hong Kong’s internal border with China.

The developer describes it as “surrounded by mountains with mountain and lake views,” and built “in a European architectural style, with a commercial street built with the characteristics of an Austrian-style town.”

Visiting press describe the construction site’s surroundings in less optimistic terms: “there was not an alpine peak in sight and the waters of a nearby lake, apparently the faux Lake Hallstatt to be, were green and murky. Instead of mirroring majestic alpine mountaintops, several dead fish floated on the surface.”

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In addition to being a physical replica, developers say the site will copy the touristic core of the village down to shops selling “Austrian-style” glass crystal souvenirs.

Interestingly, as well as appealing to rich Chinese, the developers hope the site will be appealing to “Caucasian people living in Hong Kong who are homesick” – most Caucasians of course hailing from Austrian villages.

The actual business of copying the village was secretly accomplished without the knowledge or consent of village residents, and only came to the attention of village residents when a Chinese person working on the project accidentally revealed the scope of the plan.

The developers claim there will be no problems with “so-called intellectual property,” but seem to have taken precautions anyway – the plans to the copy village have all been subjected to mirror-image reversal.

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Halstatt’s mayor claims to been “stunned” to learn of the wholesale piracy of an entire village, but as the project was already well underway by the time he learnt of it, he says there was nothing he could do – not that it can be imagined the Chinese would care in any case.

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Not all Halstatt’s residents are so diplomatically supine – a local hotel owner whose 400-year-old establishment was copied and is now under construction in faraway China is none too pleased:

“I don’t like the idea of knowing that a team was present here for years measuring, and photographing and studying us. I would have expected them to approach us directly, the whole thing reminds of a bit of Big Brother is watching.

This house is my personal work of art. And then someone comes here and copies it, for me, it’s as if a painter copies someone else’s artwork.”

She says most other residents are “outraged, not about the fact but the approach.” However, as there is apparently nothing anyone can do about China, they instead cling to the hope that some visitors to the fake version will be more minded to visit the Austrian original.


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    251 Comments
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    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    18:09 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    so how long till it explodes ?

    Avatar of The Kiss
    Comment by The Kiss
    18:15 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    'How big will the explosion be?'

    Fixed it for you. No thanks needed.

    Comment by Black Mage
    06:31 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I say maybe about half a kiloton or similar to a M388 Davey Crockett.

    Avatar of Hayate
    Comment by Hayate
    19:32 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    no thanks indeed, since it will be big...

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:55 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    if foxconn is one of this project sponsors don't worry this village will be vanished from the map

    18:29 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    When someone buys a watermelon.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    20:15 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Nah. Why wait for watermelon? Just sit in any chair and it'll explode in a chain reaction.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:56 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    i imagine a lot of people in China die while eating watermelons sitting on chairs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:00 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    when they make a watermelon farm there is better...

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    03:51 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe outside cloned town, but in the inside they make soy with human hair and redisual waters, or killing kittens by sitting on them, or making rustic african style Japanese gundams.
    China you got lol'ed.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    19:27 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably Fun

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    02:47 19/06/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    -sigh- China....

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:52 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    speechless or rather totally expected.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    02:08 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    so a state owned news group criticizes a state owned construction firm for doing a piss poor job?

    oh China~

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just burn it down.
    With lemons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:31 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    +internets for an awesomely timed portal reference.

    Avatar of S|e|7|e|N
    Comment by S|e|7|e|N
    16:50 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Ctrl + C
    Ctrl + V

    Presto!
    Village

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:30 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You're supposed to "Ctrl + A" first.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:26 18/06/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I don't want to copy the universe...

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:53 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    you forgot the "Print Screen" then open paint "Ctrl+V"

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    19:37 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Crl + Alt then Delete that's more better than seeing that place... Start over again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That didn't stop China with the "Blue Screen" non-stop.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:18 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    earth MKII

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:17 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You forgot to invert it in the middle there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:21 21/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    jajajajjajaja agree

    Avatar of Hayate
    Comment by Hayate
    19:06 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    thats definitely what they do,
    and u know what? since they do it that way, it easy for 'alt + f4' to happen too

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:01 18/06/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I'll try to be objective here instead of going the typical China bashing spamming here at Sancom.

    But serioulsy? "appealing to rich Chinese"?
    ProTip: Rich Chinese usually moves OUT of China, cause they got the money. Why bother going to some place fake if they're wealthy enough to visit/move to the real location instead? Country generally welcomes rich people to move there and spend their money anyway.

    Also, there are plenty of picturistic old timy Chinese towns around. Many of them too were declared as world heritage sites. Instead of trying to copy something foreign, why not just focus on what they know the best and build up the infrastructure of these already existing town instead? They would surely be better off than 2nd grade knockoffs at least.

    Finally, with many undismissible signs of the Chinese housing market going bubblfied. Extra risky (not to mention stupid) ventures like these should be best be avoided.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:24 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    My guess is they want to give a taste of "foreign culture" to Chinese people who are wealthy enough to travel within China but not wealthy enough to go outside the country.

    Not to mention they ensure all money stays inside the country.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    19:35 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah I guess their replica of the building won'nt last long because... China Quality!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:13 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You touch on a subject regarding China's ingrained copycat mentality that I don't see mentioned quite often enough: I fear all of this may come at the cost of China's own cultural inheritance.

    Soon maybe all that will be left of its culture may be old buildings and museum pieces, with a modern day Chinese identity being practically nonexistent (aside from its loathsome, inhumane commercial industry and government).

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:55 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    you don't exactly love one pic for over 20 years so this is expected. they're Chinese after all...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:43 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really don't think it matters. Why the outrage over copying a village? Even if they did visit that village just to copy it, who cares? Good ideas and designs spread and this is just proof that someone out there liked the village enough to copy it. I'd be flattered if someone liked my house enough to build a copy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:41 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    You haven't been here long I take it? SanCom users outrage at anything. Some users love to target certain things to outrage about. This time it's China so expect to see some users to outrage and bash whenever possible. You'll quickly find the haters and racists.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:04 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You two must be Chinese. Because only the Chinese themselves would defend something as ridiculously retarded as this, or China's cheapass piracy culture in its entirety.

    Fuck off and go jump off a bridge.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:39 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anon 03:10

    Clearly you missed the obvious sarcasm. Try again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:10 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    /You must be an ignorant American, because only Americans come out with stupid logic like this right?/

    The irony. It is delicious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:33 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    A bridge made out of trash, while you're at it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:49 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anon 22:04
    You must be an ignorant American, because only Americans come out with stupid logic like this right?....Yeah carry on making the rest of us Westerners look like retarded racists.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:51 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe they don't wanna hear people talking in this annoying australian accent... Also, most old people in China don't know a word in english

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:59 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Yes, because Austria and Australia are the same thing... Dumb fuck.

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    18:20 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @1:53

    Well I don't know? Just mean me like Japan,like everything Japan(Except Ishihara)and would like to live in Japan(I also know how hard it is there too!) Why in the world would being a Weaboo equal to being racist? Man maybe you just hate the World too much. But as for me and I'm not that smart but I know for a fact I'm not Racist. If that's being contradictory to YOUR dictionary than please feel free to rewrite it THANKS TO ME,MYSELF, and SO HEAVENLY I!

    PS. I don't hate CHINESE people but can you blame me if they keep doing S**t like this Pffft hahaha

    PSS Koreans never cared really! Why?

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    19:55 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @18:59

    Anon used spelling
    +1

    Epic Fail "Maid" my day
    On another note let's not go to discriminating people just because they don't know English that's about as low as one can get along with racism.

    I mean Weaboo that I am, I don't mind desperately leaning Jap

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    18:19 21/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @21:00

    Hmm yes I'll admit I was wrong, and I was exaggerating a bit with my reply, when I said "everything" I didn't mean "everything" I wouldn't go so far as to call myself Japanophile. Just a lot of hate floating around is all it was.

    I surrender! X3

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:00 19/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Diemeow23

    You call yourself a Weaaboo yet have no idea what it means...Look it up. If you like everything in Japan or anything related you're not a Weeaboo. You're a Japanophile. Weeaboo's only obsess over Anime/Manga and through this medium they believe they know and understand everything Japanese. Being a Weeboo makes you a racist if you bothered to look up what it means. They pride themselves in emulating the Japanese all the way down to hating the same things they do. They think anyone not Japanese is inferior in every sense of the word.

    You need to get your terms right.

    Comment by Anonymous

    @Diemeow23

    Wait...are you contradicting yourself?

    If you're a weeaboo, then you pretty much enjoy being racist to anyone not Japanese. More specifically the Chinese and Koreans. Yet you talk about not descriminating aginast other people? You lost me...

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:08 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    dude do u even know where austria is?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:01 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Since when do Austrian people talk in Australian accents? I'm sure your accent is much more annoying than any Australian one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:53 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't they speak German there?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:21 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No its chinese, lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:34 20/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, we do. Although the Germans tend to disagree =)

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:53 18/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kind of, it got some words different but it is basicly like the difference between uk english and us english.








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