China’s Pirated Village Opens

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China’s billion dollar “pirated” copy of the Austrian village of Hallstatt has finally opened, much to the annoyance of the inhabitants of the original, who still complain the Chinese copied their village in secret and never bothered to ask for permission.

The Austrian original, a centuries-old Alpine village designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO and a major draw for tourists, was secretly scouted and measured by agents of the property development arm of China Minmetals Corp.

The original:

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The made in China version:

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The developers planned the village, situated in Guandong province, in the hopes it would prove popular with both wealthy Chinese home buyers and tourists not interested in actually travelling to Europe, and report they spent some ¥940 million on the project.

Halstatt only found out their village was to be copied from the ground up when a Chinese “tourist” accidentally let slip details of the project.

The initial response was less than positive, but, perhaps sensing there is nothing he can do about it anyway, the mayor now talks up the prospect of Chinese tourism to the original and attended the recent opening of the copy, agreeing to institute cultural ties between the original and its clone:

“It was not so controversial. We were only surprised that a small village in Austria was built, and now we are very proud that it happened.”

Local tourism officials are also hoping the knock-off will encourage Chinese to visit the original:

“First we were a bit insecure. Why did it come to replicate Hallstatt, and then we became lucky and proud.”

Actual residents of the original do not seem convinced:

“I don’t think that it is a good idea. Hallstatt is just unique with its culture and traditions. You cannot copy that. I saw a report and the photos, and the copy seems different. In my opinion it is unacceptable.”

The Chinese reaction to the village’s opening seems equally mixed, although it seems likely the perilous state of China’s property market will be of rather more concern to developers and potential buyers than mere intellectual property concerns.


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    Comment by Anonymous
    16:22 06/06/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I honestly can't understand why they would go such length. There are plenty of old Chinese towns all over the country side that are well preserved with long and rich history (The ones that haven't been polluted at least.). Those are actually something that can't be found anywhere else in the world and are *shock!* unique to China. My colleague took a buncha pictures during his visit a few years back that were absolutly breath taking. They could literally pass for scenaries in Miyazaki's films (Spirited Away, Mononoke, etc).

    They don't need these knock off crap, not nearly as much as they need to preserve those old towns so they don't get polluted and over developed.

    Avatar of General Jack D. Ripper
    23:43 10/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Because of their current standing, they think they can copy everything from simple signage to entire towns.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:14 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm sure it's just going to all explode anyway :p

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:35 08/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because China doesn't want to innovate. They want to Detonate...

    Avatar of Shao Zili
    Comment by Shao Zili
    00:31 08/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    To think otherwise

    I'm kind of glad to hear there are plenty sites remain unknown and so uncontaminated

    You could not imagine what shortsighted people can do for some quick money.
    I grew up there, they are warm-hearted and optimistic people, but lack of something important. Maybe the harsh life is pushing them to the edge.

    Avatar of TC-man
    Comment by TC-man
    20:17 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Chinese are doing things the Japanese were doing more than 50 years ago, building foreign cars, buildings, battleships, airplane and so on from information they have collected from Great Britain and the United States of America; there were a lot of Japanese spies before and during the WWII, you know.

    Avatar of GHS
    Comment by GHS
    03:40 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wartime is different. Copying is allowed if the other guy has better guns than you do, like the German copy of the bazooka or the Russian T-34 tank's revolutionary sloped armour.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:48 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    No they aren't. Japan wanted to modernize quickly and effectively. Note, did they copy castles from the past? Did they copy 'villages'? The point that you make that they copied 'technology' is different. Also, they purchased and developed their own versions, not getting measurements and creating imitations like the Chinese or Koreans (in the recent years).

    And to Kazaza2 (below)

    That is what you get when you 'make everyone equal'. You literally have to destroy heritage, history, and culture to do that. What do you do when you say "China is great!" but wrecked havoc on all historical monuments, turning around and saying they are great? Americans burning US flags?

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    23:18 06/06/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I find it kind of ironic that China destroyed much of their own cultural heritage during the "Cultural Revolution" and "The Great Leap Forward" and then resort to building an ersatz Austrian village to attract tourists.

    If I went to China I'd much rather see examples of their own culture than some "fake" representation of another culture. If I wanted that I'd go to Disney World.

    Another example of Communist "pretzle logic".

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:59 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Their own people are surrounded by chinese culture constantly. The idea is to keep money in the country by providing a FOREIGN town inside the chinese borders.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:58 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Isn't this more of a Las Vegas type thing (apart from the gambling)?

    Of the most famous casinos I know, there is Italy themed as well as Egypt. And the mentality of some (not all of course) is "Why go all the way to Italy when you can experience it right here in the US".

    But again, that's not really such a bad thing either, I mean people who think that are probably those who can't afford to travel to Italy, but can get a knockoff taste if they just go to Vegas.

    Same can be said here - a Chinese tourist, who can't afford to go to Australia, probably has little interest to visit an old village in China. He wants to see something different, even if knows that it was built recently, and only a knockoff of the original.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:00 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did I just write Australia?
    Geez, meant Austria...... lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:15 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Austria(Österreich) not Australia....

    Comment by Black Mage
    00:47 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    True they do have a rich and varied culture that they tried to wipe out during the great leap backwards known as the cultural revolution.
    But a lot of it still remains it's just far from cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:18 08/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's what I was thinking when I went to Thailand, I wanted to see culture, eat Thai food, istead I saw Mcdonalds on every corner, and that's basically all there was to eat unless you went to someone's house.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 08/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are bunch of Chinese cultural type of villages in China. It has nothing to do for being in China though. The standard Chinese villages are horribly looking places with bunch of half-build residential which would be perfect for post-apocalyptic movies. So, they have build bunch of the cultural villages in China just as reminder about how a typical Chinese village would look alike. And, they are also tourist attractions or expensive housings. To copy an European village is simply because that they need to build something different to make money.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:43 10/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Some parts of Asian culture aren't that great really.

    Confucianism did a lot to harm the poor and minorities in China and so forth. And having a little bit of diversity in China or any country isn't a bad thing. There's plenty of original culture in China still.

    Tell me, does Confucianism in China seem dead to you? Even though it was "oppressed" during the cultural revolution? Heck no, Westernization, Globalization, and Modernization has done more to erode Confucianism and other parts of Chinese culture than Maoism ever did.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:40 08/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Many in China cannot afford or allowed to go to another country. The original can only hold so many people.

    This is a good and bad thing... Its a fake town, nothing more - unless those buildings are FUNCTIONAL and people actually living there.

    I gather the buildings are somewhat functional in that the operators of the tourist park has employees living there. But do they eat food in real restaurants around the village or is there an hidden cafeteria where they eat crappy cheap food?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:04 06/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Next headline. "China's Pirated Villages Explodes!"

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    16:01 06/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    After all the buildings fall over, revealing they were made out of garbage.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:14 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    you mean the buildings will explode right ?

    Avatar of Tokeijikaku
    Comment by Tokeijikaku
    22:10 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The buildings that aren't stolen, that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:29 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    "China's Menaced by Exploding Austrian Villages"

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:18 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'll give it 3 weeks

    Avatar of General Jack D. Ripper
    23:45 10/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hitler was originally Austrian so he would be pissed off to see the Chinese pirating a "white man's village" and will caused it to spontaneously explode.

    Avatar of Astray Flame
    Comment by Astray Flame
    02:46 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget "The building topple over because the building plans didn't call for longer underground support."

    Avatar of TC-man
    Comment by TC-man
    20:09 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    More like caved in, perhaps?

    Comment by Anonymous

    was thinking the exact same thing

    Comment by Anonymous

    Damn you beat me to it!

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:14 06/06/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Honestly, this is a pretty cool idea. Also we have plenty of these theme parks in the US as well, other than they are not to be complete clone of the original in such scale. I mean look at Vagas and those Jesus towns and crap.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:52 06/06/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    yeah did Las Vegas ask paris if they could copy the Eiffel tower?

    did Egypt get mad because there's a pyramid in Vegas?

    i don't see the big deal with that chinese village :p

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:01 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Vegas is a parody. It's a mish-mash of hokey bullshit, and that's their entire gimmick. They were never trying to directly copy an entire area.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:46 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "In other words", not "another words"... (-_-)

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:17 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    But you're missing the point. Copy pasta-ing location or monument is still copy pasta. The thing that people are avoiding is the fact that this was done for the main purpose of "tourism". Instead are focusing on the fact that it's a copy/imitation and nothing more. Which basically means cherry picking faults for the sake of bias criticism. Another words "haters gonna hate".

    I find things like these pretty cool and I'm going to admit that stuff like these inspire me to go visit the originals...when I have the money.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:47 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I get the feeling we wouldn't react the same way if it was a Western country, because it's a White country. Not saying we would do a 1:1 scale village or the sort, but if we did I guarantee more praise than ridicule. Especially on this site. Power of double standards.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:01 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bullshit. Whites get criticized more than anyone; no exceptions.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:33 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your comment make perfect sense, but I think you'll find irony in the fact that the owner of the village is an American White man.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:04 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    your comment make perfect sense, but i think you'll find irony in the fact that the owner of the village is an half white, half Indonesian American man.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Your comment make perfect sense, but I think you'll find irony in the fact that the owner of the village is an Indonesian man.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:45 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    they even translated sign...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:49 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't know why people is raging, it seems pretty awesome to me. That copy seems very precise to me, people that couldn't afford to visit the original town can go to see the copy, besides that it provides new housing to the people.

    If you are arguing because china is pirating some foreigner towns, you should shut the fuck up, I'm pretty sure you prefer to download some free stuff from the internet than buying the exact overpriced thing in an expensive store. If you don't agree, you should know not everyone in this capitalist world can afford to buy the unnecessary things we love. (nope, there's no work available were i live. Yes, i live in the fucking third world. Yes, im studying medicine so i can get 300 bucks per month.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:37 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Original: Clear and beautiful water with green mountains and a blue sky.
    Copy: Murky waters surrounded by barren mountains and a gray sky.

    .... I wonder which one I'll visit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:49 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, now that it's done, I hope the people living there will take good care of it and maybe help turn around the negative image of China.

    If good stuff comes out of there for years to come, then it's a win-win situation for everyone, IMO.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:31 06/06/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, they have done it with Paris and London (not in the same scale though), so what's a little village for them : p

    The original is obviously better though, they should change the montain, the lake, and the sky.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:22 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what ?

    It gonna explodes some days...

    Avatar of Orion
    Comment by Orion
    00:57 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is it me or the China are envious of European architecture ? They have to copy anything now.

    Beware, Babylon is probably in project -_-"

    Comment by Black Mage
    00:45 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They spent tens of billions of Yuan building this village but I don't see them making that investment back.
    Considering about half of their GNP is tied up in other development projects like this one.
    I suspect China will likely suffer an economic meltdown soon.
    Don't believe me just enter the words Chinese ghost towns and malls in your favorite search engine you'll be surprised.

    Avatar of Gatsby
    Comment by Gatsby
    00:43 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Give it a few days. It'll all blow up soon enough.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:43 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why are people crying about a copied village? Coz y'all got nothing better to do. Not everyone in China can afford to go to Austria. Wake up and smell the roses you morons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:31 07/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    When you get wealthy enough in China, you don't want to live in China; even if it's just a copy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 10/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or maybe some people like a little diversity in their lives?

    I swear, what is with the degrading and extreme interpretations of everything on the internet?





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