Yun Brew Opens With 21 Draft Beers and Addictive Popcorn Chicken on Xiaoyun Lu

We first noticed Yun Brew while walking to Burger Break last month for a giant avocado cheese burger and a strawberry milkshake. We're happy to report that this three-month-old brewpub is yet another promising addition to the burgeoning Xiaoyun Lu neighborhood. We were particularly impressed by Yun's 21 draft beers, made up of local and imported brews, as well as their in-house brews, all of which will easily attract many of the area's thirsty workers.

Yun is located towards the back of Xiaoyun Lu, alongside a Japanese bar and a steakhouse. Upon arrival, the first thing you'll notice in the brewpub's lush garden and its airy outdoor seating. Stepping inside, patrons are welcomed by four tanks, which amount to a 300-liter brewing system. There's also an al fresco area on the second floor.

The bar is located in the back, on the right, in front of a big blackboard presenting all of the 21 beers they have on tap, with six of their own: The True Friends Wheat, Silent of Lava Peat (6 percent ABV), The Spring Breeze Far Away Wheat, Black Hand Porter, Yun IPA, and No Problem Brown Ale.

Their domestic options, meanwhile, include Extra Pale Ale, Red Lager from Boxing Cat, along with a Cucumber Saison, Pumpkin Chai Porter, and Berliner Drop IPA from Taps. Among the imports are Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout, a cider and pilsner from Moa, De Molen Heaven and Hell, Liefmans Fruitesse, Temple Anytime Pale Ale, and Fruili strawberry beer. The price of a pint ranges from RMB 45 to 88, which isn’t the cheapest in town by any means, but a flight of any four is RMB 68, and a flight of any six is RMB 98, which is quite reasonable.

We ordered a flight of six of their in-house brews, but were sad to be informed that The Spring Breeze Far Away Wheat was out of stock. The Black Hand Porter had good malty notes but tasted lean on the body. Then we tried their hoppy IPA, but both it and their No Problem Brown Ale had an off-putting flavor that reminded us of sanitizer (at least they are disinfected, right?).

Instead, we recommend you try the far superior Pumpkin Chai Porter (RMB 68 a pint) with its smooth texture and a strong, spicy flavor that we thoroughly enjoyed, in part because it reminded us of masala tea. Another highlight is the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout. At 5.3 percent ABV, it has a roasted coffee aroma, tastes of chocolate and peanut butter, and boasts a silky finish. It's not only a satisfying pint, but is also indulgent enough to double as a dessert (sorry, PB and J-lovers, there's no jelly in this brew).

To cater to those looking for a nearby lunch or dinner after a long day at the office, Yun also provides salads (RMB 36-48), pasta (RMB 28-45), and pizzas (RMB 38-85 for nine-inch, RMB 48-98 for 12-inch). If you are a party of carnivores, go for the roast lamb leg (RMB 358), roast pork chop (RMB 158), or sausage platter (RMB 158).

We tried the half black-peppered beef, half durian pizza (sure, not for everything, but we were curious!). The steak side of the pizza proved the favorite, as the meat comes well-seasoned and makes for a good accompaniment to the steaming-hot dough with its generous distribution of cheese. The durian pizza was sweet and didn’t have the strong, ripe smell that your nose is often subjected to in the grocery store, so don't be scared to give it a try.

We also enjoyed the prawn and avocado salad (RMB 48), featuring fresh lettuce, avocado, prawns, red beans, and corn. But the real winner was the popcorn chicken (RMB 42). Every little bite of jhuicy chicken was covered with a golden crust, seasoned with spices and served on a layer of arugula to give the illusion that it's healthy (though none of us touched that). The Thai-style chili sauce on side elevated this menu item all the more, making it especially great when coupled with a cold pint.

The fridge is also not lacking in interesting options, with some imports from Australian brewery Kaiju, Icelandic brewery Einstök, Italian brewery White Pony, and more. We look forward to come back and try them all in the near future.

The added warm and kind service certifies Yun as another strong addition to Xiaoyun Lu’s new thriving range of restaurants and bars, giving us more incentive to flee Sanlitun and investigate further north.

Yun Brew
Daily 11am-2pm. 15-40, Xiaoyun Dining Back Street, 15 Xiaoyun Lu, Chaoyang District (8069 9907)
蕴酿精酿餐吧:朝阳区霄云路15号霄云美食街后街15-40

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Twitter: @flyingfigure
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Photos: Tracy Wang

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What’s Up in Beer: Take a Summer Beer Break With New Brews, New Imports, and Shanghai Beer Fest

Clearly the rain doesn’t help with cooling things down. Have you noticed that even the number of dancing grandmas at Workers' Stadium has vastly decreased to a handful due to the sweltering heat? Since we're trapped here, let’s take a beer break and look at the various liquid solutions open to us this weekend.

If you are a true beer lover and/or a loyal reader, it's likely that you're aware of how much we enjoyed Great Leap Brewing's Leaping the Dog Barley Champagne Rosé collab with Australian brewery Moon Dog. This beer is brewed using raspberries to give the brew a light body, and a dry, crisp finish with a hefty 13.5 percent ABV. Thankfully, they saved a few liters to bottle, which will be available at all three GLB locations for RMB 148 from Friday (Jul 21).

Slow Boat also has two new beers on tap: Yacht Party Blonde (5 percent ABV) marks the second time that they've brewed this variety (the first batch was called Banyan Blonde), the difference being that they've swapped the former hops for Palisade hops to give it a pillowy head with green papaya and orange blossom aromas. This beer supposedly represents “all of the tattooed bravado and blatant sexiness of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson on a boat,” which we'll take their word for. The second beer is a Belgian-style Koh Chang Saison with 5.4 percent ABV, which is brewed with lots of lemongrass to create a bright orange color and rich texture with citrusy aromas.

Also, thanks to SB's head chef Clement Rol’s recent visit to Thailand, the team have been inspired to add gai yangor Thai grilled chicken satay, to the food menu. This dish includes five juicy chicken skewers, the meat marinated overnight in a blend of palm sugar and lemongrass, seasoned with a dash of garlic and coriander, and served with a spicy dipping sauce. Slow Boat recommends washing them down with a pint of Koh Chang to get about as close as you can get to Southeast Asia if you're stuck here like us.

Over at Peiping Machine, there are now six beers from American brewery Boulevard on tap: Calling IPA, Tank 7, Single Wide, Pale Ale, including two limited options: Unfiltered Wheat (4.4 percent ABV), and Tropical Pale Ale (5.9 percent ABV). There's also No. 18’s The Bloody Blade Imperial Stout (8.5 percent ABV), Harviestoun IPA, Tripsmith’s Haunted Warrior Imperial Stout (12 percent ABV), Breakfast Stout from Founders (8.3 percent ABV), and Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog (9.2 percent ABV) if you're looking for something a little boozier.

Another and another new batch over at Via Jian Guo, who have added Hippy Berliner Sour Hoppy Ale, Tropidelic Pale Ale, Hopwired IPA, Super Conductor, Double IPA, Flat White Stout (RMB 48-60) from Kiwi Brewery 8 Wired, Bomb! Imperial Stout, Pirate Bomb! Imperial Stout with 15 percent ABV from Prairie Artisan Ales in America, Liquid Confidence Imperial Stout, and Smoke On The Porter, Fire In The Rye American Porter from ToØl to their shelves. Prices range from RMB 100-200 per bottle.

Nali Patio's High Town, have also brought in some new beers on tap, including Tropical Pale Ale from Boulevard, IPA from Old Driver, and Watermelon Wheat Beer from Jing-A.

As for new breweries, Great Friend Outdoors Club just opened last weekend at 12 Fangjia, and features12 taps with with a mixture of local and domestic microbrews, such as Fumo IPA (RMB 48), Tengyun Wheat Ale (RMB 38) from Harvest, Film G Milk Stout (RMB 48), Tiaodong Who IPA (RMB 45) from Wuhan No. 18, Beijing Gose (RMB 45), NB Wheat (RMB 38), Vanilla Coffee Stout (RMB 48), Heifeweizen (RMB 38) from NBeer Pub, Osmanthus Honey Ale (RMB 38) from Shenyang Laotao, and Diaistic Cider (RMB 45). The 350sqm space also includes a small climbing wall and a nice terrace, which the team will use to hold seminars about outdoor activities in the near future.

If you happen to be in Shanghai this weekend, head to the annual Shanghai Craft Beer Festival at Jing'an Kerry Center (1515 Nanjing Xilu), July 22-23. Among the 100 beers in attendance, you’re likely to see a bunch of familiar faces given that Arrow Factory, Slow Boat, and Great Leap are heading down to celebrate. Other notable vendors include Taihu, Goose Island, Young Master, Bionic, Ballast Point, The Brew, Boxing Cat, Le Ble D’or, Ale Smith, Boulevard, Zeffer, Founders, Karl Strauss, Mornington, Cider Republic, Pitata, and Dr. Beer.

More stories by this author here.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @flyingfigure
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Photos: Tracy Wang, courtesy of the venues

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Celebrate Hutong Resilience With Screenings and Exhibitions as Part of ‘Hutong Art Project,’ Jul 20-29

Though it's been a tough year for hutong dwellers – what with the endless closure of various quirky, creative, and beloved alleyway businesses  a new art project should help cheer up anyone with an unwavering affinity for offbeat happenings in Beijing's aged courtyards and twisty corridors.

Fittingly titled Hutong Art Project Vol. 1, a series of events will take to the hutongs and span both this and next weekend, featuring documentary screenings, photo exhibitions, open mics and poetry readings, and other such works that celebrate the vibrancy and volatility of these bohemian Beijing neighborhoods. Participants include established scenesters like Lance Crayon (who will talk about graffiti culture and screen his related doc Spraypaint Beijing); spoken performances by members of Spittoon and Loreli; ‘zine showcases by the girls behind Hole in the Wall; and art exhibits by a range of up-and-comers. 

Hutong Art Project founder Liu “Jady” Qilin (who also kickstarted the Beijing Hutong Team as a platform as a collective for such events) hails from Chongqing, and is currently enrolled at Beijing Normal University. He spends much of his free time at alt-rock gigs, doc screenings, cafés, and trawling through what remains of the city's hutong haunts.  

“As a newcomer in Beijing and art and culture enthusiast, I'm very glad I can collect many creative people to join the Hutong Art Project. Every participant has the freedom to record and express hutongs in their own perspective,” he tells the Beijinger about the series of events he coordinated this month, adding that he’s already planning a follow up of four more events for the Hutong Art Project Vol. 2 in September.

Liu was inspired to put on this series of celebratory events back in April when he heard rumblings about Fangjia Hutong’s widespread chai-ing. The series of events kicks off this afternoon (Jul 20) with the Vitality Remains exhibition at 27 Yard, which Jady curated personally. The exhibition features an array of photos that amount to a “before and after” account of alleys that were bricked over, and how people keep going about their lives despite even after the dust literally settled. “I wanted to convey the message that although the hutongs are being renovated, vitality still remains.”

A similar exhibition of photos and paintings will be put on at Luo Space on July 29, marking the end of the initial rendition of this project.

Jady hopes the themes of, and talent partaking in, these events will be relatable to many an artsy hutong regular. However, he will also look to broaden the scope of future projects. “At first I suggested them try to record different hutongs and interview different parties affected by the renovation such as residents, shop owners, customers, and tourists, but later it appeared that participants preferred to voice their own opinion. So, we decided to make the project a specific and focused one rather than being exhaustive but broken.”

Until then, downtrodden Beijingers can be heartened by this uplifting group of events about all that make the hutongs such an exciting place to be.

The Hutong Art Project: Vol. 1 runs from July 20-23 and July 29, with each day’s event kicking off at 3pm. Below is a list of the venues and events scheduled for each day:

July 2027 Yard
July 21Yue Space
July 22 - NC Space
July 23 - Camera Stylo
July 29 - Luo Music Space

More specifics can be found here, or scan the QR code below to join the project's group chat:

More stories by this author here.
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @MulKyle

Photos courtesy of The Beijing Hutong Team

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China Outrage at Sexist Cliche Used in Audi’s New Car Commercial Reveals a Double Standard

Chinese media and netizens are outraged at a foreign car manufacturer for using a social trope in one of their advertisements even though the cliche is so common in Chinese society that it is featured during primetime television.

A recent commercial promoting second-hand Audis has been under fire for its "sexist" attitude of "treating women like livestock."

The 34-second commercial depicts the mother of the groom interrupting the exchanging of the vows during a Chinese wedding ceremony to give her soon-to-be daughter-in-law a crude physical examination. Much to the shock of the guests and the non-Chinese priest presiding over the wedding, the groom's mother yanks on the bride's face to look inside the bride's mouth and behind her ear.

When she finally gives an "OK" sign after walking away, the bride and groom give a visible sigh of relief. However, the new mother-in-law pauses, suggesting there is one last place she forgot to check, at which point the bride demurely covers her bosom.

The commercial ends with the words, "An important decision must be made carefully."

READ: Netizens Outraged as Foreign Man is "Schemed" in Chaoyang District

However, the tongue-in-cheek commercial did not tickle Chinese netizens the way it intended to and has since been taken offline. Some netizens complained that the commercial "likens women to a slave or a horse" while others said it "reinforces social bias against plastic surgery."

One netizen wrote: "What a revolting commercial. Audi is such a big company, and yet they think like this?" Another said, "I am so taken aback by Audi's comparison of women to second-hand cars that I want to vomit!" 

The Chinese media has also condemned the commercial. The People's Daily has described the Audi commercial as a "car wreck" while Global Times said the German car manufacturer has "hit the skids."

READ: Chinese Public Outraged After Fight Breaks Out at Hockey Game

Then again, the Chinese anger at Audi isn't so justified when considering that the "self-righteous, overly demanding mother" trope employed in the commercial is one that is overly used in Chinese culture. Shameless mothers with hard-to-satisfy demands have long served as a staple in Chinese TV dramas, but this cliche finally hit its cultural zeitgeist this past January. 

That's when a dating show with a unique twist debuted on Chinese television. On this show, parents accompany an eligible bachelor or bachelorette and help them make decisions. But because choosing a wedding partner is such an important decision that must be made carefully, many of these parents can't help but act rudely and without tact. Parents shamelessly ask personal questions that would offend someone in normal company, while another mother reaches out to touch a contestant's hand  to see if her blood circulation meets the requirements of a fertile woman.

READ: Cost of Marrying One of China's Outnumbered Women Continues to Skyrocket

At first raising controversy, the show went on to be a big hit with Chinese audiences, even inspiring a few copycat shows. And if to demonstrate no mistake to the subtle social commentary it provides, the show is called Chinese-Style Dating.

But a national TV show isn't the only place where Chinese parents impose their demands on their children. "Marriage markets" are commonly held in Chinese urban centers in which parents try to find suitable wedding partners for their children, simplifying them to basics like salary and home ownership. Instead of allowing their children to choose their husband or wife, these parents are attempting to make the choice for them.

READ: Beijing Boyfriends Among the Best in China, Says Chinese Dating Website Survey

Meanwhile, much of the online anger directed at the German car maker comes despite the fact the commercial was made by the Chinese subsidiary of German automaker Audi FAW-Volkswagen. The difference between these two entities becomes even more pronounced when considering they have been feuding over brand partnering with new dealers in China, leading to a 12.2 percent drop in sales for the first half of this year.

To that end, foreign car makers have been given exceptional coverage by the Chinese media. Last November, the Daimler head of the China division Rainer Gartner resigned in disgrace after he was reported to have been involved in a racist road rage incident in which Gartner's identity and personal details were published in the Chinese media, but nothing about his accusers or witnesses was even mentioned.

This is not the first time Audi has offended the Chinese market. Last March, the company apologized for using a map of China that excluded the self-governed island province of Taiwan during a presentation.

It's clear that the Audi commercial has gone too far in its use of hyperbole. And, in hindsight, it's also clear that Audi should have thought twice about using the truth about China's overbearing mothers to sell its cars.

Watch the Audi car commercial here.

More stories from this author here.

Twitter: @Sinopath 

Images: Caijing, Weibo, The Chinese News

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China’s High-Speed Passengers No Longer Have to Eat Overpriced Mush-With-Rice — Well, Outside of Beijing at Least

This post comes courtesy of our content partners at TechNode.

Despite traveling at 300km per hour, as of today, it is now possible to order takeaway to your train seat. No longer do you need to circumnavigate the misery of the plastic yellow trays of microwaved mush-with-rice. And, yes, of course, you can pay by WeChat.

The official train booking system, 12306, has allowed restaurants to integrate with the high-speed train network. So far, 27 stations offer the service (see list below) as part of the pilot, but only along the high-speed bullet train (高铁) network.

Passengers can use the 12306 app or website to order food from a station along their route and must place the order at least two hours before they are due to reach the station. The food is prepared by the restaurant, delivered to the station, loaded onto the train and then brought right to your seat.

We planned a fictitious journey from Beijing through to Shenzhen to check out the options. Beijing is notably absent from the first batch of stations offering the service. We would have to pack our own breakfast, but moving on to lunch the options opened up and we could have dumplings delivered for RMB 28 plus a RMB 8 delivery fee – similar to using food delivery apps when not on a bullet train.

We were a little disappointed at the choice available on day one, as there is a lot of fast food with KFC, Dicos, and McDonald’s, but we hope for high-speed improvements. As the system develops it should be possible to order the specialties of the regions you speed through.

Passengers do not need to have bought their train tickets through the 12306 app or network to be able to use the order service. Once you’ve got the ticket, you can order food with your ticket and contact details.

While the system is thus far still controlled and not open to the likes of Meituan-Dianping, it will still come as a relief to passengers in China who have long complained of the poor options on board the country’s rail network.

The service is currently available at:

Changchun, Changchun West, Changsha South, Chengdu East, Chongqing North, Fuzhou, Fuzhou South, Guangzhou South, Guiyang North, Hangzhou East, Hankou, Hefei South, Jinan West, Lanzhou West, Nanchang West, Nanjing South, Nanning East, Shanghai Hongqiao, Shenyang Bei, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan South, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen North, Xi’an North, Xining and Zhengzhou East

Images: Estanda, 12306

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Stat: Last Year Beijing’s Average Rent Per Square Meter Was RMB 71.24

Last year’s data from Diyi Caijing puts Beijing’s average rent in the not-so-desirable spotlight as China’s highest. The average rent per month, per square meter in our fair city was RMB 71.24 in 2016, an increase of 13.46 percent year on year. That puts a 130-square-meter three-bedroom apartment of at approximately RMB 9,000 a month.

For anyone living within the Third Ring Road, that’s likely to be much lower than what you’re paying, but bear in mind that this information includes data from the further outlying districts of Tongzhou and even Changping, where the cost of living is much lower.

The only city that comes close, as you might have already guessed, is our arch rival Shanghai, with RMB 66.34 per square meter per month on average in 2016, also up more than 13 percent when compared to data from 2015.

Placing themselves in third and fourth place on the list of China’s most expensive places for rent, we have the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, coming in at an average of RMB 66.25 and RMB 44.47, respectively.

Capping off the list is Shijiazhuang, the capital of neighboring Hebei province, where you can find a house for almost a quarter of what you’d pay in Beijing, the only downside is that you then have to live in Shijiazhuang (sorry, SJZ, we love you really).

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Photo: Nikolaj Potanin

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Stat: Last Year Beijing’s Average Rent Per Square Meter Was RMB 71.24

Last year’s data from Diyi Caijing puts Beijing’s average rent in the not-so-desirable spotlight as China’s highest. The average rent per month, per square meter in our fair city was RMB 71.24 in 2016, an increase of 13.46 percent year on year. That puts a 130-square-meter three-bedroom apartment of at approximately RMB 9,000 a month.

For anyone living within the Third Ring Road, that’s likely to be much lower than what you’re paying, but bear in mind that this information includes data from the further outlying districts of Tongzhou and even Changping, where the cost of living is much lower.

The only city that comes close, as you might have already guessed, is our arch rival Shanghai, with RMB 66.34 per square meter per month on average in 2016, also up more than 13 percent when compared to data from 2015.

Placing themselves in third and fourth place on the list of China’s most expensive places for rent, we have the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, coming in at an average of RMB 66.25 and RMB 44.47, respectively.

Capping off the list is Shijiazhuang, the capital of neighboring Hebei province, where you can find a house for almost a quarter of what you’d pay in Beijing, the only downside is that you then have to live in Shijiazhuang (sorry, SJZ, we love you really).

More stories by this author here.

Email: [email protected]
Instagram: s.xuagram

Photo: Nikolaj Potanin

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Addicted to Horn: Beijing to Penalize Excessive Honking Drivers via Automated Detectors

Beijing seeks to put an end to noisy traffic by implementing the city's first-ever automated system that will identify and penalize drivers that excessively use their horns.

Described as a "sonar system," drivers who indiscriminately honk their horns will be triangulated by a computerized system of microphones and cameras that will record their license plates.

"The detectors consist of three parts, namely, a microphone array acquisition device, an electronic capture, and a LED prompt system," said Li Jianfeng, deputy director of the Scientific and Technical Information Department of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

Li said the system is so precise that it can identify a violator within two seconds and distinguish between vehicles.

"Parallel vehicles can also be identified based on their position in each lane; the recognition locator feature can reflect the direction the honks are coming from, so there will be no misjudgment," said Li.

READ: 16 Road Nuisances That Need Banning in Beijing More Than E-Scooters (Which Were Banned Today)

"Combining the three systems, we can distinguish between the sounds of horns, brakes and engine noise," said Li. 

The system will also publicly display the license plates of offending cars.

The system was set up last week in two Beijing neighborhoods that are designated "no horn" zones: the Xiaowei Hutong in Dongcheng, and the west gate of Peking Union Medical Hospital. 

Dongdan traffic constable Bai Yun said the system will formally begin issuing fines this week after having completed its trial run. The automated system is said to expand to other areas of Beijing in the future.

READ: Road Construction Will Close the East Third Ring Road at Night This Summer

Violators will be fined RMB 100 (under USD 15), but won't be deducted any points on their licenses.

According to the 14th item of the 91st statute of the "People's Republic of China Road Traffic Safety Law," motorists are not allowed to use their horns to prompt or urge cars or pedestrians that have stopped or are slowly moving. 

Beijing widened its ban on vehicle honking from within the Third Ring Road to the Fourth Ring Road in July 2001, and extended it again to the Fifth Ring Road in April 2007.

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Twitter: @Sinopath 

Images: Sohu, Weibo

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Knead-Deep in Dough: the Beijinger Pizza Festival Returns Sep 16-17 at Wangjing Soho!

We're currently wading through the swamp that is the Beijing summer, which means that sat firmly on the horizon is a crusty, oven-baked and oval object, sopping with cheese and tomatoey goodness, signaling the impending encroachment of autumn.

That's right, Beijing! Our annual Pizza Festival, marking the launch of this year's Pizza Cup, is now only a mere two months away, this year falling on September 16-17 at Wangjing Soho. That means that we're already well into preparations for what has over the past four years been the biggest celebration of pizza that China has ever seen in its 5,000-year-strong history.

This year's fest will keep that dream alive, taking on a carnival theme to bring a splash of color to Beijing. There'll be music from some of the city's best live performers, including The Hunters, The Mac Daddies, and several DJs, as well as carnival games, magic shows, and carnival dancers.

Best of all, there'll be more than 50 food and drink vendors to make sure you never go hungry throughout the entire two-day festival. If that wasn't enough, you may even see history in the making, with the Guinness Book of World Records coming to record what will hopefully be the biggest dough toss of all time.

Tickets for the event will cost RMB 25 and the door or RMB 20 advance. Booking ahead of time will snag you a free secret gift to enjoy at the festival.

So, mark the dates in your calendar, snag your tickets early by scanning the QR codes below, and start making a mental note of all the pizza you shove into your face from now until September so that you can better revel in the joy that is the Beijinger's 2017 Pizza Festival.

Photos: Telegraph, Junction, Uni You

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Apple Pay Launches Its Largest, Weirdest Promotion in China

This post comes courtesy of our content partners at TechNode.

As of yesterday, customers using Apple Pay in China can benefit from a range of offers of up to 50 percent off if they can understand what they are and where to use them. Apple has launched its largest ever promotion for Apple Pay in China since its launch, according to a report by the SCMP. Participating retailers include Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Zhen Gongfu, and the Guangzhou Friendship Store.

Apple has made little headway in the mobile payments market in China where Alipay and WeChat Payments dominate, making up around 95 percent of the market. It does not help that iPhones – the only handsets that support Apple Pay – made up only 9.6 percent of the country’s shipments in the first quarter of the year. A Bloomberg report in March found that at one major Chinese bank just 1 percent of its 10 million digital banking customers had signed up for Apple Pay.

The promotion runs from July 18 to 24 in retail stores and online. During this time period, the promotion also gives credit card points bonuses at 50 times the usual rate when spending via Apple Pay at the stores covered or, for some banks, anywhere.

So far so good. But for any potential Apple Pay spenders who manage to hear about the promotion (registered users at TechNode have yet to receive notification) may have trouble using it. Promotions are limited to particular cities, groups of cities or even particular stores.

READ: Ride the Beijing Metro by Swiping Your Phone ... As Long as It's Not an iPhone

Some discounts are relatively straightforward. Starbucks nationwide is offering RMB 15 off a spend of RMB 60 or over (yet with different daily store limits in different parts of the country) and Mobike is giving a RMB 10 top-up for RMB 5. Yet many of the discounts sound promising at 50 percent off, but have a raft of restrictions. For example, stores such as 7-Eleven limit that to just RMB 10, and Decathlon, the sports equipment retailer, is offering 50 percent off but only for 8,000 customers Shanghai.

Images: Shopify, Apple Pay

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