China Cracks Down on Nightlife

As part of China’s effort to clean up Beijing before the Olympics, officials have been more stringently regulating bars, night clubs, and even parties in homes. From the Seattle Times:

With the Olympic Games just six days away, Beijing is winding tighter each day, and visitors need wander no farther than the city’s bar district to experience the preparatory fervor. Police are out in force, carrying out orders to increase security and clean up the district, called Sanlitun, with zeal. . .

The crackdown has renewed allegations of xenophobia and even racism in Beijing, as well as cries that the police are draining the vitality from a place where foreigners and Chinese have traditionally mixed.

Bar owners report being swamped by new police demands, with rules changing daily and the threat of closure if they are not enforced. It’s not just no drugs, no gambling, no prostitution. It’s also: no tables on the sidewalk, no excess partying, no displays of affection. No service for foreigners with prostitutes.

Earlier this July, officials also implemented restrictions on staff clothing and private rooms, reported Reuters:

China’s government has told discos, karaoke bars and other entertainment venues to install windows in private rooms and ensure staff dress modestly from Oct 1 as part of an effort to crack down on prostitution and drugs.