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2017 in review: 18 things you forgot happened in Beijing this year

Bricks, bikes, the National Party Congress and more

As 2017 draws to a close, we're reflecting on the year that was. We've watched Beijing be demolished and rebuilt right before our eyes, seen international leaders come and go, and observed share bike companies suddenly face their own mortality. Whatever your thoughts on 2017, it certainly hasn't been dull.

Goodbye 2017, you've been wild. Welcome 2018, we hope you're a good one.
1

Beijing upped its karaoke obsession with one-man KTV booths

As a rule, a course of karaoke is a dish best served under the cover of darkness, alongside liberal measures of alcohol. But thanks to the team at MBar and their 2sqm KTV cubicle, from January onwards casual crooners could enjoy a tuneful quickie in broad, sober daylight.

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By: Patrick Moore
3

Logan was edited down by 10 percent

Government censors cut down Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine film by a whopping 14 minutes ahead of its China release, citing violence and 'brief nudity' as unsuitable for our sensitive dispositions. With the total film running to just under 140 minutes, that was 10 percent of action and intrigue that cinema-goers in China missed out on.

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By: Amy Hawkins
4

UK retailer Marks and Spencer closed its doors

The Beijing branch of esteemed UK retailer Marks and Spencer shuffled off its mortal coil on March 19, depriving us all of decent breakfast tea, frozen fish portions and all the sweet treaties that our hearts and cavities could desire.

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By: Robyn Strachan
6

Beijing shut down its last major coal-fired power plant

In Beijing's continuous fight to rehab its image as Smog Central and combat its consistently high air pollution levels, Chinese authorities officially closed the city's last remaining large coal-run power plant in a push to use more clean energy.

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By: Robyn Strachan
7

Sanlitun Bar Street was bulldozed

Everyone's favourite hive of scum and villainy was blitzed back in April as part of a government-led clean-up campaign. Properly known as Sanlitun Hou Jie, the infamously divey street has played host to all kinds of exploits since it transitioned into one of Beijing's most notable nightlife areas back in the noughties.

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By: Robyn Strachan
8

The One Belt, One Road forum rolled into town

The international meeting between world leaders took place so that parties involved could discuss the Belt and Road initiative, a trade agreement involving Asian, European and African nations and led, with the oomph befitting a rising superpower, by China.

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By: Robyn Strachan
9

Beijing underwent 'The Brickening'

Call it what you like, but this year's renovations were some of the most dramatic and sustained Beijing has seen since the Olympics, and they’re likely to continue for at least the next two years. Brace yourselves for more citywide 'beautification' in 2018.

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10

Beijing was named the most obese city in China

On the whole, northern China was found to be more overweight than the south. Cold weather, heavy foods and generous amounts of jiu of the bai and pi varieties all serve to keep us well-insulated for the blubber-biting winters (is the excuse we're giving).

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By: Amy Hawkins
11

China banned multiple imported cheeses

Our cheeseboards and grilled cheese favourites were dealt a temporary blow after various soft cheeses including brie, camembert and goat cheese were blacklisted by authorities at the end of August, only for the ban to then be lifted in October. Grate.

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14

Authorities put a stop to any more share bikes

In what would later turn out to be an ominous sign for bike-sharing companies, authorities put the brakes on expanding bicycle fleets in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen (as well as ten other cities) amid concerns about parking chaos, traffic congestion and pedestrian safety.

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By: Leanne Wong
15

McDonald's China changed its name to 'Golden Arches'

In spirit, really. The US fast food giant received a Chinese name change from the beloved Maidanglao to Jingongmen after a buyout from CITIC Ltd and Carlyle Group. Stores, however, remain unaffected.

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By: Leanne Wong