DC shutdown gets social media in China all in a twitter

Updated: 2013-10-04 12:15

By Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily)

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The United States federal government's partial shutdown has triggered discussion across the Pacific where many Chinese netizens turned to social media to voice their complaints about the inconvenience.

"The US government's shutdown, so the website servers of our ongoing contest shutdown," a student of Wuhan University in Hubei province, said in her Sina Weibo on Thursday. "We can't upload our tech document to the (NIST) website now."

The student surnamed Huang posted an e-mail from the organizer - NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), a non-regulatory agency of the US Department of Commerce.

"As you probably know, with the US Government shutdown, our colleagues at NIST are not working, the NIST servers are shut down, and I'm not even sure that this email to nist.gov will get through," said the email.

"We also don't know how long this shutdown will last. As of now, it doesn't look like it will be resolved this week, and when it is resolved it will take our colleagues at NIST some time to get back to normal," it said.

The federal government shutdown at 12:01 am EST on Tuesday after the House and the Senate failed to reach an agreement on a spending bill to fund the government. It was reported that nearly 800,000 federal employees would not go back to work until the lawmakers reached an agreement.

In the next two days, many Chinese twitters posted and reposted the information that "all consular operations in China, including visa and American citizenship services, will continue normal operations during the US Government shutdown".

However, things aren't so lucky for Chinese people who are currently on tour in the US.

"All national parks, monuments and zoos have been closed since Tuesday, so we have to skip many panned attractions," a Chinese girl named Monica said on her mobile Wechat. "We could only take a photo of the closed signs at many famous attractions."

Some Chinese travelers are trying to think about their "bad luck" in a positive way.

A Chinese traveler rep named Elaine Wang told China Daily that some restaurants in Washington DC are promoting their shutdown menu after the chaos, which is "very interesting".

Mei Xinyu, a Chinese trade analyst, said on his Sina Weibo, Chinese travelers should "calm down" and enjoy watching the "intriguing situation" caused by a government shutdown.

"You could visit Yellowstone National Park next year, and the natural wonder is always there. But here is rare opportunity to witness a government shutdown," Mei said.

Zhang Lin, a Chinese lawyer, said on his Weibo that he had been consulted by many Chinese netizens and clients about how the shutdown would affect their green card and visa applications.

"I just asked my lawyer about my green card application's process, and crossed my fingers for good luck," a Silicon Valley-based Chinese engineer, who refused to be named, told China Daily on Thursday.

He showed an email from his lawyer, which said "we do not anticipate the government shutdown will affect case acceptance by USCIS. Benefit adjudications will continue, as USCIS is primarily funded through user fees and not government appropriations".


(China Daily USA 10/04/2013 page10)