Mr. Bai Xinku, restructured textile factory worker
Income: 350 yuan
Accomplishments: Mr. Bai’s factory is still in operation, but it has been restructured. The enterprise (covering 100 mu, with 50 buildings, and assets of 10 million) was bought by the nephew of the city’s Party Secretary for 100,000 yuan. Workdays last 12 days, and the salary is 350 yuan, much better than his laid-off friends. At least his kids can go to the suburban school (city schools are too expensive), and there is food on the table.
Mr. Cheng Shangfang
Income: 250 yuan
Accomplishments: Things looked difficult for Mr. Cheng after being laid-off, but luckily his wife was filled with foresight, and took their son and ran off. Mr. Cheng was able to do odd jobs found through the day market, and earned about more than 200 yuan a month. Happiness had returned. However, because the buildings, land and assets of Mr. Cheng’s original factory have been privatized into the hands of a Wenzhou businessman posing as a foreigner, his factory friends have continually asked him to join their actions to petition government action. Mr. Cheng has now been labeled by the city government as a "dangerous petitioner".
Mr. Mei Yunlian, pedicab driver
Income: 200 yuan
Accomplishments: Mr. Mei was earning a comfortable salary of 3,000 yuan a year driving a pedicab, and had no business being on this list, but he had a run-in with the "City Management" officials, and lost his wheels. He did not agree with the officials, and had some word with them, and lost a few teeth via their fistic response. He had to get his teeth taken care of, which cost a pretty penny, and now his income is only 200 yuan.
Zhu Bajie, garbage scavenger
Income: 60-70 yuan
Accomplishments: Ms. Zhu’s career had a major advance this year. Last year she only had the rights to one garbage can. But this year, she is the proud owner of three garbage cans. And she is now the surprise holder of a savings deposit of 200 yuan. If this keeps up, she will be off the list by next year.
Mr. Quan Kaotian, disabled beggar
Income: about 50 yuan
Accomplishments: New addition to the List of China’s Poorest. Mr. Quan was originally down past the 150 mark, but because two brigands believed the newspapers’ claim that beggars in China are really rich, robbed him blind, and now Mr. Quan is on this list.
Wu Renwen, widow
Income: 1000 jiao (100 yuan)
Accomplishments: Has sold traditional tea eggs for years with a stable income. She has been on this list for years.
E Zaozui, plate cleaner
Income: 0 yuan
Accomplishments: Mr. E’s past ten years has been spent in an identical fashion: sneaking licks of plates of discarded food in restaurants. He has had the fortune to taste all sorts of dishes, and has performed a valuable service in keeping the city clean. But this has not earned him anything from the restaurant owners.
Zou Beiyun, suburban farmer
Income: -50 yuan
Accomplishments: Mr. Zou’s son’s kidneys failed, and his wife contracted Mitchell’s disease. He spent everything the family had on their treatment, and now has nothing. He spends his days in the corner of a relative’s house. He has no income and ends up spending 50 yuan a month.
Shu Bainian, college graduate
Income: -150 yuan
Accomplishments: Jobs were hard to find when Shu finished college. But she was an intellectual at least, and there were certain jobs that were beneath her. She could only stay at with her parents, who fed her and gave her some pocket money. So she has about 150 yuan in hock every month.
Ku Wulei, migrant worker
Income: -300 yuan
Accomplishments: Came to the city to work. He helped build a tower with hard work. When the building was finished, the boss ran off with his wages. The 300 yuan/month he was promised never materialized. He had nothing left, not even enough to buy a train ticket home. But he did make this list.