Explainer: Why Beijing Gets Central Heating Yet the South is Left in the Cold

By Ned Kelly, December 12, 2018

3 0

The Explainer is where we explain an aspect of Chinese life. Simple. So now you know.

Brrr. It's getting a little nippy out there. But for people living up north (i.e. Beijingers), the long wait is over – November 15 was Gong Nuan Ri (供暖日), or ‘Heating Day.’ Meanwhile, down south in places like Shanghai and Guangdong, folk remain shivering under their air con units, as warm air wafting out ineffectually intermingles with the clouds of condensation they are breathing out.

Ever wondered wei shen me?

The allocation of central heating is actually tied into the period of central planning (1950-80) when the Chinese government established free winter heating of homes and offices via the provision of free coal for fuel boilers as a basic right.

READ MORE: 10 Cozy Items to Keep You Warm from Head to Toe

3319heating01292.jpg
Image via infzm.com h/t CRI English

Due to budgetary limitations, however, this heating entitlement was only extended to areas to the north of the geographical dividing line between northern and southern China – the Huai River-Qin Mountains Line. The logic being that they have a longer winter, which lasts for at least 90 days (meteorologically, a winter day is defined in China as when the average daily temperature falls below 5 degrees Celsius).

So while Dongbeiren bask, the rest are left out in the cold. Or in in the cold, as it were...

READ MORE: 15 Tricks to Keep Your Apartment Warm During the Winter in China


For more of The Explainer, click here.

more news

Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About Lantern Festival

What China's Lantern Festival is all about.

Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About the Year of the Ox

Chinese New Year 2021 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox.

This Week in History: China's Devastating 2008 Winter Storms

Ice storms wiped out electricity and transportation for millions of households in south-central China back in 2008.

Explainer: Why Winter is the Most Polluted Time of Year in China

’Tis the season for pollution and facemasks.

Explainer: Why China Celebrates Christmas with Apples

Ever wonder why you've been receiving apples from Chinese friends and co-workers for Christmas?

Greenwave's David Wang on COVID-19 and Winter Health Problems in Beijing

We caught up with general manager David Wang who talked about Greenwave’s history, the effects of the pandemic on Greenwave and how to combat winter health problems in Beijing.

Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About October Holiday

Take a break from your holiday planning to find out why you're having one in the first place.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsGuangzhou for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Guangzhou With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's PRD!

Visit the archives