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Mahjong: Police clamp down on China's most loved game

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Mahjong has been known as the “quintessence of Chinese language tradition”

An obvious police ban on all mahjong parlours in a Chinese language town ended in panic amongst aficionados of China’s nationwide passion.

Police in Yushan in southeast China first introduced the ban on the weekend, announcing it used to be to curb unlawful playing and “purify social habits”.

This ended in surprise and outrage with many calling the strategic, tile-based sport the “quintessence of Chinese language tradition”.

Police then clarified that handiest unlicensed parlours could be close.

It comes after a number of different towns additionally introduced parlours encouraging playing could be close.

Mahjong is without doubt one of the hottest video games in China, particularly with older folks.

Whilst it does now not should be performed with cash, it’s common for gamers to gamble with small quantities. A standard mahjong sport may see gamers guess anyplace from $1 to $15.

‘Other folks can gamble with anything else’

On 20 October, police in Yushan, a small county in China’s southeast Jiangxi province, issued a observation saying that each one mahjong parlours within the county could be “closed” by way of 22 October.

Government mentioned the ban could be enacted so to “push ahead the marketing campaign in opposition to crimes and gangs… [to] resolve the playing and noise drawback [and] purify social habits”.

Playing is against the law in China however below Jiangxi province legislation, those that have interaction in “win-loss entertainments equivalent to mahjong and poker involving a small amount of cash… shall now not be punished”.

Alternatively, the legislation provides that individuals who “[gamble] cash of greater than 200 yuan ($28; £21)” might be matter to punishment.

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It is a acquainted sight to look retirees accumulate in parks to play mahjong

It wasn’t lengthy sooner than the backlash kicked in.

Some folks identified that whilst China does face a common drawback of unlawful playing dens, many mahjong parlours are if truth be told, legally operated with licenses.

Every other commenter on social media web page Weibo mentioned: “No longer all folks play mahjong for playing,” in line with state media ECNS.

“My grandparents play mahjong as a part of their day by day leisure”.

Others mentioned it used to be “lazy” resolution by way of the federal government in an try to curtail unlawful playing.

“Mahjong [itself] isn’t an issue. Other folks can gamble with anything else,” mentioned one touch upon Weibo.

Simply in the future when they made the announcement, Yushan government revised their observation, announcing authorized mahjong parlours would now not be affected.

In addition they clarified that the ban used to be supposed to focus on puts that inspired “unlawful playing”.

A number of different towns in Jiangxi have additionally banned mahjong in contemporary days, however had made it transparent of their bulletins that registered mahjong parlours would now not be affected.

What’s mahjong?

  • Mahjong is a sport performed with a suite of 144 tiles in accordance with Chinese language characters and logos
  • It evolved within the past due 19th century, throughout China’s Qing dynasty
  • It’s conceptually very similar to the western card sport Rummy
  • It won reputation within the early 20th century and has turn into some of the fashionable video games within the nation
  • Luxurious manufacturers have additionally tried to capitalise on China’s love for the sport. Hermes for instance, has a $40,200 mahjong set made in “forged palissander wooden” on the market on its web site.

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