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Bar owner warmed by foreign customers

By Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying | | Updated: 2020-02-13 16:52

Now should be peak season for Zhang Jian during the Spring Festival holiday. But due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP), he has had to suspend his businesses and stay at home.

Zhang, 40, runs two bars in Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province.

Zhang has served plenty of foreign customers since he opened his bars in 2013.

"In the past, there were more than 30 foreign customers gathering in one of my bars named ACE to celebrate the Chinese New Year’s Eve every year," he said. "I told them about the customs of Chinese New Year, taught them Chinese greetings and how to make dumplings."

However, due to the epidemic, all gatherings have been canceled to avoid cross-infection.

To his surprise, since the beginning of the holiday, some of his old customers from more than 20 countries began to send him short video greetings via WeChat, China’s popular social media service platform.

"Besides New Year’s greetings, they all gave me encouragement to fight the epidemic, which made me feel quite warm and touched," he said. "They said ‘Zhongguo jiayou’ (Keep on fighting, China), ‘Wuhan jiayou’ and ‘Harbin jiayou’."
Some of them wrote down the words in Chinese and showed them to Zhang.
"My foreign friends showed great concern about my city and country," he said, adding, "We are not alone in the fight against the epidemic."

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