Chinese BCLers' activities

By Danny Wu

I am glad to introduce the situation of DXers in China to you through Dxing,info. I want to point out that there are many HAM in China, but my essay does not include the introduction of their DXing activities.

After over twenty years of economic reform, China's broadcasting facilities have improved greatly. One apparent evidence is that almost every city has its FM radio stations. For example, in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province,also my living place, I know there are a lot of FM radio stations. Besides FM local programs, most cities have relay radio broadcast programs of China National Radio as well.

In some Chinese cities, the audience of FM programs are mainly drivers and young students. The former get information about the traffic condition, while the latter obtain entertainment information timely and freely from them. Therefore, transportation and music channels are always popular. The commercial pours into radio programs. During the golden period in the evening, various ads replace political preach. The radio stations often broadcast vulgar ads like treatment for venereal disease to gain more profits, which make many more listeners disgusted. The radio stations thus fall into trouble like Hamlet.

Medium wave is the main means for broadcasting in radio stations in a province. Compared with FM, there are less commercial in it. Certain foreign missionaries use it to preach Catholicism to the Chinese people. What is worth mentioning is that these religious radio stations seem not to be in the government's interference-plan list. Nevertheless, the medium wave programs sent by VOA are not so lucky. In the city I live in, I can easily receive medium wave broadcast from Taiwan, for there is only a Strait between Fujian Province and Taiwan. In some higher places of Fuzhou, you can listen to Taipei's FM programs steadily.

Shortwave receivers are most popular in China. It is a cheaper tool to know about foreign countries. Students use it to learn English. In universities, senior students are required to comprehend the English narration broadcasted by VOA or BBC.

Since labor force is inexpensive many famous international receiver manufactories make China as their production base, including GRUNDIG°ĘPHILIPS°ĘSONY and SANGEAN. Some models of GRUNDIG are designed by the engineers in China. Because the number of DXer is small,the receivers in domestic market are usually sold to common consumers. It is difficult to perchase high quality receivers in the market.

The price of SONY ICF-SW7600GR amounts to the monthly salary of a high school teacher. TECSUN HAM-2000(GRUNDIG SATELLIT-800 Chinese type)costs a month's income of a n average Chinese family.Except for a few top DXers, the majority buffs can only use cheap portable receivers to receive signals. The equipment is in shortage.What is worse, it is hard to buy some reference books such as WRTH. In order to get news about foreign DX, they have to surf on line.

Internet is a vital tool for China's DXers. Some web sites are their haunts, for instance, Mr.Wang Lei's "Radio Fans" (http://swl.126.com) and the famous "Radio Fans Forum" (http://www.001.com.cn/forum/leowood/index.html). They are Chinese websites like mine (http://zuji.51.net/bcl).

China's provincial radio stations seldom provide QSL cards. An important factor is that few people know what they are. China's DXers can only write listening reports for foreign stations, requesting their reassurance, Because of language problem and lack of guidance, most DXers have to write letters to stations offering Chinese service. Chinese government frequently interferes foreign broadcast to China, and checks with printed mails, so the contact with foreign stations is not always smoothly.

Due to such obstacles, DX activities in China are not fully developed. A large number of people don not know what foreign DXers are doing. In my opinion, they are eager to get help in technique and information from you.

Finally, I would like to say that I am not a real DXer. However, I am fond of searching for weak signals from distant areas with a portable receiver in my leisure time. (Quite a few DXers own tabletop receivers and they themselves erect outdoor antennas. ) In 1990, when I was still a junior high school student, I was curious about the foreign broadcasting stations. In the spring of 2002, I visited Mr.Wang Lei's website. It is reputable among Chinese DXers. There I get plenty of knowledge in broadcasting and DX as well as make friends with many DXers. We often discuss issues in the forum. Occasionally, we have friendly argumentation. Thanks to Mr. Xiaoli Qiao, otherwise we will not know about DXing.info. It's he who introduces DXing.info in the forum to us. Another expert who is widely respected is Mr.Miller Liu from Taiwan. He is experienced in DX. Benefiting from the internet, we are able to keep in touch with DXers in other countries . I am afraid that I can't tell you the exact number of DXers in China, for we have not had any special clubs up to now. Meanwhile, more and more short wave listeners transfer to being DXers. Yet obviously, there are very few female fans in this field.

Nobody interferes my hobby. Most Chinese know how to respect other people's interests. I encounter some friends sharing my hobby even in the local place. Although we do differ in ages and identity, it will not affect us to get pleasure from electric wave, because common interest is the bridge of friendship.

Fortunately, great changes are taking place in China. Perhaps in the near future, you may learn more reports about China's DX activities. (June 26, 2002)