THIS RATHER ODD – perhaps even slightly psychotic – list of “exemplary expats” includes a famed womanizer, a forger, a self-confessed drug addict, a possibly murdered English teacher and me at No 9. The Chinese language image at the head of the list, the headline of which translates loosely as “Rebel foreign studies, mysteries within mysterious events”, might be a clue to the rationale behind the rankings. But, unless tireless self-promotion is also one of the criteria for rating a mention, it’s difficult to see why the innocuous and largely well intentioned Peter Hessler is ranked at No 4.
Putting aside the question of whether the world really needs a list of “big in China foreigners”, there is also the question of notable omissions – Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei fame; the enormously prolific Paul French; and musician, writer and tech consultant Kaiser Kuo to name just three.
But, then again, this may well be a list many of the possible “rankers” are thankful to have been excluded from.