According to the victim, the incident began in Shooters bar, at the north end of Sanlitun Back Street. The group arrived at approximately 1:30 am with friends, including five local and foreign-born Chinese women.
They entered the bar and another American with them, who also requested anonymity, went to dance with his Chinese girlfriend. He quickly was surrounded by a group of Chinese men, all of whom he estimated to be in their 20s.
When one of the men allegedly smashed a bottle on the victim's head and began to assault him, the women accompanying the group attempted to pull him away. The victim's friends then noticed the scuffle, reclaimed their friend and attempted to leave the bar.
PSAs aren't my thing, but here's my little bit of advice for anyone who just must tussle at Sanlitun: confront foreigners, not locals. Because locals will pull shit like surrounding a cab and smashing in windows with pipes. Meanwhile, you fight a foreigner and what's he going to do, call his embassy? I'd like to hear that conversation.
I'm being tongue-in-cheek, of course (actually, I'm being quite serious, because I understand alcohol + meatheads will balls + lack of sex = shit going down, but whatever). But on a serious note: don't get into fights with Chinese people at Sanlitun. Just don't be that stupid.
A couple friends and I, over the summer, sat outside Smugglers playing dice for two or three hours and saw about four fights. A hefty Chinese dude beat a white guy out of the bar and kept screaming, "This is not your country!" That about sums up the way I think the locals feel when they get drunk and see a bunch of white men doing things like, oh, flirting with their women. It's primeval but not unexpected. My friend and I helped break up one of the fights. And then we saw a Chinese man threaten to beat his Chinese girlfriend, but just as he put his hand up a foreigner went and intervened. That was nice of the foreigner, I think, but then the female goes into a rage and they're both beating on each other and there're hysterics all over, and I'm thinking, What the fuck, I just want to play dice in peace. (No, I wasn't thinking that, but I was playing dice.)
And there was this, of course, two years ago, which was my introduction to Sanlitun as I've come to know it. Kevin and I still think someone died that night.