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2018-02-13 10:47:53

Eight officials in Hebei province have been penalized for inadequate supervision of polluting businesses, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday.

A provincial investigation found that 16 of 68 businesses in Wenan County that had been told to suspend production ignored official orders and continued operating through the winter. Three were plastics factories, whose owners were put in administrative detention. Eight officials — including the county head — were held accountable with various penalties, such as demerits.

In China’s northeast, air pollution typically peaks in the winter, but the country has introduced an array of anti-pollution measures including limiting coal consumption and suspending production in heavily polluting industries between November and March.

4 hours

Mo Huanjing, the nanny who earlier this month was sentenced to death for lighting a fire that killed a mother and her three children, has appealed her case.

For the most part, the Chinese public has been unsympathetic to Mo’s plight. However, even the family’s grieving father has pointed out that the property management company, which was not a defendant in the criminal suit, is also culpable. Their poor emergency preparedness, his lawyer has argued, meant it took more than two hours before firefighters could get to the burning apartment. The father plans to file a separate lawsuit against “responsible parties.”

5 hours

A court in Dongguan has sentenced a security guard to three years of probation for killing a man who attacked his armored van in October of 2016.

The victim, surnamed Huang, had repeated hit the vehicle with a rock and had pulled off a rearview mirror before the guard shot him. Earlier reports said that a traffic accident had preceded the incident, which investigators ruled out. They did not provide another reason behind Huang’s actions.

Shootings are relatively rare in China, where guns are strictly regulated. Whether the guard had been right to fire his weapon was the topic of much discussion at the time. The court ruled that the security guard’s behavior constituted excessive defense and found him guilty of intentionally injuring Huang.

9 hours

Beijing plans to demolish 40 million square meters of illegal construction — larger than 5,000 standard soccer fields — the municipal government announced Friday.

Though the campaign against illegally built housing has been ongoing for many years, the city has recently ramped up efforts in order to create more space for greenery and community facilities.

Last year, nearly the same target was met within eight months — but also encountered much opposition. When the capital launched a 40-day campaign against illegal construction late last year after a shantytown fire on Nov. 18 killed 19 people, many accused the city of using the tragedy as an excuse to force migrant workers out of the capital. Authorities denied wrongdoing, but demolitions remain one of China’s most hotly debated issues.

10 hours

Shanghai police have given a 35-year-old man five days’ detention for “slandering and deriding” the victims of the Nanjing Massacre — atrocities committed by Japanese forces during World War II in the then Chinese capital — in a WeChat group. The man had repeatedly said “they killed too few” and “it was only 300,000.”

The police statement warned that “national dignity cannot be trampled at will” and citizens must bear legal responsibilities for what they post in cyberspace.

Recently, two men in Nanjing were detained for 15 days for posing at a historical battlefield in Japanese military uniforms. And in August 2017, an internet company was ordered offline for two months after it produced chat stickers of wartime sex slaves who had been featured in the documentary “Twenty-Two.”

1 day

A still of actor Ge You slouching down on a couch in 90s sitcom “I Love My Family” is one of China’s favorite internet memes. The image is often used to express apathy, or sang.

But in 2016, online travel agency eLong used the images in a Weibo post along with Ge You’s name — and the actor hit back with a lawsuit. He said the post looked like an endorsement and infringed his rights. Ge won, and a Beijing court on Friday denied the company's appeal, meaning they will have to pay the actor 75,000 yuan ($11,800), Legal Daily reported.

The company will also have to publicly apologize. An earlier apology, in which eLong cheekily used a quote from Ge, was ruled “ineffective.” (Image: screenshot from ‘I Love My Family’)

1 day

Two of China’s biggest hookup apps are moving in together. Momo will acquire Tantan, a Momo spokesperson told Sixth Tone Friday, paying $600 million and 2.65 million so-called deposit shares for all of Tantan’s stock.

Momo, which launched in 2011, had 91 million active users by Sept. 2017, about two-thirds of whom are male. Tantan, which resembles American app Tinder, launched three years later and now boasts that it has made 5 billion matches.

Momo hopes to finalize the deal by the end of 2018’s second quarter.

2 days

A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry accused critics of trying to harm China-Africa relations when asked about a controversial sketch broadcast Feb. 15 as part of CCTV’s widely-watched Chinese New Year Gala.

The skit featured a Chinese actress who portrayed a Kenyan woman by using black face paint and a wearing a costume with an enlarged chest and posterior. It was widely discussed and criticized both abroad and in China for being racist.

During a press conference Thursday, the spokesperson said that China has persistently opposed all forms of racism, according to a report by Party-owned Global Times. “China-Africa relations have gone through trials and hardships — they’re unbreakable,” he said.

2 days

Police in Nanjing are investigating photographs of two men wearing imperial Japanese military uniforms. The pictures were taken on Nanjing’s Purple Mountain, a historical battlefield, according to the Weibo user whose post of the photos was widely shared. “Poor anti-Japanese martyrs, trampled by some undutiful descendants,” he wrote.

Echoing online criticism, the memorial hall of the Nanjing Massacre — atrocities committed by Japanese forces during World War II — called the men’s behavior “outrageous.” It said the Purple Mountain “used to be soaked with the blood of Chinese soldiers.”

In August last year, Shanghai police detained three people for taking photos in imperial Japanese military uniforms at the site of a famous 1937 battle in Shanghai. (Images: from Weibo)

2 days

360kan.com, a video website by anti-virus software company Qihoo 360, has removed the content of thousands of users after competitor Bilibili accused it of stealing videos and profile information, The Paper reported Thursday.

Bilibili said it had received complaints from its users that their videos, and even their names and profile pictures, had been published on 360kan.com without their permission.

On Tuesday, 360kan.com admitted that some of its users had taken content from Bilibili users and promised to delete the videos and punish or close the accounts in question. Some users had also accused 360kan.com of stealing login information, but that, Bilibili said, turned out not to be true.

2 days

Lhasa police has ruled out the possibility of arson in a fire that broke out Saturday at Jokhang Monastery, a historical Buddhist temple in the Tibet Autonomous Region listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Tibet Daily reported Thursday.

The fire started in a ventilating chamber above a room where an important Buddha statue is enshrined, according to the investigation. Police are still investigating the cause, and said the statue remains intact.

The monastery reopened Sunday, yet little information was revealed of the fire beyond a one-sentence notice on Saturday. Tibet Daily posted photos of the statue and of people visiting the monastery, stating the temple was “in order,” without mentioning the fire.

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