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2018-02-22 09:59:26

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.

10 hours

Construction has been shut down at a building site in Nanjing after a worker was killed by a foundation pile, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

At noon that day, a worker who was busy shortening a concrete foundational pile was hit on the head when it suddenly fell over. He was sent to the hospital but died soon after the incident.

The core of the cylindrical pile was discovered to be full of soil, according to the construction company, which said the piles had been outsourced to another firm. The local government has suspended construction while all other piles are being checked. (Image: Modern Express)

10 hours

The hottest spring in 57 years has resulted in the deaths of 12,100 animals herded on the grasslands near Bayan Nur, a city in northern China near the border with Mongolia, Xinhua reported Saturday.

Insufficient rain and temperatures of four degrees Celcius above the historical average have meant that more than two-thirds of the area’s grasslands have yet to turn green. Desertification is a major problem in much of northern China.

The local government has brought in nearly 90,000 tons of grass and has reserved 22 million yuan ($3.4 million) to alleviate the problem, which affects some 13,000 herders and 1.37 million animals. It is also planning to attempt to induce artificial precipitation. But, the report said, none of that will be enough if it doesn’t start raining this month. (Image: VCG)

13 hours

Police in the southwestern city Leshan have detained a 31-year-old man on the suspicion he caused an explosion on a bus Monday evening that injured 15, including himself.

In a statement early Tuesday morning, police said they had ruled out terrorism as a motive. The man, surnamed Gu, had previously been convicted for drug abuse and theft. The Leshan local was the only person who was seriously injured. The statement did not say what had caused the explosion.

Footage from a traffic surveillance camera showed that the bus had come to a stop and that passengers were getting off before the explosion occurred, shattering the bus’s windows. (Image: Weibo)

6 days

China’s largest ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing has announced that it will restart its cost-saving Didi Hitch service at night — but drivers will only be allowed to pick up passengers of the same gender.

The company suspended the service last month after a female passenger was allegedly killed by her Didi driver while using Hitch, which pairs passengers with drivers taking a similar route. A week later, Didi resumed Hitch during limited hours.

In a Weibo post on Wednesday, Didi said the service would restart between 10pm and 12am, and 5am to 6am, although drivers would be limited to passengers of the same gender during those hours.

According to data released by the company in January, 90 percent of its registered Hitch drivers are male. (Image: IC)

6 days

Nearly 10 million users of China’s pioneering video-sharing platform may have had their personal data hacked, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

AcFun emailed its users — including Sixth Tone’s reporter — advising them to change their passwords, and said it has organized a security team to investigate the problem and upgrade safety measures. “In the case of this severe accident, the fundamental reason is that we didn’t make AcFun safe enough. For this, we must sincerely apologize to you,” the company said, addressing its users.

Founded in 2007, AcFun was the first video-sharing site in China to feature now-ubiquitous “bullet screens.” Facing stiff competition from rivals like Bilibili, AcFun was on the verge of bankruptcy before being bought by Kuaishou earlier this month. (Image: IC)

6 days

Government officials using WeChat to liaise with colleagues should avoid “bureaucratic formalism,” a catch-all term for showing off empty accomplishments, warned a publication affiliated to the Party’s Publicity Department.

WeChat is deeply integrated into Chinese work life, and civil servants are no exception. But in a commentary published Wednesday in monthly magazine China Comment, officials complained about work groups filled with formalism, flattery, and corruption.

One official said colleagues would frequently share staged photos of themselves hard at work. In other cases, higher-ups would overtly ask for virtual red envelopes with money. Another interviewee complained of female colleagues trying to curry favor with their male bosses by sending rose emojis after their every comment.

2018-06-12 11:35:28

Police in eastern China have given a man surnamed Zhu one week’s detention for pretending to be a Ministry of Emergency Management official, The Paper reported Tuesday.

To help out a vengeful friend, Zhu had dressed up as an inspector and managed to temporarily shut down two factories producing leggings and suitcases over supposed safety infractions. Police in Yiwu, a city famous for its massive small-commodities market, caught Zhu on June 1 with faked documents and banners with which to seal off company premises.

China’s central government frequently organizes massive inspection tours. But Yiwu police told The Paper that businesses shouldn’t trust “officials” who, like Zhu, are alone. Real inspectors always show up in groups of at least two, it said. (Image: Weibo)

2018-06-12 07:34:27

A man suspected of stealing an e-bike challenged police to come get him. So they did — and he’s now in detention, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

Police in Guiyang, Guizhou province, received a tipoff last week that a man surnamed Bai had stolen an e-bike. When Bai got wind of this, he posted a message for the cops on Douyin, a popular video-sharing app. “Come catch me,” Bai says while gesturing his arms in a welcoming motion before breaking into laughter.

Two days later, Guiyang police found Bai at his home. Again, he was all over social media — but this time, Bai was in handcuffs. (Image: Douyin)

2018-06-11 08:58:13

A county in central China apologized Saturday for “improper phrasing” and “weak awareness of the law” after it threatened the families of four suspected thieves who are hiding abroad.

The fugitives are accused of stealing the belongings of airline passengers. The crime is popular in Luoshan County, which started a crackdown in May because, it said, the thievery tarnished China’s international image and the reputation of Henan province — which is already the butt of many jokes.

On June 1, the government office set up to deal with airborne theft announced that if the four didn’t turn themselves in before certain dates, their families would have their personal information publicized, be put on a social credit blacklist, and have “home of a flying thief” signs placed at their houses.

2018-06-11 08:20:30

Twenty-four people are being treated in hospital after a natural gas pipeline exploded late Sunday evening near their village in Guizhou province, The Paper reported.

Nobody died in the accident; eight people are being given “critical” treatment. According to local officials, the pipeline was automatically shut immediately following the explosion, and the fire was put out after about three hours, at 2:30 a.m. on Monday. Videos online showed a meters-high fire that illuminated the night sky.

The pipeline is operated by state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation. Last year July, the same pipeline sprung a leak, killing eight people. (Image: Xinhua)

Correction: A previous version of this article said the July 2017 incident occured at a different pipeline. It was the same pipeline.