Using its bright yellow bikes as collateral, shared bicycle giant Ofo received 1.77 billion yuan ($280 million) in financing from Alibaba, The Paper reported Sunday.
In two separate deals on Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, Ofo pledged nearly 4.5 million and an unknown number of bikes respectively to two companies affiliated with Alibaba, a major Ofo shareholder. Ofo did not reply to a request for comment on Monday.
Ofo has denied recent media reports that it is running out of money. In September, the company reportedly tried to secure $1 billion in funding from Alibaba, but another major shareholder, ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, blocked the deal. Didi, meanwhile, has been rumored to be trying to get Ofo and its main competitor, Mobike, to merge.
Chinese beverage company Wahaha Group Co. Ltd. is among 11 major bottled water brands globally that were found to contain plastic micro particles, The Guardian reported last week.
Researchers from the State University of New York found that 93 percent of bottled water tested — including Evian and Nestlé Pure Life — showed signs of microplastic contamination. The health impact of ingesting micro plastic particles is unclear. Ensuring safety of drinking water sources is one of China’s anti-pollution priorities for 2018.
China is already the world’s biggest market for bottled water, and per capita consumption is also growing steadily. Hangzhou-based Wahaha Group is the country’s largest non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer, according to China Daily. The company did not answer Sixth Tone’s calls on Monday. (Image: VCG)
Animal rights group PETA published allegations on Thursday that a dog was mistreated during the filming of Chinese director Ning Hao’s “Crazy Alien.” The post — also published on PETA’s WeChat — includes a video that appears to show a caged German shepherd dropped 20 feet into “a frigid, fast-flowing river” on set in November 2017. The witness told PETA that the scene was repeated for multiple takes.
“Glee” actor Matthew Morrison, who stars in the film, expressed his outrage on Twitter.
On Saturday, the film’s production crew responded on Weibo that the dog “accidentally” fell into the water twice before they switched to using an empty cage and CGI in post-production. The statement denied that the conduct was abusive, maintaining that the dog was a professional stunt animal under its owner’s care. (Image: YouTube)
Tsinghua University has filed a lawsuit against Jiangsu Education Group for trademark infringement and unfair competition, demanding more than 3 million yuan compensation, China News Service reported Friday.
The logo on the education group’s official website says Qinghuayuan Xuexiao — with “Qinghua” using the same characters as “Tsinghua.” According to Tsinghua University, since the Chinese public often refers to the university as simply “Qinghua,” the education group’s trademark is misleading and has damaged the university’s reputation.
The phenomenon of unrelated institutions feigning affiliation with prestigious universities is relatively common in China — in 2016, Peking University called out 124 schools whose names suggested a false association with the university. (Image: VCG)
Shenzhen’s transportation watchdog has ordered Didi Chuxing to withdraw 20,000 Qingju shared bikes from the southern city’s streets, People’s Daily reported, just two months after the company — which originated as a car-hailing app — launched its own Qingju bikes.
Didi and another bike-share company, Hellobike, had filed applications to the watchdog on March 8 to release more bikes but the watchdog rejected the request, citing an oversaturated market. “We’re in constructive communication with the authorities,” a member of Didi’s public relations team told Sixth Tone on Monday. (Image: VCG)
A fatal scuffle in the metro of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, has kindled a lively online debate around pets on public transportation, after two goldfish died in a dispute.
Local media reported Thursday that guards stopped a 30-year-old passenger at security check for attempting to board the metro with two live goldfish in a leaky bucket inside a plastic bag. According to the report, security footage showed the irate passenger throwing the bucket during the argument.
Metro services across China lack unified rules on animals onboard, even for service animals: Last year a visually impaired woman in Beijing was turned away because her guide dog wasn’t muzzled. But fish are usually permitted — as long as they’re dead. (Image: from Weibo)
Entwined utility wires will no longer be an eyesore at Shanghai’s landmarks, as city officials plan to take them underground.
The historic Wukang Mansion in the former French Concession area will be among the first sites to undergo transformation, The Paper reported Wednesday. Authorities have ordered the removal of telephone poles and cables, as well as air-conditioning units mounted on the apartment building’s façade, by April 15. The move is part of a citywide beautification project ahead of the first China International Import Expo scheduled for November.
Shanghai is home to dozens of heritage buildings, many of which have become popular selfie sites. Now, happy snappers can look forward to getting “wireless” shots for social media. (Image: VCG)
Around 600,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Japan during the cherry blossom season from late March to late April, according to a Ctrip report, and parks and university campuses in China also fill up with flower followers.
Wuhan University, one of the most popular domestic destinations for those sniffing out bountiful blossoms, asks visitors to book online, limiting entry to 15,000 people per weekday.
It’s not uncommon for universities in China to restrict entry: Last year, Tsinghua University banned visitors on weekdays while Guangxi University of Foreign Languages prohibited food delivery to the campus. Peking University even attracts scalpers selling a faster route into its scenic grounds. But others have argued that as public institutions, university campuses should have an open environment. (Image: Wuhan University booking portal)
Someone borrowed something blue: The Chinese agent representing well-known American denim brand Levi Strauss & Co. has sued two Chinese companies, alleging that they have copied Levi’s trademarked back-pocket design: a double arch pattern that resembles a flying seagull.
According to Beijing’s Haidian court, which heard the case on Tuesday, the plaintiff demanded that the defendants destroy all copycat inventories and pay Levi’s 300,000-yuan ($47,500) damages. Levi’s also asked the defendants to publish an announcement in a Chinese intellectual property newspaper.
The court adjourned without a ruling on Tuesday, as the plaintiff and defendants agreed to settle but failed to reach a deal on site. (Image: from Levi.com)
On Tuesday afternoon, police apprehended a 15-year-old middle school student who is suspected of firing a slingshot at a passing train, Shanghai rail and transport police announced.
A loud bang shocked Shanghai Metro passengers on Sunday afternoon, though no one was injured. Police determined that the suspect had fired a slingshot from his 11th-floor home as the carriage passed through an above-ground section. Two BB guns, two slingshots, and nearly 100 steel and plastic pellets were found at the suspect’s residence, and police added that he is being questioned in his mother’s presence.
At this year’s Two Sessions political meetings, Bai Jiazhaxi, a National People’s Congress delegate, proposed yaks as the mascot of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing and Hebei province, The Paper reported Tuesday.
The shaggy domestic yak is common to the Tibetan Plateau, and Bai’s home province of Qinghai in the country’s northeast is home to almost 600 million of the animal — nearly a third of those in existence. Bai suggested that the yak’s resilient nature in harsh environs symbolizes endurance, sacrifice, and solidity, making it a perfect match for the Olympic spirit.
After delivering a lackluster performance at this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Chinese government has called to improve snow and ice sports training in the country. (Image: 500px/VCG)