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2018-03-05 10:41:43

One of China’s most popular Math Olympiads, Hua Luogeng Cup, has been postponed indefinitely, media reported Saturday. The event, its 23rd iteration, was scheduled for March 10. Another math competition, Thinking and Learning Cup, has been suspended, the report said.

Math Olympiads are popular in China because good scores can help students secure spots at the country’s best middle schools. But the competitions have often been criticized for putting immense pressure on young children, which the government wants to avoid. Last week, the Ministry of Education warned teachers not to encourage or force students to attend extracurricular classes. In 2017, Shanghai authorities canceled several Olympiads over concerns they would interfere with compulsory education.

2 hours

Two women in eastern China were electrocuted during Wednesday’s downpour, raising fresh concerns about faulty electric infrastructure during the rainy season.

The pair was electrocuted by a telegraph pole near a bus stop in the city of Fuzhou, local media reported. Both the victims were rushed to the hospital following the incident. While one of them was discharged Wednesday, the other is being treated after suffering partial paralysis from the shock. Fuzhou’s state grid said Thursday that the incidents were caused by faulty wires, not the city’s utility poles. 

In a similar incident last week, four people were electrocuted to death in Guangdong province, as torrential rain lashed parts of southern China. All the bodies were found near power poles and bus stops with electric signs. (Image:VCG)

1 day

An animal handler accused of abusing Wuhan Zoo’s sole giant panda was suspended on Tuesday, The Paper reported.

The 13-year-old panda, named Weiwei, was transferred to Wuhan following the fatal 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Last week, a Weibo user accused the zoo of mistreating the panda and posted photos which the user claimed showed Weiwei’s paws, nose, testicles, and teeth were in an unhealthy condition. The user said the zookeeper had smoked and washed themselves inside the panda's cage, and fed apples crawling with ants to Weiwei.

According to The Paper, the zoo is looking into the case and the panda will be sent back to Sichuan’s Bifengxia Giant Panda Base to recuperate. Sixth Tone's attempt to contact the Wuhan Zoo director on Wednesday was unsuccessful. (Image: Weibo)

1 day

The World Health Organization’s classification of gaming addiction as a mental health condition earlier this week shouldn’t be used as an excuse to send children to so-called rehabilitation schools, a commentary in Party newspaper People’s Daily said Wednesday.

Numerous private “clinics” have sprung up in China over the years which attempt to rid children of internet addiction by using corporal punishment and electroshock therapy. Though ordered to close, some institutions found it easy to re-open with the support of parents.

The commentary warned parents not to panic about the new classification and be mindful of being tricked by “unidentified” internet boot camps whose treatments have no scientific basis: “Our children would only suffer there.”  (Image: VCG)

2 days

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)

2 days

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)

2 days

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)

2018-06-13 13:06:33

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)

2018-06-13 09:54:25

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)

2018-06-13 04:50:01

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)