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2018-03-06 05:32:44

China’s three biggest telecom giants have agreed to Premier Li Keqiang’s proposal to scrap domestic data roaming charges and reduce mobile data fees by at least 30 percent.

China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom said Monday they will increase the coverage of high-speed broadband in rural and urban areas, increase internet speed, and lower tariffs to boost the development of “Digital China.”

Li’s proposal was part of the government work report he presented at the annual meeting of the nation’s top legislative and advisory bodies, known as “Two Sessions.” There are an estimated 753 million mobile users in China, and the country’s digital economy was worth $4.1 trillion in 2017, accounting for 32 percent of the country’s GDP.

6 hours

Eight students who ran away from their homes in southwestern China because of pressure they faced at home and at school have been found safe, police in Chongqing’s Qianjiang District announced Tuesday.

At around noon on Sunday, a couple had reported their daughter missing after she hadn’t come home for 24 hours. According to police, the girl had run away with seven of her schoolmates: Fed-up with their parents’ nagging and their mediocre grades, the group had decided to leave home in search of jobs. The students’ ages were not disclosed.

Striving to stand out among their many peers can be a source of frustration for many Chinese young people. Last year, an education think tank found that domestic disputes and academic pressure were the leading causes of suicides and attempted suicides in children and teens aged 8 to 17.

According to the district government’s statement, local police have also called on both parents and the wider community to improve communication with young people and be more attentive to their mental health. (Image: VCG)

11 hours

Police in southwestern China’s Yunnan province apologized Tuesday for releasing childhood photos of four suspects on their wanted list.

The Zhenxiong County police had published photos of 100 wanted suspects on Monday in a bid to obtain information that might lead to their arrests. However, photos of four of the suspects — now between 17 and 51 years old — were of them when they were kids.

Zhenxiong police explained that they had used the childhood photos because more recent ones had not been available, and that the photos had been removed following criticism from the public.

The wanted list is part of a local campaign to stamp out gang activity. All 100 wanted suspects hail from Zhenxiong County. (Image: @中国新闻社 on Weibo)

11 hours

Four people are dead and 15 are injured after a passenger bus collided with a truck Wednesday in Henan province, the Gushi County government announced on Weibo.

The accident — which occurred at the intersection of a county road and a provincial road at around 8 a.m — caused the bus to turn over. All of the injured were sent to a local hospital for treatment, the statement said.

The total number of passengers on the bus at the time of the accident has yet to be determined, and local police are investigating the cause of the accident. (Image: @博陵文心雕龙 on Weibo)

14 hours

China’s marriage rate in 2018 sunk to a level not seen since 2013, according to multiple domestic media reports on Tuesday.

Last year’s national average marriage rate reached just 0.72 percent, markedly lower than the 2013 rate of 0.99 percent. Meanwhile, the local figures in more economically developed areas of the country turned out to be even lower in 2018, with the marriage rates for Zhejiang province and Shanghai municipality reaching only 0.59 and 0.44 percent, respectively. Tuesday’s reports pointed to marrying at a later age and the increased cost of living as reasons for the fall.

Following the news, a hashtag translating to “record-low marriage rate in 2018” went viral on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, receiving 430 million views by Wednesday afternoon. (Image: VCG)

1 day

The Walt Disney Company on Monday denied partnering with a Chinese online English-teaching startup after domestic media had previously reported about an upcoming alliance between the two companies.

Earlier this month, several Chinese media outlets reported that VIPKID users would have access to the Disney Youth Education Series after the partnership. However, Disney clarified in its statement that its program — part of the American company’s youth-centric projects — is already open to all young people worldwide. The online tutoring platform responded to Disney, posting on Weibo that it had gained “support” from the company, though it later deleted this post.

Established in 2013, VIPKID has grown into a community of over 500,000 members. Last year, it announced plans to expand its services to 100 countries in three years and said that it had partnered with Scholastic — publisher of the “Harry Potter” series — to introduce the popular fantasy novels to its members. (Image: From VIPKID’s Weibo account)

1 day

A court in southwestern China has ruled in favor of an American cosmetics company in a trademark infringement case against e-commerce platform, Sina Technology reported Monday.

The Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court ordered the online retailer to immediately stop selling counterfeit MAC cosmetics — a brand under Estée Lauder Companies Inc. — and pay 1.2 million yuan ($179,000) in damages, according to a verdict dated Jan. 15 but only published Friday. The court also ordered to disclose its supply chain information and destroy all imitation MAC products in its possession.

A subsidiary of tech giant NetEase, has faced — and denied — multiple allegations of peddling counterfeit goods since last year. In January, a consumer claimed that the online retailer was selling fake Canada Goose parkas, while the China Consumers Association accused of selling counterfeit Estée Lauder eye cream in February 2018. (Image: VCG)

1 day

China’s multipurpose messaging app WeChat has shut down over 1,000 chat groups using the platform to unlawfully disseminate financial lending information, according to a statement released by the company Monday.

WeChat’s security department said it had closed groups in which users distributed financial lending information without the license to do so. The statement added that the crackdown is aimed at protecting users from financial fraud, as unlicensed peer-to-peer lenders were found to be operating on the platform despite an ongoing ban.

Peer-to-peer — or P2P — lending companies have become popular in China for providing hassle-free loans, albeit at high rates of interest. But many smaller P2P lenders, facing issues such as diminishing funds and rising numbers of defaulters, have been forced to shut down since 2018. China is likely to have as few as 300 P2P lenders by the end of 2019, according to market research firm Yingcan Group. (Image: VCG)

1 day

Goth netizens are posting photos of themselves online in support of a woman who was barred from boarding the subway in southern China last week because of her “horrifying” makeup.

On microblogging platform Weibo, users are sharing their selfies alongside a hashtag translating to “Send Guangzhou Metro a Photo,” which had been viewed over 5 million times by noon Tuesday. The campaign was launched to show solidarity with a woman named Lin Lin, whose social media post on March 10 about mistreatment by subway security staff because of her Goth-style makeup went viral last week.

Guangzhou Metro has attempted to atone for the original incident multiple times since Lin Lin posted on Weibo. On Friday, the metro apologized and announced that it had temporarily suspended the female security guard involved. Then on Saturday — after Lin Lin had vocally dismissed Guangzhou Metro’s initial apologies as “insincere” — the company issued a public apology on Weibo. (Images: From Weibo)

1 day

As Chinese people prepare to honor their ancestors over next month’s Tomb-Sweeping Festival holiday, the country’s central bank on Monday banned the use of imitation banknotes as traditional offerings.

The People’s Bank of China says the restriction is aimed at “preserving the integrity and dignity” of the country’s currency and preventing the “improper use of currency images,” according to a Monday report by China News Service. The report did not elaborate on how violators would be punished.

On April 5, people across China will celebrate Tomb-Sweeping Day — or Qingming Festival — by offering money, foodstuffs, and other items to their ancestors to aid them in the afterlife.

In recent years, local governments have prohibited the burning of so-called ghost money in order to curb air pollution. This year, however, marks the first time a nationwide ban will be implemented, according to China News Service. (Image: VCG)

2 days

The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and tech giant Tencent have begun issuing the country’s first blockchain-enabled electronic invoices for transportation costs, Tencent’s news portal reported Monday.

Beginning Monday, the digital invoices are available for riders using either social app WeChat or Shenzhen Metro’s smartphone app to pay for trips on the city’s subway system and one of its airport shuttles, as well as with participating taxis. Both apps utilize blockchain technology — the decentralized system of electronic “blocks” of information — developed by Tencent.

In August 2018, Shenzhen became the first Chinese city to issue electronic invoices using blockchain technology for WeChat payments with participating businesses. (Image: @刺猬公社 on Weibo)