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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.

5 hours

Just as #DeleteFacebook gathers steam online, Tencent has announced that users of its popular messaging app, QQ, can now delete their accounts.

All user data, including chat logs and financial transaction records, will be purged once an account is deleted, Tencent said. In the past, user profiles could only be deleted if QQ administration took over the account — for example, if a user did not log in within three days of registration.

In January, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology urged internet service providers to allow account deletion, following new data privacy regulations.

QQ was once widely used in China but usage has declined with the ascendance of WeChat, Tencent’s other messaging app — which has allowed account deletion since last year. (Image: IC)

7 hours

Another Chinese citizen has been punished for their private messages. A man surnamed Ding was detained for making fun of law enforcement in a group chat, Shaanxi provincial media reported Monday.

Last Monday, the 39-year-old man posted his cover of a famous Chinese song. According to the newspaper, Ding changed the sweet lyrics praising family to a diss track slandering local traffic police, and shared his version in a WeChat group. On Thursday, he was brought into custody for an unspecified length of time.

China’s administration has laid down strict rules for WeChat timelines and chat groups, holding group owners responsible as well as members who post offending messages. People have been detained for cursing cops, organizing gambling, and dishonoring Nanjing massacre victims. (Image: Shaanxi province legislative affairs website)

7 hours

Nanjing Agricultural University is now offering a course on the centuries-old art of animal acupuncture, China News Service reported Tuesday.

Veterinary acupuncture — one of five forms of Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine (TVCM) — helps diagnose diseases in animals as they cannot communicate their pain verbally, professor Hu Yuanliang explained. The course combines traditional practices with modern research methods and clinical studies.

As Chinese people increasingly see their pets as part of their families, more are turning to TVCM treatments — along with all manner of other pet services and products. (Image: VCG)

15 hours

The recent case of a stray dog injuring over 10 students at Anqing Normal University has prompted online debate over the school’s management of strays, The Paper reported Monday.

None of the victims were seriously hurt, and campus security euthanized the animal. Students took to Weibo to debate the university’s role in management, while the school expressed its concern over students being too eager to approach strays.

The university’s director of campus security stressed the difficulty of maintaining student safety while still allowing stray dogs to roam free, as harm might come to them off campus.

China has no institutionalized animal shelter system. To cope with the problem, cities have imposed one-dog-per-household rules or expensive ownership fees. (Image: Weibo)

1 day

A toddler was injured yesterday after her father dropped her on her head while imitating a viral video meme, The Paper reported.

The challenge, which is popular on short video app Douyin, involves a two-person somersault move, but in this case, the man lost his grip. His daughter hit her head and badly injured her spine. Doctors say they don’t know when she will fully recover.

It’s not the first time someone has been injured while attempting to recreate a meme: In February, a 19-year-old in Changsha fractured her ankle while copying another Douyin video. Many have also been rushed to the hospital after attempting the “Tide pod challenge.” (Image: Douyin)

1 day

Alibaba’s “last-mile” strategy has expanded into the bedroom with emergency sex supplies delivered to your door.

The company’s grocery delivery app, Hema Xiansheng, launched an adult product section for Shanghai customers on Monday evening called “Hormone” that offers a selection of 700 condoms, lubricants, and sex toys — of which more than 50 are available for 30-minute delivery.

Hema told Sixth Tone that its pre-launch trial had found that people aged 40 to 49 were the major consumer group for adult products, while customers born after 1990 were more willing to buy expensive condom brands.

The service will become available to users in other cities starting in late April — though several other apps already offer delivery of convenience store products, including condoms, lube, and sex toys. (Image: Weibo)

1 day

Stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen have looked into more than 20 listed companies in 2018 for using the hype around blockchain to increase their stock prices, Beijing News reported Tuesday.

On Monday, Shenzhen Stock Exchange sent a supervision attention letter to Hangzhou-based internet company, Enjoyor Co., Ltd. The company’s stocks jumped last week after it announced that Numbull, a financial information provider in which it had invested, had co-launched the world’s first blockchain-based digital data forensic certificate. But later the announcement was deleted — prompting the stock exchange’s inquiry.

Blockchain fever is growing in China with big players like Alibaba, Baidu, and NetEase getting in the game — as well as quirkier iterations like a boyband fan coin, despite the country’s cryptocurrency ban. (Image: VCG)

2 days

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)

2 days

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)

2 days

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)