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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.

2 days

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)

3 days

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)

4 days

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)

4 days

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

4 days

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.

Possession of firearms is tightly controlled in China, and even owning toy guns can result in serious punishments — in some cases, even life sentences. (Image: from Weibo)

5 days

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)

5 days

Shared-bike startup Ofo has completed a $866 million financing round led by e-commerce giant Alibaba, breaking the industry’s previous record, the bike company said Tuesday in a statement to Sixth Tone.

The investment — which also included contributions from Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital — comes just one week after Alibaba loaned the company $280 million.

Ofo and its rival Mobike account for 90 percent of the world’s shared-bike market, according to Cheetah Global Think Tank. Last June, Mobike completed a $600 million financing round led by Tencent. Ofo expects its number of customers worldwide to increase from 200 million to 1 billion over the next two years.

6 days

Several members of China’s top political advisory body have proposed marking Dec. 18 as National Reform and Opening-Up Day, The Paper reported Sunday. The day would commemorate sweeping reforms that changed the course of the country’s development after it emerged from the Cultural Revolution.

On Dec. 18, 1978, the third plenary session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China commenced, setting in motion a series of policies termed “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Spearheaded by leader Deng Xiaoping, the reform program decollectivized agriculture and opened the country to foreign investment, putting the country on the path to a market economy. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the reforms.

2018-03-09 09:44:36

Police in Shenzhen have suspended 1,280 food delivery drivers — nearly 10 percent of the city’s total — for a week starting March 12 for traffic violations, Guangzhou Daily reported Thursday.

New regulations have also been introduced that say couriers who are caught breaking traffic rules three times will be blacklisted, and that delivery services must suspend operations when one of their drivers is involved in a fatal accident, police said.

China’s booming food delivery industry has created around 10 million driver jobs nationwide, but authorities have accused companies of pushing their employees to work as fast as possible and ignore traffic rules. In Shenzhen alone, accidents with takeout delivery drivers killed at least six people last year.

2018-03-09 06:32:59

Tencent has invested a total of $1.09 billion in two of China’s largest livestreaming platforms, Douyu and Huya.

NASDAQ-listed YY, Huya’s parent company, announced Thursday that it raised $461.6 million from Tencent hours after Douyu disclosed it received $630 million from the company. Both platforms are popular for streaming games, similar to Amazon subsidiary Twitch. Tencent, chiefly known for WeChat, is also China’s largest gaming company.

Both Huya and Douyu are reportedly seeking to go public. Earlier this year, Chinese video streaming sites iQiyi and Bilibili filed for initial public offerings in the U.S.