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2018-03-12 08:52:00

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.

5 days

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)

5 days

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)

5 days

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.

6 days

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)

6 days

A man suspected of stealing an e-bike challenged police to come get him. So they did — and he’s now in detention, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

Police in Guiyang, Guizhou province, received a tipoff last week that a man surnamed Bai had stolen an e-bike. When Bai got wind of this, he posted a message for the cops on Douyin, a popular video-sharing app. “Come catch me,” Bai says while gesturing his arms in a welcoming motion before breaking into laughter.

Two days later, Guiyang police found Bai at his home. Again, he was all over social media — but this time, Bai was in handcuffs. (Image: Douyin)

2018-06-11 08:58:13

A county in central China apologized Saturday for “improper phrasing” and “weak awareness of the law” after it threatened the families of four suspected thieves who are hiding abroad.

The fugitives are accused of stealing the belongings of airline passengers. The crime is popular in Luoshan County, which started a crackdown in May because, it said, the thievery tarnished China’s international image and the reputation of Henan province — which is already the butt of many jokes.

On June 1, the government office set up to deal with airborne theft announced that if the four didn’t turn themselves in before certain dates, their families would have their personal information publicized, be put on a social credit blacklist, and have “home of a flying thief” signs placed at their houses.

2018-06-11 08:20:30

Twenty-four people are being treated in hospital after a natural gas pipeline exploded late Sunday evening near their village in Guizhou province, The Paper reported.

Nobody died in the accident; eight people are being given “critical” treatment. According to local officials, the pipeline was automatically shut immediately following the explosion, and the fire was put out after about three hours, at 2:30 a.m. on Monday. Videos online showed a meters-high fire that illuminated the night sky.

The pipeline is operated by state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation. Last year July, the same pipeline sprung a leak, killing eight people. (Image: Xinhua)

Correction: A previous version of this article said the July 2017 incident occured at a different pipeline. It was the same pipeline.

2018-06-08 07:53:00

Authorities in Shanghai have seized thousands of footballs with unauthorized 2018 FIFA World Cup logos ahead of the tournament in Russia, according to China News.

Shanghai Customs revealed Thursday that in April, they had seized 2,470 counterfeit footballs that were going to be shipped to Colombia. They were found to have infringed the trademarked “RUSSIA 2018” logo. Customs have confiscated over 130,000 other counterfeit World Cup items since China and Russia enforced new guidelines to protect intellectual property rights.

China is seen as a manufacturing hub for sporting merchandise, which has often led to fake goods flooding the market. (Image: VCG)

2018-06-07 07:29:21

China’s national college exam starts today — and so have the scams associated with it.

Swindlers have been circulating a text message alerting people of a missing gaokao admission card of a student named Liu Mingwei, urging them to call a specific number if they have any info, The Beijing News reported Thursday. Many people sympathetic to the student sitting for the notoriously tough test end up calling the number — either to inquire or help — for which they’re charged a certain sum. Scammers have followed the same tactic for years, the report said. Last year, Beijing police warned of a scam using the same name, in which people lost hundreds of yuan on bogus calls. The education ministry also published a list of rumors and scams ahead of the 2017 exam to squash fraudulent activities.

2018-06-07 07:28:22

The Forbidden City’s “antique hospital” will welcome its first group of 40 visitors on Saturday in a trial run before it officially opens to the public. The group will be able to see how relics like ancient bronzes and watches are repaired.

Established in December 2016, the conservation and restoration institute of the Forbidden City is the best in the country, and something of a celebrity in its own right. A documentary about the restoration artists working there attracted millions of views on youth-dominated streaming site Bilibili in 2016, and last year, a ten-episode show called “National Treasure” — which used skits to tell the stories of artefacts — earned a rating of 9.1 on review site Douban. (Image: VCG)