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2018-05-16 08:40:45

Earlier this month, over 70,000 people lined up hoping to secure one of around 1,000 new apartments in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Because of high demand, eligibility to buy homes is often determined by lottery — and odds of winning can be as low as 1 percent.

The frenzy prompted the local government to issue stricter policies on Tuesday limiting homeownership for local families and requiring new migrants to make social security payments for one year before being eligible to buy a home.

China’s so-called second-tier cities compete against Beijing, Shanghai, and each other to lure top talent — but preferential policies aimed at attracting bright young minds can also exacerbate shortages in the property market. (Image: VCG)

16 hours

Authorities in Chenzhou, Hunan province, have removed an educator from his role as head teacher after determining that he misused money from a student fund, the local government announced Tuesday.

The teacher, surnamed He, was stripped of his title at a Chenzhou high school for using parents’ donations — intended to be put toward classroom materials and extracurricular activities — to buy gifts for himself and five of his colleagues as a show of students’ gratitude. According to chat screenshots posted on Weibo, nearly 6,500 yuan ($960) from the fund went toward gifts for He and the other teachers, including cash in the form of digital red envelopes. The local education bureau has ordered the teachers to return the money and the cash equivalents of their gifts.

In November of last year, another school in Hunan fired its principal after he was caught using computers to mine cryptocurrency around the clock, costing the school 17,000 yuan in electricity bills. (Image: VCG)

20 hours

Enshi, a city in central China’s Hubei province, is sick of its road safety problem.

Last February, it rolled out “precautionary” house calls by local traffic police to drivers of heavy vehicles and people who have previously broken driving laws. Now, the city known for winding mountain roads says it will start treating fatal traffic incidents as homicide cases, local newspaper Chutian Metropolis Daily reported Tuesday. If someone is killed in a traffic incident in Enshi, the director of the city’s public security bureau, along with leaders from the transport bureau, will be required to attend the scene.

In 2017, China’s annual death toll from road accidents ranked second-highest in the world, according to state news agency Xinhua. (Image: VCG)

Republished with permission from Caixin Global.

1 day

A watered-down sequel to “Deadpool” — the 2016 Marvel film about a crude, sword-slinging antihero of the same name — will soon premiere in China, according to a Monday announcement from the film’s distributor, Twentieth Century Fox.

A trailer for “Deadpool: I Love My Family” features Ryan Reynolds’ black-and-red character — whom Chinese fans call “Jian Jian,” meaning “bitchy,” for his irreverent and snarky humor — saying, “Yes, I know it’s taken a while, but I’m finally coming to China!” The post that includes the trailer also gives Jan. 25 as the date of the China premiere.

The R-rated “Deadpool” franchise has not made it to theaters on the Chinese mainland. South Korea held the worldwide premiere of “Deadpool 2” eight months ago, and a PG-13 version of that film — titled “Once Upon a Deadpool” and believed to be the same as or similar to the Chinese release — was screened for U.S. audiences in December.

The China Film Bureau rigorously screens foreign movies for objectionable content, approving only a few dozen for release each year. With a strict content-policing mechanism already in place, the country has yet to introduce its own film rating system. (Image: @电影X战警 on Weibo)

2019-01-04 09:46:47

A university in Hubei province canceled a graduate’s degree after learning that he had falsified part of his application, The Paper reported Thursday.

In late December, Wuhan University posted a memo online saying that the diploma of 2017 graduate Zhu Yi had been revoked after Hubei’s sports administration notified the school of an inconsistency on his application. Zhu had claimed to hold the prestigious title of national-level athlete; however, the administration later realized that because Zhu had not shown up to play in the national badminton championship in May 2012, he was ineligible for the accolade.

Zhu had used his ill-gotten athletic fame to gain admission to Wuhan University as a high-level athlete, which allowed him to score lower on his entrance exams. He enrolled in the school’s media and communications department in 2013 and graduated with an advertising degree in 2017. (Image: VCG)

2019-01-04 08:18:14

A court in Shandong province ruled on Wednesday that a resident who had been given a paltry reward from local authorities after reporting a food safety violation is entitled to 10,000 times more than he received.

An intermediate people’s court in the provincial capital of Jinan said that the whistleblower, surnamed Jia, should receive 2,000 yuan ($290) for exposing a supermarket selling expired bread in March 2017. Shandong’s food and drug administration had slapped the store with a 50,000 yuan fine but given Jia a cash reward of just 0.2 yuan, or about 3 cents. In November the same year, Jia sued the administration for a bigger payout.

Food safety has become a top priority for local governments following several high-profile blows to consumer confidence. In April 2014, Beijing set a maximum reward of 300,000 yuan for reporting “illegal food and drugs,” while Shanghai paid out a total of 2.4 million yuan to food and safety whistleblowers between January 2012 and March 2016 — the most recent data available. (Image: VCG)

2019-01-04 08:17:29

China’s top prosecution body plans to launch a dedicated unit to study, investigate, and prosecute cases involving underage offenders and victims following a series of violent incidents, according to an announcement on Thursday.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, which will oversee the unit, “must actively explore the characteristics and patterns of such crimes to set up a judicial scheme suitable for minors,” said Deputy Procurator General Tong Jianming. Under China’s current juvenile delinquency law, offenders under the age of 14 are exempt from punishment. “Minors have been committing crimes at a younger age — they’re behaving more like adults and their actions are becoming increasingly violent,” Tong said during a press conference.

On Thursday, a 13-year-old was arrested in Yunnan province for allegedly killing both of his parents, and a 12-year-old killed his mother in Hunan province last month. (Image: Supreme People’s Procuratorate)

2019-01-03 14:31:15

For the first time ever, a major Chinese city has banned the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces.

A spokesperson from the Center for Disease Control in Hangzhou told The Beijing News on Wednesday that from Jan. 1, the city’s public smoking ban had been expanded to include e-cigarettes because they “cause harm to people’s health” — a claim that’s still being debated by experts.

Though Hangzhou is the first city in China to institute a vaping ban, Zhang Jianshu, chairman of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association, says other cities should consider following suit. In June 2015, Beijing became the first city in China to implement a smoking ban in indoor public spaces, and Shanghai passed a similar regulation the following year — though residents were skeptical about how strictly such bans would be enforced.

According to Caixin, China produces over 90 percent of the world’s e-cigarettes. While most of the products are exported overseas, the report said that domestic use is rising. (Image: VCG)

2019-01-03 09:32:32

A Nanjing University professor found guilty of plagiarism last month has now been stripped of one of the country’s highest tertiary-level honors, The Paper reported Sunday.

China’s Ministry of Education told The Paper that Liang Ying has been expelled from the prestigious Changjiang Scholars Program, following the sociology professor's dismissal from her teaching post for plagiarizing academic articles. In September of last year, the education ministry had announced that recipients could have their titles revoked for plagiarism or for violating teaching or research ethics.

In recent months, another Nanjing University professor was also removed from the program, while a Sun Yat-sen University professor had his application for the award canceled. Both instances were due to sexual harassment complaints. (Image: @央视新闻 on Weibo)

2019-01-02 09:51:46

A district court in southern China has ruled in favor of a logistics company that sued Chinese bike-sharing giant Ofo for unpaid services, The Paper reported Tuesday.

According to a court document published Sunday, Shenzhen’s Bao’an District court froze over 13.75 million yuan ($2 million) in Ofo accounts, two months after logistics company Shunfeng sued Ofo in October. Shunfeng had signed a strategic partnership with Ofo in June 2017 to provide bike components and delivery services.

The court order is the latest financial blow to the embattled bike-sharing company. In December, a Beijing court blacklisted its CEO over a legal dispute with another logistics company, and in August, a Shanghai-based supplier of bikes and bike components sued Ofo over nearly 70 million yuan in unpaid bills. Amid media speculation that Ofo was on the verge of bankruptcy, hundreds of users queued outside the company’s Beijing headquarters last month hoping to get their deposits back. (Image: VCG)

2018-12-27 08:26:58

The Ministry of Education has ordered universities across China to assess their gene-editing research projects, The Beijing News reported Thursday.

The country’s academic institutions will have to vet all such projects launched after January 1, 2013, according to a notice sent to universities in Shanghai, Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Anhui. The vetting process should focus on whether projects are in line with relevant laws and regulations, as well as ethical guidelines. Schools are required to submit a list of their gene-editing projects, along with ethical analyses, by Dec. 31.

The ministry’s notice follows the global news saga of Chinese researcher He Jiankui announcing the birth of two gene-edited babies, which many in the global scientific community condemned as an unprecedented ethical violation. (Image: VCG)

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