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2018-08-08 08:44:06

As Google eyes a possible return to China, Baidu CEO Robin Li has a few suggestions for his Silicon Valley rival.

“Chinese tech companies are ahead of the rest of the world in terms of spotting new problems and meeting new demands,” Li posted Tuesday on WeChat. “This is what every international company should consider if it hopes to enter the Chinese market.” With 74 percent market share, Baidu is China’s dominant search engine — and Li is confident his company can best Google with home-turf advantage.

Though Google’s return to China has long been rumored, an Aug. 1 scoop sparked heated debate by suggesting the company may soon launch a China-specific version of its search engine. (Image: Reuters/VCG)

11 hours

Grassroots cadres have complained that the expectation to participate in a high number of groups on WeChat is leaving them distracted and exhausted, Hubei Daily reported Monday.

An official in community management told the outlet that colleagues post updates in the more than 30 work-related groups she belongs to, and that she “has to read them all in case I miss [any information].” Two other officials also indicated that they must join a new WeChat group each time a project is launched and upload pictures to prove the completion of every task.

At the end of the report, the writer for Hubei Daily said the groups are “tools that cannot replace work itself” and urged that more attention be paid instead to the practical results of public service. (Image: VCG)

3 days

Authorities in Zhejiang province arrested 21 people for the production and sale of fake drugs and unlicensed medical instruments worth over 300 million yuan ($43 million), The Beijing News reported Thursday.

The report said police first found the plastic surgery products, including facial injectables like hyaluronic acid and botulinum toxin, being sold on WeChat earlier this year. They then tracked down the suppliers in Jiangxi and Henan provinces, where more than 3,000 fake drugs and 25,000 unregistered instruments were seized.

In the past, counterfeit products and unlicensed practitioners have negatively impacted the health of consumers. Last year, a woman in Jiangsu province lost sight in her right eye from illegally-administered injections intended to reshape her nose. (Image: IC)

4 days

Chinese mobile payment platform Alipay has cautioned users to be wary of potential digital theft after multiple Apple accounts linked to its service were hacked.

The Alibaba-affiliated company said Wednesday on Weibo that some linked accounts had been compromised, resulting in financial losses for users. Consumers can use Alipay for purchases on Apple’s app store and iTunes without additional authentication. Losses suffered by affected users range from a few hundred to over 10,000 yuan ($1,400), Shanghai Observer reported.

According to its statement, Alipay was told by Apple that actions had been taken to address the issue following the Chinese company’s pleas to investigate. Apple’s China office didn’t respond to Sixth Tone’s request for comment by time of publication. (Image: VCG) 

4 days

With the unveiling of a new vinegar-flavored ice cream in Shanxi province, many sweet-toothed netizens are turning sour.

The unique dessert recently went on sale at an ice cream shop in Taiyuan, a city in a region renowned for its 2,000-year history of vinegar production. The business owner told China News Service that the frozen treat is for those “brave enough to try new things.” Some social media users, meanwhile, have jokingly suggested that it be “served with dumplings.”

This summer, a shop in Chongqing began serving Chinese chili oil-laced ice cream to customers craving the taste of hot pot. The spicy flavor’s influence has been extending to other domains as well, with hoodies sold at New York Fashion Week this year even bearing the image of a chili sauce entrepreneur famous in China. (Image: @人民日报 on Weibo)

5 days

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing platform, will allow passengers to block problem drivers — and vice versa — beginning Oct. 18, according to a notice the company sent to Sixth Tone on Wednesday.

The function will initially be rolled out as a trial. Once one user blocks another, that person cannot be unblocked, and the two cannot be paired together for a ride for a period of 12 months.

Didi spent most of this year in the spotlight after two passengers in Henan and Zhejiang were allegedly killed by their drivers. Afterward, the company faced enormous pressure to improve passenger safety, and implemented several new features that it hopes will achieve this, including automatic audio recording and a “call police” button within the app. (Image: VCG)

5 days

A small-time web celeb with over a million social media followers apologized on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, for singing China’s national anthem “unseriously” during a broadcast. Shortly after the second apology, Huya, the platform she had been using to stream announced that her account had been suspended.

“Again, I sincerely apologize for making the stupid mistake of humming the national anthem while livestreaming,” Weibo user Li Ge wrote in her Wednesday apology. She added that she planned to take a break from livestreaming to reflect on her actions, “study hard,” and “watch patriotic movies.”

In October of last year, a law came into effect banning the singing of the national anthem in a distorted or mocking way, with violators facing up to 15 days’ detention. (Image: Weibo)

5 days

China’s bike-sharing giant Mobike is suing one of its rivals for 8 million yuan ($1.16 million), claiming that the company copied its patented smart locks and adjustable seats, according to media reports.

On Tuesday, Mobike filed four lawsuits against Didi Chuxing-backed Qingju Bike. The defendants are listed as Beijing Xiaoju Technology, Didi’s holding company, and Hangzhou Qingqi Technology, which runs the bike-sharing service.

Mobike asked the court to order Qingju to stop using its inventions and destroy any bikes using its patented technology. Qingju responded that it fully respects intellectual property rights and will wait for the court’s judgment.

Didi is a major investor in Mobike’s biggest competitor Ofo. In April, Mobike was acquired by Didi’s biggest ride-hailing rival.


6 days

A man who staged a World War II-themed show of Chinese soldiers arresting their Japanese counterparts has been criminally detained for disturbing public order, police in Jiangsu reported Monday.

On Oct. 7, authorities found over 10 actors dressed in the uniforms of Chinese and Japanese soldiers parading through the streets of Lianyungang carrying imitation bayonets , rifles, and signs promoting a car company and a wartime comedy show. The social media response had a “bad impact” on society, police said. The 32-year-old in charge of the event was criminally detained, and others involved are under investigation.

Similar incidents in recent years have also touched a nerve, as in two cases of Chinese people posing as Japanese soldiers at memorials to those slain during the Japanese invasion. (Image: @人民网 on Weibo)

6 days

The documentary “Twenty-Two,” which focuses on women abused as sex slaves in China during World War II, has received over 10 million yuan ($1.45 million) in donations to support the survivors, their families, and research, according to a statement posted on the film’s official Weibo account Monday.

Raised from director Guo Ke, actress Zhang Xinyi, merchandise sales, and over 30,000 crowdfunders, the money will go to the Foundation of Education Development at Shanghai Normal University to establish the Research and Assistance for Comfort Women project fund.

Fourteen of the 22 so-called comfort women featured in the film had died by the time it was screened in theaters last year. Two more have died since, leaving only six still alive today. (Image: @纪录电影二十二 on Weibo)

6 days

One of China’s newest messaging apps has disappeared from Apple’s mobile app store just over a month since its launch, Jiemian reported Tuesday.

The Bullet Messaging app is now inaccessible on the iOS App Store, but users who have already installed the app can still use it. It’s unclear why the app is currently unavailable on Apple’s store, but its parent company said it’s trying to resolve the issue, according to tech news outlet Pingwest. Apple’s China office hadn’t responded to Sixth Tone’s request for comment by time of publication.

Last month, Bullet users complained that they were getting increasing numbers of erotic messages, but the app's founder said the company had addressed the issue. (Image: VCG)