McDonald’s souvenir coins are being sold online at steep prices after they ran out within three hours at its Chinese outlets, The Beijing News reported Friday.
The limited edition “MacCoins” are being traded in e-commerce platforms like Taobao for as high as 1,000 yuan ($145). McDonald’s released 1 million of its 6.2 million “MacCoins” in China on Monday as part of its 50th birthday celebrations. Customers were required to sing happy birthday to receive a coin, which they can exchange for a Big Mac by the end of the year.
China is one of McDonald’s largest international markets, and the company plans to have 4,500 stores across the country by 2022, twice its current number. (Image: VCG)
China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has ordered two local governments in the country’s northwest to “rectify” vanity projects costing millions of dollars.
Yuzhong County in Gansu province failed to prioritize funds for “improving people’s livelihoods,” while the city of Hancheng in Shaanxi province spent too excessively on local projects, the ministry said in a notice dated Thursday. Yuzhong had paid 62 million yuan ($9.1 million) to build statues and gates, while Hancheng had spent 190 million yuan on rock gardens and waterfalls.
In recent years, multiple scandals have emerged in China over poverty reduction schemes. In August, villagers in Gansu found cracks in new homes built under the central government’s poverty alleviation plan. And in April, six officials from that province were suspended for alleged corruption in a billion-yuan road project aimed at poverty reduction. (Image: Official WeChat account of the Yuzhong government)
Police in Jiangsu province have detained a man for purchasing illegal drugs after he filed a complaint that he had been the victim of a fake drug scam, local media reported Saturday.
The man, surnamed Wang, told officers in Lianyungang that he had lost 1,400 yuan ($210) by being tricked into buying sugar instead of meth, according to the Modern Express newspaper. He went to the police on Tuesday hoping to get his money back but was detained after testing positive for drugs. Police also detained the dealer, and both men have been given administrative detention.
Last week, a Chinese court sentenced a Canadian to death for smuggling over 222 kilograms of meth. Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who was arrested in 2014 for planning to smuggle drugs to Australia, was initially given a 15-year prison sentence in November 2018 before he appealed the case, resulting in a retrial and the harsher punishment. (Image: Modern Express)
Three teenagers in Guangxi managed to con parents into giving them tens of thousands of yuan by posing as their children’s schoolteachers in WeChat groups, Quanjiang Evening News reported Thursday.
In November of last year, parents in several provinces began receiving text messages purporting to be from the “head teacher” at their child’s school, asking them to pay a “class fee.” The fake WeChat accounts had the same usernames and profile pictures as the real teachers they were trying to impersonate. The three teenage suspects were arrested on Saturday.
According to police in Zhejiang province, where many of the scam victims live, the suspects had joined 136 WeChat groups for parents using information they stole from the WeChat promotion company they worked for. Though the total amount the teens were able to scam has not been disclosed, they reportedly pocketed over 30,000 yuan ($4,400) from parents in the city of Taizhou alone. (Image: VCG)
Traffic police in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou can now fine pedestrians who are engrossed in their phones while crossing the road, The Paper reported Wednesday.
On Monday, a pedestrian surnamed Hu became the first person to be fined under the city’s new Regulation on the Promotion of Better Behavior, effective from Jan. 1. The amount: 10 yuan, or around $1.50. “Looking at your phone at a pedestrian crossing is dangerous since you might not be aware of cars,” a traffic police officer told local media. “Our aim is not to punish, but rather to raise awareness and ensure pedestrians’ safety.”
Chinese cities have gone to great and often creative lengths to control pedestrians’ behavior at crosswalks, including setting up facial-recognition cameras, making violators post self-criticisms on WeChat, spraying jaywalkers with jets of water, and even enlisting dancing grannies as crossing guards. (Image: VCG)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)