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2018-10-10 12:41:11

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)

1 day

Beijing saw a decrease in its resident population in 2017, the first such dip in 20 years, according to a report co-published Sunday by the Beijing Municipal Party Committee School and the Social Sciences Academic Press.

The report found that the capital’s resident population decreased by 22,000 between 2016 and 2017 to reach just over 21.7 million, while the city’s migrant population — a subset of the resident population — declined by 132,000 over the same period.

Beijing’s 20-year plan for 2016-2035 states that the resident population must not exceed 23 million. In 2016, the removal of “low-end” workers and labor-intensive industries by the municipal government led to a decrease of 151,000 in the city’s migrant population compared with 2015. Forced relocations sped up at the end of last year after a tenement fire in a Beijing suburb where migrant workers lived killed 19 people. (Image: VCG)

1 day

A county government in Hebei province apologized for a publicity mistake on Saturday after its statement that two locals had been detained for burning prohibited low-grade coal stoked public concerns over officials’ abuse of power.

According to a now-deleted statement published Friday, two residents in Quyang County were detained for using inferior-quality coal, which is banned under a clean heating campaign implemented across much of northern China. The news attracted wide attention online, with netizens questioning the appropriateness of the detention, especially in the context of many households in northern China being left with no heating during last year’s coal-to-gas initiative.

In a response on Saturday, the county government said that its initial statement had been incorrect due to human error, and that the offenders had been “educated” rather than detained. (Image: VCG)

1 day

At least three people have been confirmed dead after a landslide in Sichuan province buried three homes on Sunday.

According to the Weibo account of Xuyong County, where the landslide occurred, 12 people were buried near a highway construction site. In addition to the three deceased, a rescue team recovered seven victims who are now receiving medical care. An 11th victim has been located but not yet rescued, and a 12th victim remains missing.

Though the landslide’s cause has not been announced, development projects and mining operations are often blamed for China’s geological disasters. In December 2015, a construction-related landslide in Shenzhen killed 69 people, and in August 2017, the head of a coal bureau in Shanxi province was fired after a mining company tried to cover up a landslide that killed at least four. (Image: Xinhua)

4 days

Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday that China will adopt a new amendment to its intellectual property (IP) protection law as the country aims to combat counterfeit goods.

The amendment will focus on “significantly upgrading” the crackdown on copyright infringements to deter illegal behavior, according to a State Council memo. The new rule will impose higher fines on those who intentionally infringe or fake patents, though it does not specify by how much.

Many domestic and international companies have fallen victim to IP theft in China. On Wednesday, police in Anhui province said they had destroyed 500,000 pairs of fake Converse and Vans shoes worth 600 million yuan ($87.5 million). Last year, Chinese courts received 237,242 IP cases, a 33.5 percent increase from 2016. (Image: VCG)

4 days

On Tuesday, a public primary school in Shenzhen issued a notice that enrollment eligibility would be based on years lived in certain sizes of local homes, China News Service reported Wednesday.

To apply for enrollment, children must have resided in the school’s district for either six-plus years in a home no larger than 30 square meters, or four-plus years in a home over 30 square meters but no larger than 50 square meters. With ever-higher demand for limited seats, the school says the measure — set to go into effect in 2019 — is intended to reduce applications from families who recently registered a local residence for the purpose of securing enrollment. The notice had been removed from the school website by Wednesday night.

Competition for spots in desirable Chinese primary schools is often fierce, with young children sometimes touting outlandish résumés and one school even testing parents’ scholastic aptitudes to determine their child’s eligibility. (Image: VCG)

4 days

A member of the wildly popular Chinese pop group TFBoys has been included in a junior high politics textbook, China Daily wrote in a Weibo post on Wednesday.

Wang Yuan, 18, was referenced in an essay prompt in a tome titled “Morality and Law” for his role as a UNICEF Special Advocate for Education. In January, Wang attended the 7th Economic and Social Council Youth Forum in New York, where he gave a speech to promote higher-quality education. In comments under the post, netizens were quick to explain the inclusion of their “positive energy idol” in the textbook. “It’s because Wang Yuan has a positive image and has done lots of charity work,” wrote one user.

Since TFBoys debuted in 2013, Wang has accumulated over 68 million followers on Weibo. Last year, he was named one of Time magazine’s “30 Most Influential Teens of 2017,” and in September, news of him throwing out the first pitch at a New York Mets game became a trending topic on Chinese social media. (Image: VCG)

6 days

Yang Weidong, who was until last week the president of Alibaba-owned video-sharing platform Youku, is being investigated on suspicion of “economic wrongdoing,” The Paper reported Tuesday. Though Alibaba initially disclosed the investigation to media, the company has not commented since.

Yang joined Youku as its senior vice president in March 2013; Alibaba acquired Youku three years later, in April 2016. Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang appointed Fan Luyuan, a former executive at fintech company Ant Financial, as Yang’s successor on Nov. 26.

In April 2016, Liu Chunning, then the president Alibaba’s media and entertainment arm, was put on trial for allegedly accepting over 2 million yuan ($290,000) in bribes while at his previous company, Tencent, were he was in charge of video copyright purchases. (Image: VCG)

6 days

China’s all-in-one app WeChat introduced a new feature on Monday to combat plagiarism, a tech news outlet reported. Currently available only to selected users, the feature will invite credible content creators with no history of plagiarism to form a panel to review and resolve “article laundering” complaints. WeChat said it has received about 50,000 such complaints since April.

Plagiarism has plagued the social platform’s publishing service since self-publishing outlets, known as “WeMedia,” popularized article rewrites that were just slight enough to avoid detection. Since October, China’s cyberspace authority has closed 9,800 WeMedia accounts accused of article laundering. In May, an investment deal between WeChat’s parent company, Tencent, and WeMedia outlet Chaping fell apart amid accusations of plagiarism against the latter. (Image: VCG)

2018-12-04 04:58:38

Police in eastern China’s Zhejiang province have detained two people in connection with the death of a pollution inspector, China Daily reported Monday.

The inspector, Chen Ben, 30, had been investigating pollution in the city of Wenling when he was run over with a car and killed on Saturday night, according to a WeChat post from local authorities. Police have now detained two suspects, surnamed Wang and Jiang, who were in the car when the alleged crime occurred.

The police department’s post had been viewed over 100,000 times by Sunday afternoon, with many netizens commenting to express their disgust with the suspects, according to China Daily. (Image: @温岭发布 on Weibo)

Republished with permission from Caixin Global.

2018-12-03 08:55:02

Chinese authorities are calling for a comprehensive nuptial reform to combat customary bridal hazing and sky-high betrothal gifts, China Central Television reported Sunday.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs urged local governments nationwide to promote traditional weddings and organize them in elegant, yet frugal, forms. “Grassroots rural governments [should] set up folk conventions to regulate the wedding process and price,” said Yang Zongtao, an official from the ministry’s Department of Social Affairs.

China’s wedding rituals have often raised eyebrows, either because of opulent spending or the bridal hazing customs that have sometimes turned fatal. In 2016, a bridesmaid in Hainan province choked to death on her own vomit after being forced to drink too much alcohol during a wedding. (Image: VCG)

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