A third-party public relations firm was responsible for mistakenly posting a message about labor-related grievances to a Sony China social media account this week, the subsidiary company said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the writer of a now-deleted post on Sony China’s official Weibo microblog bemoaned their long working hours and lack of annual leave, attracting significant attention online. But in a follow-up post, Sony China said that an employee at the PR firm overseeing the microblog had “forgotten to switch accounts” before sharing the message, adding that “the firm’s annual leave system is faulty.”
“Sorry about that,” Sony China wrote. “The [Lunar] New Year is around the corner. Let’s be a little more understanding of the young person, what do you say?” (Image: VCG)
Over 70% of online shopping-related contract disputes and product liability cases brought before the Beijing Internet Court involve food, court officials announced at a press conference Monday.
China established the Beijing Internet Court in September 2018 in a bid to improve internet governance. According to the court’s statistics, as of June 21, out of a total of more than 3,000 of the abovementioned cases, 73% have involved food products. Officials cited fraudulent or missing product tags, overused additives, uncertified producers, and import violations as especially prevalent issues with potential food safety implications.
Court officials also used the conference to highlight the continued problem of daigou: small-time importers who often operate without the required licenses. According to a new e-commerce law that went into effect earlier this year, unlicensed online retailers may be fined up to 500,000 yuan ($72,700) and could face criminal charges. (Image: VCG)
China’s top lawmakers are now considering a revised draft of a vaccine management bill that would permit heightened fines and criminal detention for violators, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The third draft of the bill, submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Tuesday, would significantly increase monetary penalties for the manufacture or sale of inadequate vaccines compared with the previous draft. The proposed fines for fake vaccines have been raised from 30 times to 50 times the price of the faulty goods, while fines for “poor-quality” vaccines have swelled from 20 times to 30 times the price.
Wrongdoers would also be held to more “severe standards,” with criminal detention noted as a possible punishment.
After a major scandal rocked the industry last summer, Chinese lawmakers released the first draft of a vaccine management bill in November. National-level bills in China must go through three rounds of revision by the Standing Committee before becoming law. (Image: VCG)
Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court has upheld a ruling against the operators of the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), a government-supported digital library similar to JSTOR, for distributing a literary work without authorization, Caixin reported Sunday. According to the terms of the initial judgment, the two entities behind CNKI’s website and app must pay a total of 10,000 yuan ($1,450) in damages and another 10,000 yuan in legal expenses to the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS).
In July 2017, CWWCS, a nonprofit copyright watchdog, filed suit in a Beijing court, alleging that CNKI was illegally selling access to Wang Zengqi’s novel “Initiated Into Monkhood.” CWWCS originally sought 60,000 yuan in damages and legal expenses, but last December, a lower court ruled that CNKI’s operators only had to pay 20,000 yuan. Although both parties appealed, the Intellectual Property Court ultimately chose to uphold the initial verdict.
“I can only say, we respect the court’s judgment,” said the attorney for CWWCS, Chen Mingtao. (Image: VCG)
French supermarket chain Carrefour has announced plans to sell 80% of its China business to domestic retailer Suning.com.
The deal, which values Carrefour China at 1.4 billion euros ($1.59 billion), is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to Sunday’s announcement. Entering the country’s market in 1995, Carrefour China currently runs 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores nationwide.
In October, Carrefour had partnered with a delivery service partly owned by e-commerce giant JD.com in a bid to stay afloat in China. But despite the difficulties that Carrefour and other foreign brands have faced, German supermarket chain Aldi has signaled its intent to expand in the country, opening its first two physical locations in China just weeks ago. (Image: VCG)
Local police confirmed Sunday evening that the body of a man found on school grounds in central China’s Xinhuang Dong Autonomous County is that of Deng Shiping, a former school staffer who disappeared 16 years ago.
Investigators uncovered Deng’s remains Thursday morning, about two months after the suspected killer, Du Shaoping, was swept up in a crackdown on organized crime. According to police, while in custody, Du confessed to murdering Deng and having him buried under the track and field complex at Xinhuang No. 1 Middle School.
Police also announced Sunday that Du’s uncle, former school principal Huang Bingsong, is under investigation in connection with the case. In an open letter published earlier this year, Deng’s son Deng Lanbing said his father had accused Huang of corruption before he disappeared. According to the letter, Huang was slow to report Deng’s disappearance, which happened during work hours, and spread rumors that Deng had run off after embezzling funds from the school. The police have not yet confirmed the details of the case. (Image: IC)
A Chinese novelist has lost 11 lawsuits over plagiarism in an online novel that was famously adapted for TV, a law firm representing the plaintiffs announced Thursday.
According to the firm, the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court ordered the writer, Zhou Jing, to pay a total of 604,000 yuan ($87,800) in compensation to 11 novelists and to issue public apologies with news outlet The Beijing News and online literature website Xiao Xiang Academy.
Between late 2016 and early 2017, 12 novelists each filed litigation against Zhou over plagiarism in her online novel “The Princess Weiyoung” following its adaptation into a TV show, which premiered November 2016. In May of this year, the same Beijing court ruled in favor of plaintiff Shen Wenwen in one of the suits, leaving the status of the other 11 unknown until this week.
The new verdicts, which come amid a government campaign to protect intellectual property rights, are the latest in a series of Chinese court decisions addressing novelists and the internet. In August, a Guangzhou court ruled against an online writer who used characters created by martial arts writer Jin Yong without permission. And in December, a Chinese copyright society won a lawsuit against academic database CNKI for unauthorized distribution of a novel by writer Wang Zengqi. (Image: @锦绣未央电视剧 on Weibo)
A mixed martial arts (MMA) training center that will also act as the Asia-Pacific headquarters for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s largest MMA promotion, officially opened in a ceremony in Shanghai Thursday.
The multimillion-dollar UFC Performance Institute Shanghai, modeled after a similar institute in Las Vegas, aims to raise the standard of UFC athletes in the region and promote MMA across Asia through training, conditioning, and rehabilitation facilities, a UFC representative said in the Thursday press conference. The center caters primarily to UFC athletes and is not open to the public, but athletes from other sports, such as visiting NBA teams, may also occasionally use the facilities in the future.
Thursday afternoon, the UFC held another press conference for their upcoming match — the promotion’s third fight event in China, held in the southern city of Shenzhen — between local contender Zhang Weili and current strawweight champ, Brazilian Jessica Andrade. If Zhang comes out on top in the match, she’ll become China’s first fighter to win a UFC title. (Image: Courtesy of IMG)
Creditors have asked a court in the northeastern province of Jilin to initiate involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Ltd. — the company at the center of last year’s fake vaccine scandal — the Beijing News reported Wednesday.
A total of four entities, including the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Great Resources company, filed separate petitions with the Changchun Municipal Intermediate People’s Court Tuesday, asking it to declare Changchun Changsheng bankrupt and to liquidate the company’s assets. In a written response Wednesday, the board of directors of Changchun Changsheng’s parent company, Changsheng Bio-Technology Co. Ltd., said the company would comply with “all legal and regulatory requirements.”
Last July, China’s State Drug Administration accused Changchun Changsheng of falsifying production data for its vaccines. The resulting scandal caused widespread panic and deepened public distrust of China’s healthcare industry. In October, the company was fined over 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) and had its production license revoked. (Image: IC)
Judges in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are hearing an increasing number of cases involving women’s rights in the workplace, according to a report released Tuesday by a local court.
Lower courts in the metropolis tried nearly 3,700 such cases in 2018, with discriminatory hiring practices, sexual harassment, and bias against new mothers among the most common complaints, the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court found in this week’s report. The increase of these cases in recent years — only about 2,700 were heard in 2015 — was attributed to the implementation of the country’s so-called two-child policy and heightened awareness of labor rights among women.
The report comes amid a national drive to protect women’s interests at work. In February, nine governmental bodies issued a notice prohibiting multiple forms of gender discrimination by employers, with violations punishable by steep fines. (Image: VCG)
A Chinese pop idol has issued an apology after receiving fierce backlash this week for mistreating Beijing airport staff — though fallout from the incident has continued to escalate.
In a now-deleted social media post on Monday, singer Zeng Yike — also known as Yico Zeng or Yico Tseng — accused an officer at Beijing Capital Airport of wrongfully detaining her. However, in a response posted Wednesday morning, Beijing’s immigration inspection authority rebuked Zeng for refusing to cooperate with airport staff, using obscenities, and later revealing an officer’s name and other personal information in her Weibo post.
Zeng apologized by Wednesday afternoon for her “inappropriate” words and actions, but additional repercussions followed throughout the day. Shortly after the mea culpa, the Communist Party-run People’s Daily newspaper published an opinion piece criticizing the celebrity for interfering with law enforcement. And later, organizers of the Strawberry Music Festival in central China’s Changsha City announced that they had canceled Zeng’s upcoming set. (Image: VCG)