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2019-05-17 08:26:50

Shanghai Normal University has become the city’s first higher education institution to introduce a barrier-free study center for its visually impaired students, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported Thursday.

The specialized study room at the school’s Fengxian Campus computer lab is equipped with accessible materials such as Braille textbooks, a refreshable Braille display, and a Braille embosser — all of which allow visually impaired students to read text output and print documents in Braille, according to the report. The university has also added tactile sidewalk paths, Braille buttons on elevators, and Braille signs outside rooms to make its facilities more accessible to all.

Shanghai Normal is one of the few universities in China that accommodates the visually impaired, having admitted 61 such students since 2002. The school inaugurated its accessible study center ahead of China’s National Day for Helping the Disabled, which this year falls on May 19. Earlier this week, Shanghai also launched a sign language video hotline for people with impaired hearing. (Image: IC)

6 hours

China has requested the Canadian government suspend the issuance of veterinary health certificates for meat exported to China, the Chinese Embassy in Canada announced Wednesday. If implemented, the suspension would effectively bar Canadian producers from the Chinese market.

According to the embassy’s statement, a Chinese customs investigation recently discovered 188 forged veterinary certificates affixed to a batch of pork products imported from Canada. This, said an embassy spokesperson, constitutes a criminal offence in Canada and points to “obvious safety loopholes” in Canada’s meat export supervision system. The investigation comes after Chinese customs authorities found traces of ractopamine, a growth-promoting feed additive banned in over 100 countries, in the pork imports of two Canadian exporters.

China, the world’s top pork producer, is currently working to contain an African swine fever outbreak that could result in the death or culling of an estimated 200 million pigs. China’s pork imports rose 63% in May over the same period last year. (Image: VCG)


17 hours

Students in northern China’s Shanxi province shouldn’t use search engines to look up official college application portals, lest they accidentally enter their school preferences and personal information into a fraudulent site, local officials warned Monday.

The notice, which was issued by the province’s center for student recruitment and examination, came as students around the country received their college entrance exam scores and prepared to apply to schools. On Wednesday, Wuhan’s Changjiang Daily highlighted fake college application sites as one way scammers collect personal information.

In recent years, netizens have repeatedly criticized Baidu, China’s largest search engine, for its substandard search rankings and for promoting misinformation. According to a Tuesday investigative report by Caixin, Beijing’s official college application portal did not appear on the first page of search results for the phrase “Beijing (college) preference” on any of four major search engines, including Baidu. (Image: IC)

17 hours

China’s Ministry of Education has warned high-ranking Zhejiang University not to engage in the “malignant seizure” of prospective students, according to an official notice issued Monday. The notice came a day after an official with the school announced the school’s top applicants would be eligible for scholarships worth hundreds of thousands of yuan.

On Sunday, Zhu Zuoxiang, the head of Zhejiang University’s undergraduate admissions office, told local media that the school would offer 500,000 yuan ($73,000) in scholarships to applicants who ranked in the top 100 for the Zhejiang provincial college exam. Students who scored in the top 300 would be given 200,000 yuan, he added.

In 2012, the MoE issued a list of 10 prohibited university admissions practices, including large scholarships and guaranteed admissions. In a recent article commenting on the use of scholarships to lure in students, education researcher Xiong Bingqi claimed the practice can inadvertently hurt students by unexpectedly increasing the score threshold for admittance. (Image: IC)

1 day

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)

1 day

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)

2 days

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)

2 days

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)

2 days

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)

5 days

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)

5 days

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)



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