News in review

Updated: 2016-11-04 08:34

(China Daily USA)

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News in review


____October 29

Figures show two-child policy working

In the first half of 2016, the proportion of Chinese newborns who were second children grew to 44.7 percent of total newborns.

That's an increase of some 6.9 percentage points over the proportion of second-child newborns for the whole of 2015, which was 37.9 percent. A total of 8.31 million newborns were registered nationwide this year by the end of June, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Some regions, mostly large cities, are beginning to see second children comprising more than half of local newborns, the commission said.

Data indicate that it's the highest proportion of second children since China introduced its family planning policies in the late 1970s, limiting most couples to just one child, the commission told China Daily. (Photo 1)

Microsoft plans to triple stores in China

Microsoft Corp plans to triple the number of its franchised stores in China to 400 in two years, as the United States tech giant steps up efforts to boost the sales of its consumer electronics products.

The plan came shortly after the firm unveiled a new all-in-one desktop personal computer on Wednesday, to target creative professionals and consumers.

In the latest quarter ending in September, Surface revenue hit $926 million, up 38 percent year-on-year. In the same time frame, the China market was also growing rapidly.

Currently, the firm has 115 franchised stores in the Chinese mainland and has established closer partnerships with major retail chains such as Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd.

The firm is also planning to open its first China Microsoft store, a store owned and operated by Microsoft itself, as an increasing number of consumers are gravitated toward its products. (Photo 2)

Tuesday____October 30

Unmanned combat drone to be exported

China has granted an export license for the CH-5 reconnaissance/combat drone, which is believed to be one of the most powerful unmanned combat aircraft in the world.

"Several foreign nations have expressed intentions to purchase the CH-5, and we are in talks with them," said Shi Wen, chief designer of the Caihong, or Rainbow, series at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics in Beijing.

The CH-5 made its first flight in August last year, becoming the mightiest military drone in China in terms of operational endurance and payload capacity. (Photo 3)

Weightless tourism coming soon

Han Qingping, president of ChinaRocket Co Ltd in Beijing, said his company will develop a 10-metric-ton reusable spacecraft and use it to ferry three to five travelers to a height of 80 km for a new perspective on the mother planet and to experience weightlessness just below the height where satellites fly.

"By 2025, a 100-ton reusable spacecraft will be produced to send up to 20 passengers to an orbit as high as 140 km above the ground," he said. That's into the thermosphere, and is high enough to be considered space.

"Furthermore, we will begin to use the 100-ton vehicle to perform intercontinental scheduled flight and long commercial spaceflight around 2030."

Han said his company plans to go public around 2020, adding it will share its facilities and equipment with other enterprises to boost the growth of the whole sector.

Reports predict that by 2020 the market value of commercial space activities in China will reach 30 billion yuan each year.

Wednesday____October 31

Central bank to remove China's 'penny'

One series of the 1 jiao coin (0.15 cents) was to be removed from circulation starting on Tuesday, making the coin more valuable for collectors, according to a report by Modern Express.

People's Bank of China, the central bank, has called on banks nationwide to hand over all that series of 1 jiao coins, adding that no new such coins are to be distributed, the newspaper reported.

The coin, minted mainly from 1991 to 1999, is among the fourth series of renminbi coins. It features a chrysanthemum on one side and the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China, the full title of the state in Chinese and pinyin on the other side.

The report cited a collector as saying that the coin is favored by collectors because of its design.(Photo 4)

Coal producer Shenhua's profit rises 46% in Q3

China's largest coal producer saw profit jump 46 percent in the third quarter amid a price surge following the government's efforts to curb the oversupply.

Net income at China Shenhua Energy Co, the biggest coal miner in the world's largest energy consumer, rose to 7.48 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) from about 5.1 billion yuan in the same period last year, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Coal prices have made a comeback after five years of declines because of a reduction in domestic supply.

The central government earlier this year ordered miners to operate for the equivalent of 276 days of production, down from the standard 330 days, as part of its efforts to revitalize the industry and curb industrial overcapacity. This helped spur the nation's prices more than 70 percent so far this year.

Thursday____November 3

China bans auction of looted cultural relics

China's cultural relics watchdog has established a regulation banning the auction of stolen, smuggled and looted cultural relics nationwide. The regulation was issued by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Other types of relics that are banned from being auctioned are those that have been legally confiscated by the government, and those belonging to State relics shops, national enterprises, the military and private museums.

The regulation also stipulates that the State Administration of Cultural Heritage retains purchasing priority and the right to set prices for artifacts that do make it to legal auction.

Many internet users have also expressed concern, pointing out that the regulation has no authority in overseas markets, which is where most looted cultural relics end up. (Photo 5)

Dazzling penalty for some high-beam drivers

Motorists in Shenzhen in southern China who drive with their lights on full beam will be punished by staring into powerful headlights for a minute, the news agency Xinhua reported.

The city's police announced the punishment on Tuesday, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Offenders will be made to sit on a stool and stare into the blinding headlights for 60 seconds. They will also be fined 300 yuan (HK$345) and made to recite regulations on when headlights can be put safely on full beam, the report said.

A police post on social media showed a photograph of a man sitting on a chair looking into the bright lights of a truck, with two uniformed officers standing by.

In other social media, some said the punishment wasn't enough.

Friday____November 4

Hong Kong importers pull tainted hairy crabs

Importers of hairy crabs in Hong Kong recalled produce from two aquaculture farms in Jiangsu province on Wednesday, as excessive levels of chemicals linked to cancer were found in samples.

But some importers refused to suspend sales, claiming that they source their crabs from other farms and the two concerned farms only handle import paperwork for them.

Two samples of hairy crabs, imported from Wujiang Wanqing Taihu Crab Breeding Co and Jiangsu Taihu Aquatic Product Co, were found to contain 11.7 picograms and 40.3 picograms per gram of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls respectively. The toxic chemical compounds can lead to reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and cause cancer.

According to the Center for Food Safety in Hong Kong, the acceptable level of the two chemicals contained in food is 6.5 picograms.

Launch of carrier rocket to boost tourism

Wenchang in Hainan province will see an increase in visitors as the launch of the Long March 5 carrier rocket, scheduled for early November, draws near.

The Wenchang Satellite Launch Center is the fourth of its kind in the country.

To ensure that visitors enjoy their experience of witnessing the launch of the carrier rocket, the second of its kind at the launch center, local authorities have prepared seven observation areas which can accommodate more than 25,000 spectators, according to a local government official.

"We have also designed two routes for tourist groups and six routes for people who will drive by themselves around Wenchang, where tourism has peaked since the maiden launch of the Long March 7 carrier rocket in June," the official said.

 News in review

A worker paints the wall of the Potala Palace during the annual whitewashing and renovation of the grand and ancient architectural complex in Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region. Xinhua

(China Daily USA 11/04/2016 page15)