China’s outbound tourism ranks first in the world

Chinese tourists visiting the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey. (Photo/China.com.cn)

Chinese people made about 150 million overseas trips last year, up 14.7 percent compared with the previous year, according to a report jointly released by the China Tourism Academy and online travel agency Ctrip, Chinanews.com reported recently.

In 2018, China became the source of the largest number of outbound tourists in the world.

Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, the US, Russia, Australia, Italy, the UK, France, Germany and Spain were among the top 20 most visited countries among Chinese travelers, the report indicated.

Last year, 10 countries emerged as new destinations favored by Chinese people, including Myanmar, Serbia, Laos, Argentina, Spain and Cambodia.

In 2018, Chinese mainland tourists spent $120 billion overseas, with the average consumption per person per trip hitting 5,400 yuan.

The report revealed the top 10 shopping destinations for Chinese mainland tourists were Hong Kong, Dubai, Osaka, Macao, Tokyo, Paris, London, Singapore and Kyoto.

An expert with Ctrip’s outbound travel studies said that due to consumption upgrading, Chinese people are now more willing to spend money on high-quality overseas travel experiences.

Dai Bin, president of CTA, said China’s overseas travel market has maintained a growth rate of above 20 percent over the past 10 years, and this double-digit growth is expected to continue in the future.

China’s emerging first-tier cities become talent magnets: report

China’s three emerging first-tier cities – Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu, are becoming strong talent magnets, witnessing a huge inflow of talented professionals, said a report published Wednesday.

The report, released by Chinese online job-hunting platform Zhipin.com, said the net outflow rate of talents from first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, to emerging cities and provincial capitals was 0.61 percent from January to February 2019, 0.08 percentage points higher than that the same period last year.

Wuhan and Xi’an have also become attractive destinations for the labor force over the past 20 months thanks to their favorable policies, geographical advantages, and high investment in technology, the report indicated.

Industries including pharmacy and medical services, artificial intelligence, internet of things and 5G technology saw the highest demand for professionals.

In many cities, there is not much space left for new talents in industries such as the internet, education, finance, and professional services, but senior personnel in these sectors is still in high demand.

Data released by Zhipin.com showed that the average expected salary in new first-tier cities rose to 7,799 yuan ($1,162) in the first two months of this year, 5 percent higher than that in the same period of 2018.

China to establish e-sports commission for better industrial management

The Internet Society of China (ISC) announced that it will establish an e-sports commission at a meeting held at Tsinghua University on March 2.

The tasks of the e-sports commission were detailed at the meeting, which was held together with an e-sports summit themed with “e-sports and smart economy”.

Guests show their signatures and handprints at the ISC meeting, March 2, 2019. (Photo by Xu Zijian from Xinhua News Agency)

The commission will assist competent authorities to enhance management of the e-sports industry, promote the combination of e-sports and national education strategies, guide favorable and sustainable development of e-sports industry in China, and prepare for smart city construction.

It will also integrate industrial resources, organize relevant enterprises and institutions to carry out e-sports activities, and publish industrial data and surveys.

Other tasks of the commission are conducting domestic and international industrial communication and cooperation, participating in global e-sports policy making and setting international standards and specifications.

“Enjoying sound development in China, e-sports are creating high economic benefits,” said Song Mao’en, deputy secretary-general of the ISC.

Now the commercialization and internationalization of the industry have been put on the agenda, to accelerate the “bringing in” and “going global” process of the industry, Song added.

At Asian Games held in Jakarta last year, e-sports for the first time had a presence at a major sporting event. Team China took the first-ever gold medal of e-sports at the event, delivering an outstanding performance by winning a total of 2 gold medals and one silver medal at the games.

Visitors experience e-sports products at China Cyber Games Summit, May 31, 2018. (Photo by Fan Jiashan from People’s Daily Online)

According to the 2018 China E-sports Development Report, China had 250 million e-sports gamers in 2017, more than half of the global total. China’s e-sports market value reached 5 billion yuan ($746 million), and was still rising.

In 2016, China’s Ministry of Education listed “e-sports and management” as a college major, marking the official inclusion of the training of professional e-sports personnel in the country’s higher education.

32.6 percent of Chinese gaming enthusiasts said they were willing to take jobs in the e-sports industry, and nearly a quarter of parents voiced support for their children in this regard.

Two sessions, a window for world to explore synergetic development with China

The two sessions, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC), have become a “must-do” for global China experts to explore the country’s development trend and observe the indicators of China’s relations with the world.

“Will China still serve as the engine of global economy as it places more importance on high-quality development?” “How will China keep contributing to global development against the complicated international situation?” “What signals of further opening up will China release to promote globalization?”

More and more questions about the country are being raised in the international community, as China has just raised the curtain of this year’s two sessions.

What signals will the two sessions release this year? The answer lies in the data of China’s development.

The Chinese economy expanded to over 90 trillion yuan ($13.45 trillion) in 2018, contributing nearly 30 percent to the global economic growth. As a country with nearly 1.4 billion people, China has over 400 million middle income earners, nearly 900 million laborers, and more than 700 million employees.

The large size of the economy, the broad market, the continuously upgrading consumption demand, and the powerful productivity all inject confidence and resilience to China’s economy, making the country a favorable destination for global investors.

A British expert noted that China not only boasts the large size of the economy, but also the strong connectivity of its economic ecology.

According to a recent report on China’s business environment released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, 62 percent of the organization’s member enterprises viewed China as a global priority for investment.

Nobody wants to be absent from China’s development, as it is a country where miracles always happen. A Brazilian journalist who stationed in Beijing said what China has acchieved in the last 14 years normally took a century for other countries to accomplish.

A Spanish chess instructor who has visited China for times noted that in 1990s, even sci-fi writers were not able to predict the explosive growth of vehicles in China. “China’s transition in technologies, society and education is probably the fastest in all the countries ever established in human history,” he added.

Such remarks by foreigners authentically reflect China’s magnificent development.

The first-ever 5G coverage at the press center of the two sessions has drawn wide attention from global media. After China sent its Chang’e-4 lunar spacecraft onto the dark side of the moon, German newspaper Die Welt commented that China was demonstrating the greatest renaissance is history.

In sectors such as clean tech, AI, smart manufacturing, fintech, and information and computer technology – amongst others – China has been driving global innovation, said Policy Forum, a platform for policy discussion run by the Australian National University.

What triggered the global attention on China are not the country’s outstanding achievements, but also the key it holds to development and its tireless efforts to march toward the future.

In today’s world, the malfunction of western democracy is frequently happening, resulting to mounting populism, failures of election politics, intensifying opposition of political parties, and fragmented political patterns.

Faced with such rising governance crisis, many people have sensed the need to make policies from new perspectives, even in the western world. Casting their eyesight eastward, they found China’s two sessions a window through which they can learn Chinese wisdom and acquire new enlightenment.

By observing the general trend, focusing on the big picture and devoting to practical work, China is showcasing excellent governance capability and its leadership in steering development, offering significant reference for the development of other countries.

Humphrey Polepole, ideology and publicity secretary of Tanzanian ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, remarked that China has set a good example in national governance for Tanzania to learn. China has continuously fulfilled its people’s appeals and wishes under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the progress of the country also comes from the support of its people, he noted.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and also a decisive year for the country to achieve its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

In this critical year, the international society is expecting to find out how the world can develop together with China, and seek for confidence and enlightenment to tackle challenges through Chinese philosophy and wisdom.

Online Tree-planting Campaign Popular in China

A child plants a sapling under the help of his parents at a park in Lianyungang, eastern China’s Jiangsu province, Mar. 3, 2019. (Photo by Si Wei, People’s Daily Online)

More and more Chinese citizens are contributing to China’s forestation efforts with the help of online platforms, as the country hastens its steps to green its land and seek environment-friendly development.

Wuhan, capital city of central China’s Hubei province, has been encouraging voluntary forestation for years. It makes creative attempts by organizing tree-planting campaigns under the themes of charity, environmental protection, birthday parties, family reunions and public services.

Different from previous years, when the tree planters had to register and pay for saplings in person at designated spots after got information from radio, television and newspapers, the voluntary planters now can register and get saplings free-of-charge via online channels like website and social media platforms.

The certificate of honor for voluntary tree planting has also transferred to electronic version from hard copy.

The convenient and professional online platforms have given a boost to the citizens’ aspiration to plant a tree. In 2018, over 50,000 residents in the city registered to be a planter via online platforms, the highest in history.

After the municipal government published this year’s planting plan on Feb. 22, the saplings soon ran out of quota due to the passion of the citizens. According to the arrangement, 21 spots in 15 districts were designated as planting areas.

Citizens in Chongqing municipality plant trees, Mar. 4, 2019. (Photo by Chen Xingyu, People’s Daily Online)

“Over 100 saplings were claimed in just seconds”, said citizen Wei Wenfang, adding that it was lucky for her son to have successfully claimed one.

Wei said that she was motivated by a piece of TV advertisement on voluntary tree planting in 1999, and her family’s tree planting tradition has lasted for 20 years.

She still kept several old photos of her family in front of a platanus orientalis sapling they planted 20 years ago, when her son Wu Jiahao was only 5 years old. The little boy has grown up, and the sapling is now a tall tree towering by the street.

Wuhan is not the first Chinese city to green land with help of online platforms. After China launched an internet platform of voluntary tree planting, 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities including Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Anhui, Shaanxi and Hubei have started pilot programs under the “Internet Plus” drive by opening their respective online platforms.

Online registration for tree planting also offers a solution to address the challenges faced by large-scale campaigns, which usually cost a lot but ended with low survival rate since most of them took place in areas far from the cities due to the reduction of urban land.

Ecological progress has been made one of the integral components of the development strategy for socialism with Chinese characteristics together with economic, political, cultural, and social progress since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2012.

Photo taken on Aug. 28, 2018 shows blossoming crape myrtles and maples dressing up a hill at Yueliangpo village, Huaying, southwest China’s Sichuan province. The city has made huge efforts to green its landscape and finally recovered its hills with forests, bringing a turnaround to its desertification. (Photo by You Qing, People’s Daily Online )

The CPC is the first political party, especially ruling party in the world to include ecological progress in its guideline. China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization.

According to data collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US, since the turn of the new millennium to 2017, the earth’s green leaf area increased by 5 percent, which was equivalent to the area of the Amazon rainforests.

China was the source of over a quarter of the increase in green leaf area, ranking the first in the world, the statistics indicated.

China to see more smart restaurants

A robot delivers food in a restaurant in the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

More Chinese companies are now opening smart restaurants in a bid to attract more customers, including famous hot pot restaurant Haidilao and e-commerce giants JD and Alibaba.

Haidilao opened its first smart restaurant in October 2018 to entice more customers, where a wall-length screen, QR code games, and an automatic reservation checker greet customers.

Inside the restaurant, a number of screens display cherry blossom forests, snow-capped mountains and shooting stars.

Robotic arms pick out the correct dishes from a constant temperature warehouse in the kitchen, and cute little AGV (automated guided vehicle) robots whiz around the restaurant to deliver orders to customers. The RFID chip, located on the bottom of plates, records food information to help the restaurant identify expired food.

Technological progress, high labor costs, and greater service demands are behind the popularity of smart restaurants, said Fen Enyuan, vice chairman of China Cuisine Association.

Application of robots and intelligent technologies can cut costs, improve efficiency and attract customers as the catering industry faces challenges in operating efficiency and customers’ changing needs, said Tang Siyu, head of JD X future’ restaurant.

Experts also pointed out that the smart catering industry is not just about cooking robots and AGV robots, which are both still in the initial stages of development.

China becomes world’s second largest country of organ donation and transplant

China becomes world’s second largest country of organ donation and transplant

(Photo/Xinhua)

China has become the world’s second largest country of organ donation and transplant in 2018, Wuhan Evening News reported Thursday.

By the end of 2018, China recorded 21,000 cases of posthumous organ donation and more than 60,000 transplant operations, with over 58,000 major organs donated, according to the country’s health authority.

Further data from the China Organ Donation Administrative Center showed that more than 992,000 voluntary organ donors had registered across the country by the end of January this year.

In 2018 alone, China saw more than 6,300 posthumous organ donation cases with 182 qualified hospitals conducting 20,201 organ transplant operations, an increase of 21 percent year on year.

Huang Jiefu, director of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, said that China would cover transplants of major organs such as kidney, liver and heart with health insurance before 2020.

German promotes traditional Chinese acupuncture in local community

Gunter Coles, the second director of European Penzel Academy in northwestern Germany’s Lower Saxony, who had dedicated over 20 years of his life to promote traditional Chinese acupuncture, was a real ambassador linking the traditional Chinese medicine with the western world.

The European Penzel Academy was founded by William Penzel, who invented Penzel Acupuncture Massage (APM), a technique that integrates traditional Chinese acupuncture, massage and reflex therapy. He was motived to do it to save his wife who was suffering from liver disease.

Following the footsteps of his predecessor, Coles finally developed the European Penzel Academy into a center that has trained over 65,000 doctors, physical therapists and naturopaths specialized in APM and has opened branch offices in 25 countries across the world.

“Though Coles passed away more than a year ago, he is still a legend in the local community,” said Matthias Wiemann, the current director of the academy.

Coles was a district manager of a public insurance company in 1974, a secured job that paid him decent salaries. However, he later gave up the “job for life” and chose a completely different path.

Out of curiosity regarding traditional Chinese acupuncture, he went to the European Penzel Academy and received in-service study for eight years. When his company tried to persuade him to quit his “hobby”, Coles decided to quit the job and continued his study of medical science.

After acquiring naturopathy licenses, he officially became the head of the European Penzel Academy.

“Though APM was invented by Penzel, it was developed from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM),” said Coles. In this regard, he spared no efforts to localize TCM theories, in a bid to make them more acceptable to westerners.

To help students and patients better understand how APM works on human bodies, Coles compared the network of blood vessels to a lighting system and acupuncture points to control switches.

“I told them that acupuncture and massage could unblock the running of blood and body energy just as how switches control the lighting to ensure everything goes fine,” he explained.

Coles developed a chart teaching method to present basic elements and theories of TCM as specific explanations like graphs and numbers are more acceptable to westerners. Under his guidance, the European Penzel Academy compiled over 100 books and textbooks, introducing basic TCM theories with the most understandable expression for westerners. These materials further expanded the influence of TCM in the local community.

Coles also made a rule in the academy that their medical services would be free if patients didn’t show obvious signs of improvement after three sessions of treatment. “The rule comes from my faith in the traditional Chinese acupuncture,” he said.

China to donate over 200,000 panda-themed “care parcels” to 11 Belt and Road countries in 2019

Panda-themed care parcels (Photo/huanqiu.com)

China plans to send over 200,000 panda-themed “care parcels” to 11 Belt and Road countries (BRI) dủing 2019, said the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) on Feb.26.

The panda parcel is a 105-item collection including bags, stationery, toys, and daily necessities wrapped up in an outer packing printed with panda pictures that also have included design characteristics of the receiving countries.

The panda parcel project aims to improve learning conditions and further promote overall development of primary students in these countries under the Belt and Road framework.

In 2018, the CFPA distributed more than 50,000 panda parcels to Cambodia, Nepal, Namibia, and Myanmar. For the next three years, it will strive to dispatch 1 million panda parcels to developing countries under the BRI.

China remains high priority market for most US firms operating in China: report

62 percent of member companies of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) consider China a global priority for investment, said a report released by AmCham China on Feb. 26.

80 percent of the AmCham China member companies expected positive industry growth in China this year according to the report.

After a slump in 2015, most of the interviewed firms achieved revenue growth in 2018 with service companies having the largest increase, the report said.

Tim Stratford, chairman of AmCham China, said that the consumption growth and the broadening middle class of the country would create the biggest business opportunities, followed by economic and market reforms.

The survey was conducted between Nov. 13 and Dec. 16, 2018. It was sent to 771 AmCham China member company representatives, of which 314 completed most of the questions.