Night market in Hainan starts trial operation

The night market beside Hainan University, Hainan province, started trial operation on Jan. 31 after renovation, becoming a hot spot for night snacks. It has attracted a large number of locals and students from the university.

The market offers 300 stands and has created nearly 600 jobs.

China’s mobile payment users hit 527 million in 2017

China had a total of 527 million mobile payment users at the end of last year, up by 57.8 million from a year before, said a report released by the China Internet Network Information Center on Jan. 31.

According to a news conference held by China’s State Council Information Office at the end of last month, the country’s online payment transactions totaled 150 trillion yuan ($23.8 trillion) by October 2017, ranking first in the world.

WeChat Pay, one of China’s major mobile payment service providers, attracted over 800 million validated users by September 2017. The number of monthly offline payments was 280% higher than that from a year ago. In addition, WeChat Pay has seen more and more frequent users.

Insiders attribute the success of the innovative service to its unprecedented conveniences as well as promotions and expanding application scenarios that have helped it enlarge its user base.

Apart from the domestic market, the industry has also been more engaged in overseas expansion.

In 2017, Alipay, the online payment platform under e-commerce giant Alibaba, launched in 36 overseas destinations, benefiting hundreds of thousands of merchants. Overseas transactions surged by 306% in the last year when compared with 2016.

A report by accounting organization Deloitte said that China’s mobile payment industry is leading the world and the country is exporting its technologies to the developed world.

Amazon, eBay remove Chinese boy costumes featuring racist “slant-eye” images

Amazon UK and eBay UK removed Chinese boy costumes featuring racist “slant-eye” images after receiving immense backlash from social media users, reported on Feb.1.

According to Hong Kong media, the Chinese traditional costumes were modeled by white children pulling their eyes back in a “slant-eye” expression, a gesture often used to mock Asians.

The images exasperated many in the Chinese community, who reported the merchandise and demanded its removal from the sites.

“Once this listing was brought to our attention, we immediately removed the item and contacted the seller informing them that the listing violates eBay’s offensive materials policy,” eBay stated on Tuesday.

However, no further explanation was given on the reasons why these offensive images were allowed on the pages in the first place.

Amazon refused to apologize for the matter, but did remove the costumes from its site.

Amazon’s irresponsible statement implied that “it is acceptable to offend Chinese people,” said a net user, adding that she was shocked that Amazon used racist images to sell their products.

This matter was blatant racist advocacy, said another net user who demanded an explanation from Amazon.

China’s publicly-traded internet firms hit $1.42 trillion in market value: report

As of the end of last year, China had 102 publicly-traded internet companies at home and abroad with a total market capitalization of over 8.97 trillion yuan ($1.42 trillion), up 66.1% from a year ago, said a report released by China Internet Network Information Center on Jan .31.

Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu were the largest three firms on the list, accounting for 73.9% of the total market value, the report said, adding that the three firms have also established prominent advantages in investment and merging, research, and innovation.

The report showed that online gaming companies accounted for 28.4% of the listed enterprises, and e-commerce, culture and media, internet finance, and software companies respectively stood at 14.7%, 10.8%, 9.8%, and 5.9%.

The US is the location of IPO for 41 Chinese internet companies, 54.8% of the total market capitalization.

According to the report, Beijing is home to 41 of the 102 listed enterprises, making the capital the largest base for such companies in China.

The report believes that the geographical distribution of these enterprises is a reflection of the industrial environment.

Though first-tier cities remain the most attractive location for such enterprises because of advantages in human resources, industrial development, and investment, more listed companies are expected to emerge in other regions thanks to innovation and the improvement of capital market, the report noted.

China consumed 1089 tons of gold in 2017, tops world for five straight years

China consumed a total of 1089.07 tons of gold in 2017, up nearly 10% from a year ago, according to statistics released by the China Gold Association (CGA) on Feb. 1.

Gold use went up in jewelry, gold bars, and industry sectors, with consumption of 696.5, 276.39, and 90.18 tons, respectively. However, the 26 tons in gold coin making marks a decrease, down by 16.64%.

The recovery of high-end consumption in 2017, especially in second- and third-tier cities, was a major reason for the pickup in domestic gold consumption.

In addition, the increasing demand of investment in gold, which was a result of the fluctuations in the real estate, security, and finance markets, also contributed to the rise of gold consumption.

The year 2017 marks the fifth consecutive year that China’s gold consumption has ranked first in the world.

The statistics show that China’s total gold production stood at 517.49 tons in 2017, including 91.348 tons of imported raw materials, down by 3.35% year-on-year.

CGA said that 2017 was the hardest year for Chinese gold enterprises because of the implementation of environmental and resource taxes, as well as the closure of gold mines in natural reserves. Even so, China’s gold production has topped the world for 11 consecutive years, despite the first fall of output since 2000.

China now has 772 million online users

The number of China’s online users has hit 772 million by Dec. 2017, accounting for 55.8% of the country’s population, 4.7% higher than global average, said a report issued by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Jan. 31.

A total of 40.74 million of the online population was newly added in 2017, according to the report, up 5.6% from a year ago.

By the end of last year, 753 million Chinese used mobile phones to surf the internet, consisting of 97.5% of the total online population, up from 95.1% in 2016. With the extensive use of smartphones, traditional devices such as desktops, laptops, and tablets have been gradually left out in the cold.

The expanding online population has spurred the development of mobile payment, which now accounts for 65.5% of the country’s offline consumption. The figure was 47.1% in rural areas.

McDonald’s employee suspected of making drinks with snow

A video circulating online showing a McDonald’s employee getting snow outside the restaurant on Mount Tianzi in Zhangjiajie, central China’s Hunan province, has made people wonder if the employee used snow to make drinks, reported.

The video photographer, surnamed Yang, said that he did not see the employee making coffee or milk with the snow, but some of his friends developed diarrhea after dining at the restaurant.

Yang said that the road closures caused by heavy snow should not be an excuse for the restaurant to do such things to its customers.

McDonald’s responded the next day on Jan. 31, calling the situation a misunderstanding. The snow dug by the employee was used for cleaning the restaurant, and not for making food or drinks, it said, adding that the restaurant will also get in touch with those involved as soon as possible.

Homegrown apps enter B&R regions

Chinese apps have gained traction in the Belt and Road regions as more app developers have ventured into the growing mobile app market, a report showed Thursday.

About 55 percent of the downloads of Chinese apps in 2017 were in the Belt and Road regions, compared with 47 percent in 2015, according to the latest report from global app market analysts App Annie.

Web browser app UC Browser stood out as the most downloaded Chinese app on iOS and Google Play in the Belt and Road regions, followed by cross-platform file transfer tool SHAREit and smartphone speed optimizer Clean Master. E-commerce mogul Alibaba and mobile internet giant Cheetah Mobile held the biggest market shares in the top 30 most downloaded Chinese apps in the regions.

Source: Reuters-Global Times


Deliveryman invited to present suggestions to China’s top leadership

Deliveryman Li Pengxuan never expected that his suggestion about the country’s delivery industry could result in him being asked by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a talk in Zhongnanhai, the exclusive compound for top leadership.

At the symposium on Jan. 31, Li Pengxuan presented his advice regarding the draft government work report to the Premier with other representatives from all walks of life.

Li is a deliveryman in central China’s Shanxi province. Last July, he submitted his suggestion through “Share your thoughts with China’s Premier Li” on the official website of the State Council, saying he hopes the government will promote cooperation between the insurance sector and the express delivery industry.

Li’s hometown is one of the country’s best ten fruit counties, and his fellow villagers have become rich with the help of express delivery service, which helped the price of apples per 0.5 kilograms rise from 0.6 yuan to 2 yuan.

Last year, Li’s service station handled 120,000 parcels, among which 100,000 were fresh fruit parcels. But due to the vulnerability of the fruit and other issues during delivery, they have to sometimes compensate customers for damaged products.

Li said he earns 6-7,000 yuan per month, but he has to pay 3-4,000 yuan to the customers for broken parcels.

Though eager to solve the issue, Li never expected his suggestion to receive any response or to be dealt with. However, staff with the State Council website later contacted him and invited him to communicate with the Premier face-to-face in Beijing.

“Premier Li asked about my job and said we are working really hard. I was touched,” the deliveryman said.

The Premier said the country’s delivery industry is developing fast and well, and has become a very important sector to boost the domestic economy.

After hearing that Li comes from a township and works 12-13 hours a day, the Premier said the fact that the country’s delivery capacity tops the world is inseparable from grassroots deliverymen like Li.

At the symposium, Li reiterated his suggestion of promoting cooperation between the insurance sector and the express delivery industry, and proposed to implement policies, such as special travel permits for delivery vehicles.

The Premier said the government encourages and supports the development of new industries and business modes including express delivery, and has adopted measures to lower logistical costs.

“It surprised me that the Premier answered my questions one by one.” Li recalled. After answering his questions, the Premier asked government departments to follow the people-centered development concept, and work hard to guarantee smooth delivery of fresh products.

Walking out of Zhongnanhai, Li said he has more faith in the future of the country’s express delivery industry.

China, UK to sign deals worth 9 billion pounds

China and the UK will sign deals worth 9 billion pounds during UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit, covering multiple areas, including Belt and Road construction, finance, agriculture, and technology, according to Gao Feng, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The two parties are also planning on building a science and technology town in China’s Xiongan New Area.