New personal income tax app to be put into use by end of 2018

A new personal income tax app, developed by the State Administration of Taxation (SAT), has been launched to help taxpayers receive additional deductions on taxable personal income, after a new rule on personal income tax was introduced recently.

Taxpayers can download the app from popular app stores or from the related official websites of tax authorities by scanning a QR code for the app. They can register with their real names.

The app is currently in its last phase of function and pressure testing. The function of filling out digital forms of specific additional deductions that can be submitted to tax authorities will be officially put into use on Dec. 31, 2018. The deductions include children’s education, continuing education, healthcare treatment for serious diseases, mortgage interest, rent and elderly care.

SAT Administrator Wang Jun inspected Beijing for preparations for personal income tax reform on Dec. 26. He called on tax officials to try their best to help taxpayers submit information of specific additional deductions.

At the SAT 12366 Beijing Taxpayer Service Center, Wang learned that there were more calls about personal income tax from taxpayers recently, an increase to 30 percent from 10 percent, focusing on the specific additional deductions and how to deduct. He urged the center to provide authoritative, targeted and effective explanations of the deduction policy.

As the deduction policy covers so many areas and involves complicated scenarios, better governance is required to further reduce tax burdens. SAT Statistics show that tax authorities at all levels have offered 250,000 personal tax training sessions for over 63 million taxpayers and 2.3 million withholding agents.

China’s modern meteorological service among best in the world

China’s modern meteorological service among best in the world
Citizens visiting the Beijing Meteorological Station (File photo)

China’s modern meteorological service has witness rapid advancement, according to the head of China Meteorological Administration (CMA), the country’s weather service agency that was recognized as the World Meteorological Centre by World Meteorological Organization.

Liu Yaming, CMA administrator, said it at a conference of meteorological departments celebrating the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening up held on Dec. 27.

China has built the world’s largest comprehensive integrated meteorological observation system over the past four decades, with over 2,400 automatic state-level ground meteorological observation stations, and about 60,000 regional meteorological observation stations. The system covers 96 percent of villages and towns across the country.

The country has launched 17 Fengyun meteorological satellites, with eight operational satellites in orbit around the Earth, and set up 198 new-generation Doppler weather radars, forming a comprehensive meteorological disaster monitoring and early-warning network.

With a real-time, modern weather forecasting system, China can provide global weather forecasting with 10km resolution, national smart grid forecasting with 5km resolution and regional forecasting with 1km resolution. This enables China to offer professional weather forecasting services such as typhoons, heavy polluted weather, sandstorms, and geological disasters including mountain torrents.

China’s social net wealth reaches 437 trillion yuan, ranking 2nd in the world

China’s social net wealth totaled 437 trillion yuan (63.48 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2016, of which 73 percent was owned by the people and 27 by the government, according to China’s National Balance Sheet released by the National Institution for Finance & Development, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Dec. 27.

The wealth level ranked second in the world after that of the US and accounted for 70.7 percent of the latter, said Zhang Xiaojing, an analyst with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. China’s GDP in the period was 74.4 trillion yuan, second only to that of the US and 57.2 percent of the latter.

Investment is the biggest contributor to the wealth accumulation, the report indicated.

The report also indicated that financial assets increased more than non-financial assets. Between 2000 and 2016, China’s non-financial assets grew 10.3 fold from 37.5 trillion yuan to 424.5 trillion yuan, while financial assets grew 13.8 fold from 53.2 trillion to 786.2 trillion.

Securities investment funds, insurance and undiscounted bankers’ acceptances experienced the highest growth rates, increasing by 44.2 percent, 26.7 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively.

Zhang said it reflected the rapid development of the country’s non-banking financial system and the continuous upgrade of national financial structure.

Investments contributed 68 percent to the rise of non-financial assets, which went up by 23 trillion yuan annually between 2000 and 2015. Outbound investment contributed 171 percent to the annual growth of China’s net overseas financial assets, which increased by one trillion yuan each year on average.

Zhang said the balance sheet stressed that net wealth is an important indicator of the capability of the country’s financial sector to deal with risks.

He pointed out that the balance sheet indicted that China has enough confidence to deal with debt risks. Between 2000 and 2016, the debt of the Chinese government grew from 2 trillion yuan to 27 trillion yuan while the governmental assets from 11 trillion yuan to 146 trillion yuan.

A day before Spring Festival travel rush of a female bullet train chief conductor

Liu Yuting (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

As this year’s Spring Festival travel rush is about to kick off, People’s Daily Online recorded a working day of a chief conductor of a bullet train running from southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality to Beijing on Dec. 21, tracking the busy and meaningful work of the ordinary railway worker.

The chief conductor Liu Yuting has been working onboard for seven years and was promoted to be an advanced worker by the Chongqing Railway Bureau for her excellent performance.

The train G574 that she manages departs Chongqing at 8:04 am and arrives in Beijing after 11 hours and 38 minutes. Thanks to the high-speed rail service, it now takes much less time to commute between the two cities.

Liu woke up at 6:00 am, and soon went to her workplace after cleaning and putting on makeup in a very quick manner.

When the train departed, Liu had completed all preparation work, including patrolling, ticket-checks, and security checks.

She told People’s Daily Online that compared with normal-speed trains, the bullet trains have better environments and are faster and more comfortable.

After an on-arrival patrol in Beijing at 7:53 pm and document filing, Liu was finally freed from her busy day and started watching movies and eating snacks at her dormitory. Apart from being a chief conductor, Liu is still an ordinary woman that loves doing girl things.

She told People’s Daily Online that she was not able to stay with her family for most of the time due to her job, and her dream was to invite her family to her train to experience her services.

According to Liu, she takes great interest in her job and Chongqing is attractive to her because of its mountainous landscape and a famous local attraction – hotpot.

“I’m honored to be a train attendant,” she said proudly.

What are secrets behind the thriving Palace Museum?

The Palace Museum ( Yang)

From rolling out the highly viewed variety show, selling exclusive lipsticks, to opening the exquisite café, the Palace Museum has already risen as a new hit among the Chinese youth.

Taobao, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, said on microblogging website Weibo that three cosmetics products designed by the Palace Museum were sold out in just two minutes after the “Double 12” shopping spree began.

It is learnt that the sales volume of the Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products reaches 1 billion yuan each year, and the figure once hit 1.5 billion in 2017.

How could a time-honored museum achieve such a success in the era of digital economy? What are its secrets?

Shan Jixiang, Director of the Palace Museum, remarked at the 2017 Boao Forum for Asia that the museum’s cultural products were not attractive enough for the majority, especially the young generation, since they were not fun, functional and interactive. As a result, the Palace Museum shifted strategy and made its products more useful and innovative, he added.

The Palace Museum is jumping out of the box, and trying to introduce history to the young people by new means. The cultural and creative products such as those developed based on Yong Zheng and Qian Long, two emperors of the Qing Dynasty, are amongst some of the best examples.

The Palace Museum, laying importance on the study of youth psychology, tailors products for the young generation, said Feng Nai’en, deputy director of the museum.

As for the rising cultural and commercial value of the Palace Museum, Ma Jidong, columnist of Financial Times and founder of Art Trade Journal, attributed it to the trending palace dramas carrying strong royal culture that set their stories in the Qing Dynasty.

“The Palace Museum represents royal family, and what they use is of prime quality. That means anything tagged with it has a ready market,” said Lin Kai, core staff of a creative cultural product brand.

The other reason behind the popularity enjoyed by the Palace Museum is the high standards of its products. “They do have strict requirements. Our designs need to be revised at least seven or eight times, sometimes even up to dozens of times,” said Lin, who designed cookies for the Palace Museum last year.

More people to enjoy comfortable trips during this year’s Spring Festival travel rush: report

(People’s Daily Online/Yu Kai)

As the transportation capacity of China’s railway systems has been further improved this year, more Chinese people will be able to enjoy comfortable trips back home during the approaching Spring Festival travel rush, according to a big data report issued by Chinese internet security firm Qihoo 360 on Dec. 20.

China Railway Corp recently released a data report stating that fixed asset investment in the railway sector totaled 732 billion yuan in 2018, expanding the country’s rail way mileage by 4,000 km, including 3,500 km of additional new high-speed tracks.

Facilitated by China’s enhanced rail way capacity, over half of the passengers can get home within 12 hours, and those who must spend more than 24 hours to return home by train only account for 11 percent.

Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission told the Beijing Morning Post that by 2020, bullet train services will cover 21 cities in the province. As a province well-known for massive amounts of passengers during the Spring Festival, see a huge relief in its traffic pressure will be seen during this period.

The report predicted that Guangdong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Zhejiang will still be the largest sources of outflow traffic during this year’s Spring Festival travel rush, with Hunan, Hubei, Heinan, and Sichuan provinces being the largest destinations.

It is noteworthy that Hangzhou, Zhejiang has witnessed a surge in the number of outflow passengers, indicating that it has risen as a new attraction for China’s floating population.

Over 90 percent of the hottest 10 routes during the travel rush will be in southern China, and emerging first-tier cities such as Chengdu, Wuhan and Chongqing have also become major transportation hubs, the report said.

The difficulty of acquiring a ticket for returning home during this period has always challenged the “returning army”. Qihoo 360 launched an online system for ticket booking based on cloud computing and its security techniques in order to alleviate the situation.

Users can pay in advance to acquire a ticket, and the system will offer full refunds should a given user fail to fully confirm the tickets. In addition, it will automatically allocate canceled or extra train tickets to the buyers by means of smart analysis techniques, said Wang Qian, chief designer of the cloud service.

Sanya in One Minute

Sanya, billed as the Hawaii of the East, is known for its blue sky, clear waters, sandy beaches, and rustling coconut trees. It has the most beautiful scenery on Hainan island.

Serving as a central city and main transportation hub in southern Hainan Province, Sanya is also one of the most important foreign trade ports along China’s southeastern coast.

China sees more overseas returnees as it continues to make progress

Visitors at the 2018 China Education Expo. (Photo/China Education Association for International Exchange)

Over the past four decades, China has seen nearly 5.2 million students traveling overseas to go to school or university, while 3.1 million of them have since returned home to chase their dreams.

73.9 percent of overseas returnees moved back to China after 2012 when the Communist Party of China held its 18th National Congress. This group of people have made a massive contribution to China’s development in all fields including science, education, economy and culture.

The influx of returning students can be attributed to the economic progress and competitiveness that China has achieved. The Chinese mainland jumped seven places on the 2017 World Competitiveness Yearbook, published by Lausanne’s International Institute for Management Development.

Robin Li, founder of China’s tech firm Baidu, is a well-known example. After studying and working in the US for years, he chose to move back to China to start his own business. Establishing Baidu in Zhongguancun, Beijing’s tech hub, Li has achieved tremendous accomplishments both personally and for the country. Now, Baidu owns the world’s largest Chinese research engine.

As with many other overseas returnees, Li believes that China provides unprecedented opportunities. “Our customers’ needs are changing, and China offers the best stage for top talents to change the world through technology,” he said.

A passion for serving the country is another factor that draws Chinese students back from foreign countries. Yan Wangjia, the founder of an information technology company, told People’s Daily Overseas Edition that she felt happy to be contributing to the country. Nobody wants to be a bystander to his or her national development, she added.

While experiencing a transition from an overseas study craze to an influx of overseas returnees, China is also emerging as Asia’s largest destination for international students thanks to its rising soft power.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that the number of international students in China increased from 1,200 in 1978 to over 480,000 last year. In 2017, 935 Chinese universities enrolled students from 204 countries and regions, with about 75,800 studying for masters or doctoral degrees, up 18.62 percent from the previous year.

As the Chinese government continues to offer scholarships to international students, China’s universities are attracting talents at higher levels. In 2017, 58,600 students from 180 countries enjoyed scholarships provided by the Chinese government, accounting for 11.97 percent of the total. 40,800 of them were enrolled in masters or Ph.D. programs, up 20.06 percent year-on-year.

One scholarship recipient, a Beninese student surnamed Musi, said that China was developing very fast, and the country’s education was also of high quality. He explained that studying in China was his dream, adding, “I hope I can contribute to China-Africa friendship and my hometown through what I have learned in China.”

Hangzhou launches bilingual taxi service


The first batch of “bilingual taxis” was recently launched in Hangzhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang province, the local road transport management bureau announced on Monday. Thirty-five cab drivers are expected to offer bilingual services in their taxis for the convenience of foreign visitors.

An Australian volunteer in Hangzhou named Tim, who is now teaching English to the taxi drivers, said that Hangzhou is a beautiful and internationally renowned tourist city, and has hosted plenty of world-class conferences and sporting events. The city also attracts many foreign visitors, he added, saying that taxis are the first opportunity for foreigners to learn about the city.

He told China News Service that it’s an honor for him to help local taxi drivers learn English and build a better image of the city.

Huang Feihua, a Chinese man who is also teaching English to the taxi drivers, said that he has compiled a handbook that helps learners memorize English vocabulary based on homophone translation. This book will help the drivers learn English quickly, he added.

Foreign volunteers give an English class to taxi drivers. (Photo/

“As we are not highly educated, it would be too much for us to start learning from English letters. We usually learn English while waiting for passengers. The homophone method works well for us,” said Ye Hongfeng, a taxi driver with 20 years of experience.

Drew, a Canadian who has been working for a year and a half in Hangzhou noted that there weren’t many taxi drivers in Hangzhou that could speak English, and he heavily relied on translation software. However, now they can speak simple English, and understand English terms such as “West Lake” and “train station”, he added.

“Hangzhou encourages taxi drivers to learn English, as it reflects the quality of the city’s services and the level of its internationalization,” said Gu Jianfeng, head of the taxi management administration of Hangzhou Road Transport Management Bureau.

“More drivers will join the bilingual service as the English learning campaign gradually expands its influence,” he disclosed.

China steps up efforts to broaden elderly care market

The potential of China’s elderly care market, worth an astonishing 10 trillion yuan, is expected to be unlocked as 2018 sees a growing number of relevant policies being put into place.

More concrete measures will be taken in 2019 to encourage the banking and financial sectors to get involved in the market, Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday.

By the end of 2017, the number of seniors in China over the age of 60 surpassed 241 million, accounting for 17.3 percent of the country’s total population, according to statistics released by the China National Committee on Aging.

More data from CIConsulting shows that 84 percent of the current market needs have not yet been met. Despite this, the market is estimated to exceed 11 trillion RMB by 2020.

Aiming to tap market resources fully, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs listed the reform of streamlining the administration of elderly care institutions and public-private partnership (PPP) projects as one of its ten priorities on Feb. 1, 2018.

On July 18, the Standing Committee of the State Council decided to streamline approval for elderly care institutions, aiding future development. The move intends to mobilize private funds and reduce the costs associated with joining the sector.

Driven by national supporting policies, businesses from banking and financial sectors have geared up to seize their share of the market.

Three pension target funds under Yinhua Fund Management Co., Ltd., Fullgoal Fund, and Wanjia Asset were established on Dec. 14, attracting over 200,000 active subscribers worth a total of 1.3 billion RMB.

Mr. Fu, who used to be a company executive, explained that he can receive preferential price services of many health care and daily care institutions under the current home-based pension. He also gets priority to move into a care home if he needs to in the future.

“The market capacity will expand as more experienced players, such as government-owned enterprises and foreign enterprises, with high-level management skills, join in,” said Guan Bo from Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

Despite the thriving market, discussions still need to take place regarding its profitability and sustainable development.

Qin Jing, head of investment and research department of Hejun elderly care research center, believes that social capital and foreign investment will be the principal directions to follow.