Belt and Road provides diverse products to the world


Fine products from China have entered households of countries along the Belt and Road, as the initiative has connected these countries with China through various projects, an Australian volunteer has found.

Tim, an Australian, who worked as a volunteer in Hangzhou, interviewed foreign students from the Silk Road Research Institute of Beijing Foreign Studies University and foreigners working in Beijing.

Angel, a girl from Malaysia who has been studying at a Beijing-based university said she always wanted to try mobile payment by herself. And nowadays her dream has come true, as people in Malaysia could pay for subway tickets and toll charges via mobile payment.

Aliya from Azerbaijan compares the China-Europe freight trains to a Chinese high-speed railway that connects China with her hometown. She hopes that more fine products will be transported to her hometown through the rail service.

The Belt and Road Initiative is warmly welcomed in Pakistan, said a Pakistani student named Bilal, explaining that he chose to learn in China because local companies highly value students who have learnt knowledge and skills at Chinese universities.

Talking about the Double 11 shopping spree, Sakib from Bangladesh becomes very excited. Last November, the local shopping platform Daraz, which belongs to China’s largest online marketplace Tmall, offered big discounts on products such as electronic devices and clothes.

Through the interview, Tim believes that the Belt and Road, which was proposed by China, has yielded fruits for the world, and will continue contributing to the welfare of mankind in the future.

Outstanding volunteer panda guardians in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve

Volunteers install a camera in the wild. (Photo/Zhang Wen)

An outstanding team of young volunteers are contributing their expertise to the protection of giant pandas in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

These panda guardians work at Baixiongping conservation station in the nature reserve, which is one of the first two giant panda field monitor stations in the country.

They developed a smart anti-poaching system consisting of infrared cameras, smart facial recognition, and a signal transmission sub-system to facilitate wildlife protection.

“The system can automatically identify potential poachers and send back real-time images,” said Diao Pengkun, deputy head of the conservation station, adding that since the establishment of the system last October, they have prevented several cases of poaching.

They also established a small solar power station for power supply in the conservation station.

A panda in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve (Photo provided by Tangjiahe Nature Reserve)

29-year-old Gu Weilong came to the reserve four years ago and became a maintenance volunteer for infrared cameras, sensors and other devices.

Gu was once a second officer on board a freighter. He introduced maritime liaison equipment to the conservation station, which enables positioning of the patrol at any time.

He also modified walkie-talkies, expanding the coverage range from 4 kilometers to more than 10 kilometers.

Chen Huanqi, another volunteer, wrote an image recognition program to realize intelligent reading and recognition of photos taken by infrared cameras.

27-year-old Wang Haiying, with a master’s degree in ecology, has been a volunteer at the conservation station for more than one year.

She said that volunteers have to collect feces of wild animals such as giant pandas, leopards and black bears for DNA analysis and population estimation.

The conservation station has also implemented some research projects, with research papers published in core journals across the country, the deputy head said.

He hoped that more outstanding volunteers would become panda guardians and help boost conservation work.

Last year, heads and volunteers of the conservation station were invited by China’s Ministry of Education to share what they have done in wildlife conservation with young students in Beijing.

From ‘buying all’ to ‘buying selectively’, Chinese consumers become more rational

Imported items in a store (

Instead of buying luxury watches and fancy jewelry in downtown Paris, Wang Wei, a tourist from central China’s Hubei province, bought oil paintings and an iron pan from a local flea market.

Like Wang, many Chinese tourists have shortened their must-buy lists when they travel abroad.

The change in shopping habits of Chinese consumers has provided an opportunity for domestic brands to grasp a larger share of the consumer market, reported on April 10.

In the past, Chinese tourists liked to buy luxury products, fancy bags and watches in Germany, but now they prefer to shop at chain and department stores, said Zhang Yuhong, general manager of the China International Travel Service German company.

The number of people purchasing luxury brands in Italy has witnessed a noticeable drop this year, according to an Italian tourism company. An average of two million Chinese tourists visit Italy each year, accounting for 30 percent of the country’s duty-free sales.

Though Chinese consumers still think foreign products are reliable and trustworthy, their changing shopping habits pose an opportunity for domestic brands.

Experts have suggested that domestic manufacturers should strengthen marketing skills, improve services, and pay more attention to detail when developing their products.

To enhance the image of domestic brands, industry supervisors should set up a company credit evaluation system under which manufacturers with dishonest behaviors face punishment, said Song Yaoming, minister of the Economic and Commercial Office at the Chinese embassy in Japan.

Chinese company develops firefighting drone

(Photo provided by Predator Firefighting Technology)

A firefighting drone was recently unveiled in Henan province to help extinguish fires on tall buildings and support emergency rescue, Science and Technology Daily reported on April 8.

The firefighting equipment unveiled consists of one pilot-less helicopter and three drones, and four rescue nacelles, all stored in a fire engine, according to Predator Firefighting Technology, the Henan-based developer.

Zhang Wanmin, a senior firefighting engineer, said the equipment is the first in the world that can extinguish fires in buildings above 100 meters. The drones, which can fly for four hours carrying 100 kilograms, could deliver materials to accident sites in a timely manner, reduce safety risks and significantly improve operational efficiency.

Lake thaws in NW China’s Xinjiang

Photo shows thawing ice on the surface of Sayram Lake in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The swans, the high mountains, the clear water and the blue sky have turned the lake into a spring fairyland.

Photo shows thawing ice on the surface of Sayram Lake in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The swans, the high mountains, the clear water and the blue sky have turned the lake into a spring fairyland.

Photo shows thawing ice on the surface of Sayram Lake in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The swans, the high mountains, the clear water and the blue sky have turned the lake into a spring fairyland.

Chinese seniors feel ‘left behind’ by cashless economy


Along with the convenience brought to people’s lives, the rapid development of internet technologies has left many elderly Chinese people feeling left behind, as functions such as mobile payment and car-hailing services becoming more difficult to learn.

A silver-haired Beijinger no longer finds shopping at certain supermarkets a pleasant experience. 72-year-old Xu lives next to a supermarket which sells cost-efficient products, but requires cashless payment.

The shop is equipped with self-checkout machines, which are new to Xu. On her first visit, she asked a member of staff for help and was told that if she paid in cash, she wouldn’t be able to enjoy the discounts. In the end, Xu left the supermarket with nothing.

Many seniors share Xu’s embarrassment. One senior said she gets high blood pressure while trying to use self-checkout services even when her children help her.

Senior citizens find it frustrating when they are required to pay with their mobile phones, especially in places where they have always used cash, such as in vegetable markets, washhouses, and when they require delivery services.

An octogenarian named Chen Juan said the quality of her life has declined because she can’t use some mobile applications. She suggested that the traditional service methods for things like food delivery and housekeeping, which older adults need more than the younger generation, should be maintained.

Some seniors noted that it takes them a while to learn when it comes to modern technologies and feel anxious about the emergence of new services. They also feel embarrassed to ask other people for help.

China’s satellite TV project for 10,000 African villages benefits Africa

StarTimes’ workers install equipment in a village (Photo provided by StarTimes)

China has launched a satellite TV project for 10,000 villages in 25 Sub-Saharan countries aimed at providing digital TV access to rural communities.

The project acts on one of the resolutions at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015.

Reports confirm that recipient countries have welcomed the project. So far, project construction has been completed in 16 African countries. Among them, Rwanda, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Burundi and Kenya have achieved project acceptance.

The project has not only promoted the development of Africa’s villages and narrowed the digital divide, but also enabled African countries to enjoy the fruits of global development, said Lambert Mende Omalanga, Government Spokesperson and Information Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

StarTimes, a private Chinese firm which offers home pay-TV services, was contracted to deliver the project across Africa.

Villagers watch TV in Nigeria. (Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)

Under the project, each selected village will receive two sets of solar-powered projector TV systems, and one solar digital TV integrated terminal system in a public area free of charge, with access to more than 20 channels, said Guo Ziqi, Vice President of StarTimes Group.

Guo added that in each village, 20 recipient families with a TV would also be provided with a satellite dish and decoders free of charge so that they can access more than 30 channels.

In addition, the project will also train 22, 246 villagers for operation and maintenance roles, boosting local employment.

Only 20 percent of internet celebrities in China make a profit

A report on the development of China’s multi-channel network (MCN) industry indicates that the number of MCNs in China reached 2,300 in 2017, with an expected rise to 4,500 in 2018, reported on April 8.

Onion Video is a creative media company based in the city of Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province. The company could make a person, a team or a short video an internet sensation in just one month.

Nie Yangde, a co-founder of the company, disclosed that only the top 20 percent of the company’s internet celebrities generate profits, as current competition is fierce.

Jing Hanqing, a millennial who runs a creative media startup, started his business in 2016 by filming a short video every day and uploading it onto short video platforms, where this particular form of media has become popular.

Jing said it is the creative content that matters in the production of short video content, though the forms may become diversified as technology advances, and people’s way of thinking may evolve alongside it.

China’s BeiDou navigation system sees bright future in Arab region


China’s home-made BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) enjoys excellent potential in the Arab region within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to a recent forum between China and Arab states.

The second China-Arab States BDS Cooperation Forum was held on April 1 and April 2 in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

During the forum, the China Satellite Navigation Office (CSNO) introduced cooperation achievements of the China-Arab States BDS/GNSS Center, the first BeiDou overseas center, which was officially inaugurated in Tunis last year to boost cooperation on navigation satellite technology.

According to the CSNO, more than eight BeiDou satellites have been deployed for Arab states, with positioning accuracy of less than 10 meters, to provide high-quality navigation services for the Arab region.

Experts from China’s research institutes and enterprises also offered special technician training on BDS technology, products and services.

Reports confirm that since 2012, the CSNO has trained over 800 personnel from more than 40 countries in 18 short-term training courses on satellite navigation technology and application. The office has also dispatched experts to Arab states for BDS training.

The CSNO and the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization signed a joint statement at the forum to tap the potential for broader BDS application and promote in-depth China-Arab cooperation in regards to the BDS.

By the end of 2020, China will launch more than 10 BeiDou navigation satellites to provide a more accurate and reliable service for countries and regions along the Belt and Road, including the Arab region.

Tomb sweeping service available in Chongqing

Some cemeteries in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality are operating a new business—to sweep tombs for those who cannot visit the cemetery, China Economic Net reported on March 30.

Qian Hua and her colleague visit a cemetery in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. (Photo/Chongqing Evening News)

22-year-old Qian Hua, who works for the new business, said people who are too old to travel and those living overseas or far away can now choose this method to express their condolences.

Due to these reasons, Qian doesn’t think that this new way of commemorating deceased relatives should be called unfilial.

Qian Hua’s colleague prepares to record the tomb-sweeping process. (Photo/Chongqing Evening News)

After receiving an order from a client, the cemetery asks its staff to sweep the tomb while recording the process to ensure its authenticity. The service is charged at between 100 yuan ($14.91) and 500 yuan.

A senior couple has placed an order to have Qian express condolences to their son during the upcoming Tomb-Sweeping Day, because they are now too old and frail to make the journey themselves.

Qian Hua’s colleague records the process as she cleans a tombstone. (Photo/Chongqing Evening News)