Young ice cream taster becomes internet sensation

Feng Yuanyuan’s work involves taste-testing ice cream products from her company and others and then assessing and comparing the quality.

Feng Yuanyuan, born in 1995, has caused a storm online thanks to a video of her working as an ice cream taster.

Employed by an ice cream company, Feng’s work involves taste-testing ice cream products from her company and others and then assessing and comparing the quality.

Sometimes, she has to taste over 20 ice creams in a single day. After eating one, she usually rinses her mouth with warm water to protect her taste buds.

Through this taste-testing, she earns more than 10,000 yuan per month, more than most of her college classmates.

The unfortunate by-product of eating so much ice cream is that she has put on five kilograms. Feng said that she exercises regularly to manage her weight.

“To be an ice cream taster, a person needs to have a sensitive tongue and really like ice cream. Many people become fed up with ice cream if they have to eat it every day, so a good ice cream taster isn’t easy to find,” she said.

Feng explained that after more than a year’s work, she can tell if an ice cream contains additives just by tasting it. She hopes that in the future, she could figure out the ingredients of a product with one bite.

US should not duck responsibilities as major country

“The Americans have always been internationalists, but their internationalism has always been a by-product of their nationalism.” The remarks made by Robert Kagan, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, are more than appropriate to describe the reckless practices of some Americans.

By unilaterally provoking and constantly upgrading trade frictions with global countries, frequently withdrawing from international agreements and organizations, and continuing practicing protectionism and unilateralism, some US officials are maxing out their credibility in the international society and undermining the rule-based international order. What they did has placed huge negative impacts on global economic cooperation.

On August 1, the US announced that it would slap 10 percent tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods starting September 1, as if they had totally forgot their “constructive” description of the just-concluded 12th round of high-level economic and trade consultations between the US and China.

The announcement astonished the international society and caused serious harm to the global market. Some American officials even claimed that they didn’t care at all about the negative impacts on the stock market. It’s beyond imagination that how an influential major country can be so irresponsible.

The American society is making increasingly louder voices to oppose additional tariffs. Some said the added 10 percent tariff will strike the American consumers and families’ budget and American families should not be pawns in the trade war.

Others said that the new round of tariff increase is actually taking American families as hostages in trade negotiations. The new tariffs would raise costs on everything from computers to backpacks to clothes as kids go back to school.

Faced with the opposing voices from US congressmen, the public and industrial associations, Washington still argues that the impact on American consumers is very small and the US has produced models to prove it.

However, the problem is that the so-called proof is not comparable at all to how American people and consumers are actually feeling.

The responsibility of big countries is to provide the world with stability and certainty while creating conditions and opportunities for the common development of all countries. But some people in the United States do just the opposite.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently lowered its global economic growth forecast for the third time this year. In the World Economic Outlook released this July, the organization slashed expectations for growth in the global volume of trade to 2.5 percent, lower than its estimate in April.

The trade tensions caused by the US and the uncertainties in the country’s long-term policies have become a primary factor affecting market confidence and weakening the vitality of the global economy.

The IMF once predicted that global GDP growth would be cut by 0.5 percent by 2020 if all the threatened tariffs were implemented.

Today some in America are obsessed with American privilege to the point of destroying international rules and the international order. An observer commented that the US claimed to be at the steering wheel of the world economy, yet it could neither guide the economic development nor assume its responsibility.

On the contrary, the US was just being extremely irresponsible by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

No one can stand without credibility; no country can fit in without reputation. The irresponsible practice of some Americans is something that stems from their disdain for justice and disregard for faith, and these Americans need to wake up.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)

Chinese games develop fast in overseas market

(Li Wen/Xinhua)

Chinese gaming companies have expanded their business and brought a large number of high-quality products to the international market in recent years, Economic Information Daily reported on August 6.

The actual sales revenue of China’s self-developed games in the overseas market totaled $5.57 billion from January to June this year, revealed a recent report on China’s game industry released by the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association.

Overseas revenue saw a year-on-year increase of 20.2 percent, higher than the growth rate of sales in the domestic market, according to the report.

Of all games, role-playing games, strategy games and competitive multiplayer games were most popular among foreign players, accounting for 83 percent of total overseas revenue, said the report.

China has dramatically improved its research and development capabilities in recent years, especially when it comes to mobile games. This has created a rise in the overseas market share and influence of China’s self-developed games, said Sun Shoushan, director of the association, at the 2019 China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (ChinaJoy) held in Shanghai.

Last year, China’s overseas gaming market hit $9.59 billion, making the country one the largest games exporters in the world, Sun said.

Statistics indicate that the US, Japan, South Korea and Europe remain the major target markets of China’s self-developed games. Meanwhile, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America are of high market potential.

More efforts should be made to introduce self-developed games with Chinese style to the global market, said Guo Yiqiang, Director of the Publication Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Domestic gaming companies need to develop high-quality products based on the demands of foreign consumers and build a competitive edge in the global market, Guo noted.

China’s construction industry grows rapidly since 1949

China’s construction industry has seen rapid growth since 1949, according to a report issued by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The output value of the industry totaled 23.5 trillion yuan in 2018, 4,124 times that of 1952. The average annual growth rate reached 13.4 percent, said the report.

The added value accounted for 8.2 percent of the country’s GDP last year, 6.8 percentage points higher than in 1979.

Construction enterprises have increased alongside the booming industry, with more than 1.2 million enterprises in the sector last year.

Meanwhile, corporate strength has improved significantly. In 2018, 69 Chinese mainland companies were included in the list of the top 250 international contractors released by Engineering News-Record (ENR), an American weekly magazine on the construction industry, ranking first among global countries for the fourth time in a row.

The fast-growing industry has boosted employment. By the end of 2018, 55.63 million people were employed in the sector, accounting for 7.2 percent of the nation’s total, an increase of 5.6 percentage points over the 1980 figure.

With the maturing of technologies and an improvement in skills, Chinese enterprises have completed world-class construction projects at home, such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

They have also expanded their business overseas. China-Myanmar oil pipelines and the Mohammed VI Bridge in Morocco and other facilities built by Chinese enterprises have won widespread praise in recent years.

Experts: China has sufficient conditions to maintain stability of yuan exchange rate

The Chinese economy is generally stable while making good progress, and the country enjoys a fundamental equilibrium in the balance of international payments and has sufficient foreign exchange reserves. Therefore, it can maintain the stability of the yuan exchange rate, experts recently confirmed.

“Both the onshore and offshore exchange rate of the Chinese yuan against the U.S. dollar broke the 7 yuan level on August 5, which was a reflection of the changes in market sentiment,” said Wen Bin, a chief researcher of China Minsheng Bank.

Wen explained that the global financial market had fluctuated drastically due to such factors as the U.S. plan to impose an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to cut interest rates.

China adheres to a market-oriented and floating exchange rate system which is formulated against a number of currencies, said Lian Ping, chief economist with the Bank of Communications.

As affected by market factors, the yuan has depreciated, but will most likely go up again in the future, said Lian, adding that these are all normal fluctuations under the floating exchange rate system, and there’s no need to pay too much attention to the “7 yuan level”.

Despite the recent depreciation of the yuan against the U.S. dollar, the value of the yuan has risen if viewed from a historical perspective.

From the beginning of 2005 to June 2019, the nominal effective exchange rate of yuan appreciated by 38 percent and the real effective exchange rate of the currency by 47 percent, making it the most reliable currency among all Group of 20 (G20) economies as well as witnessing one of the highest appreciation rates around the world, as revealed by data from the Bank for International Settlements.

Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, said that the Chinese economy is generally stable while achieving progress, and that the economy has shown resilience, potential, and leeway.

Yi explained that as China enjoys an equilibrium in the balance of international payments and has sufficient foreign exchange reserves, more enterprises are becoming involved in the foreign exchange market, thus the interest rate gaps between China and major economies in the world are in an appropriate range. He added that these conditions guarantee the basic stability of the yuan exchange rate.

“At present, China sees a balance of international payments, generally controllable financial risks, and a stable yuan exchange rate index. On the contrary, the U.S. dollar index still has room to decline. The yuan is expected to continue to fluctuate in both directions against the U.S. dollar within a reasonable and balanced range,” said Wen.

“As a responsible major country, China will scrupulously abide by the commitments relevant to exchange rates made during the G20 summits, stick to the market-based exchange rate system, never pursue competitive devaluation or use the exchange rate as a tool to deal with external disturbances including economic and trade frictions,” stressed Yi.

“China didn’t attempt to gain additional advantages for trade during the 1997 Asian financial crisis or the 2008 global financial crisis through exchange depreciation. Instead, it adopted effective measures to stabilize the exchange rate, making great contributions to the recovery of the global economy,” said Zhao Qingming, chief economist of the derivative institute of the China Financial Futures Exchange.

Reform and opening-up is a fundamental state policy of China, and the country should stick to reform and opening-up in its foreign exchange management, so as to further improve cross-border trade and investment facilitation and better serve real economy, said an executive of the PBOC, stressing that policy orientation will not change despite recent events.

Cultural consumption new driver for expanding domestic demand in China

The cultural and creative industry has witnessed a boom in recent years. (Photo/Xinhua)

A boom in creative cultural products, increasing popularity of cultural tourism, and growing nighttime cultural consumption in China have revealed the tremendous potential of cultural consumption to drive domestic demand.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Chinese enterprises above the designated size in the cultural industry witnessed a 7.9 percent rise in revenue during the first half of this year.

During this year’s “618” online shopping festival held around June 18 in China, book sales sold via Alibaba’s online shopping platform Tmall within the first hour of the festival grew 550 percent compared with the previous year.

Moreover, Tmall’s sales volume of books sold in the first three minutes of the 618 shopping festival this year surpassed the number sold in the first hour of the festival last year.

Besides books, various cultural products such as Terracotta Warrior garage kits, Sichuan Opera face masks, and sparkling water makers in the form of Long March rockets became must-have items.

These cultural products are the outcome of a project launched by Alibaba’s major e-commerce platform Taobao, which announced on May 21 that it would work with online shop owners and designers to develop over 100 intellectual property products based on China’s national treasures in the next three years, aiming to create a market worth over 10 billion yuan (about $1.42 billion).

During the recently concluded 12th China Art Festival, more than 5,700 kinds of creative cultural products were displayed, attracting over 50,000 visitors and generating a sales volume exceeding 340 million yuan within four days.

Cultural tourism is becoming a new fashion in China, especially culture-oriented travel to places such as museums and exhibitions halls.

According to big data on entrance tickets released by China’s online group purchase platform, searches for cultural tourism-related products including museums and exhibition halls has been growing at more than 200 percent year-on-year.

Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, disclosed that monitoring tourism during holidays in recent years showed that more than 90 percent of tourists now participate in various cultural activities, while 40 percent visit a museum while traveling.

Tourism has also stimulated consumption of such areas as bags and suitcases as well as cosmetics. In the first half of 2019, sales of bags and suitcases grew by 202 percent compared with the same period last year, while sales of sunblock products, lipstick, and face masks rose by 573 percent, 347 percent, and 242 percent respectively year-on-year, as shown by big data from Chinese e-commerce platform

In addition, China has been making efforts to boost supply-side reform for cultural consumption, with the nighttime economy a key target area.

On July 31, the 7th Beijing People Beneficial Cultural Consumption Season opened in China’s capital, Beijing. The event this year aimed to tap into the potential of nighttime cultural consumption and develop the nighttime economy by encouraging shopping malls, theaters, cinemas, and parks to extend business hours.

The call has so far received a wide response in Beijing. The National Museum of China extended business hours until 9 p.m. every Sunday, the Museum of Chinese Gardens and Landscape Architecture held an evening event from July 31 to August 4, and the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing extended its business hours until 9 p.m. from Friday to Sunday every week, with the number of nighttime visitors accounting for 10 percent of daily visits.

Today, watching films and shows has become a regularity for many Chinese people and a new highlight of China’s nighttime economy. According to China’s major online ticketing platform,, from May to August this year, a total of 19 concerts and music festivals were held in the northeast region of China, an increase of 110 percent when compared with the previous year.

Concerts and music festivals are expected to attract 350,000 spectators during the same period, up 25 percent from last year, while the events will generate a year-on-year growth of 15 percent at the box-office, suggested

Since shows such as stage play, opera, and concerts are usually held between 19:00 and 22:00, such cultural consumption will become an essential part of the nighttime economy, said an expert, adding that leisure integrated into tourism has greater nighttime development space.

Things you may want to know about Huawei’s first 5G mobile phone

Chinese mobile giant Huawei launched its first 5G mobile phone for commercial use on July 26. While consumers can’t wait to buy the new product, they may still have some concerns about it.

1. Can the phone function normally under both standalone and non-standalone 5G networks?

Powered by the Balong 5000, Huawei’s first 7nm multi-code 5G chipset with Kirin 980, Huawei Mate 20 X (5G) is currently the world’s only dual-mode 5G cell phone that supports standalone/non-standalone (SA/NSA) simultaneously.

2. How is it different from the 4G mobile phone series?

The biggest difference lies in the speed. The peak data rate of Mate 20 X (5G) is over ten times that of 4G mobile phones, said He Gang, head of Huawei’s mobile phone division.

He downloaded the same movie with both the new product and a 4G mobile phone during the launch ceremony held in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province. While Mate 20 X (5G) registered a speed of 136 MB/s, the 4G mobile phone had only 9.22 MB/s.

Theoretically, the uplink peak rate of the product can reach 240 Mbps, the fastest in the world.

3. Will the high performance lead to shorter battery life?

Mate 20 X (5G) has a large battery capacity of 4200 mAh and can refuel to 70 percent power in just 30 minutes with the TÜV safety certified 40 W Huawei SuperCharge.

4. Can it be used under the current 4G network?

The cell phone is compatible with 4G or even 3G networks. Since China has not yet realized full coverage of 5G, the smart phone can still be used under the current 4G network.

Moreover, it supports dual SIM cards and allows users to switch between 5G and 4G cards based on their personal needs.

The handset is priced at 6,199 yuan (about 899 U.S. dollars) and will hit the market on Aug. 16.

Number of pediatricians reaches 230,000 in China

The ratio of pediatricians per 1,000 children in China reached 0.92 in 2018, as the number of pediatricians rose to 230,000 from 154,000 in the previous year, data from the National Center for Children’s Health revealed.

The increasing number of practitioners has relieved the demand-supply mismatch of children’s doctors, Ni Xin, director of the center, was quoted as saying by the Economic Daily on July 29.

As of last year, China had 228 children’s hospitals and over 20,000 general hospitals had pediatric departments. 42 Chinese universities have opened pediatrics majors and 586 medical bases were established to train pediatricians.

In rural areas, by the end of 2018, 32,765 children with congenital heart disease received treatment, of which 84.9 percent of the expense was covered by the national medical insurance. 19,348 children with leukemia received treatment, of which 85.5 percent of the expense was covered.

China’s per capita consumer spending reaches 10,330 yuan in H1

Shanghai city (Photo/Xinhua)

China’s per capita consumer spending increased by 7.5 percent year-on-year to reach 10,330 yuan ($1,500) in the first half of 2019. Nine provinces and cities exceeded the level, including Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Zhejiang and Guangdong, official data showed.

Shanghai outperformed other regions with per capita consumer spending of 22,513 yuan. Beijing ranked second with 21,134 yuan.

Five of the nine cities and provinces are located in the southeastern region of the country, which has a relatively large consumer market. They have taken various measures to stimulate consumption.

For instance, Guangdong has released an implementation plan, which relaxed policies regarding public auctions and the lottery system to grant car license plates for those who want to buy cars in the provincial capital Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Consumers from the above provinces and cities spent money more on services such as catering and tourism. In the first half of the year, service consumption contributed to 70.4 percent of Beijing’s economic growth.

The strong purchasing power is related to the increasing per capita disposable income of the residents in these provinces. China’s per capita disposable income stood at 15,294 yuan ($4,165) in the first half of the year.

Chinese enterprise facilitates agricultural development in Brazil

China and Brazil have sought closer cooperation in agricultural technologies in recent years. In 2016, China’s Hunan Dakang International Food & Agriculture Company acquired a controlling stake in Brazilian grain company Fiagril Ltda, helping to facilitate agricultural development in Brazil.

In 2015, the soybean area in Amapá, a state located in northern Brazil, didn’t amount to 2,000 hectares, and the yield per hectare was only 1,980 kilograms, much lower than the nation’s average of 3,000 kg per hectare.

A manager with Fiagril explained that the soil in Amapá was not fertile and couldn’t produce soybeans on a large scale. To increase the soybean yield, the company developed chemical fertilizers based on local climate and soil conditions, while sending technicians to collect data about the land and crops to keep track of the planting process.

So far, the soybean area in the state has increased to 20,000 hectares, and the soybean yield stands at 2,880 kg per hectare. The company also enabled farmers to buy agricultural resources on credit so that the agricultural production could run more smoothly, the manager said.

Last year, Brazil produced 110 million tons of soybeans, becoming the second-largest producer of soybeans in the world.