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China’s internet advertising secures steady growth

China’s internet advertising market was worth 436.7 billion yuan in 2019, up 18.2 percent year-on-year, according to the latest report on internet advertising development.

Internet advertising via e-commerce platforms accounted for 35.9 percent of the total amount and ranked top while search engine ads followed with a proportion of 14.9 percent.

Revenues of advertising on short video platforms registered a notable rise of 43 percent to become the third-largest platform of internet advertising.

While technological innovation and the Internet of Things continued to expand advertising space, 5G is also believed to bring new possibilities to the field, experts noted.

New Zealand ambassador to China hopes to promote bilateral cooperation

Clare Fearnley, New Zealand Ambassador to China, first came to the country in the 1980s to work as a teacher in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province. During her 40 years here, she has not only become more attached to China, but has also experienced the changes in the country.

Clare Fearnley (Photo/haiwainet.cn)

The infrastructure in China has improved a lot, said Fearnley, pointing out that it only takes about four hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai on high-speed trains when it used to take about 10 hours.

The living standards of the Chinese people have also improved and consumers now have more choices when buying products, she added.

Mandarin is one of the most popular languages in New Zealand, the ambassador said. Since 2014, the non-governmental organizations in the country have held an event every year dedicated to Chinese songs, food, kung fu and so on, attracting many New Zealanders.

Fearnley believes that learning Mandarin helps the people in New Zealand to understand China, an important country in the Pacific region, and the values of the Chinese people.

According to Fearnley, around 50 direct flights are operated between New Zealand and China every week. While the total consumption of Chinese tourists in New Zealand continues to increase, about 140,000 New Zealanders travel to China every year, which Fearnley thinks is an amazing figure considering the population of the country.

The two countries have a long history of cooperation. The renowned kiwi fruit of New Zealand was originally introduced from China in 1904, said Fearnley. She added that many kiwi varieties have been developed by scientists from both countries and a joint laboratory has opened in southwest China’s Sichuan province.

New Zealand was the first developed country to sign and implement a free trade agreement with China and the two countries will sign an upgraded agreement in 2020.

The upgraded version will incorporate e-commerce and will further benefit the two peoples. While many Chinese consumers could have access to the milk and fresh fruits from New Zealand, the New Zealanders can enjoy more quality Chinese products such as electronic products and silk.

China helps Kazakhstan city modernize local oil refinery

The Shymkent oil refinery (Photo via PetroKazakhstan Oil Products LLP)

Shymkent, a city in southern Kazakhstan, has thrived thanks to the concerted efforts of China and Kazakhstan to upgrade the local oil factory into a modern and environmentally-friendly refinery.

Originally built in the 1970s, the Shymkent oil refinery has failed to produce high-quality oil in recent years due to backward manufacturing techniques and old equipment.

In February 2014, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) officially started to help Shymkent modernize the refinery.

The first and second phase of the project were completed and put into production in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The refinery was then able to produce 6 million tons of crude oil per year.

Before the first phase was completed, Kazakhstan needed to import 800,000 to 1 million tons of high-grade oil every year, said Jiang Shi, President of PetroKazakhstan Oil Products LLP.

Last year when the refinery started to produce quality oil, the Kazakhstan government announced that the country was able to produce enough high-quality fuel to satisfy domestic demand and was even preparing to export petroleum to neighboring Central Asian countries.

More than 10 percent of the funds for the project were used to dispose of waste water, gas and solids. By adopting the world’s most advanced sulfur removal technology and sulfur recovery technique developed by the CNPC, the oil factory could reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 15,100 tons per year.

Besides creating thousands of jobs for the local people, the refinery strictly complied with the relevant laws in Kazakhstan and ensured that Kazakhstan and Chinese employees got the same salaries for the same amount of work, according to Gulnaz Ashirbayeva, Director for Administrative and Legal Matters and Human Resources, PKOP LLP.

The Chinese company has also shouldered social responsibilities such as funding local orphanages, hospitals, primary and secondary schools and poor families.

A review of major Chinese scientific and technological breakthroughs in 2019

China made remarkable achievements in science and technology in 2019, ranging from virtual cyberspace to real life, and from the ocean to space.

China’s largest carrier rocket Long March-5 makes new flight

(Photo/Xinhua)

China launched the third Long March-5, its largest carrier rocket, from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province on Dec. 27.

The rocket, codenamed Long March-5 Y3, carried the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing over 8 tons, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite in the country, into its planned orbit.

Huawei launches world’s first flagship 5G Soc chipset

Huawei’s chipset subsidiary HiSilicon said in May that it will use backup chips it has independently developed for years to cope with the ban from the US.

Since then, Huawei has continued marching forward on the road of innovation. On Sept. 6, it even unveiled the world’s first flagship 5G system-on-chip (Soc) chipset, namely the Kirin 990 5G.

Data from the company suggests that its sales revenue exceeded 610 billion yuan in the first three quarters of 2019, a year-on-year increase of 24.5 percent, which signified the resilience and momentum of the company in the face of challenges.

China grants 5G licenses for commercial use

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted 5G licenses for commercial use on June 6, marking the beginning of a new era in the country’s telecommunications industry.

China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network are the first batch of companies to obtain the licenses.

Blockchain technology gathers momentum

Blockchain technology, a decentralized, distributed ledger that records the provenance of a digital asset, is believed to bring major reforms to various industries as it has done to the Internet. It has even been incorporated into the national strategy in 2019.

In the first half of 2019, China announced a total of 3,547 patents on blockchain technologies, much more than in the whole year of 2018, according to the CCID Academy for Industry and Information Technology. Meanwhile, Chinese patents on blockchain account for over half of the world’s total, said the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier delivered

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Shandong, was delivered to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and placed in active service on Dec. 17 at a naval port in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province.

Approved by the Central Military Commission of China, the Shandong was given the hull number 17.

Xuelong 2 makes its debut in Antarctic expedition

(Photo/Xinhua)

Xuelong 2, China’s polar icebreaker, made its maiden voyage in the country’s 36th Antarctic expedition in October.

While breaking ice in the waters in Antarctica, Xuelong 2 led the other icebreaker Xuelong toward the designated unloading area near the Zhongshan Station in Antarctica.

Beijing’s new airport begins operation

(Photo/Xinhua)

Beijing’s brand new Daxing International Airport, located 46 km south of downtown Beijing, opened to flights on Sept. 25.

Shaped like a phoenix spreading its wings, the new aviation hub allows a passenger to walk from the center of the terminal building to the furthest departure gate within eight minutes.

Its passenger throughput is expected to reach 100 million by 2040, with 800,000 takeoffs and landings.

Chinese scientists discover 99-million-year-old beetle species

(The Beijing News/Tao Ran)

Chinese scientists announced that they discovered a rare species of beetle from the age of dinosaurs in an amber on Dec. 21, the Beijing News reported.

Known as Notocupes denticollis, the beetle was proven to have come from Myanmar 99 million years ago in the cretaceous period.

Experts pointed out that only six kinds of beetles under this particular family exist in the world, and this discovery will help scientists learn about the classifications of the beetle family and the evolutionary changes of beetles.

The specimen is so well preserved that the male genitalia of the insect can be seen under the microscope, allowing scientists to discover its identity and its ties with other similar species.

The discovery was first made by Song Chengjun, then 14 years old, when he was helping Liu Ye, his instructor as well as a researcher at the Institute of Zoology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, polishing ambers last year.

According to Liu, Song started to learn about animals and plants from him and other scientists two years before that and even began to participate in the scientific research and project under the guidance of his instructors.

The amber is now being exhibited at the Paleodiary Natural History Museum, located on the fourth floor of the Zhongguancun Book Building.

Conducted by Jiang Zhuoyin and Li Yingge, both undergraduates at the Beijing Forestry University, Doctor Shi Hongliang at the university, Song Chengjun, Liu Ye among others, the research was published in the journal Cretaceous Research.

China aims to connect prefecture-level cities with high-speed railways

(Photo/Xinhua)

With more high-speed railway lines being open and operated in China, many provinces have built high-speed railway networks between their prefecture-level cities.

As a pioneer region in this drive, the Yangtze River Delta in east China, which includes Shanghai municipality, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, has speeded up the construction of high-speed railways in recent years.

On December 1, 2019, Fuyang and Bozhou, both prefecture-level cities in northwestern Anhui province, opened high-speed railway lines, marking a milestone of all 16 prefecture-level cities being connected by high-speed railways.

Following that, all 13 prefecture-level cities in Jiangsu province have also opened high-speed railway lines.

To date, a total of 22 high-speed railway lines are in operation in the Yangtze River Delta, covering Shanghai municipality and 40 prefecture-level cities in the area.

While southeast China’s provinces seem to be taking the lead in building a more comprehensive high-speed railway network, northern and western provinces, such as Shaanxi, are striving to connect all prefecture-level cities with high-speed railways in the near future.

China boasts the world’s longest high-speed railway network, which accounts for two-thirds of the world’s total high-speed railways, said Wei Houkai, head of the Rural Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The growth of high-speed railways has not only made it more convenient for people to get around, but also promoted the exchanges of economy, culture, and technology and facilitated harmonious development among various areas, Wei added.

China’s film market maintains momentum in 2019

People walk past a poster of The Wandering Earth in Shanghai on Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo/sipaphoto.com)

China’s box office haul totaled 64.3 billion yuan in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 5.4 percent.

With higher quality and more diverse themes, a batch of domestic films proved popular with film-goers, with home-made products contributing to 64.1 percent of the total box office takings.

Films celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, represented by My People, My Country, The Captain, and The Climbers, gained general recognition.

To date, My People, My Country has grossed over 3.1 billion yuan, the highest among its genre in Chinese history.

Consumers believe that films in 2019 celebrating the founding of the New China have been the best ones in recent years, according to a survey conducted by the China Film Art Research Center and the research company EntGroup.

Meanwhile, The Wandering Earth and Ne Zha, which both topped box office rankings, signify that China has greatly improved the industrialization of its film industry. While the former is considered to have opened a new chapter in Chinese sci-fi films, the latter shows how traditional cultural elements can be developed in a creative way.

Consumers’ affection for domestic films has supported the development of film making, promoting the more mature development of the market.

On the one hand, the market drives more movie makers to focus on content and produce more quality products; on the other hand, movie makers are required to make products of varying types to meet demand from consumers of different age groups.

The Philippines makes efforts to popularize Mandarin

The Philippine Department of Education has recently signed agreements with the Confucius Institute Headquarters, specifying that they will work together to train a batch of professional Mandarin teachers to promote Mandarin teaching and learning in the Philippines.

According to the agreements, the Philippine Department of Education will select 300 local Mandarin teachers from middle schools and send them to the Angeles University Foundation in the Philippines to take postgraduate courses in Mandarin.

Altogether, they will study for two years, with two semesters in the Fujian Normal University in southeast China’s Fujian province and the other four at the Angeles University Foundation. After that, they will continue to teach Mandarin in their former schools.

With the development of Philippines-China relations, more young people in the Philippines have realized that it is important to learn Mandarin, said Leonor Magtolis Briones, Secretary of the Department of Education.

Tian Shanting, the cultural counselor of the Chinese Embassy to the Philippines, pointed out that the training program will promote the development of Mandarin teaching and learning in public middle schools and provide more opportunities for locals to learn Chinese language and culture.

Since 2011, Mandarin has been included as an elective language course in public middle schools in the Philippines. At present, about 11,000 students from 93 public middle schools across the country are learning Mandarin.

China launches first real-time digital “person”

China’s first independently developed real-time digital “person” was launched in Chongqing on December 16, Chongqing Daily reported.

The virtual model, introduced by Dawaweilai video technology company, can make the same gestures and facial expressions as a real person, straight from a specially designed studio.

Equipped with 42 camera lenses, the studio will capture the body movements of a person for the digital model. The helmet-like facial recognition instrument worn by the real person will convey his facial expressions to the digital one.

The digital hologram can make the same gestures and facial expressions thanks to the real-time frame rendering system independently designed by the company, said Lu Qi, CEO of Dawaweilai.

The real-time rendering system could simulate 120 frames of 4K-resolution videos per second, 1,500 times faster than the traditional video production method.

Only several companies in the world can make real-time digital persons right now, Lu added.

Real-time digital person technology can be widely used in digital film and television, virtual idols, virtual studios and etc. It can greatly increase the mass-production capacity of industries such as film and television and significantly reduce production costs.

Professional courses taught in Mandarin on the rise

Thai students who learn railway Mandarin study in Wuhan, China. (Photo provided by the Khon Kaen University)

The China-Thailand high-speed railway Mandarin training course, an excellent example of Mandarin teaching combined with professional expertise, has so far trained a total of nearly 200 talents for Thailand, who know both Mandarin and railway-related technologies.

Specifically, the students will learn railway Mandarin for one month at the Confucius Institute of the Khon Kaen University in Thailand and then receive professional training for a year at the Wuhan Railway Vocational College of Technology in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province.

Learning railway Mandarin is helpful for the students to become experts in rail, said Hu Lin, director of the Confucius Institute of the Khon Kaen University.

The high-speed rail Mandarin training project originated from Thailand’s increasing demand for talents in Mandarin and railway technology along with further cooperation between China and Thailand.

Thailand is not the only country demanding inter-disciplinary talents. Statistics show that more than 100 Confucius Institutes in over 40 countries such as Thailand and Malaysia have provided Mandarin courses in various fields, including high-speed rail, trade and economics, tourism, law and aviation.

In an attempt to sustain the development of Mandarin education, the Confucius Institute of the Khon Kaen University has also cooperated with vocational schools and designed online professional Mandarin courses such as railway Mandarin, logistics and e-commerce and electronic information technology.