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19 hours

This year’s Oct. 1 National Day holiday marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and thirsty shoppers celebrated by gulping down an e-commerce platform’s entire stock of “national liquor” brand Moutai’s 1,499 yuan ($210) flagship baijiu.

Yesterday was the first time Moutai offered bottles of its popular 106-proof Feitian baijiu to consumers through two major e-commerce platforms: Tmall and Tmall sold out of its entire 52,000-bottle stock almost immediately, according to reports. Suning, which required customers to first reserve a bottle, processed 10,000 reservations in just 30 seconds. By 8 p.m. on Oct. 2, the waiting list had grown to 160,000.

Kweichow Moutai, headquartered in the remote southwestern province of Guizhou, is one of China’s most celebrated distilleries, and the brand of baijiu it is known for was named one of China’s official national liquors in 1951. But over the past few years, a combination of high demand, scarce supply, and the company’s reliance on small-scale secondary sellers have turned its 106-proof Feitian brand into a hot commodity for scalpers and speculators, with bottles routinely fetching more than 2,000 yuan on the secondary market. (Image: VCG)

1 day

New regulations requiring China’s internet companies to protect the privacy of their underage users went into force Tuesday.

The new rules were first published by the Cyberspace Administration of China on Aug. 23. The document defines children as minors under the age of 14, and requires the country’s internet companies to obtain consent from a child’s legal guardian before collecting, using, transferring, or disclosing their personal information. The new regulations also require firms to tailor their personal information protection policies and user agreements to the needs of underage users and to designate an individual responsible for ensuring children’s personal information is protected.

The regulations are China’s first specifically related to protecting the privacy of minors online. According to a joint report from the Communist Youth League and the state-run China Internet Network Information Center, as of July 31, 2018, China had 169 million internet users under the age of 18, and 89.5% and 99.4% of the country’s primary and middle school students were online, respectively.

The United States, U.K., and Japan have all implemented similar rules aimed at protecting minors’ personal information online. (Image: VCG)

2 days

Tech titan Tencent’s patriotic new mobile city simulator has become the most downloaded free game on Apple’s Chinese App store as the country prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary Tuesday, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported.

Created in partnership with People’s Daily, “Homeland Dream” allows players to build and grow a virtual city in a province of their choice. The mobile game secured the top spot on the app store Thursday — two days after its launch on Sept. 24 — and currently has an average user rating of 4.6 stars out of five.

Tencent’s other hit games include the fantasy role-playing game “Honour of Kings,” which became so popular that state media criticized its creators for not doing enough to curb gaming addiction among children. The company has since set playtime limits and introduced mandatory real-name registration for players to address addiction concerns. (Image: Apple's Chinese App store)

3 days

A hotel in Shanghai has lost its star rating as authorities crack down on facilities for violating or not meeting industry standards, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported Sunday.

Shanghai Everbright International Hotel was stripped of its star rating after city officials discovered “the absence of certain necessary items, old facilities and equipment, and a lackluster hygiene situation,” according to the report. The Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism also reprimanded 60 other tourist accommodations — including boutique, budget, and star-rated hotels — over safety and sanitation issues after a three-month undercover operation that started in May.

Over the past few years, China’s hospitality industry has faced mounting criticism over poor sanitation and low-quality service. Last year, an 11-minute video exposed unhygienic housekeeping practices at 14 five-star hotels in cities including Beijing and Shanghai, prompting authorities to call for stricter supervision.

In addition to hotels, authorities in northern China’s Hebei province also revoked the star status of 23 highly-rated tourist spots — including the Wuyuan Saiwai Manor — for failing to meet official standards, according to an announcement Sunday. A total of 84 tourist spots in the province received citations and were ordered to resolve the relevant issues within the next few months. (Image: From the website of Shanghai Everbright International Hotel)

5 days

Chinese tech giant Baidu will sell one-third of its shares in Ctrip, the country’s largest online travel platform, financial news outlet Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Based on Ctrip’s current share price, the sale will generate around $1 billion, with Baidu expected to use the capital to cope with the current economic slowdown and increased competition in its core advertising business, Bloomberg analysts said. Ctrip confirmed the sale Friday to reporters with The Paper, Sixth Tone’s sister publication.

In 2015, Baidu acquired one-quarter of Ctrip through a share swap that required the search giant to drop its stake in Ctrip rival Qunar. As of the end of August, Baidu held 17.87% of Ctrip’s shares, according to The Paper. Even after the sale, Baidu will remain the travel site’s biggest shareholder.

Baidu has been diversifying its business in recent months amid economic uncertainty caused by increased government scrutiny of its advertising business and by the China-U.S. trade war. In August, Baidu and three other companies jointly invested $434 million in Zhihu, China’s Quora-like question-and-answer platform. (Image: VCG)

5 days

Two years after a major earthquake destroyed parts of Jiuzhaigou National Park in the southwestern Sichuan province, the scenic area officially reopened to the public Friday.

By 9 a.m., nearly 3,000 tickets had been sold to tourists eager to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site on its reopening day, according to Sixth Tone’s sister publication, The Paper. However, park authorities said they’re currently capping the number of daily visitors to 5,000 and tickets for the peak tourism season (Oct. 2-5) have already sold out, as millions of Chinese are expected to travel both domestically and abroad during next week’s National Day holiday.

Known for its lush forests and scenic blue lakes, Jiuzhaigou was closed after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake destroyed parts of the park on Aug. 8, 2017, affecting the area’s tourism as well as the livelihoods it supported. The park was partially opened last March, allowing just 2,000 daily visitors. Prior to the quake, the popular tourist spot saw 7.2 million visits in 2016. (Image: VCG)

5 days

In a bid to branch out from coffee and tea, Starbucks rival Luckin Coffee is planning to introduce a line of juice products to quench consumers’ thirsts.

In a statement Thursday, the Chinese company said it had signed an agreement with agricultural commodities firm Louis Dreyfus Company to develop a co-branded juice business in China. Dubbed Luckin Juice, the business will focus on not-from-concentrate juice products, given that China is “the fastest-growing NFC market globally,” according to Luckin’s co-founder and senior vice president, Guo Jinyi.

Launched in May 2018, Luckin Coffee has opened nearly 3,000 stores in 40 Chinese cities and plans to open an additional 1,500 stores by the end of this year to eclipse Starbucks and become China’s largest coffee company. In April, Luckin announced its own chain of tea shops, and a month later the company listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market with a valuation of over $6 billion(Image: Sixth Tone)

6 days

The Chinese internet is buzzing with young people discussing their intentions to prepare their last wills and testaments after popular esports player Yu Jingxi — also known as Misaya — wrote his own will on a reality show that aired over the weekend.

As of 2018, nearly 150,000 people had registered their wills with the nonprofit China Will Registration Center, of which 178 were, like the 27-year-old Yu, from the so-called post-’90s generation, Beijing Youth Daily reported Thursday. Nearly all of these young people named their parents as property heirs, and most of the young testators are reportedly white-collar workers and entrepreneurs with relatively stable careers and incomes. None of the 178 wills have taken effect yet.

Talking about death is taboo in China, and few people write their own wills because even acknowledging the eventuality of death is considered unlucky. Although drafting wills is still relatively uncommon in the country, more and more people are breaking from tradition and becoming open to writing their final testaments.

On microblogging platform Weibo, a related hashtag had been viewed over 180 million times by Thursday afternoon. While some netizens have suggested that Yu is too young to write a will, others have voiced support for his decision. “Life is full of unpredictability,” commented one user. “We shouldn’t avoid a will just because we are afraid of the word ‘death’.” (Image: @湖南卫视我家小两口 on Weibo)

6 days

Top policymakers in Guangdong province are seeking to clearly define the disciplinary authority of local teachers, the Southern Daily newspaper reported Wednesday.

In a section on student discipline, a draft guideline submitted Tuesday to members of the Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress proposes that teachers be allowed to punish students by making them remain standing for extended periods or run outdoors until instructed to stop if the students violate certain rules such as throwing objects in the classroom, making disruptive noises, and copying homework. The draft regulation says the proposed punishments do not constitute corporal punishment and expressly forbids teachers from applying “more severe” disciplinary measures.

Though Chinese education experts have argued in favor of a national guideline for regulating school discipline, such a standard does not yet exist — and as a result, reports of draconian punishments occasionally make headlines. In February 2017, a vaguely worded regulation on student discipline in the coastal city of Qingdao raised concerns among parents and netizens, who worried that the document could be used to justify corporal punishment. In a guideline published in July, China’s Cabinet urged the Ministry of Education to establish detailed rules for how teachers can and can’t discipline their students. (Image: IC)

2019-09-25 09:22:15

A woman in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing is blind in one eye after undergoing a cosmetic procedure on her nose, local media reported Tuesday.

The woman, a 19-year-old university student surnamed Chen, told a local news network that the procedure had taken place earlier this month at Emay Family, a beauty parlor in Chongqing’s Yubei District. After purchasing a “beauty card” for 980 yuan ($140), Chen elected to receive a nasal filling with hyaluronic acid, a popular noninvasive procedure used to adjust the shape of one’s nose. Chen said she had hoped the procedure — sometimes called a “liquid nose job” — would make her “more beautiful.” Instead, it left her blind in her right eye.

When Chen went to a local hospital, medical staff diagnosed arterial thrombosis, or a blockage of the blood vessel, and said her vision may never return. It is unclear from the report whether Emay Family had been licensed to perform the procedure Chen received.

Botched cosmetic procedures occasionally make headlines in China. Buoyed by increasingly beauty-conscious consumers — both women and men — the country’s cosmetology industry reached an estimated 192.5 billion yuan in 2017, according to Deloitte. The thriving sector even saw its first homegrown company debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market in May of this year, raising $179 million in its initial public offering. (Image: VCG)


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