First thing China, August 17
Diaoyu activists to return Sunday
Citing Japanese media, CCTV has reported that the 14 activists from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China currently detained for illegal entry into Japan upon their arrival this week to the Diaoyu Islands will be deported Friday evening, making calls this week for boycotts against Japanese goods and nationwide protests this coming Sunday less likely to escalate.
The Japanese government has said that although bricks were thrown as the activists were being detained, given that no one was injured and the near destruction of the boat on which they arrived, no charges will be filed against the men.
Beijing announces timeline for new airport construction
The Beijing transport commission yesterday announced that construction of the first phase of the city's second airport will be completed by 2015, bringing with it an additional annual capacity of 40 million air passengers. Also announced yesterday were details concerning Beijing's other major construction projects set to take place during the country's 12th five-year plan (2011-15), including a plan to have built a total of 1,000 kilometres of expressway within the municipality, and to give the city its own entry to the G2 Beijing–Shanghai expressway, which currently requires drivers to detour through Tianjin.
Motorola employees protest layoffs
With a thousand jobs are slated to be cut from Motorola's China operations, employees this week formed a protest outside the company's Nanjing Software Park office aimed at parent company Google, claiming that Motorola is illegally threatening to fire those who don't sign an agreement to dissolve existing contracts but under conditions they find unfair.
Guangdong gets tough on corruption culture in government
The Guangdong provincial government revealed yesterday, writes Southern Metropolis Daily, that a six-month internal investigation has uncovered a total of 1,931 civil servants, including a number of senior and middle-ranking officials, found to have used their position to conceal illegal activity within their department or bureau.
MofCom considers investigation of top B2C platforms
According to the National Business Daily, the Ministry of Commerce announced yesterday that an investigation would have to be conducted to determine if China's largest e-commerce sites, led by 360Buy, Suning and Gome, violated market regulations on Wednesday this week in a frenzied price war on home appliances. Online sources have noted that prices on many goods have risen since the end of the much-publicised day of heady discounts.
Armyworms devastate northeastern farms
On its website, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has released figures which show that as of yesterday, more than 730,000 hectares of farmland across three provinces in northeast China - Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang - have been affected by an infestation of moth caterpillars this month, and that over 42,000 hectares of corn crops have already been destroyed. Direct economic losses have already reached 200 million yuan in scale and affected 2.5 million farmers, the Ministry said, a figure expected to rise as the infestation continues to spread.
Sina.com net income triples
Chinese internet conglomerate Sina held its Q2 earnings call yesterday, revealing that net income has tripled in the past year to reach US$33.2 million, and that advertising revenue rose 12 per cent year-on-year to reach US$103.1 million. The company also claimed yesterday that it now has 368 million users of its Weibo.com microblogging service, which CEO Charles Chao expects will continue to drive growth in coming quarters.