China Digest, October 20, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 October, 2012, 4:37am


Charity haircut works

More than 74,000 elderly Beijing residents have taken advantage of the city's one-yuan haircut programme so far this year, reports. Qualified participants can get their hair cut for just one yuan (HK$1.23) on weekdays at any of the 100 participating salons. The municipal hairdressers' association hopes to expand the network to 200 salons by year end. The one yuan paid goes to charity.

Asia's biggest Apple store

Asia's largest Apple store will open today in Beijing's Wangfujin Street commercial centre, reports. The 24,700 square feet store is Apple's sixth on the mainland. More than 200 machines will be on display on the ground floor.


Complacency does man in

The Fujian Communist Party Committee has defended its decision to pass over a candidate for an IT position even though he scored highest in both the written test and face-to-face interview, the Beijing Times reports. Thinking he was bound to get the job, Liu Jinxing quit his job at a state-owned enterprise in Guangzhou only to learn days later that he was out of the running. The committee said Liu's personality did not fit the position.

Toddler dies under tractor

A three-year-old boy was crushed to death by a farm tractor in Yongding county after being thrown from the back of a motorcycle, the Southeast Express reports. The motorcycle's back tyre exploded on Thursday, launching the boy into the path of a tractor which was also on the road.


Punished post-promotion

A Shenzhen University study has found that four in five ministerial-level officials sacked for corruption received promotions shortly before their termination, the China Youth Daily reports. Researcher Tu Xian discovered this after reviewing media reports and court records of 72 officials fired over the past decade.

'Branded' eyewear seized

Huizhou police have seized 40,000 pairs of counterfeit designer eyewear and arrested 11 people in a recent factory raid, the Yangcheng Evening News reports. The glasses had an estimated market value of 100 million yuan. The person who tipped off the police was rewarded 300,000 yuan.


Genghis Khan's name lives

Five anthropologists and historians have presented several Zhongmu county residents with certificates confirming them as descendants of Mongol Empire founder Genghis Khan, the Dahe Daily reports. The recipients represented the estimated 5,000 residents in the area surnamed Xiao. Their oral histories have long held that they were descended from the Great Khan.

Brothers in crime

Zhengzhou police have arrested two brothers connected to 17 thefts in high-end residential blocks in several surrounding provinces in the last year, the Dahe Daily reports. Police said the brothers escaped suspicion by prowling around wealthy neighbourhoods in a BMW, which they rented for 1,000 yuan a day. They made fake licence plates and changed them frequently.


Alleged rapist caught

A Qichun county man is being held on charges that he raped and severely beat a girl in July last year, reports. The man was picked up last month after a prostitute accused him of not paying for sex. He was released, then re-arrested days later after police connected him to the rape.

Tip-off gets twice the fine

Wuhan authorities say they will make sure the city's anti-dumping law is not abused after it was revealed that a city resident received 2,000 yuan for reporting people who throw rubbish and other debris from their cars, the Yangtze Daily reports. The policy rewards people 100 yuan for every violation they report, even though such violations carry only a 50 yuan penalty.


Old, lonely and depressed

About one fifth of elderly "empty nesters" in Xuzhou suffer from mental health problems, reports. A survey by the local civil affairs department found that nearly 15 per cent of the city's residents were over 60 years old and more than half of them have children who live elsewhere.

Blood looks like milk

Doctors in Suzhou were shocked recently when they found that blood drawn from a patient suffering from severe pancreatitis was so cloudy it resembled milk, the Yangtse Evening News reports. The patient told doctors he drank three bottles of yellow wine and 500 millilitres of white spirits every day.


Big lenders get bigger

Bank loans issued in Jiangxi grew 20 per cent in the third quarter, the sixth highest rate among the provinces, reports. The Nanchang branch of the People's Bank of China said the year-on-year growth in loans issued in the province was 3.5 per cent higher than the national average.

Investment rolls in

Local officials expect at least 55 manufacturing deals, representing a total investment of nine billion yuan, to be signed at the China Jindezhen International Ceramic Fair, reports. The annual fair, which has been held since 2004, kicked off on Thursday in Jindezhen.


Fire-free for 30 years

Jilin has gone 31 years without a serious forest fire, reports. The provincial government said there have been 72 per cent fewer bush fires since 1981 compared with the three decades before. Authorities said they have 7,000 people standing by to respond in periods of high fire risk.

Outdated websites

The websites for prosecutors in Changchun, Songyuan, Liaoyuan and the Yanbian Korean Ethnic Minority Prefecture have not been updated for at least two years, The Southern Metropolis News reports. The sites all contain similar material, and have dead links and items labelled "testing information". An official from Changchun said the agency was "cautiously" working through the technology problem.


Free flights fail to take off

Citing public opposition, the Shanghai-based Spring Airlines has cancelled a promotion offering free tickets on its flight from Shanghai to Japan's Saga prefecture, Shanghai's People Radio reports. The private airline was trying to boost interest in the flight, which had fallen off amid the territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo. But some people opposed any effort to increase travel to Japan.

Chatty man lives long

Shanghai's oldest known male resident, the 110-year-old Qin Maotang, says talking to others is his secret to a long life, reports. Qin's family said he leaves his fourth-floor walk-up twice a day to chat with residents in the community square. The city, which has the mainland's oldest population, recently awarded Qin 10 "longevity stars".