China Digest, October 24, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 12:35am


Hero gets his reward

A migrant worker from Anhui province said he and his wife have been overwhelmed by inquiries from people who believed the couple was given hundreds of thousands of yuan in public donations after it was reported in the media that the man had saved two families in Fangshan district during a deadly rainstorm in July, the Legal Evening News reports. The man said he did not receive any donations and was not supposed to even receive any government aid as his family does not hold permanent residency in Beijing. But the authorities gave him an undisclosed sum of money after his heroic deeds came to light.

Cash, coal to beat cold

The municipal government has allocated 3 billion yuan (HK$3.69 billion) as subsidies to energy providers this winter to keep heating prices stable for residents, reports. More than 3 million tonnes of coal are already on hand, and the total is expected to account for 60 per cent of the coal the city will need for this winter, which officially begins on November 15 when radiators will be turned on throughout the city.


Killer robber to die

The provincial high court has upheld the death sentence for a man who killed and robbed a woman of 20,000 yuan, China News Service reports. Chen Haiping had posed as a postman after finding the woman's address and phone number from a discarded package. He killed her after obtaining her bank card and password.

Failed jobseeker asks why

An applicant for an IT position with the Fujian Communist Party Committee has turned to the provincial department overseeing civil service to find out why he was not given the job despite scoring highest among all applicants in both the written exam and oral interview, the Beijing Times reports. The only reason the committee had given was that it did not seem like he would fit in.


Lost items retrieved

Municipal transport department staff members spent two days sifting through traffic surveillance clips and GPS data to help a Yemeni businessman find his passport, laptop and nearly US$5,000 in a suitcase he left in the boot of a taxi last week, reports. The man, who was in Guangzhou for the Canton Fair, did not have a taxi receipt. All the items have since been returned.

Shenzhen's student 'spies'

A primary school in Shenzhen's Nanshan district has caused controversy after it asked pupils to spy on their classmates and report issues such as puppy love and poor concentration in class, The Southern Metropolis News reports. Some parents were worried the practice could drive students apart while others supported the measure.


Costly concrete trees

A mainland university student has asked the government in Nanyang's poverty-stricken Xichuan county to reveal the cost of constructing two 15-metre concrete pine tree statues erected at its forestry office entrance, the China Youth Daily reports. Wu Jinxin, a Nanchang University student, said he hoped the officials would reflect on the trees' cost, which has been estimated at more than 300,000 yuan.

Heritage site damaged

A developer in Zhengzhou could face hefty fines after heritage authorities discovered that the building of a nursing home had damaged a 4,000-year-old cultural heritage site, the China Youth Daily reports. The authorities said the developer did not comply with rules requiring surveys to be conducted before construction begins near a historical site.


Corrupt official jailed

An official from a primary school in Huaian's impoverished Xuyi county has been sentenced to seven years' jail for embezzling nearly 400,000 yuan in donations the school had received, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. Ye Xuefeng, former director of Xuyi Hope Primary School's Office of Academic Affairs, had raised 880,000 yuan in online donations since 2006, but students had benefited from just 490,000 yuan of it.

Fraudulent fundraiser

Guannan county police are searching for the owner of a private fundraising company who is believed to have fled with more than the 100 million yuan he had raised from four rural mutual fund co-operatives, China National Radio reports. About 2,500 farmers in the county, located in Lianyungang, had deposited about 110 million yuan to be invested before they were told that the co-operatives had closed.


Meat prices reduced

Local pricing authorities have ordered all beef and mutton sellers in the autonomous region to reduce their retail price by 4 yuan a kilogram until Monday for Eid al-Adha, a holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that falls on Thursday and Friday, reports. The average price varies from city to city, but mutton normally costs about 40 yuan a kilogram in Yinchuan. Authorities have also limited each shopper to two kilograms of beef and mutton per visit to government-run meat retailers.

Counterfeiters caught

A joint law enforcement task force from the provincial police and taxation bureaus has caught 58 people allegedly involved in counterfeiting rings that produced more than 254,000 fake receipts with a combined face value of 200 million yuan this year, reports. The crackdown is expected to help the authorities recoup about 33.11 million yuan in tax revenue.


Hairy crabs cost less

Hairy crab prices have dropped by between 30 and 60 per cent to around 60 yuan a kilogram in Shanghai since the Mid-Autumn Festival at the end of September, which was the peak season for consumption of the delicacy, reports. But not everyone is happy about the price drop as many people had received hairy crab vouchers as gifts and the discount will not be applied when they are redeemed.

Compulsory ID checks

Shanghai railway authorities began compulsory ID checks on Monday for all passengers bound for Beijing, Xinjiang and Tibet, and it was unclear how long the policy would remain in effect, Shanghai Dragon Television reports. Normally, only about 5 per cent of rail passengers are subject to random ID checks when they board trains from Shanghai.


Blackmailer jailed

A migrant worker from Yunnan has been sentenced to 3½ years' jail and fined 5,000 yuan for trying to extort 240,000 yuan from his ex-girlfriend by threatening to reveal sex photos of her, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. The woman turned to the police in Yueqing for help after the man ordered her to pay him 8,000 yuan annually for 30 years.

Taxpayer money misused

The director of Tongxiang's notary office, Shen Jilong, and his supervisor have been suspended and detained as Shen is accused of having spent 161,000 yuan in taxpayer money on hairy crab banquets between 2007 and 2010, reports. A government audit report leaked online last week also indicated that Shen and two other notary office staff members had received huge raises in recent years, with their salaries soaring from about 378,800 to 695,200 yuan between 2007 and 2010.