China Digest, October 31, 2012
Eight hospitals in the capital now have hotlines for the public to report staff members who ask for cash gifts or other kickbacks, the Beijing Morning Post reports. And in a further effort to stop doctors taking cash gifts from patients, the municipal health bureau has opened a bank account into which doctors may deposit cash gifts that they were unable to refuse.
Suspended death sentence
A man received a suspended death sentence on Monday for killing a prostitute during a dispute over how much she was owed, The Beijing News reports. The victim was found dead in a hair salon in Fangshan district in February of last year, and the man was caught by police four days later. He confessed in court to hitting the woman on the head with a brick and strangling her to death with electrical wiring because she asked for 200 yuan (HK$246) after he had agreed to pay her 150 yuan.
Meth ring busted
Police in Yubei district busted a drug ring and seized 12.6kg of methamphetamine following a two-month investigation, China News Service reports. The local public security bureau said yesterday that the group of six suspects allegedly bought drugs in Yunnan and moved them to Chongqing in a truck registered in Shanxi .
Disorder linked to quarrels
After a five-year-old boy in Yubei district was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) recently, his doctor said the boy developed the problem because his parents fought frequently in the past couple of years, the Chongqing Times reports. The doctor said children often develop the psychiatric disorder as a way of coping with the stress of seeing their parents fight.
Reporter's arm broken
A television reporter was beaten and suffered a broken arm while covering a story at a building site in Guangzhou's Baiyun district, where a worker fell to his death from a 10-metre-high tower on Monday, the Nanfang Daily reports. The Southern Television Guangdong reporter was allegedly attacked by the construction site manager, who was later taken away by police.
Government cuts junkets
Authorities in Guangzhou spent 598 million yuan last year on overseas trips, banquets and new cars, Ycwb.com reports. According to city government records of last year's revenue and expenditures, which the city reviewed on Monday, spending in the three categories - called the "three public consumptions" - had dropped by 157 million yuan from 2010.
Accused flees court
A man on trial in Shaodong county, Shaoyang for robbery fled the courtroom on October 23 as the prosecutor read the indictment, and wasn't found for "several days", the Oriental Morning Post reports. The man, still in handcuffs, ran out of the courtroom and climbed over a steel fence before courtroom guards could catch him. About 300 police officers were dispatched to find him, and a county spokesperson said on Monday that he had been captured.
Growers face glut
Farmers in Changde county are struggling to sell 450,000 tonnes of oranges amid weak domestic demand and shrinking exports to Japan and the Philippines, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The usual one-month sales season for early-maturing varieties of oranges will end on November 8, but just a third of the harvest has been sold, according to the provincial fruit association.
Banks call in collectors
A handful of banks in Nanjing are working with debt-collection agencies to press customers for loan repayments, China News Service reports. Managers from the Bank of Nanjing, the local branch of the Bank of China and the local branch of Construction Bank of China said on Monday that they outsource the debt collection because the work is "relatively simple but requires hands". This unleashed a barrage of criticism from the public that banks have no right to share customers' private information with debt collectors.
Blogged down with work
Provincial government departments and their employees have embraced the use of microblogs more than their counterparts in other provinces, China News Service reports. A recent report by Sina, which operates the mainland's largest microblog service, showed that Jiangsu's government departments and civil servants made more than 5,400 posts on the site in the third quarter, or about 10 per cent of all the Sina microblog posts made by local governments on the mainland.
Author's home inundated
The former residence of Mo Yan , China's first Nobel laureate in literature, in Gaomi has become a popular tourist destination since he was given the award earlier this month, and all of the radishes that used to grow in the yard have been removed and taken away as souvenirs, the West China City Daily reports. One visitor was seen praying that his son would be admitted to Peking University, while plucking leaves from a tree in the yard.
Sea cucumber cheats
Industry insiders say that many sea cucumbers sold in the coastal city of Qingdao still contain additives that increase their weight considerably, after similar allegations were made in the province last year, China National Radio reports. The use of additives such as sugar, gelatine and salt water in the delicacies violates industry regulations, but there is little oversight to prevent it. The additives can make the sea cucumbers several times their normal weight, and they often sell for several thousand yuan per kilogram.
Record price for flat
A new record price for the sale of residential property in Shanghai was set last week when an apartment in the Lujiazui financial district sold for 216,000 yuan per square metre (about HK$25,000 per sq ft), the Oriental Morning Post reports. A real estate broker said the market for high-end real estate in the city has been good since the market started recovering in March. More than 1,300 properties priced at 50,000 yuan or more per square metre have been sold this year.
Man lands on woman
A woman lost three teeth when a man fell on her after jumping off a three-storey-high overpass near the Shanghai Railway Station on Monday, Xinmin.cn reports. Police said the woman was crossing the road when the man, who had just quarrelled with relatives, attempted to jump to his death. The man survived, but sustained a head injury that doctors said could result in brain damage.
Backlash from abuse
Following a recent high-profile incident involving a kindergarten teacher in Wenling abusing her pupils and then posting the pictures online, more parents are showing concern for their children's safety at school, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. One man in Hangzhou has been hiding outside the gate of his grandson's kindergarten in recent days to make sure the boy is being treated properly. He said the reports about child abuse in kindergartens had worried him, and he had even heard rumours of teachers flushing students' heads in toilets.
Not exactly paradise
The sky over Hangzhou, which a famous Chinese saying refers to as heaven on earth, was free from smog for just one day in the past month, Zjol.com.cn reports. A doctor from the Hangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine said the average number of outpatient visits to the hospital's respiratory department increased by a third during October because of the smog and seasonal changes.