China Digest, November 21, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 3:27am


Advert for optimism

State broadcaster China Central Television raised 15.8 billion yuan (HK$19.49 billion) on Sunday by auctioning off advertising spots for next year. It is the highest figure in 19 years, and is up nearly 11 per cent from this year, raising expectations the nation's economic recovery will quicken in 2013, the Nanfang Daily reports. The auction lasted 12 hours. The winning bidders included China Huiyuan Juice, which spent more than 339 million yuan to sponsor a popular talent show, and herbal tea-maker Jia Duobao, which spent 200 million yuan to sponsor a similar programme.

Medics in hard places

Beijing invested more than 20 million yuan this year in the creation of a medical team that specialises in making emergency rescues in desolate places, reports. The team features 120 specialists and 16 ambulances designed to function on rough terrain. The paramedics are trained and equipped to work up to 10 days in the wilderness.


Taxing microblog

Fifteen government departments in Shenzhen started official microblogs on Monday, bringing the city's total number of government microblogs to 50, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reports. Newcomers to the popular social networking sites include the city's emergency management office, tax bureau, legislative affairs office, water affairs bureau and the Qianhai area administration office. The microblogs are accessible through Tencent, Sina, Xinhua and the People's Daily.

Killer marathon

The parents of a 21-year-old man who died while running the 10-kilometre portion of the Guangzhou Marathon on Sunday say they plan to sue the race organisers for 1 million yuan, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The man suffered a heart attack about an hour after making a microblog post saying he had completed half of the race. He was resuscitated, but he suffered another heart attack late that night and died early on Monday morning. More than 1,500 runners experienced physical problems such as nausea and heat exhaustion during the race.


Nine die in pile-up

The death toll from a 36-car pile-up on Saturday morning in Anshun has reached nine, with 19 people injured, Xinhua reports. The accident happened around 9am along a one-kilometre section of the Shanghai-Kunming Expressway, amid extremely thick fog. Several vehicles were on fire, and the section of road was blocked until late Saturday.

Butterfly Mother

The Miao minority people of Leishan county will celebrate the Guzang Festival, a grand event that takes place once every 13 years, from Saturday until November 29, reports. According to ancient Miao songs, the festival was created to pay tribute to the Butterfly Mother, who they believe created the world.


Tiger baby boom

A total of 91 Siberian tigers, one of world's most endangered animals, have been born this year at the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, Xinhua reports. The park now has 1,067 Siberian tigers and is the largest Siberian tiger conservatory in the world.

Songhua stops

Navigation and cargo transport along the Harbin section of the Songhua River was stopped on Monday, after a recent temperature plunge froze its waters for the winter, Xinhua reports. The annual shutdown of the Heilong river's largest tributary because of cold weather usually lasts about five months.


Data crime

A traffic police officer who illegally sold 12,441 pieces of personal information online has been sentenced in Shangcheng county, Xinyang, to six months' detention with a one-year reprieve, the Dahe Daily reports. The officer made 61,429 yuan by selling data from the public security bureau's internal database.

Hitting lotto 27 times

All of the 27 winning lucky-draw tickets for a 139-million-yuan prize may have been bought by the same person in Dengzhou city, the Dahe Daily reports. Lottery officials said all of the tickets were purchased within just a few minutes from two ticket sellers located near each other. Organisers were waiting for the winner, or winners, to come forward.


Sinkhole swallows house

A stone quarry near a village in Changsha has been ordered to close after a house about 100 metres away collapsed into a sinkhole on Saturday, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. A 67-year-old farmer woke up at 2am to use the toilet, and heard a rumbling coming from the ground. A two-metre-wide hole opened up outside his home and was expanding. With his disabled wife still inside, he called his son to help get her out. Within hours the home and about 20 nearby trees were engulfed by the sinkhole.

Bridging divide

Thousands of people attended the opening ceremony yesterday for the Fuyuan Bridge, which spans the Xiang River in Changsha. The 3.5-kilometre bridge cost 1.4 billion yuan and took 26 months to build.


Outcry over teen's death

The parents of a 19-year-old woman are drumming up public support online for a more thorough police investigation, after their daughter fell to her death from the third floor of a restaurant while drinking with women students and male teachers last month, the Zhengzhou Evening News reports. The family said police told them the four women students and six male teachers drank 40 bottles of beer. The victim's parents want to know why the teachers were drinking so heavily with their students.

'Don Quixote' rides again

A 26-year-old man rode his horse through downtown Jinan on Monday as part of his 1,500-kilometre journey of self-discovery from Huairou district, Beijing, to Nanjing, Jiangsu, the Shandong Business Daily reports. The man, from Jilin province, started the adventure on November 6. He rides during the day and sleeps in a tent at night. His journey has been dubbed the "trip of Don Quixote" by mainland media.


Call girl crackdown

Shanghai police have busted four prostitution rings and detained 62 suspects in an ongoing crackdown since September, the Shanghai Youth Daily reports. Police found the prostitutes met clients in random hotels.

Passport to prison

A South Korean man is on trial in Shanghai for allegedly using a forged Chinese identification card to obtain a Chinese passport. Prosecutors say he used the illegal documents to travel between the mainland and South Korea 54 times since March 2009, the Shanghai Daily reports. The man allegedly paid 150,000 yuan for a fake Chinese ID, saying he was from Shenyang , Liaoning. He was caught on August 1 at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport by customs inspectors. Prosecutors said the man applied for the Chinese passport as his real passport was expiring. South Korea's consulate in Shanghai wouldn't renew it for him, as he owed a lot of money in South Korea.