China Digest, January 2, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2013, 3:39am

Beijing

Medics go the wrong way

Municipal authorities have vowed to clamp down on misconduct after suspending two medics and a driver for misusing their ambulance to take an illegal shortcut, Beijing News reports. After having lunch at a noodle restaurant in Haidan district, the trio turned on the siren and drove 50 metres the wrong way down a busy street to return to work.

Help for heart surgery

The General Hospital of the Armed Police Forces in Beijing is treating 15 children with heart defects thanks to support from the China Charity Foundation, Xinhua reports. The children from six counties in the impoverished Shaanxi city of Yanan have been admitted for tests in anticipation of heart surgery.

Chongqing

Computer thief wanted

The owner of an internet café in Chongqing's Banan district has posted online a photo of a middle-aged man he suspects of stealing CPUs, video cards and hard drives from two café computers in October, Chongqing Economic Times reports. The owner, who is offering 5,000 yuan (HK$6,140) for information about the man, says the stolen components were worth nearly 40,000 yuan.

Online shopping spree

More than 420,000 Chongqing women bought clothing and other items last year through Taobao, the mainland's largest online shopping site, Chongqing Evening News reports. The data from Taobao owner Alibaba shows that the each female city resident spent an average of 10,000 yuan online last year.

Gansu

Campus debates Armani

The Lanzhou University of Technology's decision to award outstanding students with Giorgio Armani-style briefcases last week has triggered a heated debate on campus, Western Economic Daily reports. Students questioned whether the university should spend money on such luxuries, but the administration said the briefcases were knock-offs that cost only 95 yuan each.

Boss kidnapped

Police in Lanzhou's Chengguan district have detained a subcontractor from Xian and three others for kidnapping their employer to ransom him for back pay, Lanzhou Morning Post reports. The subcontractor told police that he and 10 workers decided to demand 10 million yuan from the man's family after several unsuccessful attempts to secure their money. The other kidnappers remain at large.

Hubei

Slackers punished

Jingzhou authorities sacked, demoted or warned more than 870 government officials last year for slacking off on the job, Xinhua reports. The director of the municipal agency that oversees social security for low-income families was removed from his post last month after he was caught trading stocks at work.

New link to Los Angeles

Air China launched a new daily flight from Wuhan to Los Angeles via Beijing yesterday, the 20th international route to originate from the provincial capital, China News Service reports. Wuhan Tianhe International Airport handled 14 million passengers last year, a 12 per cent year-on-year increase.

Henan

Workers get iPhone 5s

Ninety top-performing Foxconn employees received iPhone 5s during a year-end reception at the Taiwanese technology giant's compound in Zhengzhou , Dahe Daily reports. The company, one of Apple's main manufacturers, also awarded top employees with trips to Taiwan and between 3,000 yuan and 5,000 yuan in cash.

Fancy names a no-no

Henan provincial education authorities have barred kindergartens from using "international," "Chinese" or "China" in their school names, Dahe Daily reports. The regulation appears designed to prevent schools from trying to look more prestigious by adopting pretentious names.

Liaoning

Homes left in the cold

Boiler problems have been blamed for two interruptions to Liaoyang's municipal heating service in recent days, the China News Service reports. About 70,000 households, which were left without heat between Tuesday and Wednesday, had their heat cut again for several hours on Sunday night.

Friends held accountable

Two Shenyang men have each been ordered to pay 30,000 yuan in compensation for failing to stop their friend from killing himself in motorcycle crash last year, Xinhua reports. The victim struck a tree while returning home from drinking with the two men on January 20. The Shenyang Intermediate People's Court said the men knew their friend was drunk and should have stopped him driving.

Shandong

Blackmailer arrested

Police have arrested a Licheng district man accused of blackmailing a married woman out of 8,000 yuan by threatening to release recordings of the pair having sex, Jinan Shibao reports. The man made the audio and video tapes during two sexual encounters with the woman after meeting her online in April. The victim sought police help after the man demanded another 15,000 yuan.

Taxis too close for comfort

Passengers have raised privacy concerns after Jinan transport authorities ordered surveillance cameras to be installed in all taxis, China National Radio reports. By Monday, nearly half of the 150 cabs managed by one Jinan taxi company had cameras, alarms and GPS-tracking devices.

Sichuan

Child's rapists jailed

Two Yibin men have been jailed for raping a 13-year-old girl they met at a karaoke bar in July, Huashang Metropolis Daily reports. The girl was forced into a taxi, taken to the men's home and raped three times by the pair, aged 25 and 21. The Cuiping District People's Court sentenced the 21-year old defendant to five years in prison and his accomplice to 41/2 years.

Mercy dash excused

Police have decided not to punish a Neijing man for speeding and running several stop lights while rushing a sick infant to hospital in Chongqing, West China City Daily reports. The man drove as fast as 190km/h, covering nearly 150 kilometres in an hour. The baby was in stable condition after receiving surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Xinjiang

Winter strikes hard

Severe winter weather has left at least one Xinjiang resident dead and caused losses of about 194 million yuan since late November, People's Daily reports. Statistics from the regional civil affairs department show more than 194,400 residents have been affected and 10,000 cattle have been lost.

Father jailed for rape

A 45-year-old man from Bole city on the border with Kazakhstan has been sentenced to four years and seven months in prison for repeatedly raping his 17-year-old daughter, Procuratorial Daily reports. A classmate with whom the girl had taken refuge alerted police in August after the man tried to force her to return home.