China Digest, January 4, 2013
Boy racer detained
A 12-year-old boy has been detained after stealing a police car and crashing it into a BMW in downtown Chuzhou on Tuesday, Ahwang.cn reports. The boy was not injured, but the police car was seriously damaged.
Chief in land scam probe
Hefei disciplinary authorities are looking into allegations that a local party chief amassed 20 million yuan (HK$24.6 million) through illicit land deals, the Oriental Morning Post reports. Fang Guangyun, who heads the Zhanbei neighbourhood committee, has been accused of forcing farmers to sell their land for as little as 105,000 yuan per hectare, then selling it to developers for as much as 450,000 yuan per hectare.
Guards confess to attack
Two security guards from Pinggu District Hospital are among four suspects detained for a knife attack on a hospital executive last year, the Beijing Times reports. The guards confessed to teaming up with two friends of the hospital's deputy chief after he refused to grant them permanent jobs and meet pharmaceutical sales representatives they introduced to him.
Disease pictures backed
A government-sponsored survey found that 85 per cent of Beijingers would support putting pictures of diseased lungs on cigarette packs to warn consumers against the dangers of smoking, The Beijing News reports.
Rule ends discrimination
Shenzhen employers who discriminate on the basis of gender during recruitment could face fines of up to 30,000 yuan, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. A municipal regulation that took effect on Tuesday allows job seekers to appeal to the government if they believe they have been denied a job based on their sex, marital status or family situation.
Old IDs ground travellers
At least 10 air travellers missed their flights from Shenzhen on Tuesday because they presented outdated ID cards, Xinhua reports. The old IDs expired on New Year's Day, but not everyone has received their replacement cards. Airport authorities urge travellers to bring alternative forms of ID, such as student cards, passports and servicemen certificates to board a plane.
'Spiteful' officer sacked
A community law enforcement official from Sanya's Hexi district has been sacked for ordering parking tickets out of spite, Xinhua reports. The district government said Guo Fengbin, the deputy chief of a unit that oversees street order and sanitation, ordered tickets for several vehicles parked in front of a local hotel because he had been denied parking there the previous day.
Holiday costs fall
Hainan tourism authorities have agreed to cap nightly room rates at 5,000 yuan during the Lunar New Year next month in an effort to clamp down on profiteering by hotels, the Legal Evening News reports. The cap is expected to drive down the price of local tour packages by at least 20 per cent, with typical tours costing between 8,000 and 13,000 yuan.
A Wuhan woman who beat up her husband's mistress in September was detained for violating her restraining order, the Wuhan Evening News reports. The woman said she twice failed to report to police as required as she was busy looking after her two-year-old daughter.
Caller keeps hair on
A female passenger on Wuhan's No 2 subway line was forced to call the police after her hair got caught in a carriage door on Tuesday, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reports. She was trapped for nine stops because only the doors on the opposite side of the carriage opened. Passengers could not work out how to pull the alarm to alert conductors, so the woman called the police on her mobile phone.
Boredom leads to pranks
Nanjing police have detained a 50-year-old man who they suspect of making more than 240 prank emergency calls since March 2010 because he was bored, the Nanjing Daily reports. The man, who is originally from Zongyang county, Anhui province, is separated from his wife and works as a day labourer.
Jewellery thief held
Xuzhou authorities have arrested a Heilongjiang man suspected of stealing more than 200,000 yuan's worth of cash and jewellery from a local woman last month, the Modern Express reports. The 35-year old man, who is believed to have posed as the woman's landlord, has been implicated in about 40 cases of robbery and rape since 2010, when he finished a 10-year prison term for rape.
Ship a pollution suspect
Shanghai maritime authorities have intercepted a Panama-flagged cargo ship believed to have discharged more than 162 cubic metres of polluted wash water near the Yangtze estuary in November, the People's Daily reports. Authorities are investigating.
Happy to foot the bill
A 77-year-old former textile worker from Yangpu district has made more than 500 pairs of cotton shoes for her elderly neighbours, Eastday.com reports. The shoes are so well-made that some younger residents have offered as much as 40 yuan for a pair. But the woman says she wants only to give them to the disadvantaged.
Heat causes power cut
Guangyuan power authorities blamed overheated transmission equipment for an extended outage that affected nearly 10,000 residents in southern sections of the city on Tuesday, China News Service reports. Authorities said excessive power demand was behind the blackout, which began around 8pm and lasted for more than 10 hours.
Pay rise action speeds up
Sichuan employers will be required to respond to pay-rise requests within 15 days of receiving one from trade union representatives, the Chengdu Evening News reports. The new regulation on collective pay negotiation, which takes effect next month, allows workers to seek better conditions, greater bonuses and more allowance through their trade unions.
Village finances on TV
Zhejiang authorities plan to broadcast details about the financial accounts of village organisations over rural television by the end of this year, Xinhua reports. Provincial anti-graft chief Ren Zemin said such details were already available in village community centres, but television broadcasts would allow more people to see them.
'Show off' denies charges
A Ningbo businessman is being accused of ostentation after giving five strangers a free trip to Hangzhou in a 10-metre Lincoln limousine to promote his ride-sharing programme, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. Zhao Wenfeng, the general manager of a local internet company, said sharing rides would help cut emissions and traffic congestion. But some residents say he is just trying to show off.