China Digest, January 5, 2013
Registers ring in New Year
The leading 100 retailers in the capital city rung up 2.34 billion yuan (HK$2.88 billion) in sales over the three-day New Year holiday, an increase of 8.4 per cent from a year earlier, the Beijing Morning Post reports, citing statistics from Beijing Commercial Information Consulting Centre.
Gift deficit for elderly
Nearly half of the city's elderly residents lived alone or with just their spouse last year, the Legal Evening News reports, citing a recently released report on the capital's elderly care industry. On average, they gave cash gifts of more than 4,100 yuan to their children or grandchildren, but received gifts worth only 2,600 in return.
Market for blood money
A black market for blood donation certificates that allow donors or their relatives to receive free blood transfusions has emerged in Guangzhou, the New Express reports. Chinese hospitals often suffer severe blood shortages. According to the newspaper, middlemen locate their own blood donors and have the identities used on their certificates changed to the names of clients - who pay 3,000 yuan for certificates that are needed within a few days or 800 yuan for a wait of a couple of months.
Helpers are at hand
Bucking the trend of recent years, Guangzhou has not seen an acute shortage of domestic helpers with the approach of Lunar New Year, a time when migrant workers typically flock home for family reunions, Guangzhou Daily reports. Several major housekeeping service companies said that nearly half of their migrant helpers planned to stay this year.
Not quite an eye for an eye
A man in Chengmai county has received a suspended life sentence for severing the arms and legs of another man in April, the Hainan Daily reports. The defendant said he was taking revenge on the other man, who had cut four fingers off the accused man's right hand following a dispute in 1999.
Feeding the needy by 2016
Officials in Sanya hope to provide the 170,000 people now living in poverty in the city with adequate food and clothing by 2016, the Hainan Daily reports. Nineteen villages in the famous tourist destination are listed as poverty-stricken, and officials have also pledged to provide basic education, housing and health care to the poor by that year.
Explosive gangs arrested
Police in Anyang have arrested two gangs that made and sold illegal explosives in the region bordering Shanxi and Hebei , the Henan Legal Daily reports. More than 40kg of explosives and 1,400 fuse caps were seized at two illegal coal mines early last year. Nineteen suspects were detained after months of investigation.
Three dead in collision
Three people were killed and two others were injured in a fire started by the crash of three vehicles in Xixia county on Thursday, Xinhua reports. A tanker collided with an articulated truck head on and crashed into a residential building next to the road while accelerating to overtake a minivan. The oil tanker exploded, trapping four people in the building.
Factories linked to cancer
An industrial park of chemical factories built between villages in Qianjiang has been linked to serious water and air pollution and a high rate of cancer among villagers in recent years, Xinhua reports. Started in the 1990s, the Qianjiang Economic Development Zone has grown rapidly in the past two years, with more than 20 chemical plants located among four villages. More than 60 people in one village, all under 50, have died of various cancers in the past couple of years, villagers said.
Soaking up the holiday
Nearly 70,000 people bathed at hot springs in Xianning during the New Year holiday, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reports. The manager of a leading hot springs hotel said it received about 5,000 guests between Tuesday to Thursday.
Vagrant found dead
A vagrant believed to be in his 30s was found dead on the pavement beneath a bridge in Changsha on Thursday, Sanxiang City Express reports. Residents in the neighbourhood said the man had been in the area for the past five years, where he scavenged for food.
Hair today, gone tomorrow
The 58-year-old resident janitor of a public toilet on a busy street in Changsha woke up on Wednesday morning to find his hair was missing, Hunan local news portal hunan.voc.com.cn reports. The janitor later told a barber he visits that someone must have sneaked into his room and shaved his head while he slept.
No casualties in blaze
A shopping mall in Shouguang was engulfed in a fire that started in a restaurant kitchen on the ground floor early yesterday, China News Service reports. The blaze spread over some 6,000 square metres, but no casualties were reported.
Alleged killers arrested
Police in Yuncheng have captured a couple who allegedly killed a relative 13 years ago and had been hiding out in Heilongjiang ever since, the Qilu Evening News reports. The couple claimed that they were attempting to "exorcise a demon" from the man's younger sister, who was dazed and talking nonsense during n underground meeting of an unnamed cult in January 1999. She died after being "hit with wooden sticks and an axe".
Two dead in collision
Two people were killed and six were injured when snow caused slippery conditions on the Tinglin-Fengjing highway in Jinshan District on Thursday night, the Shanghai Daily reports. All the casualties were caused when a van collided head on with another vehicle, while two other cars crashed soon after as one of them tried to skirt the first accident.
Winter boost for museum
The cold snap of the past few days made the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum the most visited scenic spot in the city during the New Year holiday, the Shanghai Daily reports, citing local tourism authorities. The museum received more than 33,000 visitors during the three-day break, the largest number among the 11 venues monitored by municipal tourism authorities.
Crash injures 10
More than 10 people were injured in a pile-up of 16 vehicles on a highway in Neijiang on Thursday, the West City News reports. A car crashed into a road divider on the Chengdu-Chongqing highway as it made way for an overtaking car, leading 14 vehicles behind to crash.
Tourists give cash boost
More than 6.7 million tourists visited the province during the New Year holiday, 19 per cent more than the same period last year, the Sichuan Daily reports. Tourist income rose 31 per cent to 2.6 billion yuan.