China Digest, January 18, 2013
Boom in box-office takings
Cinema box office earnings in the capital totalled 1.61 billion yuan (HK$2 billion) last year, topping all mainland cities, the Beijing Daily reports. The total was 262 million yuan higher than the previous year, a sign of the industry's boom. The 2006 box office receipts totalled just 290 million yuan. There are now 726 screens in the city, compared with only 53 in 2004.
Pyramid ringleader jailed
A man behind a pyramid scheme who arranged for 100 people to attack police officers at a small hotel in Pinggu district was recently sentenced to seven years in jail, the Beijing Times reports. The man turned himself in to police in 2011 after five years on the run. Four of his accomplices in the pyramid scheme were detained, and some of the people who raided the hotel were sentenced to between one and 61/2 years.
Ex-couple jilted in court
A court has dismissed a civil lawsuit jointly filed by a divorced couple in Jiulongpo district against a young woman who claimed that she once had an affair with the husband. The former couple, who denied the affair took place, were trying to retrieve 99,000 yuan that they said the woman stole from the man's bank accounts, the Chongqing Evening News reports. But the court said it was not a civil matter and should be taken up by a criminal court.
Iron in sick boy's body
An 11-year-old boy who could not stop coughing for six months was released from hospital on Wednesday after doctors removed a coin-sized iron object from his oesophagus, the Chongqing Economic Times reports. The boy's family had taken him to several hospitals in their hometown of Dazhou , Sichuan , but doctors there were unable to determine what was wrong.
Rats rattle medical library
Students at Fujian Medical University are upset that rats have overrun their library, Chinanews.com reports. The students said that while they were studying, rats would often scurry across the ground, sometimes over their feet. One woman said she was bitten. A library assistant said the rats were attracted by snack waste from students.
Delegate denies rape claim
A married delegate of the Xiamen People's Political Consultative Conference has denied allegations by a 21-year-old woman that he drugged and raped her and promised to marry her, the Strait Herald reports. The delegate, a chairman of a big local enterprise, said he and his family were often harassed by the woman's phone calls, and that he had notified the police.
Teacher patents engine
A physics teacher in a village in Nanxiong city recently obtained a patent from state authorities for his invention - a turbo engine that could be used on cars and reduce energy use by one-third, Chinanews.com reports. Li Bimin said it would cost about 1 million yuan to build a working model of the engine.
Woman knocked out cold
A woman was beaten unconscious by an urban management officer who found she was working without a licence in Tianhe district, Guangzhou, on Wednesday, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. She remains in hospital. The authorities said the officer beat the woman because she tried to spray hot oil in his face and fought with him.
Campus suicide foiled
There was a scare at a university in Nanjing on Wednesday as a man in his 30s vowed to jump to his death from an eight-storey building on campus. Police talked with the man for 30 minutes before he agreed not to jump, News.longhoo.net reports. He said afterwards that he was under a lot of pressure because he could not afford to buy a home, while his girlfriend was doing very well in her career.
95pc tip rising home prices
More than 95 per cent of people in Jiangsu believe that property prices will continue to increase this year, according to a survey by the provincial pricing bureau, which polled people about various cost-of-living issues, the Nanjing Daily reports. Eighty-eight per cent of respondents believe food prices will also rise. The number of respondents was not given.
Killer fights death row
A former forestry department official in Huludao has appealed against his death sentence for killing his boss last year, the Chinese Business Morning View reports. The man became angry with the department's vice-director for refusing to promote him and then telling the man's family that he might be mentally unstable. The man demanded that his boss apologise and pay compensation, but his boss refused, so the man stabbed him to death with a knife.
Swindler's fast track to jail
A migrant worker from Heilongjiang province was recently arrested for swindling 28 people in Shenyang city out of 200,000 yuan by posing as the chief of a district-level transport bureau, the Shenyang Evening News reports. Police said he collected 80,000 yuan from the victims, who asked for help in obtaining licences without taking the driving test. One man tried to buy a civil service position, while a woman allegedly had sex with him to get a government job.
Nursery probed for 'virus'
Disease control and prevention authorities in Jingan district have sent staff members to investigate reports of a small viral outbreak at the Baby Garden Postpartum Nursing Centre, which has seen multiple newborns diagnosed with diarrhoea, the Labour Daily reports. The centres are seldom inspected by health authorities, and need only register as culture or science and technology firms to be licensed. There are about 50 such centres in the city, and they charge about 50,000 yuan to take care of a mother and her child for a month.
Subway checks lagging
While security checks at subway stations located near railway stations remain strict, checks at subways in downtown areas are considerably more lax, with fewer than 5 per cent of passengers being screened, the Labour Daily reports. Passengers who ignore requests to put bags through X-ray machines are often allowed to proceed anyway. The machines were installed for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Billions for building boom
Lhasa will spend 8 billion yuan on infrastructure projects in the city this year, doubling the total spent last year, according to the municipal urban and construction bureau, Tibet.cn reports. The city plans to build more roads, supply indoor heating to all families and build about 7,000 subsidised flats. The city also expects real estate investment to increase by 20 per cent, year on year.
A closer eye on landfills
The supervision and inspection of rubbish landfills in seven prefectures will be stepped up this year, according to the autonomous region's environmental protection officials, and the housing bureau, Chinatibetnews.com reports. They will inspect four landfills each month and monitor the levels of methane, ammonia, sulphur dioxide and other potentially dangerous chemicals.