Briefs, January 20, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 January, 2013, 3:40am

Beijing asks residents about anti-smog plan

The Beijing municipal government has invited residents to comment on draft pollution-control regulations in the wake of the capital's severe smog last week. The draft rules included closing some factories temporarily and controlling traffic movement at times of severe air pollution, the China News Agency reported. Drivers could be fined up to 3,000 yuan (HK$3,700) if their vehicles exceeded emission limits. The public feedback exercise will run until February 8. Beijing ordered government vehicles off the roads last Sunday after hospitals were inundated with patients complaining of heart and breathing ailments. Bloomberg


Taiwanese stumped by questions on mainland

Candidates sitting for Taiwan's civil-service examination cried foul yesterday over questions about the mainland's government and politics. The exam asked candidates to identify Communist Party concepts, such as "scientific concept of development" and "three represents", and to answer "which mainland government agency shares the same personnel as a corresponding Communist Party organ", the Central News Agency reported. Taiwan's civil service agency said it announced in October plans to begin testing applicants on major global ideologies and cross-strait relations. Staff Reporter


Web order to ease sales of train tickets

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has ordered internet portal operators to discontinue browser plug-in services aimed at helping users grab hotly sought-after train tickets for the Lunar New Year. Some train tickets were sold out within 20 seconds of going on sale on the Railways Ministry's website, the Beijing Times reported. The site registered daily hit rates as high as 1.5 billion, prompting officials to blame plug-in services offered by internet portals. Staff Reporter


Developer Vanke to relist shares in HK

China Vanke, the country's largest property developer by revenue, will move trading of its foreign currency shares to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, joining an exit from the mainland's moribund B share market. Vanke will convert its B shares, or mainland shares priced in foreign currencies, by relisting them in Hong Kong as H shares, pending approvals from its shareholders and regulators, it said. "Vanke will arrange third parties to provide cash options for all shareholders." Trading in Vanke's shares had been halted since December 26, pending the announcement. Reuters