China Digest, February 13, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, 5:03am


Film extra wants extra

A movie extra is suing a TV production company in Huairou district, demanding an additional 150,000 yuan (HK$186,600) compensation for a fractured kneecap he suffered on set a year ago, the Beijing Times reports. The company has already paid 28,000 yuan to cover the actor's medical bills.

Clean cars cost more

The average price of a car wash in the capital is seven times higher than normal this week, at about 220 yuan, because of a labour shortage during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Beijing Morning Post reports. Many car wash service providers have also suspended discounts for VIP customers.


Five wounded in knife fight

Five people suffered knife wounds during a brawl between several tenants and the friends of another tenant in Changping town, Dongguan , on Lunar New Year's eve, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. Two of the tenants were admitted to hospital with severe knife wounds. Police detained several people and were investigating.

New home sales up

Sales of new homes in Shenzhen increased threefold in January to 6,305 units, compared with the same time last year, marking the highest year-on-year increase in 43 months, Xinhua reports. The average price of newly built homes increased by 8.37 per cent last month, compared with December prices, to 19,694 yuan per square metre.


Fireworks pollution

The level of health-threatening PM2.5 particles in Wuhan's air rose from 69 micrograms per cubic metre on Friday to 584 at 2am on Sunday - shortly after the peak for Lunar New Year fireworks, Xinhua reports. By 1am on Sunday morning, sanitation workers had cleaned up 1,235 tonnes of firework debris in the city.

Flames gut 20 shops

A fire broke out along a street in the Hankou area of Wuhan's Wuchang district at around 3pm on Monday and engulfed 20 shops selling second-hand goods, the Changjiang Daily reports. No one was injured, as the shops were closed for the Lunar New Year. Firefighters were still investigating the cause of the fire.


Poem pays off for kid

Visitors to the famed Yueyang Tower in Yueyang on the shores of Lake Dongting may be admitted for free until Tuesday if they can recite an ancient poem, reports. A 12-year-old boy from Guangdong was among the visitors who successfully recited On Yueyang Tower, which was written by Fan Zhongyan, a politician and writer from the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127).

Help for the poor

About 50,000 low-income families in Yiyang have received a 60-yuan subsidy from the government to help them offset the impact of rising food prices during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Hunan Daily reports. Municipal authorities also ordered a government-run vegetable wholesale market to waive fees for dealers who bring produce to the market from February 5-19.


Swelling tourist numbers

A total of 331,000 people visited 26 tourist destinations in the province on Monday, which was the second day of the Lunar New Year. The jump in visitors marked a 7.7 per cent increase from the same day last year, the Dazhong Daily reports. Ticket sales for the day also increased by 13.3 per cent, to 6.8 million yuan.

Fireworks ban near cars

Police in Licheng district, Jinan , made a microblog post this week telling residents not to set off fireworks near cars, after police received several complaints about vehicles being damaged, the Jinan Daily reports. The post prompted many internet users to call for designated firework areas to be set up throughout the city.


Year of snake reading list

A book about Western music from the past 1,500 years is among 40 books recommended by 40 Shanghai-based publishers to readers in the Year of the Snake, the Wenhui Daily reports. The list was unveiled on the municipal government's microblog this week and has been widely circulated. It also includes the Chinese translation of the Dictionary of the Khazars, by Milorad Pavic, an internationally prominent Siberian writer.

New health index

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau will team up with local public health authorities to create a "human comfort index" intended to let the public know how the environment affects people's overall health, Xinhua reports. Weather authorities did not set a deadline for releasing the index, which will factor in smog when evaluating how climate and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity affect comfort and living conditions.


Dangerous highway

At least one person died and eight were injured in nine separate traffic accidents that occurred on Monday afternoon along the Datong-Yuncheng Highway between Jinzhong and Huozhou , Xinhua reports. Traffic police were still looking into the cause of the accidents.

Damper on fireworks

Sanitation authorities in Taiyuan said they cleaned up half as much firework debris following Lunar New Year festivities this year, compared with last year, Shanxi TV reports. Workers collected about 400 tonnes of rubbish from the fireworks, as many residents refrained from lighting them off amid air pollution concerns. Firework sales in the city were also down 30 per cent from last year, with environmentalists calling for a boycott amid heavy smog that has swept across much of northern China in recent weeks.


Dating marathon

A 26-year-old man from Qingtian county, Lishui , said his parents arranged 18 dates for him during his three weeks home for the Lunar New Year holiday, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. Wang Zhe, who owns a small Chinese restaurant in Italy, has been going on the dates since January 31, and is about halfway through the list. Chinese parents often pressure their only child to settle down and raise a family, and holidays are when many marriageable-age children get the most pressure.

Icy holiday plunge

More than 100 swimmers, with an average age of 60, took a frigid dip in Hangzhou's West Lake on Monday morning, to celebrate the Year of the Snake, reports. Among the participants was a 62-year-old grandmother who has been a winter swimmer for 30 years.