China Digest, January 23, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 4:53am


Killer driver arrested

Police have arrested a 26-year-old man in Tongzhou district for running over eight people in his car on Sunday, killing three of them, The Beijing News reports. The man, who police said had not been drinking, first ran over two men near the Taihu township government office, then hit six others while trying to flee the scene. Three of the victims died and the others received various injuries.

Strong housing sector

Sales of commercial housing increased by more than 43 per cent to 19.44 million square metres in 2012, compared with the previous year, Xinhua reports. Meanwhile, government investment in subsidised housing grew by nearly 15 per cent last year, to 85.75 billion yuan (HK$105.88 billion).


Corruption crackdown

Disciplinary authorities in Guangzhou said that 538 government officials were disciplined in a crackdown on corruption last year, and the total was up 31 per cent from the previous year, according to Additionally, 839 officials who had been accused of irregularities - including charges made by online whistle-blowers - were investigated by authorities and cleared of wrongdoing.

Back on the bus

The Jieyang municipal government plans to invest 9 million yuan to renovate and repair a long-haul bus station that has remained unused since it was built eight years ago, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The Qiyang Bus Station originally cost 28 million yuan, but it was never put into operation after being completed in September 2004, and it has fallen into disrepair. Local authorities plan to finally put it to use.


Death on slippery road

A minivan driver was killed and two others inside the vehicle were injured when it was hit on the passenger's side by a bus in Zhengzhou on Sunday afternoon, the Dahe Daily reports. The roads were slippery and the bus was not carrying any passengers. Witnesses said the driver appeared to be going too fast. The uninjured bus driver said the minivan driver did not use the turn signal when turning in front of the oncoming bus.

Big back-pay payout

Provincial court authorities have helped recoup more than 197 million yuan in back pay for 7,454 workers since November 15, reports. In addition, eight business owners have been given jail sentences of up to 2½ years for refusing to pay workers.


Gangnam style protest

More than a dozen disgruntled migrant workers seeking back pay from a Wuhan night club chose to make themselves seen and heard through dance, the Wuhan Evening News reports. The workers gathered outside the club in Dongxihu district on Monday afternoon and performed a dance routine inspired by the popular Gangnam Style song by South Korean pop star PSY. They said that about 40 people, including themselves, worked at the club between June and September, but the owners were withholding 233,000 yuan in back pay owed to them.

Phantom employee

A deputy director of the finance bureau in Xiangzhou district, Xiangfan , has been suspended from his post pending an investigation, after it was discovered that his son was on the department's payroll but not working there, China News Service reports. The son was hired in July and continued to receive a pay cheque after starting at university in September. An online whistleblower sparked the investigation.


Bedwetting toddler killed

Suzhou police have detained a 29-year-old man who allegedly beat his girlfriend's two-year-old daughter to death for being a bed-wetter, the Modern Express reports. The man and woman met online and she later entrusted him to look after her daughter. Doctors notified police after seeing bruises on the girl's body. The man confessed to beating the toddler to teach her a lesson.

Wife becomes mistress

A woman who agreed to divorce her husband so they would receive more money in a home-relocation programme in 2010 recently discovered he married a younger woman, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. The divorced couple had been married more than 10 years, have an eight-year-old son and continued to live together after divorcing. The woman discovered the husband's secret when she saw an intimate text-message exchange between the man and his new wife.


Rapist-robber accused

A security guard in Beijing has been accused of raping and robbing a woman on August 30 at her home in Jilin city, the New Culture News reports. Jilin police said the man raped the woman and then forced her to give him her bank card and password. He was finally tracked back to Beijing.

What price wedded bliss?

The price of a hotel banquet hall for a wedding reception on an auspicious day in Changchun can reach 10,000 yuan because scalpers often buy up coveted days and resell the bookings at exorbitant prices, reports. One young man said he wanted to arrange a 20-table reception for October 20, since the numerical form of the date sounds like "Loving you all my life" in Putonghua. But he was told by the hotel that the only way to secure that date was to buy it from a scalper. The groom paid 8,000 yuan for the reservation.


Mistress kills wife, gets life

A 28-year-old woman has been sentenced in Dezhou to life imprisonment for killing her lover's wife by running her over, the Qilu Evening News reports. The man is a prosecutor in Ningjin county, Dezhou. His 49-year-old wife confronted the mistress on September 15 after learning of the long affair and about the three-year-old boy the mistress had with the man. The wife was run over as the younger woman fled in a car.

Bogus bus fraud

Police are searching for a swindler who sold long-haul bus tickets to hundreds of students at a university in Rizhao , then fled with their money, the Beijing Times reports. The tickets appeared similar to ones that students had bought in previous years, but police said that the bus company the man claimed to work for didn't exist. The students gathered for hours where they were supposed to be picked up by the bus, but it never arrived.


Firefighters battle blaze

More than 100 firefighters with 22 trucks spent nine hours battling a blaze at a suitcase-manufacturing factory in Jiaxing on Monday, reports. No deaths were reported in the fire, which started at around 10.40am. Investigators were still looking into the cause.

A very hot commodity

Some 40 temporary street stalls authorised to sell fireworks in Shaoxing were auctioned off on Monday, and one fetched 51,000 yuan, Xinhua reports. More than 100 bidders were keen on buying one of the stalls, which do substantial business before and during the Lunar New Year holiday. The starting price for stalls was between 5,000 and 8,500 yuan, but some sold for much more because they are in prime locations.