Archive for ‘Hangzhou’

15/04/2019

China’s online authors grow 3.82 mln in 3 years

HANGZHOU, April 14 (Xinhua) — China had 8.62 million online authors as of 2018, a significant increase from 4.8 million in 2015, according to a national conference on digital reading.

Among the digital reading materials, original online works took up 79.8 percent last year, up from 69 percent three years ago, while Liu Shu, vice president of Amazon China, said that e-book readers still love classic works.

An industry report released by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association at the conference showed that the value of China’s digital reading market reached 25.4 billion yuan last year, a 19.6 percent yearly growth.

About 432 million Chinese read digital publications on electronic devices during the year, averaging 12.4 digital publications per person and 71.3 minutes per read, the report said.

Over 66 percent of the respondents of the report were willing to pay for digital publications, up from 60.3 percent in 2016.

Since 2015, the conference has been held annually in east China’s city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province before World Book Day, which falls on April 23.

Source: Xinhua

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05/04/2019

China Focus: Funeral reform fosters new trends in China

BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) — “The air and environment in the cemetery have been notably improved, with less people burning joss paper,” said Wang Fang, a tomb sweeper from Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

This year’s Tomb Sweeping Day, which falls on Friday, witnesses more changes, as China has made various efforts to reform funeral traditions in recent years, and ecological burial and environmentally friendly tomb sweeping practices are increasingly popular.

GREENER BURIAL

In a tea garden in Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang Province, there stands a hidden cemetery where burial plots are built under tea trees in a bid to enlarge its green area as well as conserve land.

“It would be good to return to nature here after I pass away,” said a local resident surnamed Wu.

China has seen progress in ecological burials in recent years, especially in developed cities. The first model ecological cemetery of Beijing has been built in Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, with a green coverage rate of nearly 90 percent.

Currently, ecological burials in first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, takes up more than 20 percent of the total. It is expected that by 2020, the share of ecological burial across the country reach over 50 percent.

In addition, tomb sweeping practices have become greener. Most tomb sweepers would rather present flowers at tombstones than burn joss paper to pay tribute to their deceased families and friends.

On Tomb Sweeping Day, some cemeteries hold cultural activities, such as calligraphy and painting exhibitions as well as poetry recitals as an alternative to tomb sweeping.

LAND CONSERVATIVE

Besides the “tea garden burial,” other ecological burial methods in China include tree, flower, wall and sea burials.

Replacing traditional tombstones with trees and flower beds, putting urns on shelves in walls or just dropping ashes into the sea requires less or even no land.

“At first people said it was for those in financial difficulties to save money, but as time changes, the popularity of ecological burials have increased,” said Zhao Quansheng, manager of a Yinchuan-based cemetery.

“A customer told us that his father voluntarily asked for an ecological burial to conserve land,” Zhao said.

Non-profit cemeteries are also thriving in places of separate burial traditions. In Yishui County, east China’s Shandong Province, 110 non-profit cemeteries have been built, leading to conservation of large areas of land that otherwise would be utilized for burial sites.

Xue Feng, Party secretary of Yishui, said it used to take about 20 to 27 hectares of land to accommodate all the private tombs in the county, but now it only needs 10 percent of that.

LESS MONEY

China has beefed up funeral infrastructure and public services, with the number of funeral parlours and cemeteries reaching 1,760 and 1,420, respectively.

Since 2009, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has pushed forward fee reduction in basic public funeral services as well as other preferential policies, benefiting low-income groups. For example, commercial cemeteries in Chongqing, Gansu and Ningxia were required to set aside part of their burial sites as non-profits for those with financial difficulties.

“Now the whole funeral is free, including the urn and burial site, which is a great help for households with low incomes like us,” said Yuan Li, a rural resident from Yishui, where funeral services have been free of charge since 2017.

Xue said the fee-reduction policy could save the public nearly 200 million yuan (about 30 million U.S. dollars) annually.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a pilot plan for funeral reform in 2017, and released guidelines with another 14 authorities on further reform in 2018.

“The funeral reforms help encourage fine and up-to-date practices and trends, and make contributions to land and ecological conservation,” said Ma Guanghai, sociology professor of Shandong University. “It is an important aspect of social progress.”

Source: Xinhua

13/03/2019

Chinese woman pays $44,710 back to crowdfunders who helped her father and ‘gives 300 people a warm hug’

  • When truck driver dad needed money to compensate pedestrian after accident, Hai Lin raised it online in one night and she paid it back two years before her deadline
In 2015, Hai Lin posted an appeal for 300 donations of 1,000 yuan on WeChat with a promise to pay lenders back within five years. Photo: Xinhua
In 2015, Hai Lin posted an appeal for 300 donations of 1,000 yuan on WeChat with a promise to pay lenders back within five years. Photo: Xinhua
A woman from southeastern China has returned 300,000 yuan (US$44,710) to 300 people – many of them strangers – who donated money to a crowdfunding appeal she started four years ago.
In 2015, Hai Lin posted an appeal for 300 donations of 1,000 yuan on WeChat, with a promise to pay lenders back within five years. She kept her promise – and paid back all her loans two years early.
The internet was abuzz with the story of Hai’s crowdfunder, which was reported by Pearvideo.com on Tuesday. Many people said it warmed their hearts and restored their confidence in society.

Shortly before that, Hai’s mother was admitted to hospital with bleeding on the brain.

“The man [hit by her father] was in critical condition,” Hai, then 27 and from Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, was quoted in the Pearvideo.com as saying. “We had to hide the accident from my mother so that her rehabilitation won’t be affected.”

‘Social media queen’ closes WeChat account after fake story outrage

Hai said the accident was a big blow and, for the first time in her life, she felt frightened.

“My father told me that if we couldn’t afford the compensation, he would run away to escape the debt,” said Hai. “I said I would try my best to keep that from happening.”

In her post on WeChat, she wrote that she was looking for 300 people to lend her 1,000 yuan each. She planned to pay back those debts in five years by returning money to five lenders each month.

“It’s because I couldn’t find someone who could lend me 300,000 yuan at a one time,” said Hai. “Some friends said they could have loaned me 100,000 yuan, but I refused their kindness because that was too big an amount.”

Resourceful Hai Lin asked 300 people online for 1,000 yuan each to help her father out and was true to her word in repaying the money. Photo: Weibo
Resourceful Hai Lin asked 300 people online for 1,000 yuan each to help her father out and was true to her word in repaying the money. Photo: Weibo

To her surprise, 300 WeChat contacts, many of whom were not acquaintances, came up with the funds in one night.

In July 2015, Hai began to pay back the money she had borrowed. By July of last year, two years ahead of schedule and thanks to pay rises and year-end bonuses, the debt was cleared.

Some creditors had deleted Hai’s WeChat details, so she had to track them down.

“Girl, thank you for restoring trust which I thought I’d lost and for warm feelings that will stay with me,” one of her creditors wrote on WeChat.

Another said that when he received Hai’s money transfer he thought someone was joking. After recalling Hai’s appeal, he said he was touched by her gesture.

“You gave us 300 people a warm hug,” he said on WeChat.

Travel nightmares and how strangers crowdfund for injured tourists

The report on pearvideo.com has scored more than 40,000 “likes” on Sina Weibo, China’s

Twitter-like, while users added 10,000 combined reposts and comments.

“In her [Hai’s] mind there was a debt while other people would treat it as donation,” an internet user wrote. “I think many people wouldn’t expect her to return the money.”

“It shows this woman is a nice person in her everyday life and deserves credits. I would lend money to people like her,” another wrote.

One cautious Weibo user said: “I’ve never loaned money to people whom I never met face-to-face and only chatted with online.”

“Is it a big thing that you borrow money and pay it back?” asked another user. “You borrow 1,000 yuan from a person and return it years later. Is it something to feel proud of?”

Source: SCMP

18/02/2019

Wooden-bench dragon dance performed to celebrate Chinese Lantern Festival in east China’s Zhejiang

CHINA-HANGZHOU-LANTERN FESTIVAL-CELEBRATION

Aerial photo shows members of a rural female dancing team performing wooden-bench dragon dance to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lantern Festival, which falls on Feb. 19 this year, at Yaokou Village of Huyuan Township in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province, on Feb. 17, 2019.

Yaokou Village is famous for its wooden-bench dragon dance, which is originated from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The wooden-bench dragon is 130 meters long with 58 wooden benches linked together, on which various lantern decorations are installed. People dressed in traditional costumes would dance the wooden-bench dragon at major festival events to pray for good luck in a new year. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)

Source: Xinhua

10/02/2019

Chinese children miss out on winter holiday as parents send them back to class

  • Manager of private tuition centre in eastern city of Hangzhou says demand from parents has been ‘overwhelming’
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 February, 2019, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 February, 2019, 6:12pm
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While most schoolchildren in the east China city of Hangzhou spent last week’s Lunar New Year holiday visiting relatives and opening cash-filled red envelopes, others found themselves taking extra lessons at a privately run tuition centre.

The manager of the company, surnamed Wong, said business had been brisk over the holiday period.

“Usually students have a week’s break for Lunar New Year, but not those who are sitting the gaokao,” he said, using the informal name for the National Higher Education Entrance Examination.

Demand for extra tuition from parents whose children were preparing for the test had been “overwhelming”, he said.

The cost of lessons during the holiday period was 250 yuan (US$37) per hour, Wong said, adding that most students had four lessons a day.

Chinese schoolchildren get a month’s holiday in the winter, which incorporates the national Lunar New Year break.

Wong’s centre does not just cater for older children. According to a report by local newspaper Metro Express, a woman surnamed Lu paid for her son, who goes to primary school, to have extra lessons in mathematics and science.

“Many children spend their whole winter holiday studying,” she said, but added that she had allowed her son to have last week off.

Another woman was quoted in the report as saying she had signed her child, who also goes to primary school, up for nine classes.

There are no laws against the operation of private tuition centres in China but they are governed by certain regulations. For instance, they cannot recruit people whose primary job is as a teacher and they are not allowed to teach classes beyond what the children have already learned in school.

China’s education ministry last year launched a review of more than 400,000 tuition centres and found problems of one sort or another at 65 per cent of them.

In the wake of that assessment, authorities in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, and the provinces of Shanxi, Liaoning and Zhejiang said they had rectified the problem. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang.

According to a report by Xinhua, a secondary school student from Shanghai, nicknamed Xiao Ma, said she had to get up at 6.30am every day during the winter holiday to get to her extra lessons by 8.30am.

“I don’t ask for a lot,” she said. “I just wish there were a few days when I could get a bit more sleep and have time to see my friends.”

Source: SCMP

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