Posts tagged ‘Kunming’

28/07/2015

Apple ‘fake factory’ raided in China – BBC News

A factory which allegedly made up to 41,000 fake Apple iPhones has been raided in China, with nine arrests.

iphone 6

The operation reportedly involved “hundreds” of workers repackaging second hand smartphone parts as new iPhones for export, with counterfeit phones produced worth 120m yuan ($19m).

The factory was discovered on 14 May but was revealed on social media by Beijing’s public security bureau on Sunday, according to reports.

The operation was set up in January.

It was led by a husband and wife team, on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital, according to Beijing authorities.

They said they had been alerted to the factory by US authorities which had seized some of the fake phones.

The reports come amid an official Chinese crackdown on counterfeit goods, with authorities pushing firms to trademark their goods.

China has also agreed to work with the US authorities to try to stem the large quantities of fake goods flowing between the two countries.

The discovery of the factory comes four years after fake Apple stores were found in Kunming city, China.

Discovered by blogger BirdAbroad, the fakes were so convincing she said many of the staff themselves were convinced that they were employed by the US electronics firm.

via Apple ‘fake factory’ raided in China – BBC News.

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19/10/2014

Police firearms: Weaponised | The Economist

WHEN five assailants armed with long knives started murdering bystanders at a railway station in the south-western Chinese city of Kunming on March 1st, the first police to respond were ill-equipped to fight back. Most had no guns, which ordinary officers typically go without. One who did quickly ran out of bullets. Some officers used their batons while others resorted, bravely but ineffectually, to wielding fire extinguishers which they found at the scene. A specially trained unit of police with guns arrived as long as 20 minutes later and shot four of the attackers dead.

The government promptly decided it must make weapons more readily available to police. It has acted quickly to do so—some critics say too quickly and too rashly. The increased deployment of guns to rank-and-file officers raises the prospect of abuses in a system that lacks public accountability for police misconduct against citizens. It has also increased the risk of mistakes by poorly trained officers who are unfamiliar with weapons. In recent months Chinese media have reported on at least two deaths in police shootings where local witnesses suggested the use of deadly force may not have been justified. In May in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, police accidentally fired a handgun into the floor at a kindergarten lecture on personal safety. A child and four parents were injured.

China bans the possession of guns by civilians, and makes only rare exceptions. The government has similarly long resisted arming police with firearms. The process of getting permission to carry a gun was often so onerous that few police bothered to try. Since the army was called in to shoot civilians demonstrating in Beijing in 1989, China has beefed up its paramilitary police force, the People’s Armed Police (PAP), in order to handle unrest. But the PAP does not handle ordinary crimes and is run separately from other police forces.

Fan Xin, a Beijing-based American expert on police firearms who worked as a policeman in Los Angeles between 2000 and 2006, says the government’s reluctance to arm the police had been partly out of fear that the guns would be misused. But this led to a failure properly to train those who did carry them. Mr Fan describes an “antiquated” system in which police are rated for accuracy in shooting at a target from a stable position on one knee, rather than for speed and judgment in more realistic conditions. He also notes that many police are trained to use semi-automatic handguns but then go on to be issued with revolvers.

Some special police units in big cities are reportedly better trained than small-town officers. The recent expansion of such units has been rapid and striking. The city of Shanghai has deployed 125 mobile units of elite armed police around the city since May, each carrying at least two guns (following America, Chinese media often describe them as SWAT, or Special Weapons and Tactics, teams). Fifteen groups of ten officers each—all in blue Ford vans—patrol one tourist district near the Huangpu river. One of them is often parked on the Bund, Shanghai’s famous riverfront, close to revellers taking wedding photographs. Another is often stationed near People’s Square; during a recent rush hour the driver and a few of the squad in the back could be seen smoking cigarettes. If a terrorist strikes on their watch, they are allowed to shoot on sight.

Some citizens worry about reckless use of police firearms, but many see a need for greater, and more visible, protection. The attack in Kunming in March appeared to be the work of extremist Uighurs, who are a mostly Muslim ethnic minority from the western region of Xinjiang. It has been seared into the country’s consciousness. State media refer to it as China’s version of the September 11th attacks against America. Xi Jinping, the president, has echoed George W. Bush, America’s president at the time, saying that China is conducting a “people’s war on terror”.

Armed police have become a feature of this war. In a Xinjiang border town in July, police shot and killed at least 59 Uighurs in a conflict that state media said was initiated by a mob of locals who attacked government offices, killing 37. Uighur groups abroad allege that the real death toll was much higher.

via Police firearms: Weaponised | The Economist.

14/06/2014

First there was fake Apple stores in China now fake Ikea shop found in Kunming | Mail Online

It seems that Kunming in the southwest corner of China is the world capital of knock-off shops.

Seem familiar? Employees push a shopping cart past the information desk at the lobby of the 11 Furniture Store

Apple recently found five counterfeit versions of its stores there after blogger BirdAbroad posted photos of one online – and now a fake Ikea has surfaced.

It’s called 11 Furniture and is a 10,000 square metre, four-storey replica that’s virtually identical to the Swedish-made version.

It copies Ikea’s blue-and-yellow colour scheme, mock-up rooms, miniature pencils, signage and even its rocking chair designs. Its cafeteria-style restaurant, complete with minimalist wooden tables, has a familiar look, although the menu features Chinese-style braised minced pork and eggs instead of Ikea’s Swedish meatballs and salmon.

This knock-off Ikea store is emblematic of a new wave of piracy sweeping through China. Increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters no longer just pump out fake luxury handbags, DVDs and sports shoes but replicate the look, feel and service of successful Western retail concepts — in essence, pirating the entire brand experience.

‘This is a new phenomenon,’ said Adam Xu, retail analyst with Booz&Co. ‘Typically there are a lot of fake products, now we see more fakes in the service aspect in terms of (faking) the retail formats.’

 

via First there was fake Apple stores in China now fake Ikea shop found in Kunming | Mail Online.

07/05/2014

Six wounded in knife rampage at Guangzhou Railway Station | South China Morning Post

At least six people were wounded in a knife attack at Guangzhou Railway Station yesterday, the third assault on civilians at train stations in two months.

guangzhou1-0507-re-net.jpg

Witnesses said four assailants began attacking passengers at random at about 11.30am.

Watch unconfirmed video: Suspected attacker caught by police after Guangzhou train station violence

One was subdued by police and a luggage handler after being shot by an officer. But police said later on social media that only one suspect was involved.

Witnesses also said one of the injured was a middle-aged Westerner, but Guangzhou police denied any foreigner was among the victims.

The police didn’t approach [the attacker] until they shot him twice in his chest HU ZHONG, LUGGAGE HANDLER

At least four people were taken to the General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, local police said. Three were in stable condition after surgery.

The attack comes less than a week after an explosion at a railway station in Urumqi – capital of Xinjiang , the vast western region home to ethnic minority Uygurs – left two attackers and a civilian dead and 79 wounded.

It also follows a March attack at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming , in which machete-wielding attackers killed 29 people and wounded 143 in what many in China dubbed the country’s “9/11”.

via Six wounded in knife rampage at Guangzhou Railway Station | South China Morning Post.

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07/03/2014

China’s restless West: The burden of empire | The Economist

After a brutal attack in China, the Communist Party needs to change its policies towards minorities

A GROUP of knife-wielding assailants, apparently Muslims from western China, caused mayhem and murder on March 1st in the south-western Chinese city of Kunming, stabbing 29 people to death at the railway station and injuring 140 others. The attack has shocked China. The crime against innocents is monstrous and unjustifiable, and has been rightly condemned by the Chinese government and by America. But as well as rounding up the culprits, the Communist Party must face up to an uncomfortable truth. Its policy for integrating the country’s restless western regions—a policy that mixes repression, development and Han-Chinese migration—is failing to persuade non-Han groups of the merits of Chinese rule.

The party says the attackers were “Xinjiang extremists”, by implication ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic people with ties to Central Asia who once formed the majority in the region of Xinjiang. The killers may have been radicalised abroad with notions of global jihad. Whatever the truth, there is no doubt that Uighurs are committing ever more desperate acts. Scarcely a week passes in Xinjiang without anti-government violence.

The party claims that Xinjiang has been part of China for 2,000 years. Yet for most of that time, the region has been on the fringe of China’s empire, or outside it altogether. An attempt to incorporate these lands began only with the Qing dynasty’s conquests in the mid-18th century. (The name Xinjiang, “new frontier”, was bestowed only in the 1880s.) During the chaos of the 1940s, Uighurs declared a short-lived independent state of East Turkestan. But from 1949 the Communists began integrating Xinjiang into China by force. Demobbed Chinese soldiers were sent to colonise arid lands, the state repression of Uighurs drawing heavily on the Soviet tactics for handling “nationalities”. Uighur resentment of the Han runs deep. The feeling is mutual. Many Chinese are openly racist towards Uighurs, and the government thinks them ungrateful. In 2009 hundreds of people were killed during street fighting between Uighurs and Han, who now make up two-fifths of Xinjiang’s population and control a disproportionate share of its wealth.

Identity crisis

The Kunming killers’ motives may never be known. But fears of militant Islamism arriving at the heart of China must not obscure the broader problem of Chinese oppression in Xinjiang. Recent crackdowns hit at the heart of Uighur identity: students are banned from fasting during Ramadan, religious teaching for children is restricted, and Uighur-language education is limited. Many Uighurs, like their neighbours in Tibet, fear that their culture will be extinguished. Xinjiang and Tibet (and Inner Mongolia) are still China’s colonies, their pacification under the Communist Party a continued imperial project. Were it not for the Dalai Lama’s restraining influence, violence in Tibet might be as bad as it is in Xinjiang. As it is, over 100 Tibetans have burned themselves to death in protest at Chinese rule.

There is a large military presence in China’s west. The government seems to believe that unless Uighurs and Tibetans are held in check by force, the western regions could break away. That is always a danger. But suppression, which leads to explosions of anger, may increase the risk, not mitigate it.

The only way forward is to show Uighurs (and Tibetans) how they can live peacefully and prosperously together within China. The first step is for the party to lift the bans on religious and cultural practices, give Uighurs and Tibetans more space to be themselves, and strive against prejudice in Chinese society. Economic development needs to be aimed at Uighur and Tibetan communities. Otherwise, there will be more violence and instability.

via China’s restless West: The burden of empire | The Economist.

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02/03/2014

BBC News – China separatists blamed for Kunming knife rampage

Chinese officials have blamed separatists from the north-western Xinjiang region for a mass knife attack at a railway station that left 29 people dead and at least 130 wounded.

Stabbing victim arrives in hospital. 2 March 2014

A group of attackers, dressed in black, burst into the station in the south-west city of Kunming and began stabbing people at random.

Images from the scene posted online showed bodies lying in pools of blood.

State news agency Xinhua said police shot at least four suspects dead.

A female suspect was arrested and is being treated in hospital for unspecified injuries while a search continues for others who fled the scene, the BBC’s Celia Hatton in Beijing reports.

Authorities described the incident as an “organised, premeditated, violent terrorist attack”.

via BBC News – China separatists blamed for Kunming knife rampage.

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19/06/2013

Rich Chinese Provinces ‘Outsource’ Pollution to Poor Ones

BusinessWeek: “A flurry of citizen-led protests against polluting (or proposed) chemical factories in Chinese cities has recently made headlines. And for good reason, as hundreds of peaceful marchers parading in front of government buildings and waving hand-made signs (such as “We Want to Survive” and “Say No to PX,” a hazardous chemical) isn’t something you see every day in authoritarian China.

The sun sets behind commercial buildings shrouded in haze in Shanghai

In recent years, such environmental demonstrations have erupted in the prosperous coastal cities of Xiamen, Dalian, Ningbo, and the southern city of Kunming. Middle-class citizens, wielding smartphones and sharing information about pollutants via social media, have organized the protests. When developers’ plans have been put on hold—as happened last month in Kunming—popular Chinese and Western media have declared a victory for nascent people power in China.

But what happens next? Chances are that factory plans won’t fizzle entirely, but rather that construction will move to another location—usually in a poorer province, with a less informed and media-savvy local population.

In a paper published in the June 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (pdf), researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Maryland, and University of Cambridge mapped the flow of goods, money, and interprovincial emissions to document what they call the “outsourcing” of pollution “within China.” Their study focused in particular on CO2 emissions, which spew from the same coal-fired power plants and other factories responsible for smog-causing domestic pollution.

As the researchers discovered, “the most affluent cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, and provinces such as Guangdong and Zhejiang, outsource more than 50% of the emissions related to the products they consume” to provinces in the central and western hinterlands. In short, eastern urbanites enjoy the fruits of energy, steel, cement, and other goods produced in China’s less-developed regions. (To be sure, Western consumers also benefit from goods produced in China, at an even greater distance from the pollution.)

“Although China is often seen as a homogeneous entity, it is a vast country with substantial regional variation in physical geography, economic development, infrastructure, population density, demographics, and lifestyles” the researchers wrote. One example: The carbon footprint of residents of Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin, three wealthy eastern cities, is four times higher than that of residents of Guangxi, Yunnan, and Guizhou, three poor southwestern provinces.”

via Rich Chinese Provinces ‘Outsource’ Pollution to Poor Ones – Businessweek.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/2013/06/19/china-launches-trial-carbon-trading-scheme/

09/05/2013

* China’s Vision for a ‘New’ Urbanization

WSJ: “China watchers are all abuzz about urbanization, which is supposed to be a focus of reform. But what does the term mean? After all, China has been urbanizing for 30 years, which has meant building roads, subways, ports — and relying more and more on infrastructure spending, which seems to have less and less payoff these days.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s state planning agency, is due to produce a report later this year laying out a path for a new kind of urbanization.

Li Tie, director general of the NDRC’s China Center for Urban Development, said the report involves a “new model of city development,” which would include three main parts:

First, there would be a focus on “low carbon” development — meaning trying to assure Chinese cities ease their horrendous pollution.

Second, would be reform of the household registration, or hukou, system. For smaller cities the system would be “totally liberalized,” Mr. Li said. He didn’t lay out his thoughts fully, but seemed to suggest that all residents would enjoy the same rights and benefits regardless of where they were born. For larger cities, migrants would get “resident cards” which assured them “improved treatment” and access to social services.

Third, China would look to increase “clustering” in big cities. Mr. Li didn’t explain what he meant by that, but in urban planning speak, clustering usually means trying to develop industries or specialties in a city or group of cities. That’s a way to build on the intellectual frisson of urban life, where new ideas can spawn new industries.

Those proposals address some of the most vexing problems with life in China’s cities: pollution, widening social inequality and lack of innovation. They also suggest that China’s leaders are committed to making urbanization into something more than another building spree. But changes would be costly and could require China’s central government to take a much more active role in overseeing—and paying for—urban growth than it has in the past. Whether China’s new leaders are ready to take such steps will become clear over the next year or two.”

via China’s Vision for a ‘New’ Urbanization – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

05/05/2013

* Protest in China at chemical plant plans for Kunming

BBC: “Hundreds of people have rallied in the Chinese city of Kunming to protest at plans for a factory producing a toxic chemical for the textile industry.

A child holds up protest posters in Kunming, China, 4 May

Some demonstrators wore symbolic masks and brandished posters warning against the dangers of a paraxylene (PX) spill.

“We want to survive, we want health, get PX out of Kunming”, a banner read.

Two years ago, protests against a PX factory in the city of Dalian forced the city government to close the plant, though it reportedly re-opened later.

Saturday’s protest in Kunming, in the south-west of the country, attracted at least 200 people, according to state media.

Chinese bloggers, however, put the number at up to 2,000.

The China National Petroleum Corporation plans to build a chemical plant in the nearby town of Anning to produce 500,000 tonnes of PX annually.

PX is is used to create raw materials for the production of polyester film and fabrics.

Correspondents say urban Chinese are becoming increasingly confident about protesting at potential threats to their environment.”

via BBC News – Protest in China at chemical plant plans for Kunming.

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