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News from China
Sony apologizes to China for sensitive timing of product launch
2nd July 2021

 Japanese tech giant Sony apologized to Chinese netizens and canceled an event to launch new products on July 7, the day in 1937 the Japanese military invaded China.

Netizens' anger was not groundless as Sony's original product launch time was scheduled to be 10pm, the exact same time Japan commenced its invasion of China 84 years ago.

"Due to lack of consideration, the choice of the date has created misunderstandings and confusion. We express our deep apologies and have immediately cancelled our arrangement," Sony China said in a statement.

It also posted an apology statement on its social platform accounts, including Weibo.

Sony said it originally planned to launch a new camera during a photography equipment show in Shanghai between July 7 and 10.

It's not proper for a Japanese brand to hold an event in China at such a sensitive time , said experts and netizens.

Sony, which launched its PlayStation 5 in China in May, is establishing a new "entertainment and mobile ecosystem" in the Chinese market, the company previously announced.

Source: Shanghai Daily, July 2, 2021
China to require mandatory reporting of cases involving underage victims
31st May 2021

 China will make it mandatory for designated institutions and individuals to report infringements on minors' rights and interests in accordance with the law, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced on Monday.

According to the newly revised Law on the Protection of Minors slated to take effect on June 1, designated institutions, such as schools and kindergartens, and individuals will be held accountable for failing to report on such offenses and resulting in serious consequences, said the SPP.

Procuratorial organs will work with competent departments to advance the mandatory reporting mechanism, it added.

Last May, the SPP and departments including the Ministry of Public Security jointly rolled out a set of interim guidelines on establishing a mandatory reporting mechanism for cases involving underage victims.

Source: Shanghai Daily, May 31, 2021
Industries post strong growth in 4 months
28th May 2021

 Profits of China's major industrial companies saw accelerated growth in the first four months of this year as the country's economic recovery is further consolidated, official data showed on Thursday.

Industrial firms with an annual business revenue of at least 20 million yuan (US$3.12 million) saw their combined profits surge 106 percent year on year in the January-April period to over 2.59 trillion yuan, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

When compared with the first four months of 2019, the figure represented a rise of 49.6 percent. The average growth rate over the past two years stood at 22.3 percent, NBS data showed.

The accelerated growth in industrial profits came as market demand continued to improve and major industrial firms had seen improved operations since the beginning of this year, said NBS statistician Zhu Hong.

In April alone, the profits of major industrial firms increased 57 percent year on year to 768.63 billion yuan.

All 41 industrial sectors saw increasing profits during the January-April period, with the profits of 10 sectors more than doubling, said Zhu.

Compared with the first four months of 2019, a total of 30 industrial sectors logged profit increases, according to Zhu.

During the January-April period, profits of the equipment and high-tech manufacturing sectors respectively jumped 90.8 percent and 88.5 percent year on year, while those of the auto manufacturing industry surged 158 percent.

The consumer goods manufacturing sector also saw improved profits, which rose 45.3 percent from the same period of last year, said Zhu.

Due to improving market demand and the rising prices of bulk commodities, the mining and raw materials manufacturing sectors saw faster profit growth, respectively rising 103 percent and 366 percent year on year. The operations of industrial firms were further optimized, with rising profitability, declining costs and faster inventory turnovers, according to Zhu.

Though major industrial firms have sustained their growth momentum, Zhu noted that the recovery of the industrial economy needs to be further consolidated, taking into consideration the uncertainties of the external environment and the pressures on companies caused by rising commodity prices.

Source: Shanghai Daily, May 28, 2021
Inner Mongolia escalates crackdown on cryptomining
26th May 2021

 China's northern autonomous region of Inner Mongolia escalated a campaign against cryptocurrency mining on Tuesday, days after China vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Development and Reform Commission said in the proposed rules that telecommunications companies and Internet firms which are engaged in cryptomining will see their business licenses revoked by regulators.

It also said that authorities would introduce tougher energy-saving requirements for industrial parks, data centers and power plants that provide sites or electricity for miners.

Inner Mongolia already announced in March that it would end all cryptocurrency mining projects as part of efforts to meet energy efficiency targets. The measures come amid China's renewed efforts to curb speculative cryptocurrency trading.

On Saturday, a State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading. Last week, three industry bodies banned financial and payment services to virtual currency trading, triggering a market sell-off.

Inner Mongolia said it would answer calls from the State Council to further clean up the cryptomining business in a bid to purify the big data industry and prevent financial risks.

Cryptomining is big business in China, accounting for more than half of the world's crypto supply. But the process, which consumes a vast amount of energy, runs counter to China's goal toward carbon neutrality, some analysts say.

According to Tuesday's draft rules, if big data centers and cloud computing firms take part in cryptomining, regulators would cancel any preferential policies they enjoy.

Companies and individuals raising money using cryptocurrencies would be penalized under China's anti-illegal fundraising rules, according to the draft measures.

Source: Shanghai Daily,May 26, 2021

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