But things are gradually changing. The number of Chinese

The Chinese drinking culture is set for a transformation. According to a survey of 109,441 Chinese conducted by the China Youth Daily’s Social Investigation Center, 84 percent said they were not fan of the drinking culture in China.

The long tradition seems to be on the wane, reflecting a change in an important aspect of China’s material culture.

On one hand, as living standards improve, Chinese people pay more atte

ntion to their health. More people are choosing tea over liquor as their daily beverage. Instead

of sitting at the table for the night, people now prefer healthier lifestyles. On the other hand, Chinese pe

ople have realized that drinking culture may provide opportunities for the undeserving who can get what they want by

pleasing those who insist that they drink. This is not only unfair to the deserving but also undermines ethical conduct.

Nowadays, Chinese people have developed more decent drinking habits.

Those who risk their lives drinking heavily are not the so-called heroes anymore, and those who alw

ays urge others to drink may be gradually isolated by their friends. More and more Chinese pe

ople enjoy having only a few drinks and chat over the cup. Taking small sips and slowly tasting liquor seems more enjoyable.

In addition, real friendship cannot be measured by how much alcohol is consumed. Neither can bottles of liquor build relations am

ong people. Instead, they only hurt people’s feelings and health. When people are sober again, the ecstasy and promises disappear.

After all, true friends are those who care about your health, not those who urge you to drink.

Take my poor friend. After he got out of hospital, he completely forgot who forced him to drink at the t

able. When he was blind drunk and almost choked on his vomit, all he remembered was those who loyally stayed by his side.

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ang Haonan, who was believed to be the heaviest man

Wang, from Laiwu in East China’s Shandong province, stood at 334 kg at his heaviest. In July

2018, he underwent a weight-loss surgery in which four-fifths of his stomach was removed.

Half a year later, his weight has dropped to 192 kg.

Liu Shaozhuang, a doctor with Qilu Hospital of Shandong University in charge of Wang’s surgery, told Beijing Youth Daily the surgery h

as not had an impact on Wang’s digestion and he only needed to chew food well before swallowing it.

Wang revealed that a philosophy of “eat less, exercise more” was also a reason for his becoming thinner. He said he did not e

at any meat during the Spring Festival holiday, a traditional time for family reunion and feasting.

Wang suffers from fatty liver, heart and lung problems due to his obesity. These conditions have i

mproved after the surgery and sleep apnea due to snoring has also been alleviated, according to Liu.

Wang now has a body mass index (BMI) of 57.3, still well above the level of 24.5 for a healthy person, Liu said.

Wang said he aims to further reduce his weight to be less than 100 kg by the end of this year

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Xiao was rescued when procurators from Pingyuan county

visited his village during a campaign focused on protecting children’s rights in March last year.

Procurators interviewed Xiao’s grandparents, visited Xiao’s former primaryers, and contacted Xiao’s mother during their visit.

Procurators then transferred Xiao’s case to local police and suggested the detention of his aunt while they further investigated the case, having found evidence of maltreatment in his uncle’s home.

After a health examination in a local hospital, Xiao returned to live with his grandparents.

With the help of the county’s procuratorate and relevant government departments, Xiao returned to school in September.

The procuratorates of Meizhou city and Pingyuan county have jointly granted a 60,000 yuan ($8,860) relief fund to help financially support Xiao.

An open public hearing into the matter is to be launched by Pingyuan county people’s court.

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In recent years, the world’s major economies have take

China has been positioning itself as a key competitor in the global AI sector.

“The opportunity for AI in China is on a scale that demonstrates the transformative im

pact that the technology can have on society. It will also mean a ripple effect on the global economy in terms of accelerating inn

ovation, integration and efficiencies that pass through the supply chain globally,” said Anand Rao, global AI Leader at PwC.

Stanford University’s AI Index 2018 Annual Report found t

hat 83 percent of 2017 AI industry reports on Scopus’ citation database originated fr

om outside the US. Some 25 percent of these papers originated in China, behind only Europe with 28 percent.

The number of AI papers published in China grew 150 percent between 2007 and 2017, the report noted.

The China AI Development Report 2018, released by the China Institu

te for Science and Technology Policy at Tsinghua University, highlighted the vast pote

ntial of the AI sector in China, saying the country’s AI market surged by 67 percent year-on-year to hit 23.7 billion yu

an ($3.5 billion) in 2017. It found the top three segments were computer vision, and voice and natural language processing.

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aidu signs comprehensive deal with Ctrip-depth partnersh

hinese internet search giant Baidu Inc inked an in-depth partnership with China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip, in its latest efforts to drive the development of intelligent tourism in China.

Under the agreement, Baidu will deploy its cloud services and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide Ctrip with solutions tailor

ed to tourism scenarios and businesses. Baidu Cloud, the cloud unit of Baidu will help Ctrip impr

ove operational efficiency and customer experience and reduce costs in marketing and sales, customer acquisition and online traffic conversion.

The two companies will also continue to explore a variety of smart services in more scenarios

based on Baidu’s AI capabilities, such as speech technology and autonomous driving.

“The tourism industry is growing rapidly and Ctrip is the industry leader. Baidu looks forward to working wi

th Ctrip to upgrade tourism services with ‘cloud plus AI’, enhance customer experience, and ex

plore a viable path to intelligent tourism for the entire industry,” said Zhang Dongchen, vice-president of Baidu.

“With the vigorous development of tourism, consumer needs are more and more diversified. To better serve our customers, Ctrip

needs to be enabled by advanced cloud computing and AI technologies,” said Xiong Xing, executive vi

ce-president of Ctrip and CEO of air ticketing business unit and international business unit of the company.

Xiong said they hoped to collaborate with Baidu to create smarter customer service and more value for users.

This partnership is not limited to IT infrastructure. With Baidu Cloud’s capabilities, big data

analytics can be conducted on users’ interests, habits and preferences. Different tourism products can

be packaged by Baidu’s AI and machine learning technologies to offer every user customized solutions.

Over the past three years, Baidu Cloud has collaborated with more than 2,000 partners in

over 30 industries, such as finance, security, transportation and education, and created over 100 solutions.

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New regulations will target abnormal trademark filings

In a bid to improve the nation’s business environment, the China National Intellectual Property Administration will roll

out a new set of regulations on trademark filings to curb the “applications out of malice”.

The regulations draft has been publicized on the CNIPA website, soliciting suggestions and opinions from the public until March 14.

The move reflects a shift in policymakers’ focus from intellectual property quantity to quality, s

aid Li Shunde, a senior IP researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Comprised of eight articles, the new regulations target “abnormal applications”, such as trademark sq

uatting, imitating established brands and filings with no intentions for actual use in industry or business.

The regulations, once they take effect, will also come as a severe blow to tradema

rk speculators, who apply for and stock trademarks for trade rather than industrial or business use.

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Organizations and individuals involved in the abnorma

will be publicized on the CNIPA website and China Intellectual Property News, a Beijing-base

d newspaper, and face other punishments administered by related authorities, according to the draft.

They will also be blacklisted and exposed via a national credibility information sharing system.

Trademarks achieved by this means will be declared void, the draft says.

“The long-awaited regulations draft came as no surprise,” Li said. “Such regulations are necessary, especially amid continuous growth in IP filings in China.”

The number of trademark applications from the country has topped the world for ye

ars, according to statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Data from the CNIPA show that the inventory of valid domestic trademarks had surpassed 18 million by the end of 2018.

China has improved in IP filings and protection by leaps and bounds, yet insufficien

t enforcement has come under fire and the discordance between quantity and quality has yet to be tackled, Li said.

Growing awareness of the issues and the reconfiguration of IP administrative organs contributed to the rollout of the draft, he added.

“The draft does not merely address the chronic problem of abnormal applica

tions but provides an approach to balancing the quantity and quality, ” he noted. “It is just a start.”

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Meanwhile, mobile payment is no longer confined to res

 of major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Smaller cities and even townships are capturing the fastest growth, findings from both payment providers showed.

According to Alipay, the quickest expansion rate in per capita overseas spending was logged in

Zhoushan, a port city in East China’s Zhejiang province, which surged 55 percent year-on-year. It wa

s followed by 50 percent in Weifang, Shandong province, and 44 percent in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.

In contrast, the growth rate in relatively affluent Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou r

eached 27 percent, 30 percent and 24 percent respectively, although they accounted for the greatest outbound spending by volume.

These trends “really highlight how mobile payment is taking root in China’s outbound t

ourism market”, said Chen Jiayi, Alipay’s head of business operation on cross-border business.

WeChat also saw a notable surge in the use of mobile payment in lower-tier cities, with over 40 percent transactions ma

de by residents who work in bigger cities but returned to hometowns for the weeklong annual gathering.

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France advanced to the top 10 markets where WeChat P

ay was mostly adopted for the first time since WeChat started tracking the data in 2015.

A Nielsen survey released in January suggested that 93 percent of Chinese travelers are likely to increase their spen

ding overseas if mobile payment is more widely accepted, which would consequently boost local businesses.

Alipay and WeChat Pay accounted for almost 94 percent of the count

ry’s third-party payment market, according to consultancy iResearch. The duo are ga

ining market share by making ambitious forays overseas where mobile payment is yet to mature.

Among the latest developments, Tencent is looking to work with more smart solutions and s

ervice providers this year to make the app function run as smoothly in foreign markets as it does in China, by in

corporating a variety of tools developed by third-party providers, said Fan Wei, overseas business director of WeChat Pay.

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Environment protection campaign revitalizes China’s Hong

WUHAN – Chen Yuxiang lived on Honghu Lake in Central China’s Hubei province f

or 40 years since his birth. He now works as a machine operator at a shoe factory.

“I used to live on Honghu Lake and made a living as a fisherman, but the water became heavily pollut

ed and we had to find another way to earn money since there were hardly any fish in the lake,” Said Chen, 41.

Now, after a string of environment protection campaigns, all the fishermen have left the waters and now live and w

ork onshore with the help of government, restoring Honghu Lake’s charm and beauty.

Honghu Lake, the seventh biggest freshwater lake in China, was “a place b

etter than paradise,” as a popular song goes, with abundant fish, lotus and ducks.

In the 1980s, a crowd of fishermen from the east of China rushed in and settled down on Honghu Lake due to its rich natural resources.

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