BBC to launch CBeebies programming in China




>>  BBC to launch CBeebies programming in China

By Xu Xiaoqing and Zhang Hui

BBC Worldwide on Tuesday of June 11 announced a deal with BesTV New Media, a leading Chinese new media company, to launch a CBeebies-branded block on their multi screen platform.

The deal will see CBeebies’ award-winning and highly rated preschool programs like Teletubbies, Sarah & Duck, Baby Jake and Andy’s Wild Adventures available as a VOD service to BesTV’s more than 20 million television subscribers.

It will launch of the CBeebies brand in China. Young learners and parents can enjoy Cbeebies programs via BesTV on their multi-screen service — through IPTV, Connect TV, OTT, tablets and mobile.

“We have a long-term relationship with BesTV, who have been acquiring our BBC documentaries and drama since 2008,” said Pierre Cheung, vice president & general manager Greater China for BBC Worldwide. “We are extremely excited to work with them again to launch the CBeebies brand on the platform, and look forward to working with them to promote our award-winning preschool brand in China.”

“Family subscribers are our target users, and the deal with BBC Worldwide to provide CBeebies-branded programs on BesTV is important to us — it further enhances our target in providing family-oriented entertainment services,” said Zhang Yue, vice president of BesTV New Media.

The CBeebies VOD service on BesTV will commence this summer.



>>  Netherlands opposes EU duties on Chinese solar panels: FM

By Liu Hua

The Netherlands is opposed to the European Union’s (EU) decision to slap provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans said here on Tuesday of June 11.

Timmermans made the remarks during the talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

“The European Commission’s decision to impose provisional duties on solar panels from China goes against the principle of free trade and the Netherlands is firmly opposed to it,” said the visiting Dutch foreign minister, quoted by a news release from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On Monday, Timmermans told reporters that the Dutch government, like the German government, truly believes that there should be no confrontation between the EU and China on the issue of solar panels.

“I think we should come and find a compromise here. We have been urging the European Commission to try carefully here. There are more things at stake than just one issue in the long-term relationship between the EU and China,” he said on Monday shortly before his departure to China.

During Tuesday’s talks, Wang said he appreciates the Dutch government’s stance and hopes that the Netherlands will continue working for dialogue between the EU and China on the matter.

Timmermans also congratulated the Chinese side on the successful launch of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft on Tuesday, adding that the Netherlands is ready to boost cooperation with China in various areas, especially on sustainable development, to forge a future-oriented relationship between the two countries.

Hailing the smooth development of the bilateral ties in recent years, Wang said China looks forward to a more matured and stable relationship with the Netherlands based on mutual respect and win-win reciprocity, and new achievements of cooperation in urbanization, energy saving and environmental protection, new energy and other areas.

After the talks, the two foreign ministers exchanged diplomatic notes regarding the establishment of consulates in China’s Chongqing and the Netherlands’ Willemstad.



>>  China’s small cities play growing role in film market

By Zhu Shaobin 

The nation’s small and medium-sized cities are becoming the major driving force of the domestic movie industry, and represent a massive potential growth market, China Daily reported on Tuesday of June 11.

Movie ticket sales have gone crazy in the fourth-tier city of Panjin of Northeast China’s Liaoning Province. The city’s annual box-office revenues surged to 25.6 million yuan (4.17 million U.S. dollars) in 2012 from 2.65 million yuan a year earlier, marking a year-on-year growth of 867 percent, the report said, citing data from Beijing-based EntGroup Consulting.

In April alone, the city’s CJ CGV cineplex, owned by a theater operator from the Republic of Korea, sold two million yuan’s worth of tickets to 50,000 customers, said Guo Jinsheng, the manager of the theater, which opened in January.

“And that performance is growing month-on-month,” added Guo.

Panjin is one of the fastest-growing third- and fourth-tier cities in terms of box-office receipts, and other cities enjoying similar growth include Langfang in Hebei Province, and Yueyang in Hunan Province, the report said.

According to a survey by EntGroup Consulting in 2012, 284 third- and fourth-tier cities accounted for 34 percent of the country’s total ticket sales, while seven first-tier cities accounted for 37 percent.

The company expects the 34-percent market share to rise to 42 percent by the end of 2015, given the gradual saturation of the cinema market in first- and second-tier cities.

The report said that customers in third- and fourth-tier cities tend to prefer domestic films to imported ones. Group buying and discounts are critical to third-and fourth-tier cinemas, where consumers have less purchasing power than in the bigger cities.



>>  China’s rural nursing houses to get state funds

By Liu Lu and Cui Jing 

The government will raise 3 billion yuan (488.3 million U.S. dollars) in lottery funds to support the construction of 100,000 rural nursing houses over the next three years.

The nursing homes will be managed by local village committees, providing rural senior citizens with accommodation, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Thursday.

“China has nearly 50 million rural senior citizens who are in need of physical and mental care,” Vice Minister of Civil Affairs Dou Yupei said during a televised conference.

Dou said the nursing homes will help maintain and develop the rights and interests of rural senior citizens.

As of 2012, there were 33,000 institutions offering services to rural senior citizens, according to the ministry.

Vice finance minister Wang Baoan said lottery-raised funds hit 417.2 billion yuan from 1987 to 2012, with the money going to sectors ranging from medical care and poverty relief to education and social welfare.

Wang called for financial institutions at all levels to channel funds for building rural nursing homes in a timely manner, as well as create related plans that are in line with local conditions.



>>  China’s lottery sales surge in May

By Rong Jiaojiao 

China’s lottery ticket sales rose 15.8 percent year on year to 27.34 billion yuan (4.4 billion U.S. dollars) in May, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday of June 13.

Among them, welfare lottery sales reached 15.19 billion yuan, a rise of 8.4 percent compared to the same period last year, while sales of sports lottery tickets gained 26.5 percent to 12.15 billion yuan.

The ministry attributed the jump to new lottery games going on sale, the promotion of quiz-style games and more outlets for online lottery games.

In the first five months of 2013, total lottery sales increased 16.3 percent year on year to 124.96 billion yuan, the data showed.

Welfare lottery sales rose 13.4 percent from a year earlier during the January-May period, while sports lottery sales climbed 20.3 percent, said the ministry.

The money raised through lotteries is divided into three parts under the country’s regulations on lottery management: the jackpot, lottery management fees and public lottery funds.



>>  Foot-and-mouth disease confirmed in Tibet

By Yu Wenjing and Cheng Jing 

An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been confirmed in cattle in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, the Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday.

A pasture in Gamba County, Xigaze Prefecture reported on June 8 that 22 head of cattle had shown signs of the disease. National laboratory test results released on Thursday confirmed that the cattle were infected with type-O foot-and-mouth disease, the ministry said.

Local authorities have sealed off and sterilized the infected area, where 105 head of cattle have been culled and safely disposed of, according to the ministry.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a contagious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild species within the family Bovidae.



>>  Children missing after minibus plunges into river

By Shen Rufa and Lv Qiuping

Rescuers are searching for five children who went missing after a minibus plunged into a river in southeast China’s Fujian Province, authorities said on Thursday of June 13.

The seven-seat minibus carrying 10 people went into a 10-meter-deep river around 3 p.m. Wednesday near the Jiufeng Township of Pinghe County in the city of Zhangzhou, said an official with the Pinghe County Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Five people managed to make it to safety but five children, with ages unknown yet, are still missing, said the official.

The official said torrential rain hit the mountainous township from Tuesday to Wednesday, causing the road to become sandy and slippery, which may have partly caused the accident.

A further investigation is underway.



>>  Online registry to open for organ donors: report

By Zhang Yunlong

China’s first online volunteer organ donor registry will be launched this month to help ease the shortage of organs for transplant, the China Daily newspaper reported on Thursday of June 13.

“By filling out forms on the website, scheduled to open in late June, one can become a volunteer donor upon death,” the report quoted Liu Weixin, deputy director of the society’s National Organ Donation Management Center, as saying during a recent event.

Gao Xinpu, a division director of the center, said people can update personal information after registering and, if they choose, revoke previous consent, according to the report.

One important aspect is that a volunteer cannot donate if his or her family rejects the option, Gao added.

According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, the country has 300,000 patients in need of life-saving organ transplants each year, but only 10,000 can get one.

China launched an organ donation system in 2010 after a trial run in 16 areas. It later expanded into 19 areas, and will cover another six locations in June, the China Daily quoted Liu as saying.

Liu said training programs will be held for organ donation coordinators across the country, while “a regulation to license, register and supervise coordinators will be issued by the center this month”.

Organ donation coordinators work to identify organ matches, approach and get consent from a potential donor’s next of kin, and consult with doctors and hospitals.



>>  Suspected food poisoning sickens 160 in S China

By Cao Kai and Wu Lu 

A total of 160 staff from a food company in south China’s Guangdong Province were suspected of suffering from food poisoning, a company source said on Wednesday of June 12.

They had symptoms of chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhea after having dinner at the third canteen of the Dongguan Hsu Chi Food Co. Ltd based in Dongguan City on Monday, said Sun Tianzhen, a media relations officer of Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd. told Xinhua.

Dongguan Hsu Chi Food Co. Ltd. is a subsidiary of Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd.

A 57-year-old female plate washer at the canteen was found dead at her dormitory on Tuesday but it is yet to know whether her death is connected with food poisoning or not, said Sun.

The woman had asked for leave on Sunday and Monday.

As of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 103 staff had gone to hospitals for treatment. Most of them came back to the factory after treatment and there are 45 remaining in hospital for treatment, she said.

The canteen has been sealed up.

Food samples have been sent to relevant departments for examination. The result is expected to be released within three to five days, according to the Dongguan municipal food and drug administration. 



>>  Hony Capital, SMG set up joint film, television fund

By Xu Feng and Yao Yujie 

Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital announced on Wednesday of June 12 that it will set up a joint film and television fund worth 3 billion yuan (485.3 million U.S.dollars) with SMG Pictures.

The fund will be used to invest in equities, as well as the production of films and television series, according to Hony Capital.

“Hony Capital will not only bring in capital, but also more resources,” said Zhao Linghuan, CEO of Hony Capital.

Hony Capital has also worked with other media firms, including Phoenix Publishing & Media and Beijing-based Uyoung Media.

Film and television funds have been catching on in China in recent years, as they can integrate funds and the country’s booming film and television industries, which have expanded at a rapid pace.

China’s film industry recorded box office earnings of 16.8 billion yuan in 2012, a record high, according to official data. 



>>  China conducts soil pollution survey

By Han Qiao 

The government plans to conduct a nationwide soil pollution survey, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Wednesday of June 12.

Soil samples will be collected at multiple depths in order to find both the natural condition of the soil and the impact that human activity has had on it, the ministry said.

Samples taken at both deep and shallow depths will reveal how chemical elements have affected the soil, the ministry said.

The ministry did not give a precise date for releasing the survey results.

The ministry said previous investigations indicate that some regions are heavily polluted, particularly near the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Comparing the investigation results to survey results from 1994 and 1995 indicates that soil pollution is spreading to China’s more densely populated eastern areas, the ministry said.

A recent food safety scandal involving cadmum-tainted rice has stirred public concerns over worsening soil pollution. The public has asked authorities to issue oil pollution data, as well as detailed measures to handle the problem. 



>>  Teacher detained for molesting primary school girls

By Yu Zhiming and Zhang Hui 

A teacher has been detained on suspicion of molesting his female students in central China’s Hunan Province amid public outcry sparked by recent exposures of smiliar cases nationwide.

The 57-year-old primary school teacher, surnamed Xu, offered to help some pupils with homework, and during the tutoring, he molested them, the local publicity office said on Wednesday of June 12.

The headmaster of the school where Xu serves has been suspended from office. Officials and medical workers have been sent to counsel the victims, said Kuang Liqun, publicity head of Xinning County, where Xu’s school is located.

In the most recent similar case, a 42-year-old second-grade teacher in the southern city of Shenzhen was detained on May 27 for allegedly molesting female pupils.

In central China’s Henan Province, a 55-year-old teacher was arrested on May 23 for molesting multiple female students.

On May 14, a primary school headmaster and a government employee in Wanning City, Hainan Province, were detained by police for suspectedly sexually assaulting six female students.





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