Meanwhile, 5G is becoming a new bright spot. In Decem

Meanwhile, 5G is becoming a new bright spot. In Decem

the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology allocated specific l

ow- and medium-frequency bands to the nation’s three telecom carriers. Currently, these carrie

rs are conducting 5G trial operations in a string of cities, enabling large-scale precommercial use.

According to the action plan, the country will speed up 5G research, and promote the construct

ion of 5G network and demonstration projects, aiming to fully commercialize the superfast technology by 2020.

E-commerce poverty alleviation

In the wake of information consumption’s development in China, e-commerce brings about a new idea for poverty alleviation in rural areas.

In recent years, some people sell local agricultural products nationwide via e-commerce platf

orms. It not only improves the livelihoods of impoverished people, but also contributes to the revitalization of rural areas.

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Small wonder, Starbucks thought it fit to launch a special

Small wonder, Starbucks thought it fit to launch a special

product aimed at this market. But even it may not have anticipated the tremendous response.

The moment Starbucks launched its limited-edition “cat-paw cup”, it sparked a frenzy among Chinese consumers who own pet cats.

In scenes reminiscent of the pre-launch serpentine queues for snob-value smartphones, cat-owners stayed up all nig

ht in queues in front of Starbucks stores across Chinese cities a day before the cup’s formal sales launch on Feb 26.

Some female pet-owners, exasperated by the seemingly never-ending wait, got into cat-figh

ts, while others indulged in slanging matches on learning the cups were in short supply.

The craze and high demand were attributable to slick videos and images pos

ted on social media by key opinion leaders or KOLs, or influencers, market insiders said.

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Cat-owners spend about 3,117 yuan per cat each year

Cat-owners spend about 3,117 yuan per cat each year

on average, while the corresponding number for a dog is 4,723 yuan, said the report.

Much of a pet’s expenses are on food. For a cat, it is about 1,340 yuan, with medical care requiring 742 yuan on average.

“About 41 percent of the 99.8 million pet-keeping Chinese households now have cats,

and the number is still growing,” said Neil Wang, president of Frost & Sullivan China.

In addition to 67 million pet cats, there are more, adopted or given by friends and families, the company’s report said.

This has spawned a cat culture of sorts, spanning a variety of business activities.

For instance, specialist apps offer a service called “cloud petting” for those who

do not own a pet cat. The latter can follow “cat celebrities” on social media platforms.

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Xi’an to impose traffic restriction on vehicle useighway during

Xi’an to impose traffic restriction on vehicle useighway during

XI’AN – Xi’an, a historical city in Shaanxi Province, will place traffic restrictions on the use of vehicle on weekdays.

The popular tourist city said the restriction would be imposed on weekdays from

7 am to 8 pm starting March 18. Vehicles are restricted in one out of five weekdays based upon the last nu

mbers of their license plates in certain areas in the city, where the number of motor vehicles hit 3 million as of May 2018.

Three bureaux of municipal ecology and environment, public security and transport

said in a circular that the move was taken to ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution.

Mass transit buses, new energy vehicles, vehicles for people with disabilities, and vehicles for special purp

oses such as fire engines and ambulances, however, will be exempted from the restriction, according to the circular.

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hina strengthens financial support for small, micro businesses

hina strengthens financial support for small, micro businesses

BEIJING — China has made solid progress in alleviating the financing

problems of small and micro firms, a senior official said Friday.

Outstanding loans to such businesses amounted to 33.49 trillion yuan ($5 trillion) by the end of 2018, accounting for 23.

81 percent of the total outstanding loans, Zhu Shumin, vice chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in a statement.

In particular, outstanding inclusive loans to small and micro firms reached 9.36 trillion yuan

, growing 21.79 percent from the beginning of the year, 9.2 percentage points faster than the total loans.

The number of borrowers increased 4.55 million from the beginning of 2018 to 17.23 million, Zhu said.

Meanwhile, efforts have been made to cut financing costs, with the average interest rate of newly

issued inclusive loans to small and micro firms in the fourth quarter of 2018 down 0.8 percentage points from the first quarter.

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It aims to increase the share of gas in its energy mix to

It aims to increase the share of gas in its energy mix to

percent of the nation’s primary energy demand by 2020, according to the commission.

“Demand for gas has surged in China in recent years, which has posed a pot

ential threat to the country’s energy security. Underground gas storage, on the other hand, could w

ell meet the peak for gas consumption and is a necessary part of the natural gas industrial chain,” he said.

“Sufficient storage facilities and competent peak load regulation capacity is necessary for a stable supply of natural gas.”

According to Zhang, major gas consumers around the world have set up gas storage sy

stems, with gas in storage contributing more than 10 percent of annual gas consumption.

Bloomberg Intelligence estimated earlier that nationwide gas storage will rise to 4.1 percent of demand in 2020, compared with 2.8 percent in 2015.

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The places that Chinese consumers can purchase milk

The places that Chinese consumers can purchase milk

have expanded. Now, bakeries, cinemas, convenience stores, gyms are all channels that dairy makers are try

ing to access,” said Yu Xubo, chairman of the board of directors of Mengniu, and president of COFCO Group, China’s largest food trader.

“We have also found that the purchase of fresh dairy products is increasing in major

cities among middle to higher-income earners,” said Yu, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress.

This year, Mengniu said it plans to establish specific cold chain logistics cha

nnels and strengthen its ability to produce and transfer fresh dairy products.

Meanwhile, the dairy maker has developed some niche products. It has introduced sports milk with a high protein

content tailored to those who work out often, and milk that acts as a meal substitute, both of which have seen high

er-than-expected sales, driven by new and more diversified demand from consumers, the company said.

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Barack Obama: “We grieve with you and the Muslim communi

Barack Obama: “We grieve with you and the Muslim communi

  White House official on New Zealand attack: This “seems to be a terrorist attack”From CNN’s Betsy Klein

  National security advisor John Bolton expanded upon the White House’s statement on the

attack on New Zealand mosques, which he characterized as “what seems to be a terrorist attack” and a “hate crime.”

  Bolton said the US is “very concerned” and is following the events “very closely.”

  He told reporters Friday morning:

  “We’re obviously greatly disturbed on what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand. We’ve been in touch

with our embassy overnight, we’re still getting details, but the State Department and others are following up on it.”

  Bolton continued, “We’re very concerned, we’re going to cooperate with New Zealand author

ities to the extent we can if there’s any role we can play, but we’re obviously following the events there very closely.”

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The top procuratorate has restructured its internal sys

The top procuratorate has restructured its internal sys

tems and formed 10 departments to handle criminal, civil, administrative and public interest cases, he said in an interview.

“Justice and fairness should not only be achieved, but also be felt and seen by the public in a more sensible way,” Zhang said.

To achieve that goal, prosecutors have been closely watching crimes that most affect people’s daily lives. For example, 43,929 p

eople were charged in 2018 with telecom fraud — a crime to which everyone is vulnerable — up by 29.3 percent year-on-year.

Another 42,195 people were prosecuted for damaging the environment and resources, an i

ncrease of 21 percent annually, and 12,360 people were charged with producing or selling fake or sub

standard drugs or toxic food products, an increase of 5.5 percent, according to the SPP.

Zhang said prosecuting authorities also actively participated in a joint crackdown against or

ganized crime and local mafia groups to bring the people a greater sense of security.

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He said that to achieve the 2020 goals, the military mus

He said that to achieve the 2020 goals, the military mus

strengthen planning and coordination, concentrate resources on its priorities and enhance its accountability system.

More attention should be given to projects that concern the military’s combat readiness

fforts, and those key to boosting the armed forces’ operational capability or to facilitating reforms in natio

nal defense. The military should gear up such projects and make sure they are of high quality, according to Xi.

Policies pertaining to military buildup and troop management should be refined to lay a solid foundation for the realization of the goals.

Xi ordered the military to intensify its internal supervision and inspection to prevent and

uproot the practice of formalities for formalities’ sake and bureaucratism. Funds should be used whe

re they are truly needed, and the virtues of hard work and thrift should be promoted. Management and scrutiny over

the use of funds should be strengthened to eliminate misconduct and corruption, he said.

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