Archive February 2019

Austrian companies embrace China’s winter sports sector

More Austrian companies are getting involved in China’s rapidly growing winter spo

rts market, said Martin Glatz, commercial counselor at the Austrian embassy in Beijing.

“Austria has been trying to be very present in China in the lead up to the Winter Olympics in 2022,” said Glatz at the

Austrian Winter Sports Days 2019 Conference in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province on Friday.

“Ten years ago when we organized for the first time the Advantage Aus

tria Ski Race, not many people took alpine skiing very seriously. But now skiing has entered the ma

instream in China,” said Glatz, who is also the head of Advantage Austria Beijing.

China rolled out a national program to boost the development of wi

nter sports after Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

“That’s an opportunity not only for our Chinese friends to get some fresh air outside the b

ig cities, but also is an opportunity for Austrian companies to get involved with Chinese partners to de

velop the market and to offer the best of equipment both in terms of consumer goods and in devices,” Glatz added.

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An S10 owner must approve sharing battery life with som

  eone else — so you can’t sneakily leave your phone on top of a stranger’s device at a bar — and it’ll autom

atically stop when the host smartphone drops below a 30% charge. An S10 will even charge iPh

ones and other non-Samsung models — a generous feature that’s hard to imagine Apple ever rolling out.

  The company also announced wireless Samsung Galaxy buds ($128) that can be charged when placed on top of a Galaxy 10S displ

ay. (Consumers who pre-order any of the smartphones will get the buds for free).Considering what most sm

artphone users want is a better camera and longer-battery life, the updated Galaxy S line appears to check th

ose boxes and more. Although it’s unclear how the S10 5G will sell, experts argue it’s a necessary step toward the future.

  More wearables

  Samsung unveiled two new smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch

Active ($199) and Galaxy Fit ($99). The water resistant Active smartwatch can monitor blood press

ure, features a breathing app to help with stress and touts sleep tracking. The Fit is a stripped down version of the A

ctive in the form of a traditional fitness tracker. It can monitor heart rate, steps and can go an entire week on one charge.

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hooks, lines or sinkers: Cambodians go traditional in fishing

Wielding handmade bamboo baskets and nylon nets, hundreds of people waded thigh-deep into a muddy lake in eastern Cambo

dia on February 9 for an annual fish-catching ceremony where only traditional tools are allowed to be used.

The ceremony is held each year in eastern Tboung Khmum Province after the crop

harvest to commemorate the country’s proud fishing history, said local chief Uch Yoeun.

The event – held in Choam Korvean commune, about 250 kilometers

from the capital Phnom Penh – attracts hundreds of farmers from surrounding villages.

They carry weaved baskets of different shapes, eager to try their hand at tr

apping the freshwater catfish and snakehead fish in the muddy Boeung Kroam lake.

“It has been a tradition since our ancestors’ time,” Uch Yoeun told AFP, adding that only one rule applies in this mass fishing event.

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French court okays screening of film on priest’s abuse

French court on Monday approved cinema screenings of an award-winning director’s new film about the real-life story of a

priest accused of sexually abusing boy scouts, even though the case has yet to come to trial.

The 73-year-old priest, Bernard Preynat, had argued that a public release of the film, By the Grace of God, could prejudice his case.

His lawyer, Emmanuel Mercinier, said the court issued its decision on Monday morning.

The film by screenwriter and director Francois Ozon won the jury prize at the Berlin film festival this weekend.

It will hit the screens in France on Wednesday, a day before Pope Francis holds a summit

meeting of bishops at the Vatican to discuss the sex abuse of minors by clergy members.

The film, which Ozon worked on in secret for years, tells the story of the scandal which broke in 2015 wh

en a former scout, Francois Devaux, went public with allegations that Preynat had abused him as a child 25 years earlier.

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Preynat was suspended by the church that year

ally emerged that his cardinal, Philippe Barbarin, had confronted him about “the

rumors” in 2010 but the priest claimed he had changed.

Four years later Barbarin, who is now archbishop of Lyon in southeastern

France, informed the Vatican about the case but did not tell the police.

The 68-year-old cardinal and five former aides have recently been tried for their part in the cover-up and a verdict is expected on March 7.

The film’s title comes from Barbarin’s exclamation of relief that the abuse was thought to be covered by the statute of limitations.

It tells the story of the scandal while sticking closely to its emotional impact on three vict

ims-turned-activists, who begin to confront their trauma publicly with the support of their families.

Ozon said the reaction from several French bishops and senior clergy who have seen the fil

m had been positive, adding that he hoped it would provoke debate beyond France.

Ozon changed the names of the victims in the film, but not those of Preynat or Barbarin.

He argued that everything in the film had already been reported in the press, and that Preynat had confessed to the abuse of around 80 boys.

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Financial Times said that the UK National Cyber Security Centre

had determined that there are ways to limit the risks of using Huawei in future 5G ultra-fast networks, citing officials familiar with the matter.

Such a decision dealt “a serious blow to US efforts to persuade allies to ban the Chinese supplier from high-speed telecommunications systems,” the report said.

One person familiar with the debate said the British conclusion would “carry great weight” with European leaders, since the UK

has access to sensitive US intelligence through its membership in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network, the FT reported.

Zhang said that the UK had been concerned about the risks of usi

ng Huawei because of warnings from the US. But Huawei products are inexpensive a

nd qualified that they could not refuse, which was why they proposed schemes to test Huawei equipment.

Zhang hailed the system and the UK’s conclusion as “significantly pragmatic, and will set an example for other European countries.”

Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of Interna

tional Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that it was not in European countries’ interests to blin

dly follow the US, which was confusing security with the market to crack down on Huawei.

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bundant mallow harvest a boon for impoverished Iraqis

With rain spreading across Iraq, mallow growing in the northern and eastern parts of the country gives impoverished people food to eat or sell for extra money.

Mallow, or Malva pusilla, is a cosmopolitan weed found principally in temperate regions of

the world. It is a fast-growing annual or perennial herb with the capacity to grow in dense pa

tches in gardens, yards, roadsides, waste ground, orchards, pastures and agricultural fields.

It grows without any assistance and easily harvested and so is often called the “food of the poor.”

It is also delicious and good for one’s health.

Thanks to the heavy rain in Iraq, this year mallow spread and were found for collectors to harvest in winter, without any help from farmers.

Some of poor families are able to collect mallow plants and sell them

due to its medical value, as it is used to treat some sicknesses and to strengthen immunity.

Haydar Sattar, a member of the local council in Eastern Baquba, told the Xinhu

a News Agency that “mallows spread tremendously this winter. It reminds me of Iraq from a long time ago.”

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Forcing one to drink can’t be a test of friendshipA friend of

Lunar New Year’s day in hospital this year, because he was urged to drink Kweichow Moutai, the famous Chinese liquor. After recklessly guzzli

ng almost half liter, he went into a coma due to alcohol poisoning and ended up in the emergency room. My poor friend missed the entire Spring Festival.

For many foreigners, such an incident may be beyond imagination, and include a shock factor. Why do some Chinese pe

ople always force others to drink? How is drinking linked to sincerity and good faith? Well, welcome to the Chinese drinking culture.

As an old saying goes, “In wine there is truth.” Some Chinese people tend to believ

e that under the influence, people may reveal their true beliefs and feelings which would not be expressed when they are sober.

As a result, when people are urging their friends to drink, they may say: “If you don’t drink up, you are not m

y true friend!” It sounds they could only be honest and open to each other when they are dead-drunk.

In another type of situation, people who hold more power force their subordinates to drink. They would say: “Dr

ink this up, and then I will promise you your promotion.” It is more like forced persuasion or even a threat. In

China, urging people to drink is like a “game of thrones.” The domineering would force others to drink up so as to show off their

power, while the pliable tend to yield. They use empty bottles to tell the strong: “See, I keep drinking and don’t care sacrificing my health for you.”

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Moreover, the number of Chinese who go abroad is closely

residents’ disposable income levels and income growth. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that in 2017, the per ca

pita disposable income of the high-income group reached 64,934 yuan ($9,604.71). For most of the residents in the high-inco

me group, overseas tours remain as a kind of luxury spending, thus the per capita disposable income for residents that traveled abroad

should be raised to at least 120,000 yuan a year. Yet this group probably numbers less than 100 mil

lion residents. In other words, the number of people who can afford the average cost of going abroad is theoretically less than 100 million.

Although many research institutions are optimistic about the development pr

ospects for Chinese people’s overseas tourism, the growth rate of private outbound trip

s was only 5.7 percent in 2017, compared to 22 percent in 2010 and 10.6 percent in 2015, showing a do

wnward trend. This may actually reflect the decline in the growth rate of disposable income.

乐动优惠乐动体育客服乐动英超I don’t agree with the so-called “consumption downgrade,” as the Engel coefficient – the propor

tion of money spent on food in household expenses – fell to 28.4 in 2018. Yet, the slowdown in consumption growth, increased leverage r

atio in home purchases and other factors have all impeded the pace of the consumption upgrade.

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According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Repor

eased by the World Economic Forum, global tourism revenue contributed over 10 percent of the global GDP, but China’s domest

ic tourism revenue was around 5.5 percent of its GDP, which has been the world’s second highest since 2012. C

ompared with its economic volume, the Chinese tourism industry is not very well developed, which may have something to d

o with the overall low disposable income levels of Chinese residents. For example, in 2017, China’s gross national inc

ome (GNI) per capita ranked 69th in the world, while the US GNI per capita was 6.5 times that of China during the same time period.

In recent years, various local governments have been making great efforts to promote the increase of local tourism revenue

s by building traditional towns, exploring and developing local history, local culture and other tourist resources. It is certainly justified for au

thorities to develop tourism, to expand domestic demand, to increase “green” GDP and promote an economic transformation. However, it should be no

ted that the development of a tourism industry is closely related to the growth of residents’ disposable income. As the income level of residents rises, the to

urism industry will naturally see a rapid development. In the context of the declining growth of residents’ disposable i

ncome, it is completely unrealistic to achieve a rapid growth in tourism revenues. Furthermore, as various local gov

ernments are competing to develop tourism resources, this may lead to an “oversupply” within the tourism ind

ustry, and this will result in a low efficiency of fiscal expenditure and a waste of precious resources.

In short, it is of fundamental importance to find ways to improve the disposable income level of re

sidents as well as social security and welfare, which is the prerequisite for sustainable prosperity.

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