South Asia and Beyond

A Guide To Contemporary China

 A Guide To Contemporary China

Dealing With The Economic Fallout Of The Pandemic

China has deferred payment of social insurance premiums for the sectors severely hit by the COVID-19 to alleviate the financial burden of these industries. Premium payments of old-age insurance, unemployment insurance, and workplace injury for the hard hit catering, retail, tourism, civil aviation, highway, waterway and railway transportation industries, have been temporarily stayed. It is expected to free up more than $11.89 billion of payments that small firms and individual businessmen would otherwise have had to pay. Support for the unemployed to ensure their basic living needs is also being stepped up.

Source: People’s Daily

Robots To The Rescue

In the midst of a raging pandemic, can robots be the answer? Shanghai-based Fudan University seems to think so. The university is using robots to safeguard the health of staff and students amid the COVID-19 wave in the city. From gadgets that include fixed equipment for disinfecting large boxes to mobile intelligent robots that can perform precise disinfection tasks, and small, luminous disinfection lights for lifts, will serve as tools to stop the spread of the virus from objects to people. Some of the devices are also being used in public spaces outside the university. For example, a robot has been used to disinfect chairs at railway stations in several cities and subway carriages. The university says its Academy for Engineering and Technology and School of Information Science and Technology took just seven days to produce the equipment after the call for such tools was issued by authorities in mid-April.

Source: China Daily

Elon Musk’s Chinese Doppelganger

Days after Elon Musk shocked the world by acquiring Twitter, the billionaire generated online buzz again in China — this time, by expressing his desire to meet his Chinese doppelganger Yilong Musk. “I’d like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days,” tweeted Musk. Musk’s Chinese lookalike surfaced on TikTok in December 2021, which prompted the real Musk to make a ‘dad joke‘ about the possibility of himself being partly Chinese. The doppelganger struck again recently by posting a video of himself with a budget cut-out of Larry T Bird, aka the Twitter bird — an unmistakable response to the business magnate’s acquisition of Twitter. Many Chinese netizens have expressed their awe over the resemblance though opinion is divided. “I really think Yilong Musk is Elon Musk’s lost brother,” reads one post. Others have remained sceptical. “It is so obvious he is a deepfake. There is no doubt about it,” reads the most upvoted comment under a debate on the veracity of Yilong Musk’s looks. Whatever the opinions, the news of Tesla Motors’ CEO wanting to meet his ‘twin’ has made waves on Weibo, with its related hashtag accumulating more than 100 million views.

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Source: Radii China

Need More Male Nurses

China’s government is trying to encourage more male nurses to enter the profession. Statistics show that when the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan in early 2020, nearly 70% of the 26,500 medical aid workers sent to the city were nurses. Two years later, in Shanghai, nurses comprise the bulk of teams responsible for testing the city’s 25 million residents. However, there is mass nursing shortage in the country with just 3.35 nurses per 1,000 people, less than half in the United Kingdom, and a quarter that of Germany. The solution then seems obvious, encourage male nurses. State media here has recently praised the work of male nurses stating that their job requires “great physical strength and energy” which is essential in “operating rooms, orthopaedics, and psychiatric hospitals.” They also point out that male nurses also can work night shifts with less societal pressure than their female counterparts. But nursing is not considered a man’s profession with males accounting for only 2.3% of over four million registered as nurses . Reversing the trend is essential not only now but to execute China’s “Healthy China 2030” roadmap. The roadmap calls for 4.7 registered nurses per 1,000 permanent residents within 10 years, which means China will need to hire an additional 2 to 3 million nurses by the end of the decade. To achieve this, a large number of them will have to be men.

Source: Xinhua & Agencies

China’s ‘Leftover’ Men And Women

Despite its economic advances and exposure to the world, young Chinese continue to have traditional values at heart especially when it comes to marriage. Chinese sociologists who conducted a survey of 6,000 dating profiles of men aged between 25-39 and living in Shanghai found that these men on online dating services prefer young women in both relative — younger than themselves — and absolute — below a certain age — terms. Why? “I prefer younger women,” said 34-year-old Jiancheng (name changed). “They’re cuter. The older a woman is, the more unpleasant experiences she may have had.” The result is the discrimination against older or what the Chinese term as “leftover” women who surprisingly are women in their late 20s. But it is not just women who face discrimination, the researchers found that single men past a certain age face stigmas in the dating market, too. “A man born before 1987 who meets my (financial) requirements but is still single must have some problems,” said the 28-year-old woman.

Source: Sixth Tone