South Asia and Beyond

A Guide To Contemporary China

 A Guide To Contemporary China

Patients Or Criminals?

Hundreds of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have become unexpected targets in China’s war on drugs. The country’s health system has made it extremely challenging for adults with the disorder to access vital medication. Many have turned to the black market as a result but that’s now putting them in the police’s crosshairs. Stimulants like Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall are strictly controlled in China, and anyone found buying them illegally can be prosecuted for drug trafficking. Lu Zheng, director of clinical psychiatry at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, estimates only 5 per cent to 10 per cent of Chinese adults with the disorder receive a diagnosis, hence the rush to get drugs on the black market.

Source: Sixth Tone

Taxing Livestreamers

The Chinese government is increasing efforts to regulate the lucrative livestreaming industry, which has an estimated market value of $66 billion. The move comes after two of the country’s most popular livestreamers—Zhu Chenhui (known as Xueli Cherie) and Lin Shanshan—have been fined 65.5 million RMB ($10.3 million) and 27.7 million RMB ($4.3 million), respectively, for tax evasion. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, livestreaming influencers wield great power over Chinese internet users and influence everything they buy from make-up to groceries.

Source: Radii China

Love In The City

Chinese filmmaker Zhao Qi wants to show that there is warmth and love between people, even in busy big cities, and he is doing that through Vicinity, his documentary-style reality show. The show has a novel concept. In each of the seven episodes, two celebrities will spend days working with locals, whether it’s a group of errand runners who shuttle around the city helping people with day-to-day tasks or a herding family of the Kazak ethnic group. Zhao believes that by being taken out of their comfort zones, the self-exploration of the celebrities will enrich not only their own understanding of life but also that of the audience.

Source: China Daily

Self-Driving Taxis

Beijing has launched China’s first pilot programme for commercial autonomous driving travel services with many viewing the development as the beginning of broader market development. The first group of enterprises that are permitted to undertake pilot commercial activity will be restricted to a 60 square kilometre area of the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone in southern Beijing. Covering 350 kilometres of roads, the service is available through the week from 7 am to 10 pm. By using the Apollo Go app, users can locate one of 67 autonomous vehicles in operation and hail a ride.

Source: Global Times

Boosting ‘Grey Hair Economy’

China’s government recently released a guideline for measures to boost the sense of “fulfilment, happiness and safety” among the elderly. The guideline outlines a range of measures to meet the needs of the elderly. This will be done by improving care services at home, expanding coverage of old-age insurance and moving faster to improve the unified management of enterprise workers’ basic old-age pensions at the national level. The guideline also sets out measures to provide flexible employment, training and volunteering opportunities for the elderly. On the private enterprise side, the government has mandated companies to grow the “grey hair economy” and support the development of industries tailored to fit the food, medical and insurance needs of the elderly.

Source: People’s Daily

10,000-Year-Old Rice

Rice is an intrinsic part of China’s history or so this museum believes. An exhibition showcasing carbonised rice from about 10,000 years ago has opened at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Recovered from the Shangshan site in the eastern Zhejiang Province, the rice remains are part of the landmark relics of the Shangshan culture that dates between 11,400 years and 8,600 years. It is known as the birthplace of global rice-farming culture.

Source: Xinhua

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