South Asia and Beyond

A Guide To Contemporary China

 A Guide To Contemporary China

China Aiding Foreign Firms Through Pandemic, Says Govt

The authorities claim that despite the pandemic, foreign investment and industry is doing fine. Policies involving logistics and supplies to aid pandemic-affected businesses, including foreign-funded enterprises, have helped these firms. The People’s Daily reported that a German-funded company in Jiangxi Province, maintained steady expansion, with its exports up 7 percent from 2021. The report quoted company officials as attributing growth to effective epidemic control measures and government support. The Nanchang Sanyou Eco Technology Co., Ltd., which makes bamboo products has also benefited from the local government’s policy support. After a resurgence of COVID-19 in Nanchang in March, the local government dispatched special personnel to the company to help maintain smooth production and ensure effective prevention and containment.

Source: People’s Daily

Pandemic Forces People To Holiday In The Same City

The first wave of COVID-19 sealed China’s borders, keeping domestic tourists at home. Now, China’s biggest-ever outbreak is estimated to have cut domestic travel by more than half, and people are taking holidays even closer to home. The Ministry of Transport said that passenger traffic on Labour Day would be “significantly lower” than last year. It estimated that the total number of trips made during the holiday would reach 100 million, down about 62% compared with the same period last year. The result has been a rise in mini-local travel or travel within the same city. For instance, ahead of the Labor Day holiday, online travel platforms forecast that local trips would be the dominant form of travel, especially trips to the rural outskirts of the same city. Online travel operator Trip.com wrote in a WeChat post that “the popularity of rural travel is growing.” It said that rural hotel bookings rose by 560% compared with the three-day Qingming Festival in early April, and 88% of the orders were for stays of one to two days. Of all the ways to visit the countryside, camping, or “glamping,” topped the list during the holiday. According to travel booking site Qunar, ticket sales for parks that allow camping increased by over 50% compared with the same period last year. Figures from vacation rental company Tujia also showed that bookings for homestays that provide camping-related services such as RVs, tents, and campsites jumped four times over the holiday compared with last year.

Source: Sixth Tone

Netizens Band Together To Help Couple Hold Online Wedding

Qi Liangliang and Ji Pengcheng, a young couple in Shanghai, had a memorable wedding with family and friends blessing the happy couple amid the COVID-19 outbreak. On the night of April 29, Qi sent a message in the volunteers’ WeChat group of the community, with a question, “Does anyone have anything for decorations? We’re going to celebrate our wedding online on May 2, and we’d like to decorate our rented house a little.” A few minutes later, she got a congratulation message from a volunteer. Then more volunteers started to forward her request to other WeChat groups of the community, and neighbours began “digging through” their homes to find any items that could be used as wedding decorations. A young girl sent a picture showing the “double happiness” Chinese character (a traditional Chinese symbol for wedding decoration) written by her in different ways, another girl showed a self-made clay bouquet that took five hours to make. There were also heart-shaped candles, champagne, a pair of bear dolls and the neighbours sharing their own wedding dresses. All the decorations were disinfected by volunteers and sent to the couple’s home. The result was that on May 2, the couple had their online wedding ceremony witnessed by their families in Yancheng and over 3,000 residents of the community in Shanghai. After the ceremony, the couple was allowed to take a short walk in the community and neighbours sent down their wishes and blessings from the windows and balconies.

Source: China Daily

TV Show Encourages Youngsters To Heal After Losing Love

Moving on seems to be a key feature of Chinese television shows these days. A new variety show has captured the attention of audiences by focusing on people who have recently suffered a breakup. The first episode of the series Move On Forward, was recently released on Chinese streaming site Tencent Video. The show features six young people who have lost love. Five film stars provide company and counsel as each of their stories are followed. Directors say that show is to guide young people on how to deal with their “emotional wounds” and find the right way to move on with warm feelings and encouragement from strangers especially from the film world.

Source: Global Times

Chinese Fans Obsessed With Disney Characters

China’s fan culture seems to be undergoing a shift. While fans bases remain for pop idols and film stars the new trend is an obsession with Disney characters, especially Duffy the Disney Bear and his cuddly companions. Analysts believe that the attraction towards these characters is because they are seen as “wholesome idols” who are certainly an improvement upon many of the country’s poorly behaved celebs. As a result, Disney’s Duffy and Friends franchise has performed better in China than in many other parts of the world, even without any movies or TV features to support the IP. The characters regularly draw massive crowds to Shanghai Disneyland, especially after the global debut of their latest character LinaBell in September 2021. From queueing as early as 3 AM to purchase Duffy and Friends plush toys to christening LinaBell as the country’s ‘national daughter,’ hardcore fans in China have adopted a near-fanatical obsession with the admittedly adorable characters. Some fans have also developed connections with the characters, by frequently visiting the theme park and sharing their life stories to the costumed performers.

Source: Radii China

China Preserves Its Revolutionary Past

The Central Propaganda Department and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage issued a notice revolutionary cultural relics. Such relics, the notice says, carry the glorious history of the party and the people’s heroic struggle, record the great course and touching deeds of the Chinese revolution, and are the precious wealth of the party and the country. Apart from helping to preserve the past, Ji Naijun, an expert in the preservation of revolutionary cultural relics, believes the move will also help local incomes especially in Yan’an in Shaanxi province. “Because it hosted the “heart” of the CPC for more than a decade, the remote city in the mountains of northern of Shaanxi witnessed the forging of the purpose and guiding principles of the Communist Party, such as serving the people wholeheartedly, seeking truth from facts and self-reliance,” Ji said.

Source: Xinhua & Agencies

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