East China remained the most developed region in 2017, wit

Designated traffic lanes will be set aside on Beijing-Chongli Expressway for smooth traffic flow during the upcoming 2019 Bei

jing International Horticultural Exhibition, the capital’s transport authorities said on Monday, Beijing News reported.

The expo, which will kick off on April 29 and run until Oct 7, is expected to attract 16 million visitors from home and abroad.

The special lanes will be put in use on weekends and national holidays

(Labor Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day) during the ho

rticultural exhibition, according to Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation.

While the special lanes are in use, only public transport vehicles, large pass

enger cars, certified Beijing Expo vehicles, road maintenance vehicles and emergency vehi

cles, such as police cars, firefighting vehicles and ambulances, will be allowed to run on these lanes.

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The company also apologized to the public, adding tha

 it had withdrawn the improperly-posted images and woul

d strengthen review of its practices in line with the law.

On the evening on April 11, the Tianjin Cyberspace Administra

tion, where the company is based, summoned senior Visual China Group executives,.

It ordered the company to review all historical stock and remov

e improper listings, as well as sending a team to inspect the “rectification” work.

On April 12, the National Copyright Administration said on its website it would launch a special crackdown to furt

her regulate copyright image this year to safeguard owners’ legitimate rights and interests.

The copyright watchdog also said: “Companies must improve copyright management and handle image copyright in a

ccordance with laws, not abuse them.” The same day, the company closed its websites to carry out “self-examination”.

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Li Shunde, a senior intellectual property researcher at

at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, applau

ded the campaign as a timely and necessary step to regulate those providing stock images.

“We should abide by laws and litigation to protect copyright in

stead of abusing them to profit improperly,” he said.

On April 15, the Shanghai Observer reported that the company, which was founde

d in June 2000 and partners with the photo agency Getty Images in the United States, had faced increased co

pyright-related disputes since it set up a special rights protection division in 2016.

The company was involved 2,279 cases in 2017 and 1,908 last year, the report said, adding that most court rulings had been in its favor.

A search by China Daily for the company’s name on China J

udgments Online, a website operated by the Supreme People’s Court that discloses ve

rdicts, resulted in more than 1,600 lawsuits being found, most of them related to copyright.

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Although the scandal involving Visual China Group e

exposed disordered copyright management by stock-image providers, legal

professionals said the increased efforts to protect copyright should be applauded.

For example, the National Copyright Administration has launched crackdowns against pira

ted works every year, aiming to increase copyright protection through administrative measures.

Last year, it took online short videos, audio material, literary articles and music as major target

s. It eliminated 1.85 million web links with content that infringed copyright, and confiscated 1.23 million pirated works.

Wang, the Beijing lawyer, said he appreciated governme

nt attempts to protect copyright, but said such efforts are still insufficient.

He called for the country to improve copyright-related laws as soon as poss

ible, and especially to issue a specific rule for footage, pictures or other photographic works.

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The strong performance showcases Huawei’s resilien

 despite the security concerns it faces in some markets. Huawei has repeatedly said the

security llegations it faces are groundless and not supported by any factual evidence.

The city competition for talents in China heats up, as an incre

asing number of cities offer favorable housing policies to attract residents.

Ningbo in East China’s Zhejiang province is one of the most recent entrants to join in. L

ast Sunday, the city published its latest policy interpretation for talent attraction.

Fresh undergraduates and postgraduates moving to Ningbo for employment are given a one-off living sub

sidy of 10,000 yuan ($1,490) and 30,000 yuan, respectively. The city also offers a 200,000 to 600,000 yuan home purchase sub

sidy and a maximum of 8 million yuan in household settlement subsidies for eligible high-end talents.

Hohhot, the northern city in China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, offers qualified graduate

s 50 percent off for home purchases and two years of free accommodation in certain districts of the city to lure skilled personnel.

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Dinghao Electronics Plaza in Zhongguancun was pu

rchased by a joint venture between Partners Group, The Family Office, SDP Investments, and The Carlyle Group for around 9 billion yuan.

“Given the strong presence of leading and fast-growing IT firms in the area, Zhongguancun remai

ns a bright spot for investment opportunities in Beijing,” said Michael Wang, head of capital markets for JLL in Beijing.

“Due to the lack of commercial leasing space in the IT-driven submarket, rapidly expanding

companies are increasingly choosing to purchase entire buildings to meet large office requirements.”

An increasing number of countries have tapped into the convenience of e-visas to attra

ct more tourists from China, the world’s largest source of outbound tourists.

According to tourism insiders, the Japanese embassy in Beijing

said on Thursday during a meeting with local travel agencies that it will launch e-visa services

on May 1, allowing applicants to submit their materials online instead of sending paper documents.

“The embassy said that e-visa services may be available in consulates in other Chinese cities n

ext year,” said Han Zhisu, co-founder and CEO of 666visa.cn, a domestic platform where visa applicants can submit materials.

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rists from China view cherry blossoms from a boat in Kyo

hen Zeyong, CEO of online visa service tigerwing.cn, said the Jap

anese government issued 7 million visa stickers for Chinese nationals last year.

“If visas become a bar code or QR code emailed to applicants, their w

orkload will be greatly lessened,” he said during the Shanghai World Travel Fair on Thursday.

Japan Tourism Agency data showed that 8.38

million tourists from the Chinese mainland trave

led to Japan in 2018, representing year-on-year growth of 13.9 per

cent and contributing nearly 27 percent of international tourists.

China has been the world‘s largest source of tourists since 2014, reachin

g nearly 150 million last year, according the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

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The market potential remains huge,” said Dai Bin, direct

or of the China Tourism Academy. “Compared to the United States, w

here 48 percent of its citizens hold a passport, the figure in China is only around 10 perce

nt. It’s estimated that the number of Chinese outbound travelers will reach 230 million in 2030.”

A report published by major Chinese travel agency Ctrip showed th

at 160 million Chinese people have travel plans during the upcoming four-day May Day hol

iday. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Indonesia are the top destinations outside the mainland.

Malaysia, which receives around 10 million Chinese tourists annually, began to i

ssue e-visas for Chinese in 2017. “The number of visa stickers on passports of Chinese na

tionals dropped by 70 percent in the first year after the service was introduced, showing its high popularity,” said Han.

Since last year, countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, Thailand and Sri Lanka have starte

d to accept visa application documents online and issue e-visas, either a bar code or QR code.

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hina aims marked cut in water usage by 2020

China aims to substantially reduce water consumption by 2020 to tackle a supply bottl

eneck that could undermine the environment and sustainable economic growth.

By next year, waster usage per 10,000 yuan (about $1,492) of gross domestic product w

ill be 23 percent less than in 2015, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The country also aims to cap water consumption below

670 billion cubic meters by 2022 and 700 billion cubic meters by 2035.

China still faces serious scarcity of water resources. Its pe

r capita water resource share lags far behind the world average.

An action plan jointly released by the NDRC and the Ministry of

Water Resources has put forward major initiatives to meet the goals, promoting man

agement mechanism of water saving contracts and water-saving service industries.

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Torrential rains trouble traffic in Guangdongu Baiyun Airport

orrential rains have hit many cities in South China’s Guangdong on Friday, bringing traffic chaos.

Guangzhou Baiyun Airport had seen 104 flights canceled, 66 flights delayed for more than an hour,

and 19 flights diverted to other airports by 11:30 am. Huadu district, where Guangzhou’s airport i

s located, announced a red signal, the top-level warning for heavy rain, at 11:04 am.

The airports in Shenzhen and Zhuhai have also been affected by the downpour.

Many trains between Guangzhou and Shenzhen w

ere delayed, with stranded passengers waiting at the train stations.

Intercity coach stations in Guangzhou were asked by the ci

ty’s transport authorities to stop selling tickets and dispatc

hing vehicles from 11:40 am until the first-level heavy rain emergency response has ended.

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