iners developing a taste for table-for-one tren

A growing number of people are eating alone, whether at home or in restaurants, and overturning traditional etiquette. Zhang Yangfei reports.

In China, food has always played a major role in promoting social cohesion. Communal eating is not on

ly familybased and deeply rooted in the nation’s cultural heritage, but is also regarded as an indicator of society’s health and stability.

Given that background, it is little wonder that eating alone, publicly or privately, has long been considered taboo.

However, in recent years things have started to change as a r

esult of demographic shifts and the growing influence of modern lifestyles.

According to a report released last year by the global market researcher

Kantar, 46 percent of people interviewed said they had eaten alone in the previous 24 ho

urs, a rise of 9 percent from 2017, and about 16 percent expressed a preference for eating solo.

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The prime minister is determined to secure our departu

e from the European Union,” Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee that

can make or break party leaders, said following a meeting between his co

mmittee’s executive and May in parliament which he described as a “very frank exchange”.

The government has said lawmakers will be able to debate and vote on the Withdrawal Agre

ement Bill, the legislation required to enact May’s Brexit deal, in the week starting June 3.

“We have agreed that she and I will meet following the second reading of the Bill to agree a timetable for the el

ection of a new leader,” Brady said, adding that the conversation would take place whether the bill was passed or not.

May, who became prime minister in the chaos that followed the 2016 referendum when Brit

ons voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU, survived a no-confidence vote of her Conservative lawmakers in December.

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also largely now employ less-skilled working-class peop

ople. However, neither the US nor China can expect to keep, much less get back, low-wage, low-skilled manufacturing jobs.

Many people have the impression that Chinese goods are dominant in US markets. That is true only in a few highly com

petitive, low-profit sectors. According to US Commerce Department data, China has more than 50 percent of the

US market in such items as umbrellas, toys, prepared feathers, footwear, straw products, and bedding.

Chinese exporters have from 20 to 50 percent of the US market in ot

her low-value-added markets, plus electrical machinery and equipment, mechanical app

liances, and iron and steel. In most other categories, China has less than 20 percent of the US market.

China also assembles and then exports a lot of phones, computers and other gad

gets to the US. But, most of the profits and wages go to Japanese or South Korean componen

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Roughly 20 years ago, when China’s admission to the

World Trade Organization was being negotiated, China’s economy was ti

ny as a portion of world GDP. It was clearly a poor, less-developed country that, except in a f

ew areas, was not able to compete with Western companies in high-value-added products.

As Alexander Hamilton, the first US Treasury secretary, argued, a developing country may need to p

rotect its “infant industries” from already established foreign competitors. This was the policy foll

owed by the US in the 19th century and by Western Europe, Japan, and South Korea in the years after World War II.

China is no longer a poor country. It can no longer compete by using low-wa

ge labor. Fortunately, it has now developed world-class companies that are incre

asingly developing new products and services that can compete successfully in many foreign markets.

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The rise in both pet ownership and travel is increasin

The rise in both pet ownership and travel is inIn 2018, the pet market was w

orth 172.2 billion yuan, more than triple that of 2013,” said Neil Wang, president of con

sultancy Frost & Sullivan. “Of which, the dog market was 98.5 billion yuan and for cats it was 60.2 billion yuan.”

According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, services counted for about 15 percent of the pet dog and cat market, totaling 24.1 billion yuan.

As pet hotel services are in hot demand, the industry has been upgrading to assure pet owners

of the safety of their four-legged friends. And some business owners such as Li have taken things a step

further, making sure that it’s not only the owners who are happy, but the pets, as well.

Li said many pet owners worry that there is no comfortable place for their best friends to stay.

“Traditional pet centers can harm pets by keeping them in spaces that are too small, especially big breeds, which can’t even tu

rn around,” she said. “Pets can also see guests going in and out of the facility, and that can frighten them, as well.creasin

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Shanghai alone generated 509.2 billion yuan in touris

m revenue last year, up 13.5 percent year-on-year. Out of it, 447.7 billion yuan was contributed by 340 million passenger trips by domestic travelers.

Shanghai’s abundant cultural and tourism resources, its high lev

el of internationalization, convenient public transportation, fine public service, rapi

dly improving level of intelligent urban infrastructure are attracting travelers from home and abroad, said He.

Last year, 135 products sought official recognition to be sold as city souvenirs. Only 43 made

it to the shortlist, out of which 24 were eventually selected as they featured distinctive Shanghai elements.

Many of the products are made by time-honored brands including White Rabbit creamy candy, Park Hotel’s butterfly cooki

es, local patisserie Xing Hua Lou’s sweetened bean paste moon cake, Bee & Flower sandalwood soap, Liushen Fl

orida Water, as well as Shanghai Museum’s creative jewelry box, silk scarves, teacup sets and table flags.

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More regulation of rural banks’ shareholder equity

hina is stepping up the investigation and regulation of shareholder equity

for small and medium-sized rural banks to improve their corporate governance, said a

n official of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission on Monday.

From 2018 to 2020, the CBIRC’s offices at the local level will investigate all rural commercial banks, rural cooperatives and rural credit unions.

As of the end of last year, the regulators had investigated 868 rural coopera

tives, which involve 28,000 stakeholders with shareholding of more than 1 percent, and 65,00

0 shareholder affiliates. The rest of the rural banking institutions will be investigated in 2019 and 2020.

The regulators found that small and medium-sized rural ba

nks had a few prominent shareholder equity problems, according to the CBIRC.

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This video was allegedly filmed at around 10 pm, when

 Niuniu had already worked for most of the day.

Another clip shows Niuniu shocked by her mother’s sudden strike to her hand.

Many netizens have said that the viral videos show the harmful conditions that child mode

ls experience, and have asked for more care for the girl’s psychical and mental health.

More than 110 children’s clothing shops on Taobao, a Chinese online shopping platform, have unit

ed together to call for better regulation of the child modeling industry and greater protection for child models.

Footage of a mother kicking her three-year-old daughter has gone viral on Chinese social media, sparking outcry online.

The video was shot on Monday in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province, and began going viral Wednesday.

The daughter has been revealed to be Niuniu, a well-known child

model, who was kicked because she was allegedly “too tired to perform”.

The video has been viewed tens of millions of times, with many leaving comme

nts criticizing Niuniu’s mother for “abusing” her daughter and using her “as a tool to make money”.

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May also hoped severing the link between the two parts

of the deal would blunt opposition. That gamble failed to pay off, as opposition lawma

kers said if amounted to voting for a “blind Brexit” with no idea what would happen next.

Two years ago, Britain triggered a two-year countdown to Brexit, with the depart

ure date set for March 29, 2019. But with British politicians deadlocked over

whether to approve the divorce deal, the

EU last week granted an extension to May 22 had the divorce deal been

approved by Friday — or to April 12 if rejected.

With May’s deal as good as dead, lawmakers who favor a “soft Brexit” plan

to hold votes Monday in an attempt to find a plan with majority support.

Opposition Labour Party leader said Parliament had a “responsibility to find

a majority for a better deal for all the people of this country.”

And he urged May to step down — “not at an indeterminate date in the future, but now.”

If lawmakers back a new proposal, Britain would need to seek a new delay

to Brexit from the bloc to implement it.

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After a two-hour hearing on Wednesday, the top court up

held the original ruling, and said the two companies should stop their infringement immediately.

The Shanghai IP Court will further calculate the exact amou

nt of compensation that the two Chinese companies should pay to Valeo, accor

ding to the verdict. During the first trial, Valeo had requested compensation of 6 million yuan ($893,000).

Wednesday’s trial is of great significance as it shows China’s growing efforts in protecting IPR, the top court said in a release.

“It shows the country’s strong determination in fighting infringement, and intensif

ied judicial protection for IPR and innovation-driven development,” said Ma Yide, an intel

lectual property professor from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law who attended the hearing.

The final verdict was reached only two months after the original one.

Such a fast pace reflects improved efficiency in handling IP-related lawsuits in Chinese courts, he said.

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