China Celebrates Annual Qingming Festival
The Qingming (or Ching Ming) Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese calendar. This year it took place on April 4th and the holiday was officially reinstated in China 9 years ago. People celebrate by spring cleaning but also by burning fake money (金纸 ) and effigies of luxury items.
NetDragon Returns to Profits
Rebounding from two years of consecutive losses, NetDragon has returned to profit after re-focusing on mobile games and online learning businesses. Eudemons Online and NetDragon’s acquisition of ClassFlow, a cloud-based interactive software tool from Promethean World, have been the biggest growth drivers for the company.
Tudou, Alibaba’s Video-Sharing Platform, Pivots
Alibaba’s Tudou, a video-sharing platform similar to YouTube, is now shifting its focus to short videos. Alibaba has also launched plans for a Dayuhao (“Big Fish”) platform. According to Marbridge Daily, content creators will be able to post content to this platform, and will be able to distribute it to multiple Alibaba platforms with cross-platform traffic support. Alibaba will initially integrate Youku, Tudou, UCWeb, UC Headlines, Taobao, Shenma (Sm.cn), and Wandoujia. Then they’ll incorporate Tmall and Alipay to form a holistic platform together.
China Opens More Free Trade Zones
Seven new free trade zones (FTZs) have opened in China as of April 1st, bringing the total across the country to a total of 11 FTZs. The first was in Shanghai, then three more were added in 2014 (Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong). The seven new zones are in the provinces of Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan and Shaanxi as well as Chongqing Municipality. China’s FTZs are important because they are testing grounds for financial and economic changes, such as the decision to lift China’s ban on video game consoles but also test out lifting different financial requirements for establishing companies in the region (for example, waiving minimum registration capital requirements) and unrestricted foreign currency exchange.
King of Glory’s Representation of History
Tencent’s League of Legends-esque mobile hit King of Glory is under fire in China for distorting history. According to the Guangming Daily, “famous poet Li Bai from the Tang Dynasty became an assassin, while noted doctor Bian Que from the Spring and Autumn Period was cast as an expert on poison…They not only travel through time and space to fight together, [the characters in the game] take on historical figures’ names with no connection at all to their experiences in history,” adding that this characteristic could easily confuse young players. Some 54 percent of the game’s players are aged between 11 and 20, the newspaper added, citing data from the game.