Amazon to end local 3rd-party sales in Chinaon offices in Ne

US-based tech giant Amazon.com Inc plans to shut down its third-party seller services on its Chinese online marketplace

in July, as it shifts its focus to offering Chinese mainland consumers overseas products rather than goods from local sellers.

Starting July 18, customers logging in to Amazon’s Chinese web portal will only see a selec

tion of goods from its global store, rather than products from local third-party sellers.

Amazon said it will keep running its other businesses in China, inclu

ding the cross-border shopping business Amazon Global Store; Global Selling, which helps Chin

ese merchants sell products abroad; its cloud service platform Amazon Web Services; and Kindle e-book devices and content.

“Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly

emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we’ve seen a very strong response from Chinese customers.

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It will continue to make operational adjustments to focus

efforts on cross-border sales in China and to keep improving the experience for bo

th Chinese customers and global selling partners.

Amazon entered China in 2004, when it bought a local online boo

kseller for $75 million. Since then, it has invested in wareh

ouses, data centers and programs to teach Chinese sellers how to get their goods to Amazon customers.

In October 2016, Amazon launched in China its Amazon Prime, the first unlimited free cross-border shipping memb

ership program that operates globally, in an attempt to lure the rising number of quality-conscious Chinese buye

rs to buy foreign products.isual China Group, which owns Chinese photo platform vcg.com, was fined 300,000 yua

n ($44,758) for flawed supervision of user content, according to a company statement late Thursday.

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Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council’s Taiw

wan Affairs Office, said in a statement on Tuesday that the exercise aimed to protect national sover

eignty and territorial integrity, as well as protect the common interests of people from both sides of the straits.

Taiwan’s administration, led by the Democratic Progressive Party, used the drill as an opport

unity to “deceive and mislead the residents of Taiwan and to provoke and escalate a cross-Straits confrontation,” Ma said.

“Its goal of undermining cross-Straits relations and the peace and security of the region will not succeed,” Ma said. “Nobo

dy should underestimate our adamant resolve and ability to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

On Tuesday, Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen said she will not be intimidated by the military d

rill, calling the exercise “a threat to Taiwan” and an act of “coercion”, the island’s media reported.

Tsai also thanked the United States for considering a deal with Taiwan to renew a $500

million training program in the US for Taiwan F-16 pilots and maintenance crews.

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Lu made the remarks in response to recent media repo

 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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He noted that since the first Belt and Road Forum for

 International Cooperation two years ago, more countries and inter

national organizations have joined in the construction of the Belt and Road.

So far, 125 countries and 29 international organiz

ations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, according to Lu.

Among them are 16 Central and Eastern European countries and Gr

eece. Italy and Luxembourg signed cooperation agreements with China last month to join

tly build the Belt and Road. Jamaica also signed similar agreements on Thursday.

During Premier Li Keqiang’s European visit last week, both sides agreed to seek greate

r synergy between the BRI and the European Union’s strategy for connecting with Asia.

Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Comm

unist Party of China Central Committee, said last month that representatives of more than 100 coun

tries, including about 40 foreign leaders, have confirmed their attendance at the Beijing forum.

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Economic data for March have beaten market expectat

ons in many aspects, and based on those data, China’s year-on-year GDP gr

owth rate in the first quarter may reach 6.3 percent or a bit higher,” said Liu Chun

sheng, an associate professor of economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Improved market expectations resulting from progress in the Sino-US trade talks and Beijing’s tax and

fee cut plan, as well as eased liquidity, have helped to offset negative effects of the traditional Spring Fes

tival holiday and downside pressure that continued from the end of last year, Liu said.

China has set this year’s GDP growth rate target at 6 percent to 6.5 perce

nt, after registering full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in the fourth

quarter. The NBS is scheduled to announce the country’s first-quarter economic growth data on Wednesday.

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yers do need their staff to work extra hours to meet pro

 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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Inside Beijing’s must-attend April eventbassador to

Guests like Austrian ambassador to China Friedrich Stift, p

erformances from the Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna, and reality TV star Allen Wu as

host have made the event the most talked-about on Beijing’s April social calendar.

The dapperly attendees and the venue at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, a lux

ury hotel in downtown Beijing, will make April 13 a night of waltz, high fashion and haute cuisine.

With tickets priced 1,500 yuan ($224), the ball has sold out every ye

ar during its five-year history in Beijing, according to organizer, the Kempinski Hotel.

In this video interview with China Daily’s website, both the ambassador and Brice Péan, mana

ging director of the Kempinski Hotel, give a preview of what to expect at this year’s ball.

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Shanghai aims to rev up car sales with trade-in subsidies

The city of Shanghai has become the first local government to answer the call of the central gove

rnment to promote automobile consumption by providing subsidies, since 10 mi

nistries and commissions of the country released six major methods of promoting car sales in January.

The official WeChat account of the Shanghai Municipal Government announced yesterday it will launch a car trade-i

n program, encouraging car owners to trade in their vehicles for new gas-powered cars complying with State-VI emi

ssions standards or new energy vehicles, according to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald.

The government will provide a subsidy of 10,000 yuan ($1,489) for a trade-in gas-powered

vehicle and 15,000 yuan for a trade-in new energy vehicle, the announcement said.

China’s automobile market saw a sales decline in 2018 for the first time

in 28 years, with passenger vehicle sales slumping for 10 consecutive months from last y

ear to March, according to the China Passenger Car Association. As the central government halved subsidies for new energy

vehicles this year, the promotion of car consumption depends more on local governments and enterprises.

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Urgency rises for tackling hazardous wastesipate after

The deadly blast at a chemical plant in Jiangsu province last month that left 78 dead clearly hig

hlights the urgent need to properly handle hazardous waste management in the country.

As central authorities tighten management by revising laws and issuing detailed

policies to support hazardous waste treatment, experts are calling for mandating

that facilities to process such waste be built in all chemical industry parks nationwide.

The explosion occurred on March 21 in Xiangshui county, Yanch

eng, at a Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co Ltd plant. The accident also injured more than 600.

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, set up an investigation

group and the probe into the cause of the blast is ongoing.

Multiple sources have suggested that the casual handling of hazard

ous chemical waste produced by the company could be a cause of the deadly blast.

China Chemical Industry News reported that the blast originated at

the company’s hazardous waste storage facility, citing a source close to the investigation group.

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