A heartbroken elderly man used the Internet to take
revenge on an unlicensed doctor after his daughter died
from a botched abortion. Retiree Liu Ruixiang, a resident
of Inner Mongolia, bought a computer and taught himself
how to use the Internet, and went on to put the doctor
- who did not hold a license to practice - behind bars,
the Beijing Youth Daily reports.
Liu began his one-man online crusade
for justice shortly after his daughter died in 1998.
At the time, local police claimed there was insufficient
evidence against the doctor to convict him.
Using most of his savings, Liu bought
a computer. Every day he surfed China's websites on
legal issues and posted messages in chatrooms about
his plight. Eventually the Procurator's Daily newspaper
heard about Liu's story and sent a reporter to investigate.
The reporter found Liu in a simple room he had converted
into a research office. The room was littered with printouts
of downloaded information from the Internet, including
the Procurator's Daily's website, portals like Netease,
and personal sites created by individuals with similar
Officials in Beijing, who heard about
Liu's story from the media, initiated an investigation
of his complaint and agreed to help file a lawsuit.
The case was then heard in a court in Inner Mongolia
where the doctor, Cui Xuekun, was found guilty. Cui
was sentenced to three years in prison and fined RMB5000.
Scribe to Become Monk
Famous Chinese writer Wang Shuo has given away his fortune
in preparation for moving to the sacred Buddhist Wutai
Mountain to become a monk, according to a Chinese news
After increasingly acrimonious public
falling-outs with fellow scribe Jin Yong and award-winning
filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Wang Shuo told reporters that
he is tired of the "secular world" (hongchen), and that
he plans to join a monastery in the northern Shanxi
province Wutai Mountains. Wang only recently returned
from a several year self-imposed exile in the United
States, during which he stopped writing.
Upon returning to China, he penned
several books in quick succession, the most recent of
which, Seeing the World Through a Dog's Eyes, expresses
Wang's despair at the state of the world today and human
Wang says in his new book: "Culture
does not come from nothing. It must have an origin.
That is why people are always looking for a Master.
But contemporary Chinese society is cut off from its
traditional cultural roots, so what is created is false.
I choose to go and become a monk because that is my
fate (yuanfen), but also because of my deep pessimism
about our culture."
The report says that Wang has made
arrangements for his significant wealth. He has given
a small part to his wife and daughter, and the rest
has been donated to charity.
The report can be viewed online at:
Evidence that the West's obsession with litigation is
spreading to China is apparent in the case of a man
who successfully sued a state-run television station
for running too many commercials.
The plaintiff, Wang Zhongqin, was
a fervent fan of the epic historical drama Kuan Ju Princes,
the Beijing Youth Daily reports. Wang filed a formal
complaint with the Beijing Intermediate Court that too
many commercials ruined the serial drama for viewers.
In what is seen as a landmark decision in China's newly
commercializing media industry, the court ruled in Wang's
favor and awarded damages of RMB700 and a public apology.
In addition to the damages and apology,
Wang was also refunded RMB17.8 in cable service fees
for the airtime in question. The television station
is appealing the decision.
and Blue Baijiu
Move over wine coolers, make way bourbon whiskey, the
newest intoxicant to entice American drinkers is Chinese
Beijing's largest producer of China's
trademark spirit - a cheap, popular firewater brewed
from fermented sorghum - has hit U.S. store shelves.
Some 450 cases of Hong Xing (Red Star)-brand erguotou
were recently exported to the home of martinis and gin-and-juice,
the Beijing Youth Daily reports. Red Star, China's largest
producer of baijiu, is hoping to become the first Chinese
booze to become a household name in the U.S.
Erguotou is a clear, highly potent
liquor which contains about 60 percent alcohol by volume.
Red Star erguotou, typically packaged
in clear green glass bottles, is already available in
more than 20 countries worldwide, but mostly appeals
to an overseas Chinese clientele. The company's foray
into the U.S. market, which includes selling erguotou
and a few new liquors tailored to American imbibers'
taste, is being led by a Sino-U.S. joint venture. Red
Star is also preparing to build a distillery in the
Up 12 Times By 2002
Electronic commerce is set to explode in China. Industry
observers say by the end of this year, the country's
volume of online shopping will reach RMB800 million
(US$96.7 million) annually. And by 2002, this figure
will soar to RMB10 billion (US$1.2 billion), the China
Business Daily reports.
According to the newspaper, China
had only 100 online stores at the beginning of last
year. It now has more than 600, and is adding two new
online stores a day.
Ecommerce in China also grew quickly
last year, as its volume more than doubled to RMB200
million (US$24.2 million) from 1998. According to the
newspaper, 1999 is when ecommerce in China transformed
itself from mere talk to reality.
Last year, Internet commerce spread
quickly from China's coastal regions to its interior,
and from big cities to small and medium-sized ones.
The Chinese Government also clearly strengthened its
support and its efforts to coordinate this growth of
ecommerce, the newspaper reports.
Now, the newspaper notes, many Chinese
companies have voluntarily established and introduced
ecommerce rules and regulations, while sectors such
as financial systems, tax-collection systems, securities,
pharmaceuticals and construction have begun experimenting
According to the newspaper, most
Chinese Internet shoppers either pay online or by cash
China has sentenced to death an official who embezzled
nearly US$1.5 million from the controversial Three Gorges
Dam project, a court official says.
The former director of the district
construction bureau in Fengdu, Sichuan province received
the death sentence on February 25 for stealing RMB12
million (US$1.44 million), a court spokesman in southwestern
Chongqing city says.
Reports of massive graft have enveloped
the construction of the world's biggest hydroelectric
dam on the Yangtze River since it began in 1994, but
this is the first death penalty handed down.
China's auditor general said in January
that around US$600 million earmarked for the resettlement
of those made homeless by the project has been embezzled,
12 percent of the entire relocation budget. The official
press, however, has revised the embezzled figure down
to 7.4 percent of the relocation budget.
The Chongqing court spokesman also
reveals that an official from the migration bureau in
Wanzhou district near the city was jailed for life in
May last year for corruption. Wang Sumei was convicted
of taking money from the bureau and losing it in extravagant
mahjong gambling parties between September 1997 and
State press described Wang as a compulsive
gambler who continued to mount up debts in an effort
to win back her losses. She regularly took between RMB60,000
to RMB200,000 from the relocation fund which she had
complete access to. Some 1.3 million people are expected
to be relocated from the banks of the Yangtze River
to make way for the 632 square kilometer (252 square
mile) reservoir which will be created upon the completion
of the Three Gorges Dam.
Officials said in January that criminal
proceedings had been started against 14 officials involved
in dam corruption and that others were still being investigated.
The National Audit Office says much
of the embezzled money was used to construct buildings,
set up companies and buy shares on the stock market.
Doubts about the US$27 billion dollar Three Gorges project
in central Hubei province surfaced in public last year
when Premier Zhu Rongji issued a stern warning to officials
to ensure there was no "negligence" in the construction,
the brainchild of his predecessor Li Peng.
A month later the official press
revealed that around 100 officials linked to the project
had been sanctioned for corruption involving sums of
Many people living in the area are
reluctant to leave the banks of the Yangtze River to
make way for the reservoir, while experts have questioned
the financial logic of the project and warned of its
damaging impact on the environment.
The official media has in the past
blamed corruption for problems in the relocation project.
By 1998 only 60 percent of the new houses that should
have been built to house people in the dam's path had