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Top searches on Weibo: Family education, University ranking, Youngsters' housing problems
"Universities should move the focus away from rankings, reduce the utilitarianism in rankings, and non-academic factors ought to have a lesser impact on rankings."
Happy Wednesday! The hot searches review section is back! Ginger River is aware that the hot searches review has not been published in this email for over a month, owing to a capacity issue -- your Ginger River has a full-time job, and sometimes it can be challenging to find time to complete the review section after work on workdays.
The TikTok article posted last week has become one of this newsletter's most popular stories of the year, second only to Chairman Rabbit's article on Shanghai's zero-COVID policy. Ginger River has uploaded the full story (Part 1 & 2 combined) to Google Drive for you to download and share with your friends. With lots of first-hand information, the story helps explain how TikTok surpassed Facebook, went through political crises in U.S. and India, and became the most internationalized Chinese company with the most localized operations in the world.
Today's review of the trending searches on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, is primarily about the family education rules promoted by People’s Daily, Chinese universities' withdrawal from overseas university rankings, and a Chinese economist's perspective on young people's apartment buying decisions.
Please note that the top 10 topics were not selected by Ginger River, but from the report dynamically displayed on Weibo. Ginger River and Gao Jinglin, a graduate student at Shanghai International Studies University's School of English Studies, where Ginger River received his bachelor's degree, present today's review.
Wednesday's top 10 trending searches on Weibo as of 7:00 p.m. (1100 GMT):
1.China's Milk tea brand “Sexy Tea” drawn into a lawsuit with a pirate brand
2.Yesterday once more: actress Crystal Liu in TV Drama "The Story of A Noble Family" when she was 14
3.Nine most crucial rules to follow in family education (a Weibo topic hosted by People's Daily)
4.Several renowned Chinese universities withdraw from overseas university rankings
5.Rumor has it that a funeral costs over 10 million RMB (about 1.5 million U.S. dollars) in a village in northwest China's Shaanxi Province
Follow-up: A villager who attended the funeral told the Jimu News reporter that the banquet of the funeral did have Maotai (a Chinese spirit) and Chunghwa cigarette, "but the so-called 10 million costs is certainly exaggerated."
6.Fees for professional dubbing should be paid by actors: regulation
7.License plate lottery jackpot "6666" won by a woman disappears mysteriously
8.Beer brand Carlsberg sued Kris Wu (former singer, actor) for service contract dispute
9.Former South Korean President Moon Jae-in sued by 2,600 people the day he left office for abuse of power -- The Korea Bizwire
10."Buying an apartment before wedding is not necessary," said a Peking University professor
#3 Nine most crucial rules to follow in family education
People's Daily, the largest newspaper group in China, published guidance with nine rules of family education value on its Weibo account Wednesday.
Rule No.1: Parents take the biggest responsibilities in family education.
Rule No.2: Say no to any form of domestic violence
Rule No.3: Respect and protect the dignity of children.
Rule No.4: Give children the right to choose
Rule No.5: Nurturing hearts comes before nurturing bodies
Rule No.6: Disposition decides children's future
Rule No.7: Learn to spot the strengths of your children
Rule No.8: Educating by being an example
Rule No.9: Children cannot fulfill your dreams for you
Happy lives have a thousand forms, so the best education is to let children be themselves.
#4 Several renowned Chinese universities withdrew from overseas university rankings
Renmin University of China has decided not to participate in any overseas university rankings, the website of China National Radio has reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The university's administrators have reached a consensus and made the decision to withdraw the university from overseas rankings, which conforms with the overall direction of China's education development and will become a trend, the report said.
The withdrawal reflects the autonomy and courage of Chinese universities, education and culture, a source said, adding that China's knowledge system, which has lasted for thousands of years, is the longest and most extensive in the world.
Recently, a number of prestigious Chinese Universities have taken themselves out from world university rankings, including Renmin University of China, Nanjing University and Lanzhou University.
The withdrawal of the above-mentioned universities from international university rankings has quickly generated a lot of buzz online. Some netizens said that withdrawing from such commercialized rankings is the only way to focus more on academic research. Some others believe that the universities can optimize their evaluation system and that they can't look at all or none of the rankings.
Below are some views from two Chinese education experts as reported by Chinanews.com.
“In the past two decades, some Chinese universities care a lot about rankings, especially international rankings. Therefore, collusion between Chinese Universities and foreign ranking institutes and murky dealings are exposed from time to time,” said Chu Zhaohui, a researcher with the National Institute of Education Sciences, adding," Universities should move the focus away from rankings, reduce the utilitarianism in rankings, and non-academic factors ought to have a lesser impact on rankings."
Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing, said in his article that university rankings are an evaluation from society in essence. They indeed serve as an indicator when students choose universities and when social organizations choose partners. Universities themselves could take rankings as a reference, assessing progress made as well as drawbacks. But they should not "enshrine rankings."
He said that universities' rejection of overseas university rankings doesn't mean ranking institutes would no longer rank them. Since some ranking systems rely on disclosed data, which does not need support from universities.
#10 "Buying an apartment before wedding is not necessary," said a Peking University professor
"In many countries, youngsters do not buy apartments before the wedding, those in developed countries included. They all tend to make a living first. They keep working hard and keep saving. They rent a small apartment at first, then raise children and rent a bigger one. They would buy an apartment only when they are capable of it. Why are Chinese youngsters whining about real estate prices?" said Fan Gang, a Peking University professor and a member of the monetary policy committee of the People's Bank of China.
This is not the first time Fan Gang advocated renting instead of buying for young people in Chinese. Back in 2018, he hit headlines with his "six wallet theory," stating that it takes six people's savings (one's parents, grandparents on the maternal side and paternal side) to buy an apartment for the newlyweds. He thinks it is neither worthy nor worthwhile. Professor Fan encourages young people to be independent and make decisions within their financial capabilities. In this way, young couples would not get ahead of themselves.
Due to skyrocketing house prices and the financial vulnerabilities of young people, buying houses in China’s big cities without a mortgage generally is not an option. Even if couples take out a loan, many of them still need their parents' help with the down payment. So the apartment burden is one of the most ponderous on young people's shoulders. Many of them even postpone their wedding plans for it.
Some netizens view Fan Gang's suggestions as a way out for youngsters' housing problems, while others feel that this is easier said than done.