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Trending searches on Douyin: Cyberspace "clean-up" campaign; Food safety; Meeting on COVID
China to tighten regulation of livestreaming, short videos
We finally saw some signs of improvement — the number of Chna's new local COVID cases decreased Wednesday, and the Chinese stocks rallied following the government's support vows.
For tomorrow, the focus will be on the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden, which will be their first meeting in 2022.
Today's trending topics on Douyin (the Chinese equivalent to TikTok) is mainly about China's cyberspace "clean-up” campaign, food safety and the meeting on epidemic control and prevention. Please note that the top 10 topics were not selected by Ginger River, but from the real-time report from Douyin.
Thursday's top 10 trending topics on Douyin as of 8:00 p.m. (1200 GMT).
1.China's cyberspace regulator announces 2022 priorities for its clean-up campaign
2.Major instant noodles maker Uni-President invites 1,000 people to visit its processing plant of pickled vegetables
3.Anti-epidemic work requires the efforts of everyone
4.At least 16 government officials of the northeastern Chinese cities of Changchun and Jilin were punished for poor performance in handling the epidemic
5.Douyin gets re-creation rights to all of Sohu's self-produced film and TV series
6.Pickled vegetables should go through water filtering before being added into the instant noodle
7.Du Xiaohua, a prototype of the movie "Dear," was recognized on his way seeking his child
8.Actor Gong spoke up again to support football (soccer) development in China
9.Actor Gong's collection of signed fooball proved to be a fake
10.Internet celebrity blogger Liu Yong took photos with Indian girls for the Holi Festival
#1 China's cyberspace regulator announces 2022 priorities for its clean-up campaign
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) launched a series of campaigns to curb online malpractice in 2021. As a result, 1.34 billion accounts were punished, over 7,200 livestreamers were banned for malpractice, and more than 2,160 mobile apps were removed from app stores, according to the administration.
The CAC announced on Thursday at a press conference (Chinese) that its 清朗 "clean-up" campaign in 2022 would have 10 main tasks (translated by Ginger River as a reference for you):
1) Crack down on wrongdoing and malpractice in livestreaming and short videos
2) Rectify information and content chaos of the Multi-Channel Network institutions
3) Crack down on Internet rumors
4) Internet environment improvement for minors in the summer of 2022
5) Rectify the information and service disorder of the mobile applications
6) Regulate the order of network communication
7) Intensify the regulation of the use of algorithm technologies
8) Network environment improvement for Spring Festival (which has been completed already according to the CAC)
9) Step up efforts to battle fake reviews and sales and the 互联网水军 "internet water army"
10) Special rectification action on operation of Internet user accounts
#2 & #6 “Muddy ground pickled vegetables”
At the annual “315” gala, named after the world consumer rights day that falls on March 15, broadcast on CCTV on Tuesday night, bad corporate behavior of multiple food production companies were brought to light.
The show revealed that a Hunan-based vegetable processing company known as Chaqi, along with Jinrui Food and other firms from this province in central China, had acquired pickles made in primitive and squalid conditions and supplied them to bigger food companies.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, who sent undercover reporters to get the story, these suppliers didn’t perform quality tests on these pickles.
Workers were pictured stamping on pickled vegetables with bare feet and tossing cigarette butts casually on a heap of pickles that lay in a dirt pit, which is supposed to be the “production site.”
According to the official website of Chaqi, its clients include Master Kong, Uni-President, KFC and McDonald's.
[On the same day, major instant noodles maker] Uni-President China said that Chaqi was dropped from the company's supplier list five years ago, but Jinrui Food continues to supply the firm with pickles that go into its instant noodles.
Uni-President said it had immediately terminated its contract with Jinrui Food and sealed the substandard products for quality inspection by the market watchdog.
The topic with the hash tag “土坑酸菜” "muddy ground pickled vegetables" topped China's social media platform Sina Weibo on Wednesday, with 180 million views and 30,000 discussions as of press time. "I would never dare to eat such pickled vegetables," commented one social media users.
Chaqi's official WeChat account showed that it had won the honor and certification of being a "China Well-Known Trademark" and recorded business income of 870 million yuan ($137 million) in 2020.
China has been making great efforts in ensuring food safety. According to the newly amended Food Safety Law, which took effect in 2019, in addition to punishment of enterprises, individual workers violating the law in cases that have serious consequences can be fined 10 times the income they earned from the enterprise in the previous year.
However, the implementation of relevant regulations at the local level is not efficient, where fines are usually low as local governments need to take local jobs and economic development into consideration, Zhu Danpeng, a veteran food industry observer, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Uni-President's move to invite 1,000 people to visit its processing plant of pickled vegetables shows that the instant noodles maker is trying to make every effort to disassociate itself from the scandal.
High on the trending searches, the hot topic reflects Chinese consumers' great concern for food safety of instant noodle products, partially because many people, especially young people, consume it when working over time. It could also be a convenient food for people who are in quarantine.
#3 and #4 COVID in China
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Thursday urged swift containment of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Xi made the remarks while presiding over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to analyze the COVID-19 epidemic situation.
More effective measures should be taken to achieve maximum effect in prevention and control with minimum cost, and to reduce the impact on socioeconomic development as much as possible, said Xi.
Noting the recent local COVID-19 cluster transmissions appeared in many places in the country, with broad coverage and frequent occurrences, the meeting called for stringent implementation of the policy of early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment.
In regions where the epidemic hit, officials at all levels must consider epidemic prevention and control their top priority and put their utmost effort toward the successful containment of the virus, the meeting underscored.
Officials who have lost control of the epidemic due to dereliction of duty must be investigated immediately following discipline and regulations, the meeting added.
The meeting was held as the country was battling the new COVID cases rebound. My take is that bringing the current situation under control will take precedence over discussions of policy adjustments.
I also want to recommend you the newsletter by my friend Wang Zichen, "Pekingnologist," on the special meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Committee of the State Council held on Wednesday. The meeting boosted investors' confidence after pessimism clouded the Chinese market in recent days.
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