Leading Covid-19 expert says China has built herd immunity
>> Speaking at a forum in Guangzhou, China's leading Covid-19 expert Nanshan Zhong said that, with 83% of the country vaccinated, China has built a certain level of herd immunity. China began vaccinating the population in December 2020 and, as of press time, more than 1.2 billion people on the Chinese mainland have had at least two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine. Zhong also called for more residents to take booster shots.
China's Tianjin tightens control over travel after Omicron cases
>> The northern Chinese city of Tianjin tightened exit controls and is requiring residents to obtain approval from employers or community authorities before leaving town in an effort to block the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The port city to the southeast of Beijing reported 21 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms on Sunday.
Macau shuts shop for 14 days
>> Macau has canceled all international flights and all inbound travelers outside of China for 14 days ending 23 January. The only exception is mainland China where residents can continue to visit Macau. All arrivals to Macau must provide a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test.
WeChat enables e-yuan payments
>> Tencent Holdings has started allowing payments in China’s sovereign digital currency through its social messenger app WeChat. Payments can be made directly through WeChat's payment service WeChat Pay by scanning a QR code once an account on Shenzhen-based Tencent’s digital bank WeBank is opened. WeChat has added a “digital yuan” option on its WeChat Pay page and a “payment with e-yuan” option on the “receipt and payment” page.
Trip.com loses lawsuit over undisclosed third-party bookings
>> Trip.com has lost a fraud lawsuit after the company failed to notify a customer he was order a hotel room from a third-party agent on its platform, leading the court to criticize the company for allowing price gouging on its platform, according to a Caixin report.
Trip.com data reveals a surge in interest for winter sports vacations
>> As the 2022 Winter Olympics and winter sports season approaches, traveler enthusiasm for winter sports vacations is surging globally. According to Trip.com Group data, “Winter Olympic Games” searches on Ctrip, a sub-brand of Trip.com Group, doubled in December 2021 compared to the previous month. As skiing season returns, “skiing” tagged user-generated content on Ctrip Community soared 224% in Q4 last year compared to the same period in 2020, and grew 67% compared to Q3 2021.
China, Sri Lanka discusses promoting investments, tourism
>> Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday held talks with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed a host of issues, including promoting tourism, investments, and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as the two countries marked the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
World's first 5G express launched for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
>> The world's first express train that incorporates a studio powered by 5G technology has been launched. The train, jointly developed by the China Media Group (CMG) and China Railway was put into operation. CMG set up a studio on a carriage of a Fuxing bullet train, which runs at a speed of about 350 kilometers per hour, is designed to provide convenient passage for athletes, journalists and other staff in the upcoming Winter Games.
Winter Olympics-themed ice park opens in Chinese city of Harbin
>> The northern Chinese city of Harbin, famed for its winter festival and ice sculptures, has this year adopted a Winter Olympics theme. To mark Beijing’s staging of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which starts next month, Harbin Ice and Snow World has created a series of ice sculptures themed around the Games.
China targets 2023-2025 for recovery in international air travel
>> China will focus on expanding domestic flights and restoring international air travel in 2023-2025, the country's aviation regulator said on Friday, as it issued a new five-year development plan for a sector heavily battered by COVID. Taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-2025 five year plan has been divided into two parts, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). For the 2021-2022 period, China will consolidate its efforts in COVID-19 control and prevention, as well as focusing on reforms and specifying more support measures. The period from 2023 to 2025 is a period of growth.