Trending in China Today

Trending in China Today
Image Credit: Illustration Works / Corbis / 達志影像

What you need to know

The biggest stories from around China.

‘Drug testers’ in China regretful

Photo Credit: Kimimasa Mayama / Reuters / 達志影像

A Beijing News investigation has found that “drug testers” in China, who make more than 1,000 yuan (US$143) per day, are being exploited by recruitment agencies. Many of these recruitment agencies are shell companies and often fake drug test results. The volunteers said they received higher payments if the risks of the drugs being tested were higher, but due to the side effects of the drugs, many regretted becoming a drug tester. The article also says hospitals hire these workers via social media and provide little insurance for them.

Norway and China mend ties six years after Nobel Prize dispute

A protester holds an image of to jailed dissident Liu outside of the Chinese Embassy in Oslo
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Norway and China restored their diplomatic and political ties on Dec. 19 after a joint announcement in Oslo, Reuters reports. Communication between the two countries has been frozen since 2010, when Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said the two countries would immediately resume negotiations on a free-trade deal.

Liu was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests and was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for launching a petition urging to end the one-party rule in China. He remains in prison.

China-Hollywood co-production debuts for US$67.4 million

“The Great Wall,” a China-Hollywood co-production starring U.S. actor Matt Damon as a mercenary fighting for the Middle Kingdom, scored US$67.4 million at box offices in China over the weekend, according to early estimates from local box-office tracker Ent Group. Directed by Oscar-nominated Chinese director Zhang Yimou (張藝謀), the movie is the largest China-Hollywood co-production ever with an estimated budget of US$150 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The opening weekend for “The Great Wall” ranks number four this year in China, following “The Mermaid,” Marvel's “Captain America: Civil War” and Legendary's “Warcraft.” The film has been criticized for featuring Damon, rather than a Asiatic lead actor.

China tightens control over content streamed on the internet

Internet Censorship
Image Credit: Illustration Works / Corbis / 達志影像

China’s Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television announced on Dec. 16 that a show or program would now need a permit to stream its content on social media platforms, such as Weibo and WeChat. The administration has also asked each of its local subsidiaries to take measures to regulate online content in separate provinces and cities, Radio Free Asia reports. It has also forbidden users to stream self-made content that includes recent political topics, CNA reports.

China to return seized U.S. drone: Pentagon

multicopters find multitiude  of users
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook has said that China will return a U.S. underwater survey drone that it seized on Dec. 15. “Through direct engagement with the Chinese authorities, we have secured an understanding that the Chinese will return the UUV to the United States,” Slate reports Cook saying. Chinese state media Global Times called for the U.S. “to put a halt to its spying activities in the South China Sea.”

China claims it seized the drone to protect its ships from damage, but analysts say there might be other reasons for the seizure, Slate reports. Ashley Townshend, a research fellow at the U.S. studies center at the University of Sydney, tells Bloomberg that the incident will be “a serious test for U.S.-China relations.”

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump commented on the issue in a series of tweets on Dec. 17, writing that “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act,” and “We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back - let them keep it!”

Global Times published an op-ed criticizing Trump’s tweets, saying that Trump “showed no sense of how to lead a superpower,” and that his tweets made him seem “emotionally upset.”

Chinese court fines fake BMW firm

Photo Credit: BMW

A Shanghai court has ordered two Chinese firms to pay German automaker BMW US$430,000 for infringing the company’s trademark, Reuters reports. In 2008, Zhou Leqin (周樂琴) founded Deguo Baoma Group (Int’l) Holdings Limited — which translates to German BMW Group (Int’l) Holdings Limited — and then purchased and registered the trademark BMN. A second company called Chuangjia then used the trademark on clothing, shoes and bags, changing the logo over the years to look more like the real BMW logo. The court said the accused firms took advantage of BMW’s reputation in China to sell their products, the Shanghai Daily reports.

Editor: Olivia Yang