Sep 14, 2021 08:10 PM

East China Covid Outbreak Spread for 10 Days Before It Was Identified, Chinese Citizens Advised to Stay Home for the Holiday, Unvaccinated TikTokker Urges Vaccinations Before Death

Here is today’s ranking of the 10 most-read news stories in China, in economics, finance and current affairs, to help give you a sense of what’s trending in the Chinese language sphere.

Chinese social media users have been paying close attention to news about the debt-ridden Evergrande, which denied rumors of bankruptcy. They continue to follow updates on the latest Covid-19 outbreak in the eastern province of Fujian.

1. Al-Qaida leader appeared in a video amid rumored death

Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a video released Saturday (external source), which marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, amid rumors of his death since late last year, the Associated Press reported.

2. Evergrande denies bankruptcy rumors

Debt-ridden China Evergrande Group on Monday denied rumors of bankruptcy (external source, in Chinese), saying the company is facing “unprecedented difficulties but will firmly carry out its corporate responsibilities.” The company offered retail investors in its high-yield wealth management products three repayment options Monday to repay after hundreds of them protested about overdue payments Sunday.

3. Celebrity studios move to small cities for tax avoidance

Many celebrities have registered their studios in small cities that have preferential tax policies (external source, in Chinese), domestic media reports.

4. Xiamen reports 32 new Covid cases

The eastern city of Xiamen reported 32 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Monday (external source, in Chinese), according to the National Health Commission. The latest Covid-19 outbreak in East China’s Fujian province was first detected in a county of Putian city on Friday when six people tested positive.

5. Unvaccinated TikTokker who died of Covid-19 urged followers to get vaccinated

American TikTok user Megan Alexandra Blankenbiller, 31, posted her last video on the platform on Aug. 15, urging her followers to get vaccinated (external source) against Covid-19, NBC News reported. Blankenbiller said it was a “mistake” that she didn’t get a vaccine when she appeared to struggle to breathe from a hospital bed. She died more than a week later, the report said.

6. Thailand’s economy slumps as tourism slows to a trickle

Tourism has come to a virtual standstill in Thailand due to strict travel restrictions worldwide to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV. This is one reason that growth in the local economy has fallen to its lowest level (external source, in Chinese) in more than 20 years, CCTV reported.

Photo: VCG

7. Covid outbreak in East China spread at an elementary school for 10 days before the first case was identified

Fujian province has reported more than 70 local infections in its latest Covid-19 outbreak, mostly found in Putian. The virus was likely spreading at an elementary school in the city for 10 days (external source, in Chinese) before the first cases were identified Friday, Shanghai-based media outlet The Paper reported.

8. Japan to carry out first large-scale military drill in 28 years

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force announced Thursday that a large-scale military drill involving about 100,000 soldiers (external source, in Chinese) will be carried out from Sept. 15, the first time in 28 years, local media reported. The exercise will take place on the island of Kyushu.

9. Chinese cities suggest citizens stay local to celebrate the upcoming festivals due to Covid outbreak

As the Mid-Autumn festival and the weeklong National Day holiday are approaching, several Chinese cities, including Hohhot and Bayannur in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, have issued notices requiring citizens to “carefully and reasonably” arrange their travel plans, advising them to stay local (external source, in Chinese) due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Fujian.

10. Xiaomi stops its smartphones being smuggled to six countries and regions

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi Corp. starting overseeing smartphone sales abroad on Friday to prevent them being smuggled to six countries and regions including Cuba and Iran, according to XDA developers, an overseas mobile phone development community. Xiaomi’s export policy prohibits its devices from being sold (external source) in these regions, XDA said.

Translated by reporter Cai Xuejiao and Wang Xintong.

Caixin has not independently verified the veracity or accuracy of all of the headlines or stories.

The daily ranking of most-read news stories among Chinese people, about China and global affairs, is jointly provided to you by Caixin Insight and HANA Data, an artificial intelligence technology team.

The key indicators calculated on the list are based on mass data sourced from China’s mainstream social media platforms and online news websites. Click here for a detailed introduction of our methodology.

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