Sep 16, 2021 07:32 PM

New Book Says Top U.S. Military Officer Secretly Called Chinese Counterpart, Infertility Rate Rises, Earthquake Strikes Sichuan

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 the earthquake that struck Sichuan province early Thursday morning. They also continue to follow news about the debt-ridden China Evergrande Group, which denied rumors of bankruptcy.

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

Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a video released Saturday (external source), which marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, amid rumors of his death that have been circulating since late last year, the Associated Press reported.

2. Denmark removes all Covid restrictions

Denmark had lifted all restrictions (external source) to curb the spread of Covid-19 as of Friday, including a rule requiring people to present proof of vaccination to enter nightclubs. The decision was taken after more than 83% of eligible people aged above 12 in Denmark had been fully vaccinated, according to the Danish Health Authority.

3. Uniqlo boss loses crown as the richest person in Japan

Takemitsu Takizaki, founder of electronic-sensor maker Keyence Corp., has beaten out Uniqlo billionaire Tadashi Yanai (external source) to become the richest person in Japan, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Takizaki is worth $38.2 billion after his company’s shares almost doubled from last year. Fast Retailing’s Yanai is now worth $35.6 billion.

4. 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 after hundreds of them protested over overdue payments Sunday.

5. China’s two epidemic prevention mini programs on Alipay combined

China’s two epidemic control functions on Ant Group’s Alipay — a national health code and a travel card that traces where citizens have been within 14 days — have been combined into one (external source, in Chinese) to facilitate Covid-19 inspection at checkpoints, Chinese media reported.

6. Top American military officer had secret talks with Chinese counterpart, new book says

A forthcoming book written by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa said that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (external source, in Chinese) made two secret phone calls to his Chinese counterpart in October and January to reassure Beijing that the U.S. would not attack, U.S. media reported. 

7. Infertility rate rises to 12%-18%

The infertility rate (external source, in Chinese) among Chinese couples of childbearing age has risen to between 12% and 18%, according to state media.

8. Earthquake strikes Sichuan province

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Lu county in the Sichuan province city of Luzhou early Thursday morning, killing at least three people and injuring 88 others. The city has launched the highest level emergency response (external source, in Chinese).

Photo: VCG

9. China’s top cyberspace regulator urges online platforms to strengthen account management

New guidelines issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China urge online platforms to strengthen account management (external source, in Chinese) and improve content reviewing mechanisms. The guidelines were issued Wednesday just weeks after the administration ordered a crackdown on online fandom culture.

10. China to blacklist after-school tutoring institutions’ employees who have illegal practices against students or minors

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security have jointly issued guidelines for employees at after-school tutoring institutions (external source, in Chinese). The guidelines say that the authorities will establish a blacklist of employees who have been found engaging in misconduct such as insulting or otherwise maltreating minors.

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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