Sep 17, 2021 06:46 PM

Shenzhou-12 Astronauts Land Safely, Henan Starts Virus Booster Shot Program, Putin Plans to Visit Winter Olympics

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 following China’s three astronauts safe return to earth after three months in the Tianhe space station core module. They also showed interest in the new development in the country’s fight against Covid-19 — booster shots will soon be administered in Central China’s Henan province. Netizens also welcomed news that Russian President Putin accepted China’s invitation to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.

1. Denmark removes all Covid-19 restrictions

Denmark had lifted all restrictions (external source, in Danish) 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Covid-19 booster shots will be administered in Central China’s Henan province

China will soon launch a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot program (external source, in Chinese) in the central province of Henan, the first of its kind at provincial level for fully vaccinated people to receive an extra dose of vaccine. The program will prioritize adults under 60.

5. Shenzhou-12 astronauts land safely

Having worked in the space station core module Tianhe for three months, three "taikonauts" of the Shenzhou-12 crew returned to Earth on Friday (external source). The return capsule of the manned spaceship, carrying Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, touched down at the Dongfeng landing site in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

Photo: Xinhua

6. Russian President Putin confirms visit to 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted China's invitation (external source) to attend next year's Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday. The 2022 Winter Olympics are due to take place from Feb. 4 to 20.

7. Shoemaking industry in Fujian hit by Covid-19 outbreak

The shoemaking industry, one of the pillar sectors in East China’s Putian in Fujian province, has been heavily hit by the latest Covid-19 outbreak (external source, in Chinese) that emerged in early September. Some shoemaking factory staff interviewed by national broadcaster CCTV in the city said that they’ve shut down and domestic and foreign business orders have been canceled.

8. Top American military officer made “secret calls” with Chinese counterpart, new book alleges

A forthcoming book written by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa said that top U.S. military officer Mark Milley (external source, in Chinese) has made two secret phone calls with his Chinese counterpart in October and January to reassure Beijing that U.S. would not attack China, U.S. media reported.

9. Infertility rate rises to 12%-18%

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

10. Putin self-isolates after coming in contact with Covid case

Russian President Vladimir Putin (external source, in Chinese) is self-isolating after coming into close contact with a staff member in his inner circle who had been infected with the coronavirus, according to media reports. Putin has tested negative for Covid-19, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

Translated by reporter Lu Zhenhua.

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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