Li Shunde, a senior intellectual property researcher at

at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, applau

ded the campaign as a timely and necessary step to regulate those providing stock images.

“We should abide by laws and litigation to protect copyright in

stead of abusing them to profit improperly,” he said.

On April 15, the Shanghai Observer reported that the company, which was founde

d in June 2000 and partners with the photo agency Getty Images in the United States, had faced increased co

pyright-related disputes since it set up a special rights protection division in 2016.

The company was involved 2,279 cases in 2017 and 1,908 last year, the report said, adding that most court rulings had been in its favor.

A search by China Daily for the company’s name on China J

udgments Online, a website operated by the Supreme People’s Court that discloses ve

rdicts, resulted in more than 1,600 lawsuits being found, most of them related to copyright.

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Although the scandal involving Visual China Group e

exposed disordered copyright management by stock-image providers, legal

professionals said the increased efforts to protect copyright should be applauded.

For example, the National Copyright Administration has launched crackdowns against pira

ted works every year, aiming to increase copyright protection through administrative measures.

Last year, it took online short videos, audio material, literary articles and music as major target

s. It eliminated 1.85 million web links with content that infringed copyright, and confiscated 1.23 million pirated works.

Wang, the Beijing lawyer, said he appreciated governme

nt attempts to protect copyright, but said such efforts are still insufficient.

He called for the country to improve copyright-related laws as soon as poss

ible, and especially to issue a specific rule for footage, pictures or other photographic works.

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Contents regarding collective copyright managem

ent organizations, including stock image platforms, have been debatable and remain a key issue among lawmakers,” she said.

“I believe such copyright agencies will be regulated in the future version of the law after Visual

China’s incident, and our IP protection will also be further strengthened thanks to the case,” she added.

Different from many comments that criticized the company and its business, Chen sai

d it is “Okay” for stock image platforms to profit from selling images or filing copyright lawsuits.

“Proper commercial operations can help defend the rights of individual creators, as it is difficult a

nd costly for individuals to sift through seas of information and find out who infringes their rights,” she said. “Or su

ch platforms create a better environment for copyright owners to easily and effectively safeguard their rights.”

But she suggested the country set up a third-party to supervise

the platforms’ operation to prevent them from exercising the rights beyond the legal scope.

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Tesla probes car self-ignition case in Shanghai

US auto giant Tesla said on April 22 that no one was hurt in a vehicle se

lf-ignition accident at an underground garage in Shanghai and it has sent a team to the scene.

According to the Xinmin Evening News, the self-ignition of a white Tesla sedan took

place at about 8 pm on April 21 at a community garage in Shanghai’s Xuhui district, whe

re residents living in the apartment building were evacuated following the accident.

Footage caught on a surveillance camera showed that thick smoke ro

se from the car, followed by huge flames. Cars parked nearby were also damaged.

Due to the irritating odor, firefighters closed the en

trance of the garage to spray water before going inside to clear out the fire.

Tesla said on its official micro blog that it has alerted related agencies and was cooperative in verifying the incident.

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Experts believe these policies were set to introduce tal

lents, instead of regulating the property market. The aim is to attract skilled residents to optimize the demographic mix and boost

the economy, said Yan Yuejin, director of the Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.

While these measures could actually stimulate the property market, real estate speculation should be avoided, Yan said.

Up till now, more than 60 cities have introduced talent introduction

and settlement policies, according to data from Centaline Property Research Cente

r. Preferential policies, unprecedented in terms of quality and quantity, including household reg

istration and home purchase subsidies, have sprung up in China, especially in second- and third-tier cities.

Cities such as Changzhou, Haikou, Xi’an, Nanjing and Shijiazhuang have lowered the

ir thresholds for household registration and implemented specific housing p

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rists from China view cherry blossoms from a boat in Kyo

hen Zeyong, CEO of online visa service tigerwing.cn, said the Jap

anese government issued 7 million visa stickers for Chinese nationals last year.

“If visas become a bar code or QR code emailed to applicants, their w

orkload will be greatly lessened,” he said during the Shanghai World Travel Fair on Thursday.

Japan Tourism Agency data showed that 8.38

million tourists from the Chinese mainland trave

led to Japan in 2018, representing year-on-year growth of 13.9 per

cent and contributing nearly 27 percent of international tourists.

China has been the world‘s largest source of tourists since 2014, reachin

g nearly 150 million last year, according the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

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Defending champion Mark Williams fought off a Marti

Gould fightback with a 10-7 win.Gould pegged Williams back from 9-4 to 9-7, before the Welshma

n eventually managed to get himself over the line and boo

k a second round meeting with either David Gilbert or Joe Perry.

Williams, who also lifted the trophy in 2000 and 2003, said

, “It was a tough first round match and I thought I played quite well.

“I just think my form has been improving for the last month or two and

it showed there. Even though the last few frames were a bit scrappy, overall it was good.”

In the day’s other matches, 2010 champion Neil Robertson of

Australia stormed to a 9-0 lead over Michael Georgiou of Cyprus. World number 14 see

d Luca Brecel of Belgium fought back from 3-2 down to lead England’s Gary Wilson 5-4.

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Industry insiders said that the rapid development of interne

 technology in China and people’s heavy use of online shopping, mobile payment and

banking services have allowed e-visa services to take root quickly in the country.

“Such services, which save the time and trouble of sending passports and paper documents back and fort

h, suit the young groups, who usually don’t plan for a trip far ahe

ad of time,” said Li Ailing, founder of lvyouquan.com, which provides tourism information to agencies.

 Objectivity and impartiality were emphasized in the latest draft revisions to the Jud

ges Law and the Procurators Law submitted to China’s top legislature for review on Saturday.

According to the drafts, judges should adjudicate based on facts an

d the law, guided by objectivity and impartiality. Procurators should do the same.

Procurators must strictly ensure that crimes are punished only

under the law, and protect human rights. They must prosec

ute criminals while protecting the innocent from criminal prosecution, the draft revisions say.

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The two drafts are under their third readings at the

ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

The emphasis on objectivity and impartiality was suggested after the drafts’ seco

nd readings, as legal experts pointed to the importance of procurators to objectively collect evidence.

The new drafts also stipulate tighter supervision over judges and p

rocurators and give them more responsibilities such as keeping business secrets and personal priva

cy information. There will be legal consequences if they fail to do so, according to the drafts.

China aims to substantially reduce water consumption by 2020 to ta

ckle a supply bottleneck that could undermine the environment and sustainable economic growth.

By next year, waster usage per 10,000 yuan (about $1,492) of gross domestic product will b

e 23 percent less than in 2015, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The country also aims to cap water consumption below 670 billion cubic meters by 2022 and 700 billion cubic meters by 2035.

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Intercity coach stations in Guangzhou were asked by

y the city’s transport authorities to stop selling tickets and dispatching vehicles from 11:40 am until the first-level heavy rain emergency response has ended.

The Guangzhou meteorological service issued an orange si

gnal for thunderstorms and yellow signal for heavy rain at 3:36 am. It issued yellow sign

als for thunderstorms and heavy rain in the districts of Tianhe, Yuexiu and Liwan at 10:16 am.

Middle and primary schools and kinderga

rtens in Sanshui district, Foshan city, were closed once the red signal for heavy rain was issued.

Qingxin district of Qingyuan city received 57.9 millimeters of rain

fall between 8:00 am and 9:00 am, according to the provincial meteorological service.

 Every morning, Sonam Tsering, 30, takes up his backpack and ea

rphones, boards the subway and arrives at a commercial bank in Beijing for work.

Sonam’s job in is the international business unit of the bank. His success has a lot to do with his educational background.

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