Xi Jinping is keeping investors guessing. Photo: Xinhua

Xi Jinping, The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, on Monday called on the country to continue fully building a modern socialist country.

The Chinese government will resolutely implement the guiding principles of the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, while officials should accurately understand the new development stage, act on the new development philosophy and accelerate the establishment of the new development paradigm to drive high-quality development during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, Xi said.

Xi made the remarks when addressing the opening of a study session at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee attended by provincial and ministerial-level officials.

Xi said new development remains in the primary stage of socialism, but it is also a new starting point built on decades of development. Xi stressed that the primary stage of socialism is not static, but rather dynamic, active, promising and permeated with vigorous vitality.

“We have laid a solid material foundation to embark on a new journey and achieve new and higher goals by our unremitting endeavors since the founding of the New China, especially over the four decades since the reform and opening-up,” he said.

Xi said that the new development stage spans the next 30 years, during which time China is expected to complete modernization.

For China’s socialism to advance from the primary stage to a higher one, it is necessary to fully build a modern socialist China and basically realize socialist modernization, he said.

“The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, but time and situation are in our favor,” Xi said, adding that there are unprecedented challenges and opportunities both at present and for some time to come, but in general opportunities outweigh challenges.

Box office

China’s box office continued robust growth into 2021 after scoring a record high for New Year’s Day earnings. China’s total box office revenue in the first 10 days of 2021 exceeded 2 billion yuan (US$309 million), up by more than 730 million yuan year-on-year, data from movie-ticketing and film data platform Maoyan showed.

Topping the chart was the heart-warming film A Little Red Flower, which generated more than 800 million yuan between January 1 and 10, contributing about 40% of the total. The hit drama has remained the daily top earner since its release on December 31, with its box office revenue totaling 1.06 billion yuan as of Monday evening.

Other high-grossing films include comedy Warm Hug and crime thriller Shock Wave 2, both released in late December and which have raked in nearly 700 million yuan and 1 billion yuan, respectively. China’s 2020 box office was 20.4 billion yuan, of which the top 10 earners were all domestic productions, according to official figures.

Xinjiang land port

The customs authority at Alataw Pass, a major rail port in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has handled more than 1 million cross-border parcels so far this year.

In the first week of this year, the value of products that passed through the port amounted to more than 8 million yuan, showing active cross-border e-commerce, according to the customs.

The outbound parcels, including toys, digital products, clothes and daily necessities, were mainly from China’s manufacturing hubs such as Dongguan, Shenzhen and Hangzhou and were transported to European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Customs said it has worked with the local railway departments to facilitate the clearance process for the export enterprises.

Company news

An online platform of Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing giant, was fined 340,000 yuan for not taking adequate epidemic prevention and control measures, according to the transportation law enforcement department in Beijing.

The department also investigated 96 cases related to the drivers of the company’s platforms who had not taken adequate measures, while fining them 1.07 million yuan.

Since January 1, the department has inspected the implementation of epidemic prevention and control measures by online ride-hailing platforms, taxi companies and drivers.

Rong Jun, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, said some drivers of the platforms do not disinfect or ventilate their vehicles, do not wear masks or wear them correctly, or do not dissuade passengers who do not wear masks as required.

PurCotton, a Chinese mother and baby brand, is mired in a PR disaster. Its latest commercial was widely criticized online for objectifying women and victim-blaming. Its apology letter hurt the company’s reputation further for its allegedly self-aggrandizing content.

Promoting its make-up remover wipes, the controversial commercial shows a stalker at night in an alley. As the stalker catches up with an attractive woman, she uses a PurCotton wipe to remove her makeup and reveals a man’s face, which appears to disgust the stalker.

The commercial triggered controversy online as many believe it associated women’s safety with their appearance and objectified females. The company clarified that the ad was intended to highlight the “good cleansing function” of the product.

YouTube video

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and KoKo and were first published at ATimesCN.com.

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.