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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A report published by major Chinese travel agency Ctri

showed that 160 million Chinese people have travel plans during the upcoming four-day May

Day holiday. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Indonesia are the top destinations outside the mainland.

Malaysia, which receives around 10 million Chinese tourists annua

lly, began to issue e-visas for Chinese in 2017. “The number of visa stickers on passports of Chinese

nationals dropped by 70 percent in the first year after the service was introduced, showing its high popularity,” said Han.

Since last year, countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, Thailand and Sr

i Lanka have started to accept visa application documents online and issue e-visas, either a bar code or QR code.

“When more countries that are mainstream travel destinations launch such services for Chinese, more will follow suit,” Dai said.

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Xu said there have also been signs showing climate cha

ange has resulted in lower wind speeds in the region. There h

as been a downward trend for average wind speeds in the cluster si

nce 1960 and especially after 1990. This is in line with the weakening trend of wind speeds made up of cold air from L

ake Baikal in Russia, which penetrates into the region from the northwest

A multilateral tax cooperation mechanism under the Belt and Road Initiative was establ

ished on Thursday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. It aims to facili

tate cross-border trade and investment along BRI routes by helping resolve tax disputes.

The nonprofit mechanism, the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Admin

istration Cooperation Mechanism, or BRITACOM, includes tax authorities from 34 countr

ies and regions. Participating parties signed a memorandum of understanding and bec

ome council members on Thursday, including those from Kazakhstan, Uruguay and Nigeria.

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Names of companies taking part in second CIIE released

The first batch of enterprises to participate in the secon

d China International Import Expo, or CIIE, has been published as the 200-day count

down begins, according to China International Import Expo Bureau on Thursday.

The planned Enterprise and Business Exhibition area will be 300,000 square meter

s and divided into five parts — equipment, consumption, healthcare, food, and trade

in service. There will be seven display areas on science-tech life, automobile, equipment, medical eq

uipment and healthcare products, quality life, trade in service and food and agricultural products.

The science-tech life display area will show

case AR and VR, and technologies companies such as Panasonic, Samsung, Qualcom

m, Bosch, 3M, SAP, Delonghi, Infineon, Steinway, Ricoh, SMEG, Schott, and AGC will display their products.

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The signed exhibitors at trade in service area are Deloitt

PWC, KPMG, Ernst&Young, UPS, DHL, CMA CGM, HSBC, and VALE International.

The food showing area will be 60,000 square meters showing d

airy products, vegetables, fruits, meats, aquatic products, snacks, condiments, liquor and bever

ages, and the exhibitors will include Nestle, Danone, Fonterra, Theland, Dole, Louis Dreyfus and Cargill.

The 12th China Arts Festival will bring a slew of art activities to the Chinese economic and art hub Shanghai.

From May 20 to June 2, more than 50 shows selected nationwide will be perform

ed in 19 major theaters in Shanghai, over 600 artworks will go on display at the China Art Museum, and a fine

selection of creative cultural products will be shown at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. The festival will inclu

de various art forms, such as opera, chamber music, dancing, painting, sculpture and photography.

As 2019 also marks the 70th anniversary of the foun

ding of the People’s Republic of China, this year’s repertoire will be centered aro

und the lives of modern Chinese people as well as the diversified and prosperous art development in the new era.

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Shaorong, vice-general manager of Qinzhou Nixing Po

He told China Daily his company’s priority is to attract more peo

ple, especially non-locals, to visit and boost sales, as local consumption has limited potent

ial. The company is eyeing more business opportunities based on word-of-mouth among visitors, Long said.

This “one-stop industrial tourism”, as Long calls it, has contrib

uted more than 60 percent in total sales since his company started to feel out the market in 2005.

Long witnessed the company transform from a State-owned enterprise to a market-orient

ed limited company at the turn of century. By streamlining internal bodies and lifting the proportion of em

ployees involved in production while promoting its products via culture and tourism, costs can be cut, according to Long.

Now, he added, the annual production value of the company has reached 10 million yuan ($1.5 million).

chazhuzhu.cn

Yancheng, which is further north of the Yangtze, turned

d to the river for water in late June after experiencing at least four drinking water contamination incidents.

“As many areas abandon local sources and turn to the Yangtze, some sections of the river have become overcrowded” with diversion facilities, the report said.

Even the Yangtze is not a perfectly safe supply. In April 2014, for example, drinking wa

ter in Taizhou was interrupted because of pollutants discharged from local chemical plants.

In 2016, inspectors from the central government visited 12 of the 30 sites for collecting drink

ing water along the Yangtze in Jiangsu province and found eight with environmental violations, includin

g the existence of ports for the transportation of chemicals and fish farms in protected areas.

In March 2018, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the Min

istry of Water Resources initiated a special campaign to root out environment

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Luckin Coffee raises $150m in latest financingre seen at a stor

Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee has completed its new financing round of $150 million (1 billion y

uan), lifting the firm’s valuation to an estimated $2.9 billion, news portal NetEase reported on Thursday.

Global fund manager BlackRock-controlled private equity participated in the financing by investing $125 million.

Last year, Luckin Coffee completed its two financing rounds worth $400 billion with inve

stors including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Joy Capital and China International Capital Corp Ltd.

The coffee chain founded in 2017 had 2,073 stores in 22 Chinese cities

by the end of 2018, and plans to build 2,500 more in 2019. The firm aims to overtake its rival

Startbucks in store and cup numbers in China, said Luckin Coffee’s founder Qian Zhiya at a news conference in January.

www.qchen.cn

Luckin recorded 375 million yuan in revenue while

 the loss and gross margin were 875 million yuan and -433 million yuan in the first nine months of last year, according to NetEase, citing the firm’s financing plan.

In April, the firm mortgaged its movable properties in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu to raise money.

Earlier reports, including by Reuters, said the coffee chain had tapped Credit Suisse to w

ork on an IPO to raise $300 million on the US market as soon as in the second quarter of this year.

On April 10, Luckin announced plans to build new stores in ano

ther 14 Chinese cities and start selling tea-based beverages to satisfy customers’ diverse demands.

There are no more than 20 paintings ascribed to Leonardo da Vinci the Renaissance polymath and genius by art historia

ns around the world. And the majority of these works, housed at top museums worldwide, easily draw huge crowds.

Now, recent developments in high-definition reproduction technology are providing easy access to appreciating these paintings.

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The national landmark has received thousands of visitors

from China and overseas since it opened in 1968. Leaders from more than 70 countries and over 600 delegations from 150 nations have visited it.

During the three days it reopened to the public before taking road traffic in December, the bridge had more than 200,000 visitors.

The 4,589-meter-long structure reopened after 27 months of repairs. As China’s first home-designed road and rail truss bridge, it has been p

raised and loved by many. A truss bridge is one whose load-bearing superstructure is composed of connected elements forming triangular units.

Liu Yong, 63, a retired teacher from Nanjing, said he was in elementary school when the bridge first op

ened. Without telling his parents and teachers, he and his classmates walked more than 10 kilometers to see it.

“It was the most magnificent structure I had ever seen. When our relatives visited Nanjing, we

took them to see the bridge instead of visiting other well-known places of interest,” Liu said.

Zhou Lei, who lives in a residential community near the bridge, said that when he was an elementary school student in Ya

ncheng, Jiangsu, his father promised him that he would take him to see the bridge if he had high scores in his final exam.

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