percent of minors have internet accessChina had 169 million min

netizens in 2018 and the internet penetration rate was 93.7 percent, according to a report published on Tuesday.

The report was jointly published by the youth rights and interests protection departme

nt of the Communist Youth League of China Central Committee and the China Internet Network Information Center.

Minor netizens covered by the report are students at different levels under 18 years, but not including children under 6 years and non-student youths.

According to the report, 92 percent of minor netizens use mobile phones for internet ac

cess, and the percentages of minors using other devices for internet access are all less than 50 percent.

The report shows that 77.6 percent of minor netizens have their own internet access devices, and 69.7 percent have mobi

le phones. Data shows 52.2 percent connected to the internet less than one hour a day, and 24.2 percent between 1 and 2 hours.

Up to 87.4 percent use the internet for study, 68.1 percent listen to mus

ic and 64.2 percent play games for major leisure and recreational activities on the intern

et. Chatting online is the major communication activity for 58.9 percent, and 40.5 percent use short video apps, according to the report.

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Three government ministers quit their posts so they could

back the motion. Richard Harrington, who resigned as a junior business minister, accused the government of “playing roulette with the lives and liveli

hoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to resolve Britain’s Brexit impasse.

The government said it was disappointed by the vote, claiming it “upends the balance

between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

But it also conceded that the new votes might be a way to break the months-long Brexit gridlock. May said she would “engage

constructively” with the results of the process, though sahe said she was skeptical that it would produce a decisive result.

The move raises the chances that Britain will tack toward a softer Brexit, and is likely to be welcomed by th

e EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, tweet that it was an “opportunity to build a cross-party coope

ration leading to an enhanced political declaration & a closer future relationship!”Earlier in the day, May ack

nowledged, “with great regret,” that her deal still lacked “sufficient support” to be approved as of Monday.

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May has come under intense pressure to quit the prime minis

 minister’s post as the price of winning support for the deal.

At a meeting Sunday at the prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers,

prominent Brexiteers told May they might back the deal — if she agreed to step d

own so a new leader could take charge of the next phase of negotiations, which will

settle Britain’s future relations with the EU.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who attended the meeting and is likely to be a conten

der in any future Conservative leadership race, accused the government

of lacking “gumption” and chickening out on delivering Brexit.

Britaina’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, put a call on its front page for the

prime minister to resign under the headline “Time’s up, Theresa.”

May is hanging on, hoping she can persuade Brexit-backing lawmakers that

rejecting her deal means Britain may never leave the EU.

She told lawmakers that Britain would not leave the EU without a deal unless

Parliament — which has already rejected the idea — voted for it.

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We support the BRI globally because it’s a big project wi

ith so many applications in different parts of industry and the economy, and we want agreements, project by project.”

Raffarin was appointed special envoy on China affairs by French President Emmanuel Mac

ron. He pointed out that it is not pragmatic to have an agreement about every industrial sector, because, as sovereig

n states, both countries need to protect the interests of their own businesses and industries.

“It’s easier to go project by project, and, after some experience, we can add a larger vision,” Raffarin said.

His comments came after Italy signed a BRI memorandum of understanding with China during

Xi’s visit to Rome last week to become the first G7 country to join the global infrastructure plan.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, from January to November 2018, China’s direct investment in France reached $330 mil

lion. China’s growing investment in Europe has prompted concerns in the West, which Raffarin thinks are misplaced.

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he introduced measure is to “offer convenience for the pub

and greatly improve our work efficiency”, according to a released statement at a news conference held by the administration on Tuesday.

In the past, the residents in Chinese mainland could only apply for permits in their house

hold registration places with relevant documents, including identification card, hukou and application form.

National Immigration Administration holds a press conference on March 26, 2019.

Under the new measure, the residents will provide the same documents to apply for th

e passports and travel permits in their nearby exit and entry management departments, it said.

With the rapid development of China’s economy and society, a growing

number of people have been living, stuadying and working away from their hometown, and th

ere has been a strong demand for them to apply for the passports or travel permits in different places.

Data provided by the National Immigration Administra

tion show, this year, an estimated 21 million people will apply for passports and travel permits in di

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We will step up efforts to expand cooperation with sho

video platforms such as Kuaishou, Bilibili, Douyin and Huoshan, to obtain more data flows and encourage brands and buyers to do more live broadcasts,” Zeng said.

It also plans to tap into the social e-commerce sector, which is currently in its testing phase.

Experts say the livestreaming explosion is boosting China’s e-commerce sector. The new

format could display the commodities in more dimensions and increase users’ trust.

Cao Lei, director of China E-Commerce Research Center, said this method could attract consume

rs’ attention quickly and accurately as most of the livestreaming users are post-90s generation who are accusto

med to shopping online, as well as help online retailers to gain data flows and create a “real” shopping scenario.

“Immediate feedbacks could be given to merchants based on users’ instructions. Through their

mobile phones, consumers are able to talk with overseas buyers, which will greatly enhance users’ trust on the platform.”

China’s cross-border e-commerce sector has been growing rapid

ly over the past few years, owing to a rapid growth in the nation’s middle and high-income shoppers.

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New cross-border bridge to boost China-Vietnam trade

The Second Beilun River Bridge opened to traffic on March 19. It connects the Chinese city of Dongxing with the Vietn

amese city of Mong Cai, two important trade cities along the border between the two countries.

The new bridge spans 549 meters across the border river between China and Vietnam and is built to the first-class high

way standard. Construction started in 2014 and was completed in late 2017, costing a total of 220 million yuan ($33 million).

The bridge will greatly alleviate traffic burden on the First Beilun River Bridge three kilometers away, whi

ch was previously the only means of shipping personnel and cargo to or from Dongxing Checkpoint.

Statistics from immigration authorities show that 12.19 million people and 47,05

6 vehicles passed over the old bridge in 2018, far beyond its maximum capacity.

The new bridge is now designated for freight vehicles, while the First Be

ilun River Bridge is reserved for personnel. This could save 30 minutes or more in custo

ms clearance time for each consignment, according to Huang Xiong, deputy chief of Dongxing Customs.

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In the second half of 2018, total deal number and value

 in all sectors fell back to low levels, and PE/VC investors turned more cautious. Although TMT secto

rs saw a big drop in deal numbers and value compared with the first half amid the lackluster PE/VC inves

tment market, they remained the leaders among all sectors,” Gao Jianbin, PwC China TMT leader said.

The report also said similar to the first half of 2018, the num

ber of PE/VC deals involving startups was the biggest among all categories in the second half, while compan

ies in the expansionary period received the largest investment in terms of deal value. Investors adopted a strate

gy to avoid risks by mainly investing in mature projects that had survived market competition and were in stable development.

“As China officially launched an innovation initiative for the integrated circuit industry an

d a government IC industry fund raised 150 billion yuan ($22.4 billion) in second-phase financing, a number of IC inn

ovation enterprises have been established in the second half of 2018,” said Charline Ni, PwC China technology leader.

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Bank of Beijing planning venture with Dutch lender NV at a bra

Bank of Beijing Co Ltd said on Friday that it has got the necessary board approvals for the estab

lishment of a joint venture with Netherlands-based ING Bank NV, in which the latter will be the majority partner.

With a total investment of 3 billion yuan ($448 million), the forthcoming joint-venture bank, which is still waiting for regulat

ory approval, may become China’s first commercial lender in which a foreign shareholder has a controlling int

erest. According to the plan, ING Bank will hold a 51 percent stake, and Bank of Beijing 49 percent.

Drawing on the experience of ING Bank in the successful development of direct banking services, the joint venture will build

a brand in the area of digital banking with the help of financial technologies and try to become a benc

hmark in terms of the implementation of China’s push to further open up its financial sector to for

eign investors, said the mid-tier commercial lender BOB in an announcement.

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The 10 percent deduction rate, which applies to buyers of ag

ricultural goods, will be cut to 9 percent, said the statement.

“The VAT reform is not simply lowering the tax rate, but focusing on the integration with the overall tax reform. It has continued to ma

ke progress toward the long-term goal of establishing a modern VAT system, and it also leaves room for cutting the number of VAT brac

kets from three to two in the future,” said Wang Jianfan, director of the department of taxation under the Ministry of Finance.

To implement the statutory taxation principle, China will also accelerate legislation to deepen VAT reform, Wang said.

The joint statement came after Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that China will imp

lement a series of measures to cut VAT rates and ease the tax burden in almost all industries.

Earlier this month, Li said in his 2019 Government Work Repo

rt that VAT reform was key to improving the tax system and achieving better income distribution.

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