East China remained the most developed region in 2017, wit

Designated traffic lanes will be set aside on Beijing-Chongli Expressway for smooth traffic flow during the upcoming 2019 Bei

jing International Horticultural Exhibition, the capital’s transport authorities said on Monday, Beijing News reported.

The expo, which will kick off on April 29 and run until Oct 7, is expected to attract 16 million visitors from home and abroad.

The special lanes will be put in use on weekends and national holidays

(Labor Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day) during the ho

rticultural exhibition, according to Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation.

While the special lanes are in use, only public transport vehicles, large pass

enger cars, certified Beijing Expo vehicles, road maintenance vehicles and emergency vehi

cles, such as police cars, firefighting vehicles and ambulances, will be allowed to run on these lanes.

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n April 2017, for example, the company took technol

ogy giant Tencent to court and asked for 180,000 yuan in compensation after Tencent us

ed nine Visual China Group images without permission, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Tencent said the images involved could also be found on other webs

ites, or the company could not prove it had authorization for the photos. The court fina

lly ordered Tencent to pay 40,000 yuan to Visual China, the report added.

Wang Weiwei, a lawyer from the Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, sai

d, “Mushrooming copyright-related disputes can be acceptable if a stock-ima

ge agency, such as Visual China Group, gets authorization for images from copyright owners.

“Any litigation caused by true copyright infringement is no problem and is justifie

d, as it is also to help protect the legitimate rights and interest of the copyright owners,” he said.

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But if the stock-image platform doesn’t get authoriza

ion but still asks for compensation by resorting to litigation, I think such behavior may be an alleged fraud,” he said.

The core of the problem lies in whether stock-image providers get authorization from copyright owners, he added.

Zhao Zhanling, a legal researcher who specializes in intellectual p

roperty cases at the China University of Political Science and Law, agreed, but said copyri

ght owners and institutes given copyright authorization should respect this right and not abuse it for gain.

He said stock-image companies need to make authorization a priority in their opera

tions and pay more effort to finding a balance between commercial interest and public interest.

The litigation right that is to safeguard copyrights must not be abused, he added.

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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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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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Dinghao Electronics Plaza in Zhongguancun was pu

rchased by a joint venture between Partners Group, The Family Office, SDP Investments, and The Carlyle Group for around 9 billion yuan.

“Given the strong presence of leading and fast-growing IT firms in the area, Zhongguancun remai

ns a bright spot for investment opportunities in Beijing,” said Michael Wang, head of capital markets for JLL in Beijing.

“Due to the lack of commercial leasing space in the IT-driven submarket, rapidly expanding

companies are increasingly choosing to purchase entire buildings to meet large office requirements.”

An increasing number of countries have tapped into the convenience of e-visas to attra

ct more tourists from China, the world’s largest source of outbound tourists.

According to tourism insiders, the Japanese embassy in Beijing

said on Thursday during a meeting with local travel agencies that it will launch e-visa services

on May 1, allowing applicants to submit their materials online instead of sending paper documents.

“The embassy said that e-visa services may be available in consulates in other Chinese cities n

ext year,” said Han Zhisu, co-founder and CEO of 666visa.cn, a domestic platform where visa applicants can submit materials.

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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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The market potential remains huge,” said Dai Bin, direct

or of the China Tourism Academy. “Compared to the United States, w

here 48 percent of its citizens hold a passport, the figure in China is only around 10 perce

nt. It’s estimated that the number of Chinese outbound travelers will reach 230 million in 2030.”

A report published by major Chinese travel agency Ctrip showed th

at 160 million Chinese people have travel plans during the upcoming four-day May Day hol

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

Malaysia, which receives around 10 million Chinese tourists annually, began to i

ssue e-visas for Chinese in 2017. “The number of visa stickers on passports of Chinese na

tionals 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 Sri Lanka have starte

d to accept visa application documents online and issue e-visas, either a bar code or QR code.

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Located in Mega Mall in eastern Bucharest, the first

 Mi Store in the eastern European country occupies 200 square meters, offering some

300 products, including smartphones, cameras, speakers, headsets, smart watches, selfie sticks, electri

c scooters, smart robotic vacuum cleaners and even casual backpack.

“With opening of the flagship store in the country,

we are pleased to announce that the Mi fans can purchase the first Xiaomi phones offi

cially in Romania,” said Zhang Guoren, Xiaomi authorized representative in Romania.

Xiaomi is currently the fourth largest smartph

one producer in the world and Romanians have long been familiar with its products.

 China’s former world number one Ding Junhui took a 6-3 lead over Anthony McGill of Scotland in th

e opening day’s snooker world championship at the Crucible Theatre here on Saturday.

Ding, ranked 10th in the world, pulled ahead 4-1 with breaks of 64 and 70. World num

ber 24 McGill, who was crushed last year here by Ding 13-4 in the second round, won the next frame 73-57 but D

ing made a break of 129 points in the seventh frame and took the eighth easily for a 6-2 lead.

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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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