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Morning Wrap: Top Stories in the Chinese Press - Aug 9

August 9, 2013
Translated by Luo Shuqi and Pang Lei

Topping this morning's headlines was yesterday's announcement that Liu Tienan, a former head of China's National Energy Administration, had been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and removed from public office (Xinhua).

Many websites linked to an article in today's Beijing news which stated that Liu kept a mistress and took part in a series of "sexual activites". The report also alleged that Liu was found to have 25 bank accounts, including one with 19 million Australian dollars in it, over 9 kilograms of gold bars and 25 rare diamonds (Beijing Times)

Yesterday's statement from the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection also said that Liu was "morally degenerate".

Other stories that appeared in prominent positions on the major news portals included the removal of senior health officials from a county in northwest Shaanxi Province following the recent revelations that a doctor at the Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital had been selling babies (China Internet Information Center).

A National Audit Office report into subsidised housing scams that was released earlier today is also getting prominent coverage. China's top auditor said that they had uncovered nearly 5.8 billion yuan in funds meant for subsidised housing projects that had been embezzled last year. The report also said that over 100,000 households had falsefied their claims for housing assistance (China Internet Information Center).

Another disturbing piece of news that was topping news websites this morning involves a woman who together with her husband murdered a young nurse in the north east province of Heilongjiang last month. The woman, who was pregnant at the time of the crime, has now given birth to a boy and reports say that no-one is prepared to adopt the baby.

Keep reading below for translated digests of some of the other stories being reported by mainland Chinese media outlets today.

SASAC Reveals China Unicom's Second Quarter Results Ahead of Schedule
China Unicom Ltd., China's second-biggest mobile carrier, posted a forecast-beating 41 percent rise in the second quarter yesterday, but a slip up by a web manager at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) meant that the results were made public before trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange had closed. The premature release of the second quarter results led to a sharp rise in the company's stock price before trading was suspended. China Unicom sent the report to SASAC at about 3pm that afternoon but did not make it clear that the report should not be published until after the close of trading. The company's chairman Chang Xiaobing (常小兵) later apologised for the premature release of the information. China Unicom, which was the first Chinese mobile operator to carry Apple's iPhones, reported a first-half net profit of 5.32 billion yuan, up 55 percent from a year earlier.
Original article: [Chinese]

Crack Down on Violations in Rare Earth Sector Could Lift Prices
Beijing News
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced a special operation involving seven other ministries including the Ministry of Environmental Protection (环保部) and the Ministry of Public Security (公安部) aimed at combating violations of laws and regulations in the rare earth industry. The special operation will last for three months and scrutinize every aspect of the industry including mining, smelting, and distribution. An expert in rare earth production, Du Shuaibing (杜帅兵) said that illegal mining, below-standard production and black market trading had long marred the rare earth industry and this operation will enhance the performance of the entire market. He also says that because of the suspension of illegal production, supply will decrease and prices could lift in the short term. After the announcement, the price of rare earth-associated companies listed on China's stock exchanges rose yesterday.
Original article: [Chinese]

Fengshui Stones Adorn Government Buildings
Beijing News
A look at how many governmental buildings in Hunan, Shanxi and Hubei Province feature fengshui stones, stone lions and other adornments. The report says that the raw materials, transportation and installment of these adornments could cost up to a million yuan.
Original article: [Chinese]


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