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China’s Street Cleaners Left In the Cold

China’s street cleaners work under extreme conditions. The story of one public cleaner has become a trending topic on Weibo. Netizens urge the government to improve the working conditions of their “angels of the road”.

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Recent severe weather in Dalian (Liaoning) made the story of a street cleaner one of the trending topics on Sina Weibo (#环卫工吃雪解渴#).

Public cleaner Xiyi Wang and his wife worked for 13 hours to shovel snow on the streets in the freezing cold. The extreme conditions, under which the pair did not have any food or water, led them to quenching their thirst by swallowing snow. The picture became trending on China’s social media after it was published in a Liaoning newspaper (source).

Besides praising the hard work of China’s public cleaners, netizens on Sina Weibo express their sympathy for the bad circumstances under which street sweepers have to work. In Chinese media, street cleaners are often also called “angels of the road” (马路天使). However, their working circumstances are far from heaven. The story of Xiyi Wang only shows the tip of the iceberg.

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Public cleaners in China generally work long hours and receive the national minimum pay. Normally there is no workstation for them to take a break or recover from the cold. Hot food or drinks are not provided. Furthermore, working safety is an important issue. Street cleaners are exposed to dangerous situations when cleaning heavy traffic roads. Since the beginning of this month (Dec 2nd, 2014), four street sweepers have been reported dead in road accidents.

Many Sina netizens appeal to the government through social media, asking them to provide a better working environment for street sweepers and improve their social welfare, because, they say, they deserve a better life than this.

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– What’s on Weibo, by Fan Bai

Follow What’s on Weibo on Twitter. 

About the author: Fan Bai is a freelance translator and writer. Born and raised in China, she is now based in the UK.

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China Local News

Children of Hubei Medical Workers to Receive 10 Extra Points on High School Enrolment Examination

Hubei officials announced a controversial measure to reward frontline medical workers.

Manya Koetse

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Image via xjdkctz.com.

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Hubei authorities announced new measures on Tuesday to encourage and support the work of Hubei’s front-line medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

One of these measures, rewarding the children of medical staff an extra ten points in their zhongkao examination, became a somewhat controversial top trending topic on Chinese social media today.

The zhongkao is an important academic examination in China taken during the last year of junior high school, right before entering education institutions at the senior high school level. These enrollment examinations are held annually in June or July, depending on the region.

A good mark on the exam is of crucial importance for many students, as it will give them admission to their preferred senior high school, which then could have more profound effects on their education after high school and their further career.

According to the new policy, children of Hubei’s medical workers would be rewarded with ten extra points on top of their overall score for the exams if they take it. Since the exams are highly competitive, every extra point could mean a world of difference since it will mean leaving hundreds of other students behind you.

On Weibo, one announcement of the new measure published by Chinese news source The Paper received over 938.000 likes and more than 11.000 comments. Many Weibo users do not agree with the policy.

“It should be the medical workers themselves who are rewarded through promotion or a salary increase,” a top comment says: “It shouldn’t be their children who are rewarded.”

Although a majority of commenters say that medical workers should be given special rewards in these times of hardships, most also agree that rewarding their children in their exam results is not the way to go. “This only makes the exam system more unfair,” a recurring comment says.

With 610 million views at the time of writing, the hashtag “The kids of Hubei frontline medical staff will get extra 10 points on zhongkao score” (#湖北一线医务人员子女中考加10分#) is one of the most-dicussed topics on Weibo of the day.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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