China cracking down on cryptocurrency ‘mining’

China will crack down on the “mining” activities of cryptocurrencies to enhance the control and regulation of mining energy consumption.

The National Development and Reform Commission, together with other authorities, on Friday issued a notice on regulating the “mining” activities of virtual currencies, strictly banning new virtual currency mining projects from being included in the Dual Control System of Total Energy Consumption and Energy Intensity assessment.

“Mining” activities of virtual currencies refer to the production of virtual currencies calculated by a dedicated “mining machine,” for which energy consumption and carbon emissions are huge, while the contribution to the national economy is low and the impetus to industrial development and scientific and technological progress is limited, according to the commission.

In addition, the risks arising from the production and trading of virtual currencies are gradually emerging. The excessive and disorderly development is having a negative impact on economic and social development, and the progress of energy saving and carbon emission reductions, the commission said.

Authorities will promote the data analysis of grid-connected power generation data and abnormal use of electricity. By technical means it is to monitor and control energy consumption, and strengthen the on-site inspection of users with large electricity consumption.

They are fully mapping out local virtual currency mining projects that have been put into operation, setting up a project list and combing through the basic data, including the enterprises they’re connected to, the scale, hash rate and electricity consumption of the virtual currency mining projects in operation.

WHO urges international donors to resume Afghanistan health funding

The World Health Organization’s representative to Afghanistan called on the international community on Thursday to resume funding of the war-torn country’s health program which was suspended when the Taliban took over governing the country, as the healthcare system had plunged into crisis, Reuters reported.
The deteriorating situation underscored the dilemma faced by many international donors, many of which are reticent to fund the Taliban-led administration, some of whose members are on international sanctions lists, but fear that the country is veering towards a humanitarian crisis.

“In the recent weeks, access to health care has significantly declined for hundreds of thousands of some of the most vulnerable Afghans,” Luo Dapeng, WHO’s representative to Afghanistan, said at a press conference in Geneva.

“The country’s already-fragile health system is overwhelmed,” he said, adding they were coordinating with donors to find alternative funding mechanisms for health facilities.
International governments have pledged millions in urgent humanitarian aid but questions remain over longer term development and other funding to an economy highly dependent on international assistance. Billions of dollars in central bank assets held outside the country have also been frozen.

According to the report, roughly $600 million three-year health project administered by the World Bank in Afghanistan has funded the operation of hundreds of health facilities, and WHO estimated less than a fifth were now fully functional. That has contributed to a surge in cases of measles and diarrhea, with half of Afghan children at risk of malnutrition and millions of COVID-19 vaccines sitting unused, Dapeng said.


China edges closer to top 10 most innovative economies: WIPO 

China is still the only middle-income economy in the list of the world’s top 30 most innovative economies, establishing itself as a global innovation leader and approaching the top 10, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Monday.

WIPO’s Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 report shows that China has made continuous progress from ranking 14th last year to 12th this year and is now “knocking at the door of the GII top 10,” which “underlines the continued importance of governmental policies and incentives to stimulate innovation.”

Since 2013, China has moved up the GII ranks consistently and steadily, establishing itself as a global innovation leader.

According to the GII, the number of China’s patents by origin, scaled by GDP, is higher than those of Japan, Germany and the U.S., and is even more impressive when considered in absolute terms. The same is true for the number of trademarks and industrial designs by origin as a percentage of GDP.

In terms of innovation clusters geographically, the top 10 list remains the same as last year with only minor shifts. Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing now rank second and third, respectively, after the Tokyo-Yokohama cluster in Japan. Shanghai ranks eighth. Of the top 100 clusters, China has 19.

Published annually, the GII provides performance measures and ranks 132 economies on their innovation ecosystems. As in past years, Switzerland, Sweden, the U.S. and the UK continue to lead the innovation ranking. Other countries in the GII top 10 include South Korea, the Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, Denmark and Germany.

According to WIPO Director General Daren Tang, “in spite of the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic … many sectors have shown remarkable resilience, especially those that have embraced digitalization, technology and innovation.”

“As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, we know that innovation is integral to overcoming the common challenges that we face and to constructing a better future,” he said.

Source: Xinhua News Agency,WIPO

“The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness.”

—Paul Graham,Co-founder Y Combinator

Festive China: Mid-Autumn Festival 

The 15th day of the eighth lunar month is the Mid-Autumn Festival, a celebration that focuses on the moon. From ancient times, it has been customary for Chinese to reunite with family members and enjoy a sweet mooncake while observing the beautiful moon.

This yearning for the moon among Chinese people can be traced back to a fairytale: “Chang’e Flies to the Moon”. What is the story about? And how is this related to China’s “Chang’e Moon Exploration Project”? What does the dark side of the moon look like? Watch this episode of Festive China to find out more.