China’s Hebei expands testing area for Intelligent Connected Vehicles 

Cangzhou City of north China’s Hebei Province has expanded testing of intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) on new public routes, making it one of the largest road networks nationwide for testing autonomous vehicles.

Cangzhou has newly earmarked roads with a length of 407.3 km for ICV testing, bringing the total length to 636.9 km, said the municipal public security bureau.

The ICV road testing will involve more real-world traffic scenarios, such as transportation hubs, business zones, residential communities, schools, and parks.

In recent years, Cangzhou has speeded up its efforts to develop the ICV industry. The city has achieved strategic cooperation with Internet companies, including Baidu, on autonomous driving and intelligent transportation.

China allowed local governments to arrange road tests for ICVs, which cover different degrees of autonomous driving, in April 2018. An increasing number of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing, have issued license plates for road tests of ICVs.

Alibaba Pledges US$15.5 Billion To China’s ‘Common Prosperity’ Push

Alibaba Group has committed RMB100 billion (US$15.5 billion) to finance 10 initiatives promoting “common prosperity” in China, supporting a nationwide push towards a fairer society.

To this end, Alibaba has set up a dedicated task force, spearheaded by Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang, to see through each initiative by 2025, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The task force will focus on technology innovation, economic development, creating high-quality jobs, care for vulnerable groups, as well as launching a RMB20 billion Common Prosperity Development Fund that will help cut income inequality in Alibaba’s home province of Zhejiang.

“Alibaba is a beneficiary of the strong social and economic progress in China over the past 22 years. We firmly believe that if society is doing well and the economy is doing well, then Alibaba will do well,” said Zhang in the statement.

Hangzhou-headquartered Alibaba’s pledge is one of the largest made by a private sector company this year in alignment with China’s efforts to reduce income inequality.

China’s campaign to reduce the country’s wealth gap dates back to the foundation of the Communist Party but has come into greater focus this year after President Xi Jinping pledged to make solid progress towards common prosperity by 2035 after eradicating extreme poverty.

pilot program is already underway in Zhejiang province to narrow its income gap by 2025, creating an olive-shaped social structure by making middle-income households the mainstay of its economy.

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Over 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in China

More than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in China as of Thursday, with over 889 million people in the country fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, a health official said Friday.

Continuous efforts will be made to advance the mass vaccination campaign, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, told a press conference, while warning against any slackness among the public in personal protection.

China has extended its mass vaccination program to minors between 12 and 17, with more than 124 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered among the age group as of Thursday, said Wu Liangyou, deputy head of the NHC’s disease control and prevention division.

Glovo China