Coronavirus spreads to more than 800 in China: First death outside epicentre |


China’s National Health Commission said Friday afternoon (NZ time) the confirmed cases of the new coronavirus had risen to 830 with 25 deaths.

The first death was also confirmed outside the central province of Hubei, where the capital, Wuhan, has been the epicentre of the outbreak.

The health commission in Hebei, a northern province bordering Beijing, said an 80-year-old man died after returning from a two-month stay in Wuhan to see relatives.

The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or people with connections the city. Other cases have been confirmed in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. Singapore and Vietnam reported their first cases Thursday, and cases have also been confirmed in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.

Many countries are screening travellers from China for symptoms of the virus, which can cause fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and pneumonia.

The World Health Organisation has decided against declaring the outbreak a global emergency, a step that can bring more money and resources to fight a threat but that can also cause trade and travel restrictions and other economic damage, making the decision a politically fraught one.

The decision “should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not think the situation is serious or that we’re not taking it seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “WHO is following this outbreak every minute of every day.”

The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that originate in animals before making the jump to humans.

Chinese authorities moved to lock down at least three cities with a combined population of more than 18 million in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds of people and spread to other parts of the world during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.

Chinese officials have not said how long the shutdowns of the cities will last. While sweeping measures are typical of China’s Communist Party-led government, large-scale quarantines are rare around the world, even in deadly epidemics, because of concerns about infringing on people’s liberties. And the effectiveness of such measures is unclear.

“To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science,” said Gauden Galea, the WHO”s representative in China. “It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it will not work.”

People wear face masks as they wait at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan

Jonathan Ball, a professor of virology at molecular virology at the University of Nottingham in Britain, said the lockdowns appear to be justified scientifically.

“Until there’s a better understanding of what the situation is, I think it’s not an unreasonable thing to do,” he said. “Anything that limits people’s travels during an outbreak would obviously work.”

But Ball cautioned that any such quarantine should be strictly time-limited. He added: “You have to make sure you communicate effectively about why this is being done. Otherwise you will lose the goodwill of the people.”

A resident wears a mask to buy vegetables in the market in Wuhan.

During the devastating West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014, Sierra Leone imposed a national three-day quarantine as health workers went door to door, searching for hidden cases. Burial teams collecting corpses and people taking the sick to Ebola centres were the only ones allowed to move freely. Frustrated residents complained of food shortages.

In China, the illnesses from the newly identified coronavirus first appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub. Local authorities demanded all residents wear masks in public places and urged civil servants wear them at work.

After the city was closed off Thursday, images showed long lines and empty shelves at supermarkets, as people stocked up. Trucks carrying supplies into the city are not being restricted, although many Chinese recall shortages in the years before the country’s recent economic boom.

Analysts predicted cases will continue to multiply, although the jump in numbers is also attributable in part to increased monitoring.

A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station.

“Even if (cases) are in the thousands, this would not surprise us,” the WHO’s Galea said, adding, however, that the number of infected is not an indicator of the outbreak’s severity so long as the death rate remains low.

The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as the SARS outbreak that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-03 and killed about 800 people, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS, which is thought to have originated from camels.

China is keen to avoid repeating mistakes with its handling of SARS. For months, even after the illness had spread around the world, China parked patients in hotels and drove them around in ambulances to conceal the true number of cases and avoid WHO experts. This time, China has been credited with sharing information rapidly, and President Xi Jinping has emphasised that as a priority.

Health authorities are taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, placing those believed infected in plastic tubes and wheeled boxes, with air passed through filters.

The first cases in the Wuhan outbreak were connected to people who worked at or visited a seafood market, now closed for an investigation. Experts suspect that the virus was first transmitted from wild animals but that it may also be mutating. Mutations can make it deadlier or more contagious.

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South Park creators give ‘official apology’ after reports the show was scrubbed from the Chinese internet


(CNN)South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker hit back at China after the government scrubbed the show from the Chinese internet.

“South Park” has never been afraid to be offensive, which is why the show now virtually no longer exists in China. Every clip, any online discussion from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages have been deleted by the government, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Stone and Parker issued an apology on Monday after China’s crackdown — well, kind of.
    “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” they said in a statement on Twitter. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy.”
    Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in a tweet on Sunday. The backlash came quickly: The Chinese Basketball Association said it would suspend all cooperation with the team, and China’s top state broadcaster announced that it would suspend airing Houston Rockets events on television.
    The NBA said Monday that it recognizes that Morey’s views “have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”
    South Park creators give 'official apology' after reports the show was scrubbed from the Chinese internet - CNN
    This isn’t the first time seemingly harmless content has become forbidden in China. After people online compared Winnie the Pooh and Tigger to Chinese President Xi Jinping and former President Barack Obama in 2017, the honey-loving teddy bear was banned from China’s cyberspace.
    The “South Park” creators ended their faux apology with a jab at Xi and China’s authoritarian government.
      “Xi doesn’t just look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10!” Stone and Parker’s statement continued. “Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
      Correction: This story was updated to reflect the South Park creators’ correct names.

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      ‘Play ’em tough’: Al Charron on how Canada were nearly a world power and what went wrong

      The great back-rower is pained by his countrys current struggles but sees an opportunity to beat Italy and surprise the game again

      Alternative history is about tantalising but impossible questions. What if Lincoln had skipped the theatre? What if David Cameron hadnt called his referendum?

      Al Charron wonders what Canadian rugby might have become, had one game at the 1991 World Cup turned out just slightly different.

      We had a really big belief in ourself that we could surprise the world, says the Hall of Fame back-rower, all 76 caps and four World Cups of him.

      In 1991, Charron was a raw-boned 25-year-old Ottawa Irish flanker, a rare Ontarian in a team dominated by British Columbia.

      I think we should have beaten France, he says. We played France in our last pool game after beating Romania and Fiji and I think we were down 10-0 before we figured out we could play with these guys. And we ended up outplaying them and outscoring them I think for the rest of the game.

      Canada lost 19-13 so Charron, Stormin Norm Hadley, Gareth Rees and all qualified for a quarter-final in Lille. That brought heroic defeat, 29-13 to New Zealand, Charron scoring a try, underdogs cheered to the rafters. Canada seemed ready to join the top table.

      Charron thinks wistfully back. If France had been beaten Canada would have played a quarter-final in Paris instead against Will Carlings England.

      England were an unbelievable side, Charron says, and they were unlucky to lose the final. But I would have liked to match up against England, because we were kind of built in the same way: strong forward pack, heavily relying on the fly-half.

      Being as modest as he is hugely engaging, he doesnt put it in stark black and white. So here it is: if Canada had beaten England at the Parc des Princes a battle perhaps even more brutal than Le Crunch they would have had a decent chance of beating Scotland at Murrayfield and reaching the final at Twickenham.

      What might have been. Four words to sum up Canadian rugby.

      After 1991, Canada kept on coming. They beat Wales in Cardiff, Charron scoring the winning try, they beat England, Scotland, France and Italy. At the 1995 World Cup they ran the world champion Australians close and fought the next No1, South Africa, at the Battle of Boet Erasmus. In 1999 they pushed France again.

      Charron poses with the Webb Ellis Cup at the House of Commons in Ottawa. Photograph: Minas Panagiotakis – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

      Australia 2003 brought an end to Charrons career, at 37, borne away on his shield after a horrific high hit from a Tongan defender. Coincidentally or not, Canada have struggled ever since. England 2015 was the first time they lost all their World Cup games but this cycle brought a new low. Beaten by the USA and Uruguay, Kingsley Joness men had to qualify for the current World Cup via the repechage, past Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya.

      Asked what went wrong, Charron, who works for Rugby Canada in fundraising and player liaison, offers a simple answer.

      I dont think Canada has ever really got a full grasp of the professional set-up in rugby, he says. In such a vast country, the moneys spread out quite a bit the money that does come in.

      There are steep challenges in funding mens and womens XVs as well as sevens squads set for the Tokyo Olympics. Charron speaks with sadness about the decline of a club scene that thrived in amateur days but is now beset by rising costs, insurance concerns, a struggle to keep young talent flowing and older players playing.

      But he is also passionately committed to the hard work needed to help Canadas men play em tough an idiom he returns to when contemplating past battles on the grandest stage once more.

      The national team is passionate too, of course. Its led by another big back-rower, Tyler Ardron, a standout with the Chiefs in Super Rugby. Out in the backs theres DTH van Der Merwe and Jeff Hassler, the former still with Glasgow, the latter once an Osprey.

      Hassler is one of a strong contingent from Major League Rugby, which Charron picks out as a positive as it heads for season three. The double-champion Seattle Seawolves might be as American as a Starbucks Venti latte but they are led by the veteran Canada scrum-half Phil Mack and employ a hard core of his compatriots. Toronto Arrows fly the flag at home.

      The true impact of MLR will be felt with time. In Japan, Canada must face Italy, Namibia, South Africa and New Zealand. In August, Canada lost to Tonga. In September, Tonga conceded 92 points to the All Blacks.

      Charron played for Moseley, Bristol, Dax and Pau but kept coming back for Canada, even in his late 30s with a horrendously busted knee. A disparate squad, on relatively low pay, expected to front up to the best in the world? It seems awfully familiar.

      Its a difficult thing for the players to get their heads around, he says. A lot of them are coming from professional set-ups and were not as professional as wed like to be in every sense of the word. So theres still, you know, some bean counting going on that sometimes takes away from proper preparation and development for big games.

      Jones, Canadas Welsh coach, has hinted he might rest key players for New Zealand and South Africa. That might make those games uglier still but he would have good reason. Oddly, this World Cup presents an opportunity.

      If Italy and Namibia can be beaten, third place in Pool B will ensure qualification for the 2023 World Cup in France. The irony is not lost on Canadas great rivals, the US Eagles, whose dominance in North America has been rewarded with an even harder draw.

      Tyler Ardron in action against Hong Kong, last November. Photograph: Ian Muir/ProSports/Shutterstock

      Asked if Canada can do it, Charron reacts with typical generosity. The Italians dont get the respect they deserve. Though Namibia are ranked 23rd and were 22nd, he doesnt understand how World Rugby comes up with the rankings.

      Its going to be tough, he insists.

      But then, Canadian rugby players, from Charron to Ghislaine Landry to the minis of Meraloma and Burlington Centaurs, always play em tough.

      Canadas always showed up at World Cups and raised their game, Charron says. So Im hopeful we can play in a manner that is going to be exciting and hopefully get people out of their seats.

      If we should beat Italy and Namibia, that would certainly be a big boost and set us up for money coming from World Rugby a lot earlier. It sets our schedule out and tells us what we need to do, building towards France in 2023. It makes life easier on everyone, from administrative staff up to the CEO, coaching staff, players. We would know where we stand.

      Its still a tall ask, but maybe they already consider us a win. Maybe thats the one thing we might have going for us.

      He laughs. Hopefully theyre looking past us.

      Back when Charron was in his prime, playing em tough with Gord Mackinnon, Glenn Ennis, Eddie Evans and Rod Snow, some very good teams made the same costly mistake.

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      DoorDash picks Australia for its first move outside North America


      Hong Kong (CNN Business)DoorDash, America’s biggest food delivery service, is heading to the other side of the globe.

      “We are excited by the opportunity to extend our vision to a brand new continent for the first time,” Thomas Stephens, the company’s acting general manager for Australia, said in a blog post.
      He added in a statement to CNN Business that the company chose Melbourne because of its “strong restaurant density and geographic reach into the suburbs which was being underserved by delivery options.”
        The company will face significant competition. Food delivery is a notoriously competitive sector, and players like Uber (UBER) Eats and Deliveroo have been operating in Melbourne for years.
        To help win customers, DoorDash has teamed up with thousands of restaurants and says it’s partnering with more businesses “every day.”
        DoorDash food delivery is coming to Australia - CNN
        It also announced a number of splashy promotions, including free delivery for the first month on orders over 10 Australian dollars (about $7), and vouchers worth 30 Australian dollars (about $20) to anyone who doesn’t get their food within 30 minutes.
        DoorDash was founded in 2013 and rapidly scaled its business to become the market leader in the United States. Last month, the company accounted for more than a third of US meal delivery sales, slightly more than Grubhub and well ahead of Uber Eats and Postmates, according to Second Measure, a firm that tracks consumer behavior.
        The company improved its market share even before announcing it would buy Caviar, a smaller rival that handles delivery for high-end restaurants, for $410 million. In July, DoorDash sales grew by 156% from the same time last year, according to Second Measure.
        “Sales across this industry are growing, but DoorDash’s growth stands out,” wrote Kathryn Roethel Rieck, author of the industry report.
          The company’s rise hasn’t been without controversy. This summer, DoorDash was forced to change its tipping model after an extensive outcry that its delivery workers weren’t being compensated fairly.
          Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the year that DoorDash was founded.

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          Harrow school to launch online sixth form

          China Image copyright Pearson

          The global wealthy will soon be able to send their children to a top English private school without having to leave home.

          Harrow is setting up a virtual sixth form which will teach A-levels online to pupils anywhere in the world.

          It will charge £15,000 per year and will initially focus on science and maths subjects, with education firm Pearson providing the technology.

          The new Harrow School Online will begin teaching from September 2020.

          Principal Heather Rhodes said the historic school was adapting to a “rapidly changing world”.

          This is the latest attempt to use online technology to sell UK education overseas – with the school’s brand being used to attract pupils who want to be taught through the internet.

          Global wealthy

          The online classes will only be available to pupils outside the UK – and so will not compete with its own bricks and mortar school in north-west London, where fees for boarders are almost £42,000 per year.

          The school is expected to appeal to affluent families in Russia, China, Nigeria, the Gulf and Hong Kong, who want A-levels from a prestigious private school teaching in English.

          Nigeria Image copyright Pearson
          Image caption Logging in to Harrow: The online version of the school will teach A-levels over the internet

          Ms Rhodes said it might also appeal to families working abroad who want more flexibility than a conventional international school.

          Harrow School Online will operate as a joint project with Pearson, which provides educational technology and also A-levels through its Edexcel exam board.

          Sharon Hague of Pearson said the online platform had already been tested, and was being used by more than 75,000 pupils learning online in the United States.

          The A-level subjects – chemistry, physics, maths, further maths and economics – will be taught through video-conferencing, with classes of up to 15 pupils per teacher.

          The school expects to begin with a relatively small number of online pupils, but as the numbers grow, classes are likely to be scheduled around different time zones.

          Admissions test

          There will also be one-to-one teaching and extra-curricular projects, said Ms Rhodes, creating a “full-school experience”.

          Unlike the rest of Harrow, which only admits boys, the online school will teach both boys and girls – with entry depending on passing an admissions test.

          online platform Image copyright PA Media

          Founded in the 16th Century, Harrow has taught many famous pupils, including Sir Winston Churchill and actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

          The income will be shared between Pearson and Harrow, with the school saying money from online courses will be used to support bursaries for disadvantaged pupils.

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          The date which has both Hong Kong and Beijing on edge


          Hong Kong (CNN)For months, October 1 has loomed over the mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, as a whispered deadline for the ruling Chinese Communist Party to take action to end the unrest.

          It’s a significant milestone that China’s leaders will not want overshadowed by protests in Hong Kong, which have grown in intensity since mass demonstrations began in June.
          But what action the party might take is unclear and highly debated, with some even saying the greater threat will be after the anniversary, if protesters disrupt or distract from the day’s celebrations and embarrass the country’s Communist leaders.
            The Hong Kong government has said there is no such deadline for action by Beijing to end the protests. In audio leaked to Reuters, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam can be heard reassuring business leaders that “they and ourselves have no expectations that we could clear up this thing before the 1st of October.”
            But the whispers have continued, with no clear consensus on what October 1 might mean for Hong Kong.
            Some predict that a military crackdown before October is inevitable, as Beijing seeks to save face. Others say that wanting to present a calm, united front in two weeks’ time is the only thing holding Beijing back.
            “The Chinese Communist Party will not allow any sign of a ‘step down’ around the moment of the 70th anniversary … They will do everything to make sure the situation stays under their control,” said 30-year-old protester David Wong.
            Hong Kong protests: The date which has Beijing on the edge - CNN

            Xi’s moment to shine

            Every country has important anniversaries or celebrations, but the Chinese Communist Party heavily politicizes dates such as this and uses them as opportunities to provide justification for the party’s ongoing mandate to govern.
            For instance, 2021 will be the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party. It’s also the self-imposed deadline for President Xi to deliver some of his signature achievements, such as eradicating all poverty and raise living standards to new heights.
            The 70th anniversary on October 1 will similarly be used by the government to highlight how far China has come economically and militarily since the party took power in 1949.
            In the last 20 years alone, China’s wealth per adult has quadrupled, while its GDP has gone from just $150 billion in 1978 to over $12 trillion in 2018. Just over 30 million people are still living in poverty in China, down from 770 million 40 years ago.
            On the day itself, Xi is expected to address the nation and oversee a military parade through the streets of Beijing, followed by fireworks and cultural performances across the country.
            The celebrations in Hong Kong are expected to be muted in comparison. In the recording of Lam leaked to Reuters, she said that, given the recent “disruptions,” “we are going for a modest but solemn type of celebrations on the first of October.”
            The festivities also come at an important time for President Xi who is embroiled in a trade war with the United States, which has reverberated through global economy.
            Beijing has gone to vast lengths to ensure that the 70th celebrations go off without a hitch.
            Security has been tightened across the capital of Beijing and state media is promoting positive news stories about the government’s achievements. On television, popular dramas have even been banned in favor of patriotic films.
            In this atmosphere, headline-grabbing protests against the government in one of their most well-known cities will frustratingly complicate their narrative of a united and powerful country, happy under the Communist Party’s leadership.

            What can they do though?

            But just three weeks out, it isn’t entirely clear what the Chinese government can do to prevent protesters from disrupting October 1 celebrations in Hong Kong.
            The protests have shown no signs of easing despite the Hong Kong government’s promise to withdraw the controversial China extradition bill that brought people onto the streets back in June.
            Some have speculated that Lam’s decision to announce the long-awaited withdrawal of the extradition bill was an attempt to ease tensions ahead of the important date. Many doubt that it will work.
            1. Fully withdraw the extradition bill
            2. Set up an independent inquiry to probe police brutality
            3. Withdraw the characterization of protests as “riots”
            4. Release those arrested at protests
            5. Implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong
            Protesters still have four key demands they say must be met before the unrest will end, including greater democracy in the Asian financial hub.
            In recent weeks, police have taken a hardline approach against violent protesters, arresting demonstrators in greater numbers and breaking up even small gatherings.
            But with more protests planned for this weekend, neither approach appears to have been successful so far.
            With no more concessions likely in the short term, the government could look to impose greater restrictions on protesters to try to pacify the city ahead of October 1.
            There have already been attempts to close down public transport stations close to planned protests, although it hasn’t proven successful as demonstrators have found alternate modes of transport to get around the restrictions.
            The possible deployment of Chinese troops on Hong Kong streets is regularly hinted at by Beijing. Officials have suggested the protests carry “terrorist” overtones and in the past two months, Chinese paramilitary police have held large drills across the border in the city of Shenzhen.
            But any military intervention appears to have been ruled out for now, according to the leaked recording from Lam.
            Little wonder, as it would be disastrous for not just Hong Kong but China more broadly. Investors would flee at the first sign of any military boots hitting the streets, something Beijing can’t risk as the domestic economy slows.
            As their options dwindle, Beijing may be forced to grin and bear a Hong Kong spoiler to their national day, but with the Communist Party’s pride at stake, any over-the-top October 1 protests could be met with an escalation from the government.
            After all, even minor attacks on the symbols of the Chinese government have been enough to provoke the fury in Beijing and state-run media.
              When protesters removed a Chinese national flag in the shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui and threw it in Victoria Harbor, state-run media reacted with fury. State-run tabloid Global Times called for “justice (to) be served.”
              Beijing won’t forget quickly if Hong Kong embarrasses it during the Communist Party’s moment of triumph.

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              Africa’s favorite smartphone maker wants in on China’s hot new tech market


              Hong Kong (CNN Business)Chinese budget smartphone maker Transsion is already dominating Africa with its Tecno brand. Now it’s ready to raise its profile even more by joining China’s splashy new market for tech stocks.

              An IPOcould push Transsion’s valuation above $4 billion. It would also take the company public on a market that got off to a stunningly positive start this week.
              Analysts say it’s an early win for the Star Market, whichwants local investors to support Chinese tech companies, rather than lose those businesses to markets in Hong Kong or the United States.
                “China wants a rejuvenation of the nation through technology and innovation,” said Mark Huang, an analyst at Bright Smart Securities. “That’s why they launched the board.”
                He added that Star Market “surely hopes there could be a snowball effect” — but that it’s not yet certain whether bigger tech companies will jump on the bandwagon.
                “After all, the board is still in baby size and some rules are still at a trial stage,” Huang said.
                Transsion’s office in Shenzhen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business.
                Transsion, which was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Zhu Zhaojiang in 2006, wants to raise at least 30 billion yuan ($436 million) to build smartphonefactoriesand research and development centers in Chongqing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, according to its prospectus.
                It plans to issue at least 80 million shares, though it hasn’t set exact terms yet. That would give the company a valuation of at least 30 billion yuan ($4.4 billion).
                Transsion —which also makes, Itel and Infinix phones — doesn’t do business in China, despite being based there. In Africa, it describes itself as an African company.
                Itcontrols nearly half of the African market, according to IDC figures — putting it way ahead of rivals Samsung, Huawei and Apple (AAPL). Transsion also has nearly a 7% share of India’s market, making it the fourth-largest cellphone vendor there.
                In 2018, it sold 124 million cell phones worldwide, generating 22.65 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) in revenue.
                Public documents also spell out why Transsion says it has done so well in Africa. The company said in its prospectus that it has features that “highly suit our target market” — including phones that use nighttime photography settings that are designed for darker skin tones.
                Transsion Tecno: Africa's top smartphone brand could IPO on China's Star Market - CNN
                Transsion’s technology also includes heat protection for electronics and cellphones that have a large battery capacity. In Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia, for example, the government frequently shuts off electricity to conserve power, leaving people unable to charge their phones for hours. 
                Price is another advantage. Transsion sells phones without smart features foras little as $9. It sold nearly 60 million Itel phones at that price last year. It also sold more than 30 million Tecno phones at about $11 each.
                The company’s smartphones are more expensive, but still cheaper than its rivals. In 2018, Transsion sold 34 million phones for between $45 and $91.
                There are challenges, though. The company admittedin its prospectus that other smartphone vendors, including India’s Lyf,are also sellinglow-priced devices.
                Rivals like Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung are also pushing harder into Africa and India.
                Huawei, for example, has launched an e-commerce platform in South Africa through which it sells phones and other products. And Xiaomi has partnered with African e-commerce website Jumia to sell phones.
                  “We face risks of losing our customers and market shares if we can’t maintain innovation … and increase investments in technological research and development, brand management, marketing, after-sale service and supply-chain management,” Transsion wrote in its prospectus.
                  The company is responding to competition by pushing into new territories, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam. It also started sellingdigital accessories and home appliances. And it is relying more on mobile internet services as a source of revenue.

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                  Hong Kong airport authority cancels flights over protests

                  Tourists remain in airport during demonstration, with flights to resume on Tuesday

                  Air transport

                  Hong Kong protesters have shut down one of the worlds busiest airports in a dramatic escalation of the mass demonstrations that have plunged the city into its worst political crisis in decades.

                  The unprecedented cancellation of all flights followed the fourth consecutive day of protests at the airport and amid increasingly threatening statements from Beijing. A Chinese official said terrorism was emerging in the city, while in Hong Kong authorities demonstrated water cannons for use in crowd control.

                  The protests are in their 10th week, with confrontations between protesters and police growing more violent. Rights groups and democracy activists have accused police of using increasingly excessive force. At least 40 people were treated in hospital after clashes on Sunday, including a woman who was reportedly hit with a beanbag round and could potentially lose an eye.

                  Protesters in black T-shirts and face masks filled the airport, handing out lists to arriving visitors documenting alleged police violence and holding up graphic images of injured protesters. Some held signs that said: An eye for an eye and wore eye patches in solidarity with the injured woman.

                  Others held posters that said: Hong Kong is not safe and Shame on police and chanted: Stand with Hong Kong, fight for freedom!

                  I just dont understand how people can tolerate that kind of police brutality. I feel like if I dont come out now, I cant come out ever, said Hilary Lo, who took a half days sick leave from her accountancy firm to attend the demonstration.

                  People are starting to realise the police are out of control, especially with what has happened in the past two weeks, she said.

                  Play Video

                  Police fire teargas into Hong Kong subway station video

                  Tourists remained at the airport through the protest, with flights expected to resume at 6am on Tuesday. Elodichukwu Obiageli, from Nigeria, said she had been stranded for five hours. We had no information from our airline. We are just stranded here we have no money, she said, adding that all airport stores had closed.

                  By the early evening, crowds had thinned amid reports police would move in to clear the airport but when they did not show, thousands of protesters streamed back, bringing supplies to stay through the night.

                  Honestly, I dont think anything will happen, said Andy Chu, a protester who remained at the airport. I think the police strategy until now we can see is to burn out our energy, just let us sit here and wait.

                  A few hours ago there were rumours flying around, saying the police are coming in to kick us out, with teargas, he said. I think that is also from the police. Thats part of their tactics, part of the game. They want most of the more peaceful protesters to leave themselves.

                  Quick guide

                  What are the Hong Kong protests about?

                  Why are people protesting?

                  The protests were triggered by a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where the Communist party controls the courts, but have since evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.

                  Public anger fuelled by the aggressive tactics used by the police against demonstrators has collided with years of frustration over worsening inequality and the cost of living in one of the world’s most expensive, densely populated cities.

                  The protest movement was given fresh impetus on 21 July when gangs of men attacked protesters and commuters at a mass transit station while authorities seemingly did little to intervene.

                  Underlying the movement is a push for full democracy in the city, whose leader is chosen by a committee dominated by a pro-Beijing establishment rather than by direct elections.

                  Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.

                  Why were people so angry about the extradition bill?

                  Hongkongers have seen Beijings influence grow in recent years, as activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office. Independent booksellers have disappeared from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges.

                  Under the terms of the agreement by which the former British colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997, the semi-autonomous region was meant to maintain a high degree of autonomy through an independent judiciary, a free press and an open market economy, a framework known as one country, two systems.

                  The extradition bill was seen as an attempt to undermine this and to give Beijing the ability to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.

                  How have the authorities responded?

                  Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill, while Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations but has left it to the city’s semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. Meanwhile police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets.

                  Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are fanning the fire of unrest in the city. Chinas top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form.

                  Lily Kuo and Verna Yu in Hong Kong

                  Hong Kongs summer of dissent has presented one of the biggest challenges to Chinas leader, Xi Jinping, since he came to power in 2012. Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council called on authorities to show no mercy in dealing with the protesters.

                  Hong Kongs radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging, Yang said at a press briefing. This wantonly tramples on Hong Kongs rule of law and social order.

                  State-backed media in China on Monday said armed police had held exercises in the neighbouring city of Shenzhen.

                  In an apparent warning to protesters of a toughening approach on the part of authorities, Hong Kong police invited legislators and journalists on Monday to witness a display of water cannon. Police have never used the device since two were bought after pro-democracy protests in 2014, but during Mondays demonstration one was blasted at dummy targets in a training facility.

                  Man-Kei Tam, the director of Amnesty Internationals Hong Kong division, warned that clashes between protesters and police had escalated to another level, especially on the police side over the weekend.

                  An anti-riot vehicle equipped with water cannon sprays water on a dummy during a demonstration in Hong Kong on Monday. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

                  Tam cited footage of police firing teargas into a subway station in Kwai Fong on Sunday night. It was not clear how many protesters were in the station but it was rare for officers to fire teargas indoors. He also shared a video of police firing non-lethal projectiles at close range as protesters attempted to flee down an escalator at another subway station.

                  The police have also reported injuries among their ranks, including eye irritation from laser pointers and petrol bomb burns.

                  Civil Rights Observer, a local rights group that sends observers to protests, said it had serious concerns about police violence and had seen clear evidence to show the police are violating their guidelines, according to its spokesman, Icarus Wong Ho-yin.

                  During the protests at the weekend, the Hong Kong Free Press news website posted footage of one arrest that appeared to show officers dressed as protesters pressing a demonstrator to the ground. The young man, who said his name was Chow Ka-lok and asked for a lawyer, sustained head wounds and a broken tooth.

                  Protests in Hong Kong began in early June against a legislative bill that would have allowed for residents to stand trial in mainland China on criminal charges. While the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997, it was promised semi-autonomy for 50 years including a separate legal system. Many protesters feared the bill, now suspended, would have led to the decline of civil and political rights in the Asian financial hub.

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