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DOTr plans return 48 Dalian trains to China

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has sent letters to four international certifiers to examine the construction of 48 new train coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) bought by the Philippines from China.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails, Cesar Chavez said the international third party will examine the 48 Dalian trains to determine its safety for passenger use.

The process will take three months. Once the international third party finds the coaches not compatible to the signaling system of the current trains used in the MRT, the DOTr will opt to return the coaches to China.

“If they say these are not operationally reliable, we will return it to China without spending any amount. Our option is to return these to China and have them fix it,” Chavez said.

Aside from the signaling system, there are also problems on the wheels of the new trains as these are bigger than the size of the rails of MRT.

The 48 Dalian trains are worth P3.8-billion.

The Philippines has already paid an amount of P800-million to the Chinese government.

The DOTr said the Philippine government will not ask for a refund of the amount, but instead it will ask the Chinese to repair the trains so it could still be used in the MRT.

The trains arrived in the Philippines in 2015.

However, after 2 years, the trains remain unusable for the millions of passengers of MRT.

On Wednesday, MRT operations encountered glitches six times, injuring two passengers when the train suddenly stopped.

In the Senate hearing on the proposed 2018 budget of the DOTr, Senator Grace Poe said officials involved in the purchase of the trains should be held liable in court.

The DOTr plans to return the Dalian trains to China before the end of the year. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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Canadian sentenced to death in China for drug smuggling

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Canadian man Robert Lloyd Schellenberg being sentenced at court in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China | Reuters

A Chinese court on Monday (January 15) sentenced a Canadian man to be executed for drug smuggling, prompting Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accuse China of using the death penalty arbitrarily.

The ruling, and Trudeau’s reaction, could aggravate already sour relations between Beijing and Ottawa following the arrest of a Chinese executive in Canada and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians.

Schellenberg was told in court he had the right to appeal to Liaoning High Court within 10 days upon receiving the ruling, the intermediate court said in a second statement.

The case is likely again to test relations between Beijing and Ottawa, which have been tense since Canada’s arrest of a Chinese executive at the request of the United States in December, followed by China’s detention of two Canadian citizens on suspicion of endangering state security. — Reuters

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WeChat’s big data report shows Chinese people changing habits

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2019


Fu Fan, director of Wechat data analysis department, speaking at fifth annual conference of WeChat | REUTERS

WeChat, the most popular social media app in China, Wednesday published a big data report that shows changing habits of Chinese people.

According to the report released at WeChat’s fifth annual conference in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, nearly 1.1 billion active users send a total of about 45 billion messages every day.

They also made a quite startling revelation about the country’s recent nocturnal habits.

“We discovered our users went to bed later. They started to sleep at around 11:30 on average, 1.5 hours later than in 2015,” said Fu Fan, director of WeChat Data Analysis Department, at the conference.

Meanwhile, for the post-80s and post-90s generations, they spent on average about eight minutes on video calls while older people tended to stay talking a little bit longer.

Each generation also prefers different emojis, while its mobile payment feature has become a crucial part of many users’ lives regardless of their age.

“WeChat payment has become a basic device and a bridge for all walks of life, which can connect merchants with their target consumers and users. As of mid-October 2018, WeChat payment has increased by 50 percent compared with the same period last year,” said Bai Zhengjie, operations director of WeChat Pay.

Those numbers are just further evidence of WeChat’s success in China.

But some experts believe its dominance may be coming under pressure from a general change in online habits.

“When we’re talking about being a threat, it’s more in terms of the time spent on mobile shifting more towards Byte Dance’s products, which I think this is the trend we’ve seen over the past two or three years,” said Matthew Brennen, a tech analyst.

Facing the popularity of short video apps like Tik Tok, one month ago in its biggest update in four years, WeChat launched a significant feature,called “Time Capsule”.

The new feature resembles “Instagram Stories”, where users can post videos that disappear a day later.

Meanwhile, with “Top stories”, WeChat also changed the original “like” button in Wechat articles to “recommend”, allowing users to find other people with similar mindsets.

But it seems it may take some time before they really catch on.

“Time capsule is very interesting. But many people don’t know where to see them. Post them online is simply futile,” said a WeChat user.

Experts say competition is so fierce in China’s internet industry that even a super app like WeChat cannot afford to misjudge their users’ needs.
— Reuters

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DOTr to conduct test run for 3rd set of Dalian trains

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

A Dalian train | Photo courtesy of DOTr


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTR) is set to conduct a test run for the third set of Dalian trains.

These trains will undergo a 1,000-kilometer test run on off-peak hours and 150-hour validation test.

If there are no problems found, the set will regularly hit the MRT line just like with the first and second sets of Dalian trains which have passed the test runs.

It was 2014 when the country bought 48 trains worth P3.7 billion from Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company, however, these were not used due to its incompatibility with the MRT system.

The transportation department has reached out to Dalian to repair the trains for public use without government expenditure. — UNTV News & Rescue

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