Online English education sector records 168% growth but ch

nline English-language courses for children saw an explosive growth in 20

18, according to a report released by data-monitoring firm Trustdata on Tuesday.

The report on China’s online English education market for children s

hows that the market had more than 15 million users last year, up 168.3 percent year-on-ye

ar. It’s expected that the market size would surpass 50 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) in 2019.

The market pattern of one-on-one teaching has been gradually for

med and the top brands have secured the lion’s share of the market, as per the report.

Market size doubles in one year

The market size of online English-language education for childre

n was 21.3 billion yuan in 2018, an increase of 104 percent year-on-year, with one-on-one teaching taking

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Fertility rates, meanwhile, remain astonishingly high in

n some countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a few of the poorest-Niger, Mali and th

e Democratic Republic of Congo-the rate is 6-7 children per woman. The resulting flood of new ent

rants to the labor market is far outstripping the number of jobs available.

Empowering women key to meeting challenge

No known growth model can accommodate or keep up with this k

ind of demographic surge. Even sustained economic growth of around 7 percent per year

won’t be enough. And although fertility tends to decline as incomes rise, that does not happen immediately. Em

powering women, therefore, may be the most effective way of starting to address the challenge.

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The reform and opening-up policies are exactly the kin

ds of market-driven reforms needed to make this happen. The Chinese government is investing heavily in research

and development, but it should be noted that the R&D spending as a percentage of GDP is still lower than that of the US.

Nobody likes competition against themselves. So, it must be admitted that China’s transiti

on to a high-tech, high-value-added economy will come as a shock to many companies around the world.

The US economy, which has about 7 percent of GDP in high-tech manufacturing, will be lightly affected by this change.

On the other hand, advanced manufacturing contributes around 20 percent of GDP in South Korea, Japan, Ge

rmany and a few smaller European countries. They will be much more directly affected.

China’s transition over the next 10 years will not be painless for its compa

nies or for foreign competitors. But, reform and opening-up policies that create more com

petitive companies and markets are the only way to achieve a richer and more productive world economy in the long term.

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Wu Zhongliang, director of the administration’s Institu

itute of Earthquake Forecasting, said the experimental site will help form a

“united front” at the national and international level to work on earthquake forecasting.

Referring to earthquake forecasting as a hard nut to crack, Wu said t

he work cannot see marked progress just in a few days, but forecasting capability will be imp

roved as technology develops. “If it’s a war between humans and earthquakes, it’s us that will finally win,” he said.

Paul Tapponnier, a distinguished research professor a

t the administration’s Institute of Crustal Dynamics, said he “wholeheartedly” wel

comes the project. China boasts unique conditions to carry out the experiment as most of its earthquakes oc

cur “inside the land under the feet of the people” rather than in the ocean, and there are many active faults in the country.

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US soy farmers call for cool-down of trade tensions

US soy farmers have urged Washington to work for a positive solution to the current tarif

f dispute with the world’s top oilseed buyer China, and avoid further escalation of trade tensions.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the American Soybean Association (ASA) described the t

hreat by US President Donald Trump’s administration to increase the tariff rate from 10 percent to 25 p

ercent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as the “worst case” for US soybean growers.

“This is a predicament for soy growers,” said Davie Stephens, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Kentucky.

“With depressed (soybean) prices and unsold stocks fo

recast to double before the 2019 harvest begins in September, we nee

d the China market reopened to US soybean exports within weeks, not months or longer,” he added.

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Sales of Saky products in the lower-tier market only accou

unt for about 20 percent of the total, but they have quadrupled in the past two years.

“If you can prove to small-town youths that the products are useful, they are willing to pay,” Lan said. “Some inno

vative Saky products have also seen rapid growth in lower-tier markets, including one that removes stains from teeth.”

Chen, from Roland Berger, said that while small-town youths are narrowing the gap with their count

erparts in bigger cities in many ways, they still have many distinct demands. If companies want to win t

hem over, it is important for them to have a deep understanding of lower-tier markets and to draw up strategies acc

ordingly, whether in building brand awareness, or providing specialized products and distribution channels.

For example, while helping a jewelry company to access lower-tier markets, he found tha

t jade inlaid with gold is very popular, although it is considered unfashionable by consumers in large cities.

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This year, the top expert panels saw the most partici

ipation ever of Nobel Prize winners, with four on

the team They were Arieh Warshel, the 2013 Nobel Prize winner in chem

istry; Edvard I. Moser, the 2014 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine; Konstantin Novoselov, the 2010

Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine; and Michael Young, the 2017 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or med

icine. These four were also joined by Les Valiant, the 2010 Turing Prize winner.

The survey was conducted by the International Tal

ents magazine. The organizer and Dataway provided data analysis of the survey. China Daily cons

tructed the official website for the survey and reported on the entire process.

The survey has drawn strong support across the country from management departments for foreign experts.

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Mapping of parathyroid hormone to help patients of os

Scientists have for the first time seen clearly the dynamic structure of the receptor of human parathyroid hormone, of which the s

ecretion is closely related to diseases including osteoporosis, hypoparathyroidism, and cachexia.

The revelation provides valuable insights into discovering novel therap

eutics against such diseases, the group of researchers said at a media briefing on Friday.

Patients of osteoporosis, who the National Health Commission in October said number nearly 20 percent of Chin

ese over the age of 50, need to take medicines stimulating the human parathyroid hormone receptor.

As such medicines are polypeptide, they can only be injected rather than being orally ta

ken, which can trigger a reaction with enzymes in the mouth and become ineffective, researchers said.

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Zhao Wanping, a lawmaker from Anhui province, said

 revisions to the law should highlight the protection of juveniles and regulate online informatio

n collection or use to prevent harm and problems brought by the internet, such as school bullying and sexual abuse.

In response, Liu Xinhua, a senior official from the National People’s Congr

ess, the top legislative body, said amendments to the law this year are being considered.

“Articles will be doubled, and the hot issues, including school bullying, will be added,” Liu said.

Tong Lihua, director of a juvenile law research center in Beijing, welcomed the rev

ision, suggesting that the law be amended to be more specific and practical.

Yuan Ningning, an associate law professor at China University of Political Science and

Law, is keeping his eye on school bullying, saying the revision would deter would-be offenders.

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In a situation of rising income inequality, the ab

 of affluent two-earner couples to outbid single people for homes is a real problem,” said Coontz, adding that it’s exacerbated in Amer

ica by the extremely uneven quality of local schools, so that people get into bidding wars over homes in good school districts.

“We have to think through our housing policies, zoning laws and social investm

ents to find better ways to produce affordable housing (for singles),” she added.

A rise in single-person households may aid labor market mobility, ac

cording to Bachman. With fewer attachments to property and free of marital burdens, the

se individuals may be more open to shifting cities for jobs, which could make the labor market more mobile.

US fertility rate falling

At the same time, single-person households will have to cope with lower availability of informal personal care from

partners, Bachman wrote. Such nonmarket production (as economists would define it) may need to be replaced by pur

chased personal care services, especially health and nursing care, which could significantly impact the healthcare industry.

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