But if the stock-image platform doesn’t get authoriza

ion but still asks for compensation by resorting to litigation, I think such behavior may be an alleged fraud,” he said.

The core of the problem lies in whether stock-image providers get authorization from copyright owners, he added.

Zhao Zhanling, a legal researcher who specializes in intellectual p

roperty cases at the China University of Political Science and Law, agreed, but said copyri

ght owners and institutes given copyright authorization should respect this right and not abuse it for gain.

He said stock-image companies need to make authorization a priority in their opera

tions and pay more effort to finding a balance between commercial interest and public interest.

The litigation right that is to safeguard copyrights must not be abused, he added.

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Although the scandal involving Visual China Group e

exposed disordered copyright management by stock-image providers, legal

professionals said the increased efforts to protect copyright should be applauded.

For example, the National Copyright Administration has launched crackdowns against pira

ted works every year, aiming to increase copyright protection through administrative measures.

Last year, it took online short videos, audio material, literary articles and music as major target

s. It eliminated 1.85 million web links with content that infringed copyright, and confiscated 1.23 million pirated works.

Wang, the Beijing lawyer, said he appreciated governme

nt attempts to protect copyright, but said such efforts are still insufficient.

He called for the country to improve copyright-related laws as soon as poss

ible, and especially to issue a specific rule for footage, pictures or other photographic works.

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Pan Juanjuan, another IP attorney from DeHeng Law Offic

es in Shanghai, called for stock image providers to give stricter self-examinatio

ns on their source of copyrights, “as the unclear source could also bring them a string of disputes”.

She said some stock image platforms that file a lawsuit for one image improperly used

remains controversial, adding it is believed to be a waste of judicial resources.

“One company might have improperly used a dozen of pictures on social media then it will face a doz

en of lawsuits. The amount of litigations will be huge for judicial resources to tackle,” she explained.

She said she hopes a stock image company, regulated with clear authorization, can resort more to non-litiga

tion solutions when dealing with infringement, for example, through negotiation and mediation.

To better regulate the image copyright market and balance the commercial providers, she also suggested the public to

set up a shared platform of stock image where uses, authors and content creators can authorize each other.

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rists from China view cherry blossoms from a boat in Kyo

hen Zeyong, CEO of online visa service tigerwing.cn, said the Jap

anese government issued 7 million visa stickers for Chinese nationals last year.

“If visas become a bar code or QR code emailed to applicants, their w

orkload will be greatly lessened,” he said during the Shanghai World Travel Fair on Thursday.

Japan Tourism Agency data showed that 8.38

million tourists from the Chinese mainland trave

led to Japan in 2018, representing year-on-year growth of 13.9 per

cent and contributing nearly 27 percent of international tourists.

China has been the world‘s largest source of tourists since 2014, reachin

g nearly 150 million last year, according the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

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The market potential remains huge,” said Dai Bin, direct

or of the China Tourism Academy. “Compared to the United States, w

here 48 percent of its citizens hold a passport, the figure in China is only around 10 perce

nt. It’s estimated that the number of Chinese outbound travelers will reach 230 million in 2030.”

A report published by major Chinese travel agency Ctrip showed th

at 160 million Chinese people have travel plans during the upcoming four-day May Day hol

iday. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Indonesia are the top destinations outside the mainland.

Malaysia, which receives around 10 million Chinese tourists annually, began to i

ssue e-visas for Chinese in 2017. “The number of visa stickers on passports of Chinese na

tionals dropped by 70 percent in the first year after the service was introduced, showing its high popularity,” said Han.

Since last year, countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, Thailand and Sri Lanka have starte

d to accept visa application documents online and issue e-visas, either a bar code or QR code.

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McGill gave the Chinese super star no chance in t

 ninth with a break of 76 to make it 6-3 after the first session.

Ding, the 2016 runner-up, will resume the competition with the Scot o

n Sunday morning and look to reach the second round at Crucible for the 10th time.

Ding’s compatriot Tian Pengfei, ranked 81st in the w

orld, took a surprise 5-4 lead over 15th-ranked Stephen Maguire of Scotland.

Tian, one of six Chinese players in the field this year, took the opening frame with a brea

k of 52. Maguire levelled with a run of 80 then took

a scrappy third frame, before Tian made it 2-2 with a 59.

In frame five, Maguire came from 58-0 down to ta

ke it with a clinical 62 clearance, then he added the sixth for 4-2. But Tian rose to the occasion as the sessi

on progressed, winning the last three frames with runs of 45, 100 and 70. They resume on Sunday at 7pm.

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Torrential rains trouble traffic in Guangdongu Baiyun Airport

orrential rains have hit many cities in South China’s Guangdong on Friday, bringing traffic chaos.

Guangzhou Baiyun Airport had seen 104 flights canceled, 66 flights delayed for more than an hour,

and 19 flights diverted to other airports by 11:30 am. Huadu district, where Guangzhou’s airport i

s located, announced a red signal, the top-level warning for heavy rain, at 11:04 am.

The airports in Shenzhen and Zhuhai have also been affected by the downpour.

Many trains between Guangzhou and Shenzhen w

ere delayed, with stranded passengers waiting at the train stations.

Intercity coach stations in Guangzhou were asked by the ci

ty’s transport authorities to stop selling tickets and dispatc

hing vehicles from 11:40 am until the first-level heavy rain emergency response has ended.

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It is such a pleasure to see Hello Kitty and her frien

nds set their home in Shanghai, by perfectly fusing with loc

al culture,” said Li Mingxun, chief operating officer of Sanrio Shanghai Intern

ational Trade, during the launch ceremony at the Le Royal Meridien Shanghai.

One of the most popular areas so far is a 14-meter-high wall that goes throughout three floors and features cute remakes of Shan

ghai’s landmarks including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, China Art Museum and Garden Bridge.

The indoor play area is one of the latest attempts by Shimao to explore theme park business oppo

rtunities. The theme park industry is fast expanding in China, with Ping An Securities projecting it to do

uble its existing volume to 90 billion yuan ($13.39 billion) in annual revenue by 2022.

“The collaboration with Sanrio started three years ago, and the tw

o parties strive to offer visitors an surrealistic experience with a mix of reality and hy

per-reality images,” said Peng Yueqi, vice-president of Shimao Commercial and Themed Entertainment.

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A report published by major Chinese travel agency Ctri

showed that 160 million Chinese people have travel plans during the upcoming four-day May

Day holiday. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Indonesia are the top destinations outside the mainland.

Malaysia, which receives around 10 million Chinese tourists annua

lly, began to issue e-visas for Chinese in 2017. “The number of visa stickers on passports of Chinese

nationals dropped by 70 percent in the first year after the service was introduced, showing its high popularity,” said Han.

Since last year, countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, Thailand and Sr

i Lanka have started to accept visa application documents online and issue e-visas, either a bar code or QR code.

“When more countries that are mainstream travel destinations launch such services for Chinese, more will follow suit,” Dai said.

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Industry insiders said that the rapid development of interne

 technology in China and people’s heavy use of online shopping, mobile payment and

banking services have allowed e-visa services to take root quickly in the country.

“Such services, which save the time and trouble of sending passports and paper documents back and fort

h, suit the young groups, who usually don’t plan for a trip far ahe

ad of time,” said Li Ailing, founder of lvyouquan.com, which provides tourism information to agencies.

 Objectivity and impartiality were emphasized in the latest draft revisions to the Jud

ges Law and the Procurators Law submitted to China’s top legislature for review on Saturday.

According to the drafts, judges should adjudicate based on facts an

d the law, guided by objectivity and impartiality. Procurators should do the same.

Procurators must strictly ensure that crimes are punished only

under the law, and protect human rights. They must prosec

ute criminals while protecting the innocent from criminal prosecution, the draft revisions say.

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