Beijing to upgrade local ‘Silicon Valley’

Beijing, April 11 (IANS) China will invest around $1.5 billion to upgrade Beijing’s Zhongguancun district or the “Silicon Valley of China”, an area with a strong presence of technology companies.

According to authorities, the 7.2 km (4.4 miles) of Zhongguancun street, or its immediate vicinity, is the hub of Chinese technology companies such as Xiaomi mobile manufacturers, and where multinational companies, including Google, Intel, Sony and Ericsson have established research and development centres, EFE news reported on Monday.

The investment, through a fund managed by the Haidian district where Zhongguancun is located, seeks to improve the image of the area and publicize the advanced technology being developed there globally, local authorities stressed in a statement.

Zhongguancun’s “makeover” will include renovation of infrastructure and elimination of many electronic stores that sell products at sale prices, which had turned into a major attraction of the neighbourhood in the last decade.

The plan also includes devoting more than 100,000 sq meters (107,639 sq feet) of space to “incubators” of international talent.

China issues weight loss guideline

Beijing, April 11 (IANS) With obesity on the rise across the country, China has issued its first medical guideline to help overweight people get lighter.

According to the China International Exchange and Promotive Association for Medical and Health Care, the guideline, issued on Sunday, covers the principles and methods that should be adopted to help people lose weight and keep it off.

It was developed over nearly a year through the collective efforts of nearly 100 doctors and nutritionists, the China Daily reported on Monday.

A report released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission last year said about 30 percent of people in China aged 18 or older are overweight, an increase of more than 7 percentage points over 2002, and the number of overweight people is increasing faster than in developed countries.

Excessive weight and obesity has been a major contributor to the prevalence of many chronic diseases such as diabetes in China, the commission has said.

Chen Wei, vice-director of the Clinical Nutrition Branch of the Chinese Nutrition Society, said an increasing number of people have sought treatment to reduce weight in recent years, but many methods available in the market are not proper, and some can even harm health.

As a pilot programme, the guideline will be adopted by 39 major public hospitals in 20 cities in China this year, including Peking Union Medical College Hospital, he said.

“These hospitals will open special clinics for reducing weight,” Chen said, adding “They will provide services including updated health records and customised weight-loss plans.”

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