A Boeing 737 Max 8 on display during an exhibition in Britain, July 13, 2016. [Photo/VCG] HONG KONG -- The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced that the operation of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into, out of and over Hong Kong will be temporarily prohibited from 6:00 pm local time Wednesday. The CAD has been closely monitoring the developments, the investigation progress and the information from relevant aviation authorities. Having regard to the latest situation, the CAD has decided to temporarily prohibit operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into, out of and over Hong Kong, a spokesman for the CAD said. He added that the temporary prohibition will take effect at 6:00 pm on Wednesday and continue until further notice. The spokesman pointed out that there were two serious accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months. The temporary prohibition is solely a precautionary measure to ensure aviation safety and protect the public, he emphasized. The CAD has noted that the US Federation Aviation Administration, the type-certification authority of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, has affirmed the airworthiness of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and the investigation into the accidents is ongoing, he said. The spokesman added that over the past few days the CAD has been in close contact with the FAA and the relevant organizations, including the two airline companies which use Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to operate flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport. The two airliner companies, SpiceJet of India and Globus Airlines of Russia, have been notified by the CAD of the temporary prohibition and said they would fully cooperate and maintain their services with other aircraft types so as to reduce impacts on passengers. During the temporary prohibition, the CAD will continue to closely monitor the developments and the information of relevant aviation authorities, and will review the arrangement of the temporary prohibition in due course, the spokesman said. colored rubber bands for bracelets
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About 600,000 metric tons of apples are grown each year in Aksu of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo Provided to China Daily] The harsh climate of Aksu prefecture of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is ideal for growing sweet apples. The sugar content of the apples is so high that the inner flesh is translucent. Although about 600,000 metric tons of apples are grown each year in Aksu, tens of millions of so-called Aksu apples are sold annually. This means that more than 90 percent of these apples bought in stores or online are not actually Aksu apples, a Xinjiang agriculture expert says. To help Xinjiang farmers use e-commerce, the government of Zhejiang province, a center of e-commerce, has sent experts to help the Aksu farmers learn how to sell online. Song Yu, a director of Zhejiang's e-commerce commission and a team member of one such mission to Aksu, says: In Aksu, e-commerce is at the starting point. It was only in the last year or so that apples from there started being sold online in large quantities. Aksu apples have been popular on Alibaba's Taobao online platform for several years. The competition from non-genuine Aksu apples affects the price that growers of the real Aksu can get for their apples. Farmers get around 4.5 yuan per kilogram, but including transportation, storage and promotion, the total price can be around 16 yuan per kilogram, which is close to the online price, Song says. This kills profits. In Aksu, roughly 60 percent of people live in rural areas. Most of them are Uygur, and agriculture is their only industry, he says. They are not familiar with the national market.. and can't respond to the market needs in a timely way. They know little of the fast-developing online market, Song says. The non-genuine apples make the situation worse. Song gives another example of how not knowing the market hurts farmers. Many farmers heard that dates got a good price last year and chose to plant dates this year, which caused the price to collapse. An earlier team from Zhejiang helped the locals develop an e-commerce platform that allows the farmers to take advantage of their special products. In 2014, they set up an e-commerce industrial park in the city of Aksu. Using this facility, farmers can sell the apples and other fruit via the internet and improve the efficiency of their businesses. Thirty-two online stores have joined the Aksu E-commerce Association, which is building storage centers to facilitate sales to big cities. It now has four - in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province; Chengdu, Sichuan province; Yuncheng, Shanxi province; and Guangzhou, Guangdong province. The association has registered a trademark for Aksu apples and developed a system by which customers can scan the QR codes on the apples' package to find out whether they are genuine and on which farm they were grown. In 2017, 10,000 metric tons of genuine Aksu apples were sold via the platform. yandongjie@chinadaily.com.cn
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