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China Launches a New Data Relay Satellite into Orbit

The launch marks the 301st mission of the Long March carrier rocket series

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Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

China sent a new data relay satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province late Sunday night.

The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched at 11.51 p.m. (Beijing Time) by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, Xinhua news agency reported.

As the first satellite to constitute China’s second-generation data relay satellite network, the Tianlian II-01 will provide data relay, measurement and control, transmission services for manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and other non-spacecraft users.

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The flags of Hong Kong (left) and its communist ruler China, in file photo. RFA

The Tianlian II network will be markedly more advanced in mission planning, system management and operations than the first-generation network composed of Tianlian I satellites.

The new network, with faster data transfer and higher multi-objective service capability, will play an important role in improving the transmission promptness, in-orbit security and mission flexibility for medium and low-Earth orbiting satellites and manned spacecraft.

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The satellite is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The launch marks the 301st mission of the Long March carrier rocket series. (IANS)

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You Can Feel Better After Paying for an Online Service to Buy a Few Moments of Flattery in China

In fact, the enthusiasm has been such that even national media have warned of the dangers of relying on these virtual communities

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US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

If you are depressed for any reason, here is a chance in China to feel better after paying for an online service to buy a few moments of flattery — no matter what you think about yourself.

That is the idea behind “Kua Kua” groups, a phenomenon that has become very popular across China where depression and anxiety are on the rise.

Initially set up as communities in which university students encouraged each other amid academic pressure and little social activity, the Kua Kua (kua means to praise in Chinese) forums sprouted all over China after its social media success.

Efe news accessed one such forum, formed of about 500 students from the Jiaotong University of Xi’an, where, according to media, these groups originated.

“Hello. I have many problems when I try to do my job and that makes me sad. Can you cheer me up?”

In the next few minutes, several users responded with praises and messages of encouragement.

“That means you work with your heart and not superficially,” one message read.

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The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

“Fortune and misfortune depend on each other. Misfortune has already arrived, so happiness is closer,” said another.

“You face a lot of pressure but you do it bravely. Your attitude is positive. I like it,” the third one read.

However, not all groups are altruistic. Popular e-commerce platforms such as Taobao have seen proliferation of stores where those in need can rent for a few minutes an entourage of professional flatterers.

Xiao Ruichen is 27 and manages a Kua Kua and a Taobao shop.

“I found out in mid-March through Weibo (Chinese Twitter). It was very popular. So, I decided to make one of my own. Life is getting faster and people are on the verge of anxiety, anguish and depression,” he said.

“This service is very popular,” he said, adding people feel better after a session of flattery and “that makes me feel happy”.

Xiao charges 38 yuan ($5.7) for five minutes and 68 yuan for 10 minutes following which the client is removed from the forum.

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Although he preferred not to disclose how much money he earns each month, Xiao said that about 35 per cent of his income goes to the other members – more than a 100 college students whom he has selected under strict criteria such as writing speed or the ability to entertain clients.

According to figures offered by official media, the largest seller of accesses to these Kua Kua forums on Taobao may have earned more than 83,000 yuan in February.

In fact, the enthusiasm has been such that even national media have warned of the dangers of relying on these virtual communities. (IANS)