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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: February 25, 2011 NO. 9 MARCH 3, 2011

Resigned CEO


Wei Zhe, CEO of the business-to-business (B2B) division of Alibaba Group, resigned because of a rise in fraudulent sales. Lu Zhaoxi, the current CEO of Alibaba's unlisted online retailer Taobao.com, will succeed Wei in the position.

Li Xuhui, COO of the B2B division, also resigned for the same reason. Wei and Li were not directly involved in the frauds but took responsibility for a "systemic breakdown in the company's culture of integrity," said Alibaba. Alibaba is China's largest e-commerce group.

An internal investigation conducted by the group discovered more than 1,000 fraud cases in 2009 and 2010. One hundred of its sales representatives, out of a sales workforce of 5,000, were fired for involvement in the scam.

Wei, 41, graduated with a bachelor's degree in International Business Management from Shanghai International Studies University in 1993. He joined Alibaba Group in November 2006 as the president of its B2B division and also served as executive vice president of Alibaba Group.

Honored Writer


Zhang Dongpan, a writer who has published books on soldiers in the China-Burma-India Theater of the War Against Japanese Aggression during World War II, was named Cultural Person of the Year by Sina.com, one of the largest Chinese website portals.

"This prize is not for me, but for those honorable soldiers 70 years ago. This prize expresses the people's desire for truth and affirmation for the action of pursuing truth," said Zhang at the awards ceremony in Beijing.

Zhang is the author of National Memory, which was published in October, 2010. Before that, Zhang led a seven-person team to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and spent two months collecting more than 20,000 pictures of soldiers at the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II.

Zhang, 57, has a legendary life. He was a dead-eye shot as a soldier at the age of 15. He worked in the Palace Museum at the age of 19 and became an expert on calligraphy and painting. Zhang was once the biggest agent for a satellite telephone maker in China. He is now engaged selling military flashlights overseas, which appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster Transformers 2. Zhang started studying the history of the China-Burma-India Theater in 2003 and published two books about it.

Street Singer


Ren Yueli, nicknamed "Xidan Girl," attracted public attention as a street singer when she made an appearance during China Central Television's Spring Festival Evening Gala on February 2.

Ren, 23, was born in a rural family in north China's Hebei Province. She came to Beijing at the age of 16 and first worked as a waitress in a restaurant. She later learned to play the guitar and used her new skills to earn money in an underground passage in Xidan, a business and shopping center in downtown Beijing. She gained overnight popularity and fame, after her performance was shot and uploaded to the Internet by netizens. Her fans found her voice "incredibly pure and touching."

During the past four years, Ren became the main financial support of her family and sent half of her income home. She also saved from her daily earning to buy CDs to improve her skills.

"Young people from both sides will always be brave in pursuing innovation and the truth. Learning from each other in a frank and open spirit, you can create a better future for China-EU ties."

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, at the opening ceremony of the China-EU Year of Youth in Beijing on February 23

"In the next five years, China will further expand the coverage of its basic medical insurance system and ease the cost of medical services."

Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu, addressing a meeting for the reform of the public health care system in Beijing

"To look at China through lens of an adversary would be counterproductive."

Scott Van Buskirk, Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, in a forum held in Hong Kong on February 21 saying China is not a "direct threat"

"Whoever wants to gain power must hold it by winning elections, whether parliamentary or presidential."

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, at a press conference in the capital of Sanaa on February 21 announcing he would not step down until defeated at the ballot box

"If Doha is not completed, we cannot move to a 21st century trade agenda."

Karel De Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner, in a conference in Brussels on February 21, warning if the current window of opportunity is not seized, the WTO rule book and negotiating agenda would simply not be able to keep pace with the global economy

"We fear the message sent today may be one that only encourages Israeli intransigence and impunity."

Riyad Mansor, the permanent Palestinian observer to the United Nations, after the U.S. vetoed a draft UN resolution on February 18 condemning Israel's continued settlement activities

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