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Economic Watch: Chinese shopping festival reveals smart, green consumption trends******
BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 2021 Double Eleven shopping festival reached a peak at around midnight on Wednesday, with consumers all across China fixing their eyes on their phone screens to seize every possible discount on e-commerce platforms.。
Initiated in 2009, the shopping festival serves as a barometer of China's consumer confidence. In addition to the usual sales boom the event brings, this year's Double Eleven has revealed new trends in line with the country's consumption model upgrades.。
"With big data, we can now more precisely predict which textures, colors or styles are going to become new fashions," said Xiang Ruyi, founder of the Chinese clothing brand FANO.。
To cater to the more diverse demand of China's younger generation, a major driving force of Double Eleven consumption, clothing manufacturers are looking to digital technologies to better analyze the fashion market and consumer groups.。
For these companies, the shopping festival begins much earlier than Nov. 11 every year. It is a complete industrial chain that covers research, production, sales and after-sales services, and technologies such as big data help connect those links.。
"We can figure out where and to whom we should sell our products, even before they are actually manufactured," Xiang said.。
On the consumer side, online shopping is also getting more intelligent as livestreaming e-commerce thrives and reshapes consumer behaviors.。
Compared with traditional online retailing, livestreaming e-commerce enables sellers to showcase their goods more authentically and thoroughly. Consumers can also enjoy special offers from livestreamers.。
According to data from e-commerce platform Taobao, its top two livestreamers sold approximately 20 billion yuan (about 3.1 billion U.S. dollars) of goods via their channels on the first presale day of this year's Double Eleven.。
Considering China's huge livestreaming market, analysts envision that livestreaming e-commerce will continue to expand its presence in online shopping, and involve more sectors and types of goods.。
The country had 617 million users of livestreaming services by May, and it is estimated that the livestreaming e-commerce market will near 2 trillion yuan in 2021, according to a report from a Ministry of Commerce research institute.。
The ministry announced in July that it would help accelerate the digital and intelligent transformations of traditional businesses, and push forward the deeper integration of online and offline consumption.。
Since this year's Double Eleven began, multiple online retail platforms have recorded surges in their sales of eco-friendly products amid China's shift to green consumption.。
During the 2021 festival, online retailer Suning sold 69 percent more energy-efficient air conditioners compared to the same period last year. The number of consumers participating in a trade-in project increased by 74 percent.。
In turn, green consumption is reshaping the way retailers are selling their goods. During the festival, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com began using a new type of parcel nationwide that is tape-free and can be reused dozens of times.。
The shift to green consumption reflects the Chinese people's demand for a better environment now that they have higher incomes, said Long Guoqiang, deputy head of the Development Research Center of the State Council.。
This shift will have a profound influence on global economic and social development, Long said.。
China has rolled out measures to boost green, low-carbon consumption as part of efforts to achieve its carbon-neutrality goal.。
Four state organs, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, have recently released a guideline to establish an incentive mechanism for e-commerce platforms to sell green goods.。
The guideline also specifies measures to ramp up the consumption of new energy vehicles, photovoltaic devices and eco-friendly electronics. Enditem。
French Catholic Church to sell assets to settle sex abuse claims******
Catholic bishops in France agreed on Monday to sell part of the Church's extensive real estate holdings to compensate thousands of victims of child sex abuse at the hands of clergy.。
Church officials have been under intense pressure to recognize and indemnify victims after a landmark French inquiry confirmed extensive sexual abuse of minors by priests dating from the 1950s.。
An independent commission will evaluate the claims, "and we are going to provide the means to accomplish this mission ... of individual indemnities for the victims," said Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, head of the Bishops' Conference of France, or CEF.。
He did not detail the amounts that could be paid out in response to the damaging inquiry into the "massive phenomenon" of child sexual assault that was often covered in a "veil of secrecy."
The inquiry report, released last month, had urged the Church to pay victims with its own assets, instead of asking parishioners to contribute for crimes committed by the clergy.。
The Church had already promised to set up a fund to start making payouts next year, and it will now be bolstered "by selling real estate assets owned by the Bishops' Conference of France and by dioceses," Moulins-Beaufort said after days of meetings at the Catholic shrine of Lourdes.。
He added that a loan would be sought from banks if needed, and that the Vatican would be asked to send an observer to help examine the Church's response.。
"Our Church cannot be an institution entrenched in its own self-glory," he said.。
The 2,500-page report detailed abuse of 216,000 minors by clergy over the period, a number that climbs to 330,000 when claims against lay members of the Church are included, such as teachers at Catholic schools.。
The commission's president denounced the "systemic character" of efforts to shield clergy from prosecution and issued 45 recommendations of corrective measures.。
After the meetings of the 120 CEF members in Lourdes, bishops backed most of the recommendations, including systematic police background checks for any church associate working with minors.。
Nine working groups involving clergy, lay people and even some victims will be set up to implement the measures.。
But victims' associations have said words are far from enough, and are demanding compensation that would cost the Church tens of millions of euros.。
Hugues de Woillemont, a CEF spokesman, said all compensation claims would be examined by the new commission, including those dating back decades that are usually beyond statutes of limitation for prosecution.。
It will be presided over by Marie Derain de Vaucresson, a senior civil servant and legal expert specializing in child welfare.。
Widespread cases of sexual abuse in the Church have become one of the biggest challenges for Pope Francis, who expressed his "shame" after the French inquiry.。
Questions of changing doctrine still appeared to be a problem last month, however. Moulins-Beaufort drew fire after saying priests were not obliged to report sexual abuse if they heard about it during an act of confession. He was later forced to walk back his comments.。
Protecting children from sexual abuse is an "absolute priority" for the Church, the archbishop said after being called to a meeting with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin – at the request of President Emmanuel Macron.。
Paranaense rout Flamengo to reach Copa do Brasil final******
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Attacking midfielder Nikao scored two first-half goals as Athletico Paranaense advanced to the Copa do Brasil final with a 3-0 away victory over Flamengo on Thursday.
Jose Ivaldo was also on the scoresheet with a late strike at the Maracana as Paranaense completed a 5-2 win on aggregate after the teams drew 2-2 in the first leg of their semifinal last week.
The team from Curitiba in southern Brazil will meet Atletico Mineiro in the final over two legs on December 12 and 15.
Atletico progressed after second-half goals from Hulk and Diego Costa gave them a 2-1 win at Fortaleza on Wednesday. Romarinho scored a consolation goal for the hosts in second-half stoppage time.
The result meant Atletico won 6-1 on aggregate following the Belo Horizonte side's 4-0 home win in the first leg last week.
Both Atletico Mineiro and Athletico Paranaense are aiming to win the Copa do Brasil for a second time. Atletico won in 2014 and Paranaense in 2019. Enditem