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Train Ticket Pricing

With the arrival of the Spring Festival travel season, train ticket pricing has again become a hot topic. Someone posted a microblog to call for “seatless tickets cut to half price,” which garnered support from 80 percent of netizens. It is against the principles of fair play that currently seats and standing-room-only tickets are sold at the same price. An economic belief holds that market naturally determines the price. Letting the market determine train prices requires the country’s railway department to transform from an administrator to a market player. After reform, not only will the prices of seatless tickets drop, but prices for various classes and times will become adjustable and negotiable, and such flexible pricing will benefit all passengers - regardless of income and social class.

(Xu Lifan, Chinadaily.com.cn)

LCD Fines

On January 4, 2013, the National Development and Reform Commission of China announced penalties of 353 million yuan levied on six international LCD screen suppliers including Samsung and LG for anti-trust charges and price fixing. The settlement is considered the biggest fine China ever imposed on foreign firms. Before this, the United States levied penalties of more than $1.2 billion on the six companies and punished nine executives involved.

Free competition is considered the soul of the market economy. After the opening of the Chinese market, various foreign investors have flooded the country. Multinational enterprises commonly dominate fields ranging from chemicals and food to electronics, and manipulate market prices through slowing production and price fixing. Some of their products are sold at extremely high prices in China. The 353-million-yuan penalty indicates that China has begun to say “no” to monopolies.

(Lian Hongyang, Dayang.com)

Yellow Light Rules

China’s strictest-ever traffic regulations were enacted on January 1, 2013, which added a penalty for running a yellow traffic light. Some drivers have complained they can’t stop fast enough when the light turns yellow unexpectedly, and that sudden braking can result in accidents.

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