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chinadaily.com.cn 2019-09-04 12:22

A patient receives a hair transplant operation at Yonghe Hair Transplant in Beijing. [Photo/China News Service]

>Men seek help for looks

A growing number of Chinese men are using surgical and non-surgical procedures to change their physical appearance to boost their self-confidence or give them an edge.

In 2018, the market for aesthetic medicine in China was worth more than 495 billion yuan, with males accounting for about 15% of customers, according to a report by cosmetic surgery social networking app Gengmei, whose name means "more beautiful" in Chinese.

Doctors say hair transplants, eye bag removal, acne treatment and dental orthodontics are the procedures most commonly requested by men.

Societal pressure and the misconception that being beautiful is a short cut to success are often cited by patients as the reasons they chose cosmetic surgery.

However, experts point out the risks of cosmetic surgery.

According to data from the National Health Commission, a total of 2,772 cases related to illegal plastic surgery were handled by China's health departments during a year-long crackdown that started in May 2017.


Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures in the House of Commons in London, Britain September 3, 2019. [Photo/REUTERS]

>UK considers snap election

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call an election for Oct 14 if Members of the Parliament vote against his Brexit strategy, a top official said Monday.

Johnson's promise to take the UK out of the EU on Oct 31 with or without a divorce deal has propelled the nation towards constitutional crisis and confrontation with the bloc's 27 other members.

With less than 60 days before a possible no-deal exit, an alliance of opposition lawmakers are plotting with rebels in Johnson's ruling Conservative Party to block that and force him to delay Brexit for three months.

But Johnson said he would never do that.

If parliament defeats the government on Brexit, a vote on holding an election will be held on Wednesday, according to a senior government source.

Under British law, a two-thirds majority is required to hold early elections.

Johnson has a working majority of just one seat in the 650-seat lower house of parliament and British media suggested about 20 Conservative lawmakers were prepared to rebel against him.



>Cash in campaign spotlight

It may sound like a strange thing to enshrine in a country's constitution: The right to pay cash.

But a debate on whether to do just that has entered Austria's election campaign, shining a light on the country's love of cold, hard currency.

The Austrian People's Party recently made the suggestion as part of its campaign for a parliamentary election in late September, for which it has a commanding poll lead.

According to European Central Bank data compiled in 2017, cash accounted for 67% of money spent at points of sale in Austria, compared to just 27% in the Netherlands.

"In Austria, attitudes change slowly," said an employee of Weinschenke, a burger restaurant in downtown Vienna.

The employee says she prefers to use cash because "you don't leave a trace".

Financial law expert Werner Doralt says Austrians put a high value on privacy and are wary of anything that could be used to keep tabs on them, such as card transactions.



>Top 500 Chinese companies

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the State Grid Corporation of China crown the top three spots on the 2019 top 500 Chinese companies, according to the latest top 500 Chinese companies list published on Sunday.

"Chinese major enterprises represented by the top 500 continue to post steady growth and see structural optimization," said Wang Zhongyu, president of the China Entrepreneur Association, the institute that released the list.

Statistics show total operation revenue of the top 500 reached 79.1 trillion yuan, up 11.14% from a year earlier; their total assets reached 299.15 trillion yuan, rising by 9.08% compared to that of the top 500 last year.

Among the 2019 top 500, 194 enterprises saw their operation revenue rise higher than 100 billion yuan.

And the revenue of six enterprises, including Sinopec and CNPC, has stepped over the 1-trillion yuan thresholds.

The top 500 enterprises realized a total profit of 4.49 trillion yuan in 2019, up 20.7% more than that of the top 500 last year.

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