China Literature held an Overseas Online Literature Dissemination Summit Conference and Online Literature Global Dissemination Symposium on 8 June 2018 to discuss the dissemination of online literature globally in Singapore.
Many famous writers, editors, translators from China Literature, as well as many Southeast Asian readers, participated in the event. Through this event, international fans had a chance to interact closely with writers and translators. It also allowed writers and translators to have a precious exchange.
Currently, it has already become normal that China’s online literature is representative of Chinese culture’s proliferation out of China. Since China Literature’s launch of Webnovel, it has exceeded a cumulative total of 10 million visitors. International readers enjoy works like ‘The King’s Avatar,’ ‘Release That Witch,’ and ‘Library of Heaven’s Path.’ Using Heng Sao Tian Ya’s ‘Library of Heaven’s Path’ as an example, in just a few months of being released, it has accumulated more than 50 million reading counts. It has also been added to the libraries of more than 200,000 users and the most number of comments in a single chapter it has garnered exceeded a thousand. In addition, books like ‘I am Supreme’ and ‘Seeking the Flying Sword Path’ were simultaneously released in both Chinese and English, becoming a successful example of China online literature being timely translated.
Apart from China’s online literature being well-received by Western audiences, China’s online literature enjoys an uplift in Singapore, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries. Southeast Asian users have always been a sizable presence on Webnovel. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of Webnovel’s translators of online literature come from Singapore.
At the Overseas Online Literature Dissemination Summit Conference (Singapore) held in the morning, China Literature’s Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Lin Tingfeng, China Literature’s Vice President and Deputy Editor-in-Chief, HouQingchen, had an exchange with translators such as Singaporean translator representative, CKtalonandLordbluefire, and manager of Malaysian translation team, EndlessFantasy Translations, Insignia. The three writers, Jing Wu Hen, Lord of the Common People, and Heng Sao Tian Ya represented China Literature’s 6.9 million writers by giving speeches, expressing their confidence and anticipation towards the dissemination of online literature overseas.
As a star translator of online literature translation, CKtalon currently collaborates with Webnovel. He was the first to give a speech and he expressed that the international translation team he leads has already created a glossary with more than 700 specific translation terms. In addition, “to further eliminate the barriers to reading that stem from differences in culture, translations in the future will also target the readers of different regions and countries, and through reasonable localization and adaptation, allow international readers to better understand Chinese online literature.”
Another independent Singaporean translator, Lordbluefire met Jing Wu Hen, the writer of the work he translates, ‘Ancient Godly Monarch,’ for the first time in person. Both of them expressed their personal opinions on the problems of online literature creation and its translation. In Jing Wu Hen’s speech, he said that the rise of China’s online literature internationally shows the world the potent output of Chinese culture. This might be an era when online literature writers can do things right. It is an opportunity, as well as a challenge. Online literature creators have to research and think about the logic behind the reasons why international readers enjoy web novels. That way, more popular works can be written. He also quipped, “Although I cannot read English at all, I still wish to carefully read through the English version of my work.” Lordbluefire also shared the difficulties in translating and disseminating stories of the Eastern Fantasy genre. Clearly, online literature has already built the bridge for the dissemination of culture that can foster Sino-Western exchanges.
Writer Heng Sao Tian Ya used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to explain the popularity of China’s online literature all over the world. Apart from the ability to relieve stress and relax the body and mind, online literature can satisfy one’s needs in reality. Writer Lord of the Common People shared his views on the proliferation of online literature internationally from a territorial aspect. He expressed that online literature is a new window for a new generation to understand China. It is a new medium for Chinese culture to go beyond its borders. Compared to the few sentences in news articles, online literature can allow international readers to comprehensively understand Chinese culture in a more vivid and lively manner.
In the afternoon Singaporean media interview, Sow Lei Wei, from Singapore’s Mediacorp, interviewed Jing Wu Hen, Lord of the Common People, and Heng Sao Tian Ya. She raised many interesting questions, such as if writers would change their works according to the preferences of their readers. The writers replied that it depended on the circumstances. They would adopt reader suggestions that were of great value. However, they needed to consider it with discretion if the suggestion was a result of personal preferences or if it would affect the already planned plot outline. Sow Lei Wei also broached the topic about the high incomes of writers. Heng Sao Tian Ya expressed that writing must be first motivated by interest and not fame and wealth. If the underlying reason is not interest, it is impossible to succeed with a writing career. After the interview, Sow Lei Wei also had a chat with the writers about their lives in China, to which the writers introduced their own living situations.
The final segment of the event was an international fan meeting. The fans were of all ages, some college students, some employees of pharmaceutical companies, analysts, etc. The ages ranged from eighteen to people in their forties. Male readers preferred books like ‘The King’s Avatar,’ ‘Night Ranger,’ ‘Monster Paradise,’ ‘Almighty Coach,’ etc. Fed, a Singapore Polytechnic student, shared that he was not only an aficionado of online literature, he is also an author on Webnovel. He is currently writing a book named ‘Life Merchant.’ Female readers shared that they preferred ‘Gourmet Food Supplier,’ ‘A Valiant Life,’ ‘Crossing to the Future, it’s Not Easy to Be a Man,’ and ‘Full Marks Hidden Marriage: Pick Up a Son, Get a Free Husband.’ As for ‘Library of Heaven’s Path,’ it is well-liked by both men and women internationally. Twenty-eight-year-old analyst Mr. Lee told translators that he liked ‘Castle of Black Iron’ the most. It has an alluring story and he likes the plot structure. The protagonist, originally a loser, takes up the role as a soldier as he slowly becomes stronger and gains prominence. Such a story plot is very attractive to him.
The event, an extension of the dissemination of China’s online literature internationally, concluded successfully. Early in 2005, Qidian.com had begun the dissemination internationally as a representative of China’s online literature. Many China Literature novels have already been authorized to be published both digitally and in paper-back in Southeast Asia, United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, and many other European countries. They span 7 languages and more than 300 works have been authorized and the recognition of China’s online literature by the global market remains on a rise. This has also prompted China’s online literature in speeding up its exploration ofthe proliferation of online literature.
UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe
By David Milliken and William Schomberg
LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below zero later this year or in 2022 if a recovery in the economy disappoints, especially if there is persistent unemployment, policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday.
Vlieghe said he thought the likeliest scenario was that the economy would recover strongly as forecast by the central bank earlier this month, meaning a further loosening of monetary policy would not be needed.
Data published on Friday suggested the economy had stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown hit retailers last month, while businesses and consumers are hopeful a fast vaccination campaign will spur a recovery.
Vlieghe said in a speech published by the BoE that there was a risk of lasting job market weakness hurting wages and prices.
“In such a scenario, I judge more monetary stimulus would be appropriate, and I would favour a negative Bank Rate as the tool to implement the stimulus,” he said.
“The time to implement it would be whenever the data, or the balance of risks around it, suggest that the recovery is falling short of fully eliminating economic slack, which might be later this year or into next year,” he added.
Vlieghe’s comments are similar to those of fellow policymaker Michael Saunders, who said on Thursday negative rates could be the BoE’s best tool in future.
Earlier this month the BoE gave British financial institutions six months to get ready for the possible introduction of negative interest rates, though it stressed that no decision had been taken on whether to implement them.
Investors saw the move as reducing the likelihood of the BoE following other central banks and adopting negative rates.
Some senior BoE policymakers, such as Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, believe that adding to the central bank’s 875 billion pounds ($1.22 trillion) of government bond purchases remains the best way of boosting the economy if needed.
Vlieghe underscored the scale of the hit to Britain’s economy and said it was clear the country was not experiencing a V-shaped recovery, adding it was more like “something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery.”
“I want to emphasise how far we still have to travel in this recovery,” he said, adding that it was “highly uncertain” how much of the pent-up savings amassed by households during the lockdowns would be spent.
By contrast, last week the BoE’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, likened the economy to a “coiled spring.”
Vlieghe also warned against raising interest rates if the economy appeared to be outperforming expectations.
“It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.
Higher interest rates were unlikely to be appropriate until 2023 or 2024, he said.
($1 = 0.7146 pounds)
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)
UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit
By William Schomberg and David Milliken
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month hit retailers, and business and consumers are hopeful the vaccination campaign will spur a recovery, data showed on Friday.
The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of businesses, suggested the economy was barely shrinking in the first half of February as companies adjusted to the latest restrictions.
A separate survey of households showed consumers at their most confident since the pandemic began.
Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.
The central bank expects a strong subsequent recovery because of the COVID-19 vaccination programme – though policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech on Friday that the BoE could need to cut interest rates below zero later this year if unemployment stayed high.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due on Monday to announce the next steps in England’s lockdown but has said any easing of restrictions will be gradual.
Official data for January underscored the impact of the latest lockdown on retailers.
Retail sales volumes slumped by 8.2% from December, a much bigger fall than the 2.5% decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and the second largest on record.
“The only good thing about the current lockdown is that it’s no way near as bad for the economy as the first one,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
The smaller fall in retail sales than last April’s 18% plunge reflected growth in online shopping.
BORROWING SURGE SLOWED IN JANUARY
There was some better news for finance minister Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce Britain’s next annual budget on March 3.
Though public sector borrowing of 8.8 billion pounds ($12.3 billion) was the first January deficit in a decade, it was much less than the 24.5 billion pounds forecast in a Reuters poll.
That took borrowing since the start of the financial year in April to 270.6 billion pounds, reflecting a surge in spending and tax cuts ordered by Sunak.
The figure does not count losses on government-backed loans which could add 30 billion pounds to the shortfall this year, but the deficit is likely to be smaller than official forecasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said.
Sunak is expected to extend a costly wage subsidy programme, at least for the hardest-hit sectors, but he said the time for a reckoning would come.
“It’s right that once our economy begins to recover, we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable footing and I’ll always be honest with the British people about how we will do this,” he said.
Some economists expect higher taxes sooner rather than later.
“Big tax rises eventually will have to be announced, with 2022 likely to be the worst year, so that they will be far from voters’ minds by the time of the next general election in May 2024,” Samuel Tombs, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.
Public debt rose to 2.115 trillion pounds, or 97.9% of gross domestic product – a percentage not seen since the early 1960s.
The PMI survey and a separate measure of manufacturing from the Confederation of British Industry, showing factory orders suffering the smallest hit in a year, gave Sunak some cause for optimism.
IHS Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, said the improvement in business expectations suggested the economy was “poised for recovery.”
However the PMI survey showed factory output in February grew at its slowest rate in nine months. Many firms reported extra costs and disruption to supply chains from new post-Brexit barriers to trade with the European Union since Jan. 1.
Vlieghe warned against over-interpreting any early signs of growth. “It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.
“We are experiencing something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery. We are clearly not experiencing a V-shaped recovery.”
($1 = 0.7160 pounds)
(Editing by Angus MacSwan and Timothy Heritage)
Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output
By Devika Krishna Kumar
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday, retreating further from recent highs as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.
Brent crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $63.60 a barrel by 11:06 a.m. (1606 GMT) U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 60 cents, or 1%, to $59.92.
This week, both benchmarks had climbed to the highest in more than a year.
“Price pullback thus far appears corrective and is slight within the context of this month’s major upside price acceleration,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, analysts estimated.
Texas refiners halted about a fifth of the nation’s oil processing amid power outages and severe cold.
Companies were expected to prepare for production restarts on Friday as electric power and water services slowly resume, sources said.
“While much of the selling relates to a gradual resumption of power in the Gulf coast region ahead of a significant temperature warmup, the magnitude of this week’s loss of supply may require further discounting given much uncertainty regarding the extent and possible duration of lost output,” Ritterbusch said.
Oil fell despite a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to Feb. 12, before the big freeze. Inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels, their lowest since March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday. [EIA/S]
The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Still, analysts did not expect near-term reversal of sanctions on Iran that were imposed by the previous U.S. administration.
“This breakthrough increases the probability that we may see Iran returning to the oil market soon, although there is much to be discussed and a new deal will not be a carbon-copy of the 2015 nuclear deal,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.
(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Editing by Jason Neely, David Goodman and David Gregorio)
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