“It’s enough to make me and my friends boycott the [Alipay] payments service.” Ant Financial has recently sought to increase its international footprint, planning to replicate the Alipay model in Thailand through a tie-up with Thai payment firm Ascend announced on Nov. Alipay is currently China’s top online wallet service, with over 400 million local users.
The criticism comes as the Chinese government ramps up its censorship campaign against content deemed harmful to the national psyche, including pornography and violent videogames.
BEIJING (Reuters) - The head of Ant Financial Services Group, the payment affiliate of Alibaba Holdings Ltd, apologized on Tuesday following backlash from Chinese netizens over a social feature in the company’s payment app that critics say enabled a sexually explicit dating service.
In an internal letter reviewed by Reuters, Chairwoman Lucy Peng said the company had removed a group within the Alipay app’s new social feature “circles”, including a group called “schoolyard diary” which drew intense fire from Chinese users after its launch on Nov. “These past two days have the most difficult since I had joined Alipay 7 years ago,” said Peng, who apologized to users and promised to clamp down on illicit content on the platform.
At a summit organized by China’s top internet regulator earlier this month, officials called on tech firms and media outlets to clamp down on fake news and immoral content.
Earlier this month the same regulator formalized rules banning content deemed offensive on Chinese social video streaming sites.
The social group, which allowed only female users to post images publicly, blocked onlookers from commenting or contacting the women unless they had a high enough credit rating as determined by Ant Financial’s data-backed rating system, Sesame Credit.
“It’s like a brothel,” protested one Alipay user on Chinese Twitter-like social media service Weibo.
Like the Anthropocene itself, building scientific understanding of the human role in shaping the biosphere requires both sustained effort and leveraging the most powerful social systems and technologies ever developed on this planet. Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere. The timeline illustrates a variety of major events and changes in human populations, climate and human-environment relationships from late Pleistocene to present, beginning with anatomically modern humans in Africa ca. Genetic evidence indicates population dip at 70 ka (Toba eruption), followed by rapid growth and expansion out of Africa and across Eastern Hemisphere by the Last Glacial Maximum (map bottom).Natural vegetation, largely omitting anthropogenic influences, has been reconstructed over two time slices across the continents using standardized paleoecological archives as part of the BIOME6000 project ( though data quality and temporal and spatial coverage is highly variable and very limited in some regions.Interdisciplinary collaborations among paleoecologists, archaeologists, and paleoclimatologists are developing regional histories of human populations, land use, climate and ecosystem change using similar approaches (PAGES project IHOPE are enhancing efforts to share field data towards larger scales of synthesis.However, the ability to make such assessments of geographic and temporal biases at global scale from Pleistocene to present requires that global data representing the global environmental and anthropogenic patterns that would reveal such biases and the statistical tools to use them are available to scientists when selecting sites for field research- which is not the case at present. Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere. Recently, a collaborative geo-computation cyberinfrastructure has been developed to enable real-time quantitative global assessment of geographical biases in sets of local case studies.