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Diarrhea caused by pathogens such as enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is a serious threat to the health of young animals and human infants. Here, we investigated the protective effect of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) on the intestinal epithelium with ETEC-challenge in a weaned piglet model. Twenty-four weaned piglets were randomly divided into three groups: (1) non-ETEC-challenged control (CON), (2) ETEC-challenged control (ECON), and (3) ETEC challenge + 2.5 g/kg FOS (EFOS). On day 19, the CON pigs were orally infused with sterile culture, while the ECON and EFOS pigs were orally infused with active ETEC (2.5 × 109 colony-forming units). On day 21, pigs were slaughtered to collect venous blood and small intestine. Result showed that the pre-treatment of FOS improved the antioxidant capacity and the integrity of intestinal barrier in the ETEC-challenged pigs without affecting their growth performance. Specifically, comparing with ECON pigs, the level of GSH-Px (glutathione peroxidase) and CAT (catalase) in the plasma and intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs was increased (P<0.05), and the intestinal barrier marked by ZO-1 and plasmatic DAO was also improved in EFOS pigs. A lower level (P<0.05) of inflammatory cytokines in the intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs might be involved in the inhibition of TLR4/MYD88/NF-κB pathway. The apoptosis of jejunal cells in EFOS pigs was also lower than that in ECON pigs (P<0.05). Our findings provide convincing evidence of possible prebiotic and protective effect of FOS on the maintenance of intestinal epithelial function under the attack of pathogens.
Understanding factors associated with post-discharge sleep quality among COVID-19 survivors is important for intervention development.
This study investigated sleep quality and its correlates among COVID-19 patients 6 months after their most recent hospital discharge.
Healthcare providers at hospitals located in five different Chinese cities contacted adult COVID-19 patients discharged between 1 February and 30 March 2020. A total of 199 eligible patients provided verbal informed consent and completed the interview. Using score on the single-item Sleep Quality Scale as the dependent variable, multiple linear regression models were fitted.
Among all participants, 10.1% reported terrible or poor sleep quality, and 26.6% reported fair sleep quality, 26.1% reported worse sleep quality when comparing their current status with the time before COVID-19, and 33.7% were bothered by a sleeping disorder in the past 2 weeks. After adjusting for significant background characteristics, factors associated with sleep quality included witnessing the suffering (adjusted B = −1.15, 95% CI = −1.70, −0.33) or death (adjusted B = −1.55, 95% CI = −2.62, −0.49) of other COVID-19 patients during hospital stay, depressive symptoms (adjusted B = −0.26, 95% CI = −0.31, −0.20), anxiety symptoms (adjusted B = −0.25, 95% CI = −0.33, −0.17), post-traumatic stress disorders (adjusted B = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.22, −0.10) and social support (adjusted B = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.04, 0.10).
COVID-19 survivors reported poor sleep quality. Interventions and support services to improve sleep quality should be provided to COVID-19 survivors during their hospital stay and after hospital discharge.
This chapter examines the legal and institutional regulatory framework for China’s financial markets, and evaluates how China may need to restructure its regulatory regime in order to keep up with market developments. The chapter first provides a detailed discussion of the current Chinese financial regulatory framework, and then identifies its major structural problems. In search of an appropriate agenda for reform of China’s financial regulatory structure, it conducts a comparative analysis of financial regulatory structures in overseas jurisdictions, as well as a contextual consideration of China’s local conditions. Finally, it discusses the recent developments and their implications for the future prospects of China’s transition to a Twin Peaks model of financial regulation.
While mobile payments bring great benefits like convenience, flexibility and efficiency, they are not without risks. Among them, the data privacy risk is probably one of the most serious, which is largely caused and exacerbated by the involvement of multiple players and the extensive collection of personal information. China has been trying to consolidate and modernize its regulatory regime for data privacy to suit the needs of the new digital era. China has made great efforts to enact new laws and regulations to delineate the scope of personal information, introduce the obligations for data controllers and processors and incorporate the principles of the Fair Information Practices. However, there are some remaining concerns; the ineffective requirements of consent and disclosure, the ambiguous principle of purpose limitation and the limited applicability of the principle of data minimization. There is a need for China to enact a specific law for data protection, establish a unified law enforcement agency and enhance private and public enforcement. The issue of data privacy is not unique or limited to mobile payment and can apply to other sectors of Fintech and even beyond.
This is the first book-length treatment of the regulation of financial technology (Fintech) in China. Fintech brings about paradigm changes to the traditional financial system, presenting both challenges and opportunities. At the international level, there has been a fierce competition for the coveted title of global Fintech hub. One of the key enablers of success in this race is regulation. As the world's leader in Fintech, China's regulatory experience is of both academic and practical significance. This book presents a systematic and contextualized account of China's Fintech regulation, and in doing so, tries to identify and analyze relevant institutional factors contributing to the development of the Chinese law. It also takes a comparative approach to critically evaluating the Chinese experience. The book illustrates why and how China's Fintech regulation has been developed, if and how it differs from the rest of the world, and what can be learned from the Chinese experience.
China has become one of the leaders in the global mobile payment market in terms of market volume, growth rate and innovation capability. This can be attributed to a number of enabling factors, including technological advancement in China, mobile payment’s competitive advantages and its wide acceptance by the Chinese people. Mobile payment brings significant benefits as well as various risks and thus should be regulated in a way that reaps its benefits while containing the risks. Over the past decade, China has gradually established a regulatory regime which is composed of various rules issued by different regulators in a piecemeal manner. China’s regulatory regime for mobile payment has several key elements, such as the entry and exit mechanism, management of customer reserves, anti-money laundering measures and consumer protection. The Chinese regulation has strengths and shortcomings, particularly in relation to the overall structure and approach of the regulation. There is also a need to address the negative effects on competition in the mobile payment market that may be brought by the high entry threshold and the centralized clearing mechanism.
As China has banned ICOs, cryptoassets cannot be created and traded there. This chapter thus examines the relevant law in the Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region (HKSAR). Due to the difficulties in regulating cryptoassets under the traditional framework, HKSAR set up its first regulatory regime on cryptoassets in November 2018, imposing new standards on cryptoasset fund managers, distributors and platform operators. A year later, HKSAR further clarified its position on the regulation of cryptoasset exchanges. Overall, the new regulatory regime for cryptoassets in HKSAR addresses the issues of regulatory gaps and regulatory arbitrage that existed under the previous framework as well as introducing enhanced regulatory standards. This has the effect of improving investor protection, but there are some remaining concerns. Chief amongst them are the problems with regulatory scope, the application of traditional regulatory standards to cryptoassets that do not fall within the definition of securities or futures, problems with the sandbox mechanism and ultimately, as a matter of regulatory philosophy, the need for a better balance between investor protection and market development.
China’s online P2P lending has undergone a roller-coaster period in the past decade with explosive growth initially to become the largest in the world currently. Online lending platforms have mushroomed across the country followed by a free fall in the past couple of years to see the market shrink drastically, with the closure or transformation of most of the platforms. The initial rapid development is a consequence of the simultaneous emergence of three key factors, namely deep penetration of internet, large supply of funds and unmet financial needs. In 2016, China issued an important regulation for online lending, introducing a number of significant measures, such as the restriction on the business model that can be adopted by platforms, registration requirements, custodian requirements, information disclosure requirements and lending limits. The regulation has far-reaching implications, including a reshuffling of the market and more collaboration between online lending platforms and traditional banks. However, now it seems that the regulation has failed to achieve its purposes, due to the problems with both substantive rules and enforcement mechanisms.
This introduction chapter is meant to provide background information on the book. It sets out the concept of Fintech and the reasons for writing the book. It also provides a general introduction to the Chinese Fintech markets and a snapshot of the main topics covered by the book. Finally, it discusses the Chinese regulatory framework for Fintech, including governmental regulators, self-regulatory organizations and local regulators.
The term initial coin offerings (ICOs) refers to a new fundraising tool which allows organizations, mainly entrepreneurs or start-ups, to launch a business based on distributed ledger or blockchain technology to raise operating funds. The development trajectory of the ICOs in China is broadly similar to that of online P2P lending, or more accurately, the former presages the latter. Specifically, the ICOs underwent a period of explosive growth in China since the second half of 2016 and then were banned in September 2017. The outright ban on ICOs may hamper revolutionary technological developments and dampen the growth of this potentially beneficial market in China. Hence, by completely stifling technology innovation and market development, the Chinese regulatory approach needs to be reconsidered in light of international experiences. Indeed, the ICOs can be broadly divided into five categories, namely pre-sale of products or services, offering of shares, issue of debentures, issue of derivatives, collective investment schemes and crowdfunding. Instead of a blanket ban, China should adopt a flexible and targeted regulatory approach according to the particular category of the ICOs.
As a form of artificial intelligence in the financial markets, robo-advisory has grown rapidly to provide automated investment services along with human advisors. Automated investment advice firms have brought significant benefits by improving the delivery of high-quality, less-biased financial advice. However, robo-advisors also bring risks due to the high dependence on technology. In the area of robo-advisory services, China has several advantages, such as strong consumer demand and a rapidly rising middle class, as well as disadvantages such as regulatory risks and low-level service quality. The over-demanding and inconsistent entry threshold, insufficient asset management powers of robo-advisors, weak fiduciary duties and inadequate information disclosure duties have hindered the development of robo-advisory services in China. By analysing the overseas experiences and local conditions, this chapter makes relevant suggestions for further improvement of the Chinese regulatory regime.
This chapter is a conclusion. It sums up the main findings of the previous chapters and, based on them, draws general implications of the Chinese experience for international discourse on Fintech regulation. It also points out areas for future research.