A campaign to lower the consumption of shark fins in China appears to be achieving results. According to wildlife protection groups, the consumption of shark fin soup in China was down 50 to 70 percent in 2013 when compared to two years before.
Previously, up to 70 million sharks were killed each year in order to meet the demand for shark fin soup in China. Sharks would be captured and have its fins cut off while the rest of the body was thrown back into the water. The fins would be used in soup and sold at an expensive price at wedding receptions and banquets in order to display a person’s social status.
There were several factors that lead to the lower demand. First was a public awareness campaign that featured former NBA star Yao Ming that aimed to educate the public. A survey conducted in 2005-2006 found that 80 percent of respondents did not know that “fish wing” soup was actually shark fins.
In addition to awareness, steps taken by the Chinese government to stop ordering the soup at official banquets lead to lower demand.
Industry groups in Hong Kong state that imports of shark fins have declined by 20 to 30 percent, while the Commerce Ministry reported that consumption of shark fin soup was down 70 percent during the 2013 Spring Break Holiday from the year before. Traders in Beijing Marketplaces have been forced to lower their prices in order to move inventory. A half-kilo of dried shark fin currently sells for $110, down from the previous $165.
(Prices of the illegal wildlife trade.)
In high-end restaurants in Beijing, a bowl of shark fin soup sells for $60 to $325. Some hotels and restaurants no longer offer the soup.
Source: Washington Post, “Wildlife victory: shark fin falls from favor in China,” Japan Times, October 20, 2013.
Security officials in the United Kingdom reported that there were a total of 371 children who fell victim to human trafficking in 2012. The number of children officially registered as victims was 50 percent higher than the 234 children identified in 2011.
In 2012, the largest number of children trafficked into the UK was from Vietnam, where 95 children were from. 67 children were from Nigeria and 25 were from China. 20 British girls were also identified.
For adults, there were 786 women identified as human trafficking victims in 2012, an increase of 12 percent from the year before. 400 men were trafficking victims, an increase of nearly a third.
(Prices paid for human trafficking victims.)
Source: Steven Swinford, “Girl smuggled into Britain to have her ‘organs harvested’,” Telegraph, October 18, 2013.
According to study released by Australian NGO Walk Free Foundation, there are 29.8 million people living as slaves in the world as of 2013. The foundation defined slaves as people who are in forced labor conditions, victims of human trafficking, children who were bought and sold, and women forced into marriage.
India has the most slaves in the world, with the number of slaves in the country reported to be between 13.3 million and 14.7 million people. China had the second most slaves, with 2.8 million to 3.1 million people living in slave-like conditions. Pakistan had the third most, with 2 to 2.2 million slaves.
Source: Krishnadev Calamur, “India, China Top List Of Nations With Most Slaves,” NPR, October 17, 2013, and Alexander Smith, “30 million people still live in slavery, human rights group says,” NBC News, October 17, 2013.
According to a survey conducted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), up to 70 percent of people in China did not know that ivory used in products came form dead elephants. The people surveyed previously thought that ivory simply dropped their ivory in a way that is similar as how humans lose their teeth.
The IFAW started a three year campaign to educate the Chinese public on the origins of ivory, and the role that poachers play in killing the elephants. According to an evaluation of the campaign, 66 percent of those who saw commercials about the ivory trade stated that they would “definitely” not be purchasing ivory products in the future.
(Prices of the illegal wildlife trade.)
Source: Jeremy Hance, “Advertising campaign changing minds in China on ivory trade,” Mongabay, October 16, 2013.
During the second quarter of 2013, cloud-computing firm Akamai reported that 38 percent of cyber attacks worldwide was traced back to IP addresses located in Indonesia. The number of attacks from Indonesia increased from 21 percent in the first three months of 2013.
China previously had the most cyber attacks sourced to its country, with 34 percent in the first quarter of 2013. In the second quarter, it registerd 33 percent of online attacks. The United States was third with 6.9 percent of attacks.
The company also saw a 54 percent increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks during the three month period.
In total, Akamai observed cyber attacks originating from IP addresses located in 175 different countries during the second quarter of 2013.
Full Report (PDF): Akamai, “The State of the Internet, 2nd Quarter, 2013 Report,” October 16, 2013.
Media Source: Lily Kuo, “Indonesia just passed China as the world’s top apparent source of cyber attacks,” Quartz, October 16, 2013.
Beats by Dr. Dre as high-end headphones that make up almost 70 percent of the market. On its website, the top line Beats headphones retail for $400.
In China, counterfeit manufacturers offer the headphones for a wholesale price of $70. In an interview with CNN, a woman who runs a manufacturing plant that produces fake Beats headphones showed that she had sales to customers in Italy, the United States, Canada and Russia. One customer from the United Kingdom bought an order of fake Beats for $50,000 and flew the order back to the UK by jet, where he sold them as legitimate copies.
The price of $70 is for the highest-quality of counterfeit Beats by Dr. Dre. Medium quality headphones are sold for $45, and the lowest quality fakes are sold for $30. An order of 100 units for counterfeit headphones can be filled in one day, with orders of 1,000 taking up to a week.
The in-ear version of Beats by Dr. Dre are sold for even less. On the streets of Shenzhen, the price of fake in-ear Beats earphones were selling for $1. On the company website, the legitimate version of in-ear Beats sell for $100.
Source: Johan Nylander, “Chinese fakes cash in on Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones bonanza,” CNN, October 14, 2013.
An investigative report by the BBC found that the services of prostitutes is readily available at international hotels across China. Many of the prostitutes are provided to hotel customers through the use of independently run spas located within the hotel. However, the report did find one instance where a prostitute stated that her bill could be paid for at the front desk when the customers checked out.
One spa operator provided the BBC with a flyer which stated that the price for a prostitute in the hotel was $130 (800 Chinese Yuan).
A prostitute told the reporter that she sees up to 3 clients a day and earns 40 percent of the fee that is charged to the customer.
(More prostitution prices worldwide.)
Source: John Sudworth, “China sex trade infiltrates international hotels,” BBC News, October 11, 2013.
From 2003 to 2013, there have been 4,605 cases of illegal fishing taking place within the waters of South Korea by Chinese boats.
Out of the total number of illegal fishing cases, 3,228 cases were in violation by Chinese boats of fishing agreements made between the two countries. Since 2004, there have been 1,062 boats from China cited by South Korean authorities for illegal fishing.
In the first 9 months of 2013, there has been 266 boats seized or cited for unlicensed fishing in South Korea.
69 security officials have been killed or injured during the 10 year span battling illegal fishing.
Source: Yonhap, “Illegal Chinese fishing in S. Korean waters total 4,600 cases over past decade,” Global Post, October 7, 2013.
Australia’s government lost up to $1.1 Billion in tobacco tax revenue in 2012 due to cigarette smuggling activities.
Security agencies in Australia 82 million black market cigarettes in 2011. In 2012, the number of illicit cigarettes increased to 122 million.
2.7 billion cigarettes were smoked in the country in 2012 that were purchased without the payment of taxes, or 11.3 percent of all cigarettes smoked. Most of the contraband cigarettes were either smuggled into Australia from China or South Korea or produced in homegrown tobacco shops.
Source: Lily Kuo, “Australia lost $1.1 billion because of illegal cigarettes last year,” Quartz, October 2, 2013.
In 2013, the global costs associated with cybercrimes against consumers was reported to be $113 Billion, according to a report by computer security firm Symantec.
The average cost per victim of cybercrime was $298, a 50 percent increase from the average costs in 2012. Consumers in the United States had the highest costs associated with cybercrime, with $38 Billion, followed by China with $37 Billion.
According to the report, there are 378 million victims of cybercrimes each year. The highest number of cybercrime victims were found in Russia, China and South Africa.
Nearly half of the consumers surveyed in the report do not use security precausions for their mobile devices, such as passwords, security software or file backups.
57 percent of mobile device users (tablets, smartphones) are unaware that security solutions are available for mobile devices.
Source: “2013 Norton Report,” Symantec. October 1, 2013.