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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:22, September 26, 2006
49 obsolete Chinese words in the last decade, Part II
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State Planning Commission: disappeared March 1998

When the State Council of China underwent institutional restructuring in 1998, it changed the name of one of its institutions from "State Planning Commission" to "State Development Planning Commission". In 2002, the institution was renamed the "National Development and Reform Commission". The word "planning", which was part of the institution's title for over 50 years, was finally gone. This is a reflection of the profound changes that China has undergone.

Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Electronics: disappeared March 1998

With the departure of these two organizations, a new government organ, the Ministry of Information Industry, was established in 1998.

Wu Jichuan, the former Minister of the Information Industry, said the Ministry of Information Industry would play an important role in promoting the development of the Chinese information industry and the socialist market economy, as well as in adjusting and optimizing the industrial structure.

This change concerns China's future in a world that is entering an information era.

VCD: disappeared after 1998

Between 1995 and 1998, the sales of VCD (Video Compact Disc) players grew from 600 thousand to 14 million due to the prevalence of VCD piracy. VCD opened a window to the movie world for Chinese people. Now fewer Chinese want to watch VCDs because they have easy access to DVDs which have a much better picture and sound quality.

Hainan Development Bank: disappeared June 21, 1998

Hainan Development Bank was shut down by China's central bank, the People's Bank of China on June 21, 1998. It was the first regional bank ordered to close by the Central Government. This closure was one of many steps that China has taken to reform its financial system.

Miandi: disappeared 1998

As an emergency measure for tackling air pollution in Beijing, several thousand miandi were melted down at a Shougan Group plant, a steel giant in Beijing on December 23, 1998. Few miandi can now be found in Beijing.

Miandi is a Chinese word, which means minivan taxi. Minivan taxis appeared between the late 1980s and early 1990s and were the first generation of taxis in China. They proliferated so that there were over 100 thousand minivan taxis in Beijing alone at one time. Though convenient for residents, they were an undeniable cause of air pollution in Beijing. To clean up the environment, Beijing decided to get rid of them.

Idall: disappeared in December 1999

Idall is a Chinese brand of electronic appliances. Idall went through great ups and downs between 1996 and 1999. By 1998, by advertising widely and lowering prices, it had become one of the most famous brands in China. In 1999 the company that manufactured Idall products went bankrupt. As a result, Idall is no longer a brand people are familiar with.

Millennium Bug: disappeared in 2000

It was predicted the Millennium Bug would create massive problems at the end of 20th century. The world spent billions of dollars preparing for it, but it never struck. Some people suspect that it was nothing but a conspiracy. Nevertheless, it reminded people that any flaw they overlook in a machine has the potential to cause a catastrophe.

Fenhuang Cola: disappeared in 2000

Publicized as "Chinese people's own Cola", Fenhuang Cola was a big name between 1998 and 2000. It suddenly dropped in popularity in 2000 and never rose again.

Mao: disappeared after 2000

Mao was a nickname that Chinese people gave to the modem because of a similarity in pronunciation. From the mid-1990s on, an increasing number of Chinese got dial-up access to the internet. The modem was a necessity in many households and the internet has had an increasing influence on every aspect of modern China.

Since 2000, China has been building nationwide facilities for broadband internet. The country has quickly entered the era of broadband internet access. The mao has become unnecessary and is being retired from Chinese households.

Family letter: disappeared after late 1990s

When communication channels in China were limited, the family letter was the major means of contact for people far from home with their families. It significantly influenced people's lives. Nowadays it is easy to get access to a phone and the internet. Fewer people are willing to spend time writing a family letter.

Blue Seal Household Register: disappeared after 2000

The Blue Seal Household Register was a resident permit issued to temporary residents in Chinese cities. If people wanted to purchase housing outside of the city in which they were permanently registered, they had to apply for a Blue Seal Household Register.

Since 2000, Chinese cities have been canceling this household register. It has become history in many places.

WPS: disappeared after 2000

Word processing system (WPS) was China-developed word processing software. In the era of DOS, every computer in China installed WPS. Everyone who wanted to use a computer had to be familiar with WPS. When Microsoft's WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) technology emerged, it quickly stole the market and WPS became outdated.

By People's Daily Online

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