(Youku/Fair use)

Why Has This Environmental Documentary Gone Viral on China’s Internet?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Angel Hsu & Michael Zhao

Our friends at Foreign Policy hit the nail on the head by headlining writer Yiqin Fu’s Monday story “China’s National Conversation about Pollution Has Finally Begun.” What happened? Well, over the weekend, the feature-length Chinese documentary “Under the Dome” was released, first on the website of the state-run People’s Daily newspaper, then on Youku, Tudou, and Tencent. (Watch a subtitled version on YouTube above and...

Andrew Stokols

Village Acupuncture

Can Architects Restore Vitality to China’s Countryside?

Andrew Stokols

On a bamboo-covered mountaintop the mud-walled houses of Diaotan village are just barely visible through the thick fog that often shrouds this remote hamlet in China’s Zhejiang province. Worn but sturdy earthen walls still enclose the largest structure of Diaotan, the ancestral hall, or citang. Inside, a few lanterns and red couplets hang above a stone courtyard covered with moss and weeds.Xu Tiantian, an architect from Beijing who has come here to help restore old houses, marvels at the serene landscape of bamboo and five-hundred-year-old trees. “It’s like the taohuayuan [peach blossom garden],” she says, referring to the 4th century story...

(AFP/Getty Images photo)

Keep in Touch, Nightman

A Sinica Podcast

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn

In 1997, Beijing was smaller city, and Keep in Touch, Jamhouse, and Nightman were the hippest venues around. There was no traffic on the ring roads, and if you got tired of Chinese food you might take a trip to Fangzhuang to visit this Italian restaurant that had suddenly appeared (should we go to Fangzhuang tonight, honey)? And the really plugged-in? They might even have heard of this new district called “Sanlitun” that had a couple of upcoming bars like Poachers….This week on Sinica, Jeremy and Kaiser are joined by two old friends from the 1990s, Jessica Meider (now a professional musician) and Jonathan Ansfield (now a professional journalist). If you’re a long-...

Lan Hongguang—Xinhua/Zuma Press

Are China and Russia Forging a New Ideological Bloc?

A ChinaFile Conversation

Jacqueline N. Deal, Wu Jianmin & more

With evidence of ties strengthening between Beijing and Moscow—over energy contracts, the handling of the Ukraine, and their diplomats’ stance toward outside interference in internal affairs, especially if it’s perceived as coming from Washington—can the world soon expect Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to cooperate more broadly?...

Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Apple Pay Stalled, Frustrated in China

U.S. Mobile Payment Service Faces Steep Competition led by UnionPay and Alibaba

The central bank, UnionPay bank card service, and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are standing up to Apple Inc.’s effort to bring the Apple Pay no-card, no-cash payment system to iPhone users in China. “Apple is seeking to cooperate with Chinese financial institutions,” including banks for the use of Apple Pay, a People’s Bank of China (PBOC) official said. At the same time, the American company has not yet “acknowledged regulators” and as a result “it’s unclear whether the product meets the government’s requirements” for a commercial operation. Apple is also struggling with its relationship with UnionPay, China’s...

Liang Xiaopeng—Imaginechina/Zuma Press

The Sun Kings

Mark L. Clifford

In 1992, Shi Zhengrong completed his doctorate and found himself an expert in a field that wasn’t quite ready for him. He’d studied physics at Australia’s University of New South Wales, focusing on crystalline technology, the basic scientific building block of photovoltaic solar power. This knowledge, however, did not yet have much real-world application. Shi, originally from China, thought setting up a Chinese restaurant in Sydney was his best idea. As he told an audience in Hong Kong in 2008, his wife vetoed the restaurant idea and convinced him to look for work more closely related to his studies. He was able to stay in solar, working first at an academic post in Sydney—but real...

Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese Firms Must Act Decisively on Climate Change, Report Says


Chinese companies will need to cut direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their operations by up to 2.7% a year if China is to stay on track with the level of action required to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, says a new report authored by climate consultants Ecofys for green group WWF. Reports 02.11.15 ...

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Around the Web

Beijing Quietly Curbs Discussion of Documentary on Air Pollution

Censors stepped in to tamp down the buzz around an air-pollution documentary that drew 100 million views.  ... ...

Wall Street Journal

Travels with My Censor

China’s reading public has begun to discover nonfiction books about China by foreigners.... ...

New Yorker

Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet

Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet......

Wall Street Journal

China Orders Two Local Governments to Punish Polluting Steel Mills

That could pile pressure on mills already struggling with weak demand-growth as the world’s No.2 economy loses momentum.......


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