Viewpoint

12.01.16

Why I’m Giving Away My Book in China

Mei Fong
After a decade covering Asia for The Wall Street Journal, I devoted three years of my life to researching and writing a book about China’s one-child policy, One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment. This month, I’m giving away the...

China is Censoring People’s Chats Without Them Even Knowing About It

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Censorship in WeChat group chats is prevalent, and is done so that the sender isn’t even aware a piece of text has been scrubbed

Conversation

11.28.16

Should Facebook Self-Censor to Enter the Chinese Market?

Kaiser Kuo, Clay Shirky & more
The social network Facebook has reportedly developed software to suppress posts from users’ feeds in targeted geographic areas, a feature created to help the giant social media network gain access to China, where it is blocked. Facebook Chief...

'Social' Feature Turns China’s Alipay Into a Hook-up App

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Alipay update leads to suggestive content flooding the typically staid financial app

Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back into China

Mike Isaacs
New York Times
The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas

China’s Controversial, Out-Sized Role in Africa’s Digital Revolution

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Africa is home to one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world. In fact, more African households own a mobile phone than have reliable electricity or clean water. The combination of a young population, quickly growing economies, and...

China’s Latest Deadly Industrial Explosion Spotlights Dire Workplace Safety

Charlie Campbell
Time
Explosion that killed at least 14 came during a key meeting of the Chinese Communist Party and was swiftly censored

Trump Thinks China’s Leaders are Smarter. They Didn't Even Let Their People Watch the Debate

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Once again, China was cast as the foil to expose the weakness of the Obama administration and, by extension, Hillary Clinton.

Five Ways China Has Become More Repressive Under President Xi Jinping

Charlie Campbell
Time
According to the 2016 report by the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, there has been a broad corrosion of freedoms

China’s Rising Threat to the U.S. Movie Industry

Richard Berman
Politico
With firms like Dalian Wanda gaining influence in the U.S., would a war movie called South China Sea ever play in one of Wanda’s theaters?

Propaganda and Censorship Remain China’s Favored Tools of Control

Cary Huang
South China Morning Post
Recent court rulings rapping people questioning the party-state’s tales about war heroes reflect leaders’ insecurity over their rule

Fate Catches Up to a Cultural Revolution Museum in China

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The museum was covered up and shut down in the spring, a few weeks before the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution.

A Storied Hong Kong Newspaper Feels the Heat from China

Rob Schmitz
NPR
After recently shutting down its Chinese-language website and deleting archives, the South China Morning Post announced more cuts.

Once a Voice of Young China, Han Han Stakes Out a Different Path

Karoline Kan
New York Times
Han Han discusses his writings, the turns his life has taken and what people in the West fail to understand about China

Media

09.14.16

The Chinese Democratic Experiment that Never Was

David Wertime
Protesters in southern China are up in arms. They feel that Beijing’s promises that they’d be able to vote for their own local leaders have been honored in the breach. They’re outraged at the show of force in the face of peaceful protest, and...

Conversation

09.13.16

Can China’s Best Newspaper Survive?

Isaac Stone Fish, David Schlesinger & more
On September 9, the South China Morning Post’s Chinese-language website went dark with little explanation, leading to concerns that censorship might next spread to the newspaper’s English-language coverage. Can Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, who has...

Conversation

08.10.16

Is Big Data Increasing Beijing’s Capacity for Control?

Mirjam Meissner, Rogier Creemers & more
China’s authoritarian government is using big data to develop credit scoring systems, and is urging data-sharing between companies and governments, putting ordinary Chinese squarely in the digital spotlight. How should Chinese netizens and global...

Week of TV Trials in China Signals New Phase in Attack on Rights

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Legal experts and supporters of four defendants denounced the hearings, held on consecutive days in Tianjin, a port city near Beijing, as grotesque show trials.

‘Ghostbusters’ In Line for China Ban Due to Supernatural Theme

Henry Barnes
Guardian
Under China’s censorship laws any films suggesting the existence of the supernatural can be banned from distribution.

Beetle Is Named in Honor of Xi Jinping, But China Aims To Squash The News

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
China censors the beetle that “fights corruption” like President Xi Jinping....

Pokémon Chasers in China Hit Brick Wall

Eva Dou and Juro Osawa
Wall Street Journal
The popular app is unavailable in China, but players are still trying....

Challenging China: Former Executive Hosts a Politically Sensitive Book Club

Wall Street Journal
China puts heavy security on one woman....

The Fate of China’s Freest City Could Depend on This One Frail Bookseller

Nash Jenkings
Time
Mighty Current Media booksellers make a statement from prison....

Conversation

06.30.16

Where Is China’s Internet Headed?

David Schlesinger, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Lu Wei, the often combative Chinese official known as China’s “Internet Czar,” will step down, and is to be replaced by a former deputy of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The personnel change comes after a period of mounting restrictions on China’s...

China Cracks Down on ‘Harmful’ Speech

Cal Wong
Diplomat
Government demands an apology from a writer questioning an ‘official account of a wartime story’.....

Lady Gaga Infuriates Her Chinese Fans by Meeting The Dalai Lama

Charlie Campbell
Time
Mixed emotions surface from “Mother Monster’s” meeting about kindness....

China Is Another Step Closer to Controversial Cybersecurity Law

Fortune
The draft requires network operators to comply with social morals and accept the supervision of the government and public.

For LinkedIn China, Microsoft Deal Is a Complicated Connection

Alyssa Abkowitz
Wall Street Journal
The professional networking site has found success in China, while its new owner has faced challenges.

Media

06.22.16

‘Wukan,’ Once a Byword For Chinese Democracy, Now Censored

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A fishing village in southern Guangdong province, once a standard-bearer for small-time democracy in China, has now become a political disaster—and the most-censored term on Chinese social media.In September 2011, amid protests over land sales in...

Find-a-Journalist App Highlights Murky Media Practices in China

Pei Li
Wall Street Journal
The app connects companies seeking publicity and journalists interested in pocketing some extra cash.

China Imposes Blackout on Hong Kong Bookseller’s Revelations

Hannah Beech
Time
With one fleeting exception, media consumers in mainland China were left in the dark.

Viewpoint

05.26.16

China and the End of Reform

Thomas Kellogg
Is the Chinese Communist Party putting an end to the decades-long process of China’s opening to the outside world? Is the era of liberal reform over? Consider the latest piece of evidence: on April 28, the Standing Committee of the National People’s...

China's Cultural Revolution: 50th Anniversary Unmarked by State Media

Stephen McDonell
BBC
How to handle the era's contentious legacy has remained a challenge to China's Communist rulers to this day...

Apple's Uphill Battle with China Is a Reminder That There's No Such Thing As "Borderless" Tech

Mark Y. Rosenberg
Quartz
Tech companies will have to invest more resources in political risk control.

China Just Earned Its Worst Ever Score in an Annual Global Press Freedom Survey

Charlie Campbell
Time
Freedom House scored China 87/100—with higher marks indicating greater restrictions—on press freedom in its 2016 survey.

Book Debate Raises Questions of Self-Censorship by Foreign Groups in China

Edward Wong
New York Times
The American Bar Association rejected a book written by the Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao.

Conversation

04.19.16

Fifty Years Later, How Is the Cultural Revolution Still Present in Life in China?

Guobin Yang, Federico Pachetti & more
Fifty years ago this May 16, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a chaotic, terrifying, and often deadly decade-long campaign to “purify” C.C.P. ideology and reassert his political dominance...

China Steps up Panama Papers Censorship after Leaders' Relatives Named

Tom Phillips
Guardian
It's dangerous for higher leaders regarding internal party credibility as much as the broader public...

Viewpoint

04.06.16

Will China Ever Have Its Own Cinematic Superhero?

Anthony Kao
As Batman v Superman attempts to barnstorm cinema box offices worldwide, including in China—now the world’s No. 2 movie marketplace—I’ve been watching a different kind of hero movie: Jian Bing Man.This 2015 Chinese blockbuster isn’t exactly a...

China Censors Mentions of ‘Panama Papers’ Leaks

Michael Forsythe and Austin Ramzy
New York Times
The names of relatives of several top leaders are found in the documents exposing offshore companies, but most citizens will never hear of the news.

Media

04.05.16

Chinese Censors Rush to Make ‘Panama Papers’ Disappear

David Wertime
On April 3, the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit International Committee of Investigative Journalists dropped what struck many as a bombshell: news that a leaked trove of 11.5 million previously secret files from Panama-based law firm Mossack...

China Is Pretending That Hong Kong’s “Best Film” Award Winner Doesn’t Exist

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Ten Years, the film about growing anxiety that Beijing is eroding HK's freedoms, is unlikedly to be released in China...

China Editor Resigns over Media Censorship

BBC
Under the "reason for resignation" section, he wrote: "Unable to bear your surname"...

Excitement in China as Google, Instagram Jump Great Firewall—for Just Two Hours

Simon Denyer and Xu Yangjingjing
Washington Post
Access may have become possible because Google had introduced a series of new IP servers.

Hong Kong Bookseller Returns from China after Three-Month Absence

James Pomfret, Twinnie Siu and Clare...
Reuters
It sparked fears that Chinese authorities were overriding the "one country, two systems" formula...

China Aims to Tighten Its Borders Against Foreign Place Names

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Names that “damage sovereignty and national dignity” or “violate the socialist core values and conventional morality” would be targeted.

How a New York Art Show about Chinese Online Censorship Found Itself Censored

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
When the artist behind the cafe tried to organize a round-table event, a speaker starting receiving threats from China.

China’s Censors Battle Mounting Defiance

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
It was a message of defiance: Despite a monumental edifice of controls, censorship is losing.

Conversation

03.15.16

What’s Driving the Current Storm of Chinese Censorship?

David Schlesinger, Anne Henochowicz & more
The latest lightning flashes on China’s shifting media horizon this month took the form of the banishment from social media of a real estate tycoon who voiced support for constructive criticism, the firing of an editor at a newspaper that appeared...

China Has Unblocked Internet Searches That Refer to Kim Jong-Un as a ‘Pig’

Rishi Iyengar
Time
Experts say it may be a sign of China's displeasure with Kim's nuclear buildup...

Chinese Publication, Censored by Government, Exposes Article’s Removal

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
Caixin Media reported that the government had deleted its March 3 article because it contained “illegal content.”

China’s Censors Are Leaving the World’s Most Populous Nation With Very Little to Watch on TV

Hannah Beech
Time
New rules are so strict that even literary classics wouldn't make the cut...

Missing Bookseller Detained in China Returns to Hong Kong

Reuters
Bookseller specialized in gossip about Chinese leaders. 

Read and delete: How Weibo's censors tackle dissent and free speech

Committee to Protect Journalists
A former employee gives insight into how Weibo balances the demands of government censorship with the need to attract users.

Hidden Message Suspected on Chinese Front Page, and Speculation Swirls

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The last two characters of each line in the headlines together read a possible lament for the fate of journalists under the party’s restraints.

China Deletes Microblog of Critic of President Xi Jinping

Edward Wong
New York Times
The microblog of property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, which had nearly 38 million followers, was deleted by China’s Internet control bureau.

Chinese Censors Have Taken a Popular Gay Drama Offline and Viewers Aren’t Happy

Charlie Campbell
Time
Online discussions garnered more than 110 million responses within a day of the show's cancelation...

China's Increasingly Muffled Press

New York Times
Mr. Xi recently visited the three main newsrooms in the country to convey in unmistakable terms that journalists are expected to behave like apparatchiks.

China’s Increasingly Muffled Press

New York Times
The Chinese media have never had much freedom to pursue muckraking stories. Now, President Xi is going extraordinary lengths to rein the press in further.

Conversation

02.23.16

How Long Can China’s Internet Thrive if the Rest of the World Gets Shut Out?

David Schlesinger, Jeff South & more
Last week, Chinese authorities announced that as of March 10, foreign-invested companies would not be allowed to publish anything on the Chinese Internet unless they have obtained government permission to publish with a Chinese partner. What does...