Facebook Tests Way Into China Via Secret Photo—Sharing App

Yuan Yang
Financial Times
A photo—sharing app has appeared on Apple’s App Store in China that looks exactly like Facebook’s Moments app, and analysts say it may be a way for the US tech group to finally break into its most coveted market.

In China, Facebook Tests the Waters with a Stealth App

New York Times
Facebook and many of its apps have been blocked in China for years. To change that, Mark Zuckerberg has made a big point of meeting with Chinese politicians, reading stodgy Communist Party propaganda, studying Mandarin and—perhaps more daunting—...

Facebook’s Secret Chinese App Is a Dud in China So Far

Quartz
Over the weekend the New York Times reported (paywall) that Facebook had stealthily released a photo-sharing app in the Chinese iOS App Store translated as “Colorful Balloons.” The news spread rapidly around English-language media, as it marked the...

Holes close in China’s ’Great Firewall’ as Apple and Amazon snub apps to bypass censors

Los Angeles Times
Moves by business giants Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to stop people from using censorship-skirting apps in China have renewed questions about the extent to which U.S. companies are willing to work with authorities to operate in the vast but...

Books

08.01.17

Globalization against Democracy

Guoguang Wu
Globalization has reconfigured both the external institutional framework and the intrinsic operating mechanisms of capitalism. The global triumph of capitalism implies the embracing of the market by the state in all its variants, and that global capitalism is not confined to the shell of nation-state democracy. Guoguang Wu provides a theoretical framework of global capitalism for specialists in political economy, political science, economics, and international relations, for graduate and undergraduate courses on globalization, capitalism, development, and democracy, as well as for the public who are interested in globalization. Wu examines the new institutional features of global capitalism and how they re-frame movements of capital, labor, and consumption. He explores how globalization has created a chain of connection in which capital depends on effective authoritarianism, while democracy depends on capital. Ultimately, he argues that the emerging state-market nexus has fundamentally shaken the existing institutional systems, harming democracy in the process. —Cambridge University Press{chop}

Joining Apple, Amazon’s China Cloud Service Bows to Censors

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Days after Apple yanked anti-censorship tools off its app store in China, another major American technology company is moving to implement the country’s tough restrictions on online content.

Chinese Blogger Sorry after Essay Slamming Beijingers’ ‘Fake’ Lives Goes Viral and Is Censored

Eva Li
South China Morning Post
Widely-read blog criticized by state media after it lists complaints about soaring property prices, crowded subways and lack of human warmth in the capital

China Clamping down on Use of VPNs to Evade Great Firewall

CNBC
China is tightening control over foreign companies’ internet use in a move some worry might disrupt their operations or jeopardize trade secrets as part of a crackdown on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing’s online censorship.

In China, Despair for Cause of Democracy after Nobel Laureate’s Death

New York Times
Now, the ruling Communist Party’s feverish attempts to erase Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s legacy have raised fears that Mr. Xi will intensify his campaign against activists pushing for ideas like freedom of speech and religion.

Liu Xiaobo’s Death Pushes China’s Censors into Overdrive

New York Times
It came as little surprise when, after the death of the dissident Liu Xiaobo last week, China’s vast army of censors kicked into overdrive as they scrubbed away the outpouring of grief on social media that followed.

Tycoon’s Claims Reverberate in China Despite Censorship and Thin Evidence

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Since taking office, President Xi Jinping has cultivated an aura of austere probity and stern control. But now a garrulous billionaire living in a lavish apartment in Manhattan, taunting the authorities beyond the easy grasp of Chinese security...

Sinica Podcast

06.23.17

Islamophobia in China, Explained

Kaiser Kuo, Alice Y. Su & more from Sinica Podcast
Islamophobia isn’t a phenomenon limited to Trump’s America or the Europe of Brexit and Marine Le Pen. It has taken root in China, too—in a form that bears a striking resemblance to what we’ve seen in recent years in the West. The Chinese Party-state...

Media

06.21.17

American Universities in China: Free Speech Bastions or Threats to Academic Freedom?

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 1986, Johns Hopkins University opened a study center in Nanjing University, making it the first American institution of higher education allowed to establish a physical presence in China during the Communist era. Since then, dozens of other...

‘Islamic State Killings: China’s Censored Social Media Is in Uproar, so What’s Beijing Thinking?

Coco Liu
South China Morning Post
The deaths of two Chinese prompt widespread calls for retribution. Beijing, seeking favour in the region with its Belt and Road Initiative, remains curiously silent.

Have a Nice Day, Chinese Gangster Animation, Blocked in France

Stephen McDonelll
BBC
The makers of a cutting-edge Chinese film that was pulled from the world's premier animation festival following government pressure from Beijing say they still hope the movie will get a run in cinemas at home later this year...

China Compiles Its Own ‘Wikipedia,’ but Public Can’t Edit It

LOUISE WATT
Seattle Times
It’ll be free. It’ll be uniquely Chinese. It’ll be an online encyclopedia to rival Wikipedia — but without the participation of the public. And don’t expect entries on “Tiananmen Square 1989” or “Falun Gong spiritual group” to come up in your...

Should the Chinese Government Be in American Classrooms?

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Since their beginning in 2005, Confucius Institutes (CIs) have been set up to teach Chinese language classes in more than 100 American colleges and universities, including large and substantial institutions like Rutgers University, the State...

Liberating China’s Past

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
With the closing of this month’s National People’s Congress, China’s political season is upon us. It will culminate in the autumn with Xi Jinping’s almost certain reappointment to another five-year term. With Xi rapidly becoming the most important...

For a Change, China’s Censors Have No Problem with “Gay Moment” in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

Echo Huang
Quartz
Unlike other Asian countries, China says it has absolutely no problem with a plotline involving a possibly gay character in Disney’s re-boot of Beauty and the Beast.

Sinica Podcast

03.17.17

Big Daddy Dough: Hip-hop and Macroeconomics in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
By day, Andrew Dougherty is a macroeconomist who manages a China research team for Capital Group, one of the world’s largest actively managed mutual funds. By night, he is Big Daddy Dough, creator of an album of parody hip-hop songs that explain...

Is Google Another Step Closer to Being Unblocked in China?

Nectar Gan
CNBC
Google is still in talks with Beijing over its plans to return to the mainland Chinese market

Conversation

02.05.17

Is The White House Beginning to Resemble Zhongnanhai?

Melissa Chan & Yifu Dong
Since Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20, he has lied repeatedly about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, embraced xenophobic policies, and declareda “running war with the media.” The White House has frozen out the...

Billionaire Is Reported Seized from Hong Kong Hotel and Taken into China

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
A Chinese-born billionaire who has forged financial ties with some of the country’s most powerful families was taken by the Chinese police from his apartment at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong late last week and spirited across the border

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

Popular Chinese Muslim Website Down After Posting Letter Critical of Xi

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
Users of China Muslim Net say they have been unable to access the website since Saturday

Media

12.09.16

U.S.-China Relations As a Cycle of ‘Rapturous Enchantment’ and ‘Deep Disappointment’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 1872, China’s imperial government began sending teenage boys to the United States to study science and technology. After a series of “humiliating” military defeats at the hands of technologically superior foreign powers, China’s leaders realized...

Two Movies China Desperately Wants to Hide

Jeff Jacoby
Boston Globe
In China, prisoners of conscience are literally being butchered. These films take a look inside China's organ harvesting market. ...

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

Inside and Outside the System: Chinese Writer Hu Fayun

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Over the summer, I traveled to Wuhan to continue my series of talks with people about the challenges facing China. Coming here was part of an effort to break out of the black hole of Beijing politics and explore the view from China’s vast hinterland...

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...