Walmart and JD.Com Invest $500 Million in a Chinese Online Delivery Company

Saheli Roy Choudhury
CNBC
Dada-JD Daojia was formed from the merger of JD Daojia, which is JD.com's online-to-offline business, and Dada Nexus, a large crowd-sourcing delivery platform in China with operations in more than 400 major cities...

As Chinese ‘Crepe’ Catches On Abroad, a Fight to Preserve Its Soul

Mike Ives and Tiffany May
New York Times
When is a pancake not a pancake?

The Diplomatic Dishes China Picked to Keep Donald Trump Happy at a State Banquet

South China Morning Post
Safety-first menu for big set piece dinner shows Beijing was taking no risks when hosting a man who is not known for his adventurous palate

China Lifts Ban on Stinky Cheese

Tamar Lapin
New York Post
Authorities imposed the embargo in September because the stinky cheeses were made with strains of bacteria banned in China.

It's Not Just Amazon: Chinese Tech Giants Are Selling Groceries Too

Sherisse Pham
CNN
Amazon (AMZN, Tech30)'s move to swallow Whole Foods for $13.7 billion grabbed attention in the U.S., and the internet giant has also been dabbling in cashier-less grocery stores. But experts say China is already ahead of the curve...

New Wave of Chinese Restaurants Challenge “Cheap” Stereotype

Esther Wang
NPR
A new generation of immigrant restaurateurs is aiming to offer an updated spin on the Chinese restaurant, with prices to match

Books

11.04.16

Land of Fish and Rice

Fuchsia Dunlop
The lower Yangtze region, or Jiangnan, with its modern capital Shanghai, has been known since ancient times as a “land of fish and rice.” For centuries, local cooks have harvested the bounty of its lakes, rivers, fields, and mountains to create a cuisine renowned for its delicacy and beauty. In Land of Fish and Rice, Fuchsia Dunlop draws on years of study and exploration to present the recipes, techniques, and ingredients of the Jiangnan kitchen. You will be inspired to try classic dishes such as Beggar’s Chicken and sumptuous Dongpo Pork, as well as fresh, simple recipes such as Clear-Steamed Sea Bass and Fresh Soybeans with Pickled Greens. Evocatively written and featuring stunning recipe photography, this is an important new work celebrating one of China’s most fascinating culinary regions. —W.W. Norton{chop}

In Push for G.M.O.s, China Battles Fears of 8-Legged Chickens

Amie Tsang and Cao Li
New York Times
China has ambitions to be a major player in genetically modified food, but first it needs to dispel images of poisoned seeds and contaminated fields

Breakfast Cereal Prices Surge in China Following Appearance on Soap Opera

Huileng Tan
CNBC
A shrewd product placement on a popular soap opera has propelled a Western breakfast cereal to frenzied popularity in China, sending prices up almost ten times in the gray market

How China’s Progress is Killing the Instant Noodle

Adam Minter
Sydney Morning Herald
As China's economy has slowed, so too has its appetite for instant noodles...

Media

09.23.16

In China, Organic Food Is Gaining Ground

Wan Li, a young Beijing professional in her late 20s, is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She picks up. “North entrance?” She confirms. “I’ll be right out.” An electric delivery scooter has just pulled up to Wan’s office with her order of...

China Will Resume Imports of U.S. Beef After a Ban Long Seen as Political

Hannah Beech
Time
For an American industry that relies increasingly on global demand, the news is welcome

Why Chinese Agriculture Engagement in Africa is Not What it Seems

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Western and African media have long fueled the myth that Chinese investors are buying up vast tracts of land across Africa as part of a neo-colonial plan to export food back to China. Sure, on one level, the theory appears plausible: China has...

Sinica Podcast

02.09.16

Sauced: American Cooking in China

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined this week by Howie Southworth and Greg Matza, creators of the independent video series “Sauced in Translation,” a reality show that journeys into the wilder parts of China in search of local Chinese specialties...

Recipe: Anglo-Chinese Pheasant Dumplings

Fuchsia Dunlop
Financial Times
Filled with game and pork belly, these English twists on ‘jiaozi’ dumplings are a wintry delight.

Environment

01.19.16

Is Industrial Farming a Tech-Fix or Dead End for Tackling Climate Change?

from chinadialogue
Researchers estimate that between 44 and 57 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from the global food system. Agriculture and deforestation caused by agriculture account for 26-33 percent of total emissions, making it a major...

Caixin Media

11.18.15

Government Enlists NGOs to Help Homeless

Drivers roll up car windows as an autumn wind chills a traffic-clogged overpass in western Beijing’s Liuliqiao area. And under the concrete overpass, homeless people are gathering for a chilly night’s rest after wandering city streets.Among the...

How Hungry Is China for the World's Food?

John W. Schoen
CNBC
China's transformation from an agrarian economy remains a work in progress...

No Coins, No Red Faces: Apps Change Chinese Attitudes to Splitting Bills

Shen Lu
CNN
Splitting the bill is a relatively new idea to most Chinese, but now it's being embraced by cash-strapped young people...

Sinica Podcast

07.27.15

Beijing’s Great Leap Forward: Microbrew in China

Kaiser Kuo & Carl Setzer from Sinica Podcast
Great Leap Brewing is an institution. As one of the earliest American-style microbreweries in China, not only has the company rescued us from endless nights of Snow and Yanjing, but it has also given us something uniquely Chinese with its assortment...

Environment

06.24.15

High Off the Hog

Stefani Kim
Hongshaorou—“red braised” pork belly, a classic Chinese dish—is cooked with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce until the squares of fatty meat are so tender they dissolve in the mouth. Once a luxury, this succulent delicacy was known to be a favorite...

Environment

05.08.15

It’s Time to Fix China’s Food Safety Conundrum

from chinadialogue
Food safety scandals have become so common in China that people are losing confidence in what they eat. The government has consistently emphasised the need for better regulation of the food industry, and it’s established an inter-ministerial...

Environment

03.11.15

China’s Polluted Soil and Water Will Drive up World Food Prices

from chinadialogue
China’s push for more intense farming has kept its city dwellers well-fed and helped lift millions of rural workers out of poverty. But it has come at a cost. Ecosystems in what should be one of the country’s most fertile regions have already been...

Commodities Explained: China’s New Normal

Henry Sanderson
Financial Times
China has been the most important factor in commodities demand in the past decade.

Reports

02.01.15

China’s Water-Energy-Food Roadmap

Susan Chan Shifflett, Jennifer L. Turner, Luan Dong, Ilaria Mazzocco, Bai Yunwen
Wilson Center
The water-energy-food nexus is creating a complicated challenge for China and the world. Energy development requires water. Moving and cleaning water requires energy. Food production at all stages—from irrigation to distribution—requires water and...

Environment

01.16.15

Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?

from chinadialogue
The Ministry of Agriculture’s move to make potatoes an increasingly important staple in Chinese kitchens, including the propagation of recipes that rely on the humble tuber, at first glance might appear slightly odd and surprising.The potato has...

China Criminal Gang Floods Market with 100 Metric Tons of Toxic Tofu

Adam Jourdan
Reuters
The gang added industrial bleaching agent rongalite to make dried tofu sticks brighter and chewier, the Shanghai Daily reported on Monday, citing official media in Shandong province.

Media

10.23.14

Pandas Were Monsters

Alexa Olesen
"Rich Chinese are literally eating this exotic mammal into extinction," read a recent Global Post expose of the devastating trade in the pangolin, a scaly anteater that Chinese consider a delicacy. According to the Post, the adorable...

The Kitchen Network

Lauren Hilgers
New Yorker
“Customers are here already!” the restaurant’s owner, a wiry Chinese man in his fifties, barked. He dropped a heavy container onto the metal counter with a crash. “How can you possibly be moving this slowly?”

Environment

08.12.14

China Grows An Interest in Organic Foods

Michael Zhao
Late last month, news broke that a major Chinese supplier of American fast food brands was peddling meat that violated food safety standards.How do such scandals affect the way people in China feed themselves and their families? Chang Tianle, a...

Environment

05.21.14

Infographic: China’s Pig Footprint

from chinadialogue
Meat invariably means pig in China, with pork accounting for 65% of the meat consumed in the country.And after last year's high-profile takeover of the U.S. pig giant Smithfield by Shuanghui International, since renamed the WH Group, the...

Caixin Media

05.13.14

China Comes to Grips with Poisons Underfoot

Pollution that is easily perceptible in China's rivers and urban air has gotten a lot of attention in recent years.Now a less obvious environmental concern with equally serious repercussions—soil contamination—is getting the attention it...

Environment

04.10.14

With Dietary Shift, China Facing Health Crisis

from chinadialogue
Tom Levitt: What are the dietary changes going on in China today?Barry Popkin: There are three or four big changes taking place. Firstly, people in China are purchasing more and more of their food from retailers, be they convenience stores, medium-...

Sinica Podcast

03.24.14

We Will Make You Learn to Love Baijiu

Jeremy Goldkorn & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Forget our complaints about the pollution, China has an even more intractable public relations problem that has everything to do with the country’s favorite hard liquor. And yes, we are talking about baijiu. In 1854, French Catholic missionary Régis...

Environment

03.05.14

Should China Follow in America’s Factory Farming Footsteps?

from chinadialogue
The scale of growth in China’s meat production over the past three decades is staggering. Today, one-third of the world’s meat is produced in the country and half of all pigs live there. While per capita consumption may still be below the U.S. and...

Feasts for the Eyes, and the Palatte, in Xian, China

Perri Klass
New York Times
On the “Muslim Street” in the Chinese city of Xian stands a bronze tableau in honor of street food.

Reports

02.01.14

Food Safety in China: A Mapping of Problems, Governance and Research

Jennifer Holdaway and Lewis Husain
The Social Science Research Council
Food safety has become an issue of great concern in China over the last few years. Media reporting has tended to focus on extreme cases of poisoning from food additives or contamination by heavy metals, but food safety encompasses a wide range of...

Why Eating Chinese Food on Christmas is a Sacred Tradition for American Jews

Marc Tracy
Tablet
The Hebrew year is 5774 and the Chinese year is 4710. That must mean, the joke goes, that against all odds the Jews went without Chinese food for 1,064 years. In fact, Jewish love for Chinese food is neither hallucinated nor arbitrary. It is very...

China’s Dining Acrobatics

Frank Bruni
New York Times
Shanghai’s new restaurant which opened last year, Ultraviolet is one of a mind-bending kind. But it’s also a perfect ambassador for China’s dining scene right now, capturing the frenzy and swagger of it all. 

Bringing Home the Bacon: Chinese Savor Smithfield Deal

Calum MacLeod
USA Today
China's swallowing up of Smithfield, a well-known U.S. povider of processed meats, illustrates two things about the country: its swelling economic power and growing hunger for meat-based diets. And the deal may foretell of many...

Infographics

09.19.13

The Mooncake Economy

from Sohu
Across the country, Chinese are observing the annual harvest festival by giving and receiving mooncakes, pastries whose round shape is meant to evoke the full moon of the autumnal equinox. In recent years, bemoaning the debasement of this tradition...

Caixin Media

09.10.13

Sober Day Dawns for China’s Baijiu Distillers

Distillers of China’s most popular spirits, baijiu, are sobering up to a business slowdown and tight financing after a decade of outstanding growth.Sales are off and company market values have fallen over the past year, prompting some investors to...

Sinica Podcast

07.26.13

The Strange History of Pasta in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
After almost three years of podcasting, this week on Sinica we bow to the inevitable with a show about Chinese cuisine, and in particular the strange history of pasta in China. Joining us for this journey is Jen Lin-Liu, author of On the Noodle Road...

Books

07.25.13

On the Noodle Road

Jen Lin-Liu
Feasting her way through an Italian honeymoon, Jen Lin-Liu was struck by culinary echoes of the delicacies she ate and cooked back in China, where she’d lived for more than a decade. Who really invented the noodle? she wondered, like many before her. But also: How had food and culture moved along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking Asia to Europe—and what could still be felt of those long-ago migrations? With her new husband’s blessing, she set out to discover the connections, both historical and personal, eating a path through western China and on into Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, and across the Mediterranean.The journey takes Lin-Liu into the private kitchens where the headscarves come off and women not only knead and simmer but also confess and confide. The thin rounds of dough stuffed with meat that are dumplings in Beijing evolve into manti in Turkey—their tiny size the measure of a bride’s worth—and end as tortellini in Italy. And as she stirs and samples, listening to the women talk about their lives and longings, Lin-Liu gains a new appreciation of her own marriage, learning to savor the sweetness of love freely chosen. —Riverhead Books{node, 3722, 4}

Excerpts

07.25.13

Kashgar Prepares to Feast

Jen Lin-Liu
The next day, my husband, Craig, and I arrived in Kashgar, the most Uighur town in Xinjiang. At the western edge of the Taklamakan Desert and near the foot of the Pamirs and the Tien Shan mountain ranges, the city had been a trading post for Central...

A Chinese Acquirer in a Poke

Joseph Sternberg
Wall Street Journal
After weeks of speculation about whether Washington politicians would oppose the acquisition by a Chinese company of America's largest pork producer, a challenge to the deal is emerging from another quarter—the market...

China’s Growing Hunger for Meat Shown by Move to Buy Smithfield, World’s Leading Pork Producer

Janet Larsen
Treehugger
Half the world’s pigs—more than 470 million of them—live in China. As demand rises, pork is starting to shift from household- or farm-scale production into larger factory-like operations.  

Wariness Over a Deal Intended to Deliver More Pork to China

Stephanie Strom
New York Times
Smithfield Foods, one of the biggest and oldest pork producers in the U.S., agreed to sell itself to Shuanghui International, one of China’s largest meat processors. The two emphasized that the deal aimed to increase the supply of...

Chinese Restaurants in America

G.H. Danton
China Story
In his 1925 account of Chinese restaurants in America, G.H. Danton introduces the reader to the cuisine, clientele and commercial considerations of the industry which had ‘supplanted the Chinese laundryman in typifying for America where China is’...

Media

05.07.13

Rat Meat Masquerading as Lamb—Yet Another Food Safety Scandal

Rat meat + gelatin + red food coloring + nitrates = lamb. Have you tried it yet?“This is what a ‘complete’ sheep looks like,” reads a caption under the photoshopped image of a sheep with Jerry, the mouse from Tom and Jerry, as its head. The image...

Books

02.19.13

Every Grain of Rice

Fuchsia Dunlop
Fuchsia Dunlop trained as a chef in China’s leading Sichuan cooking school and possesses the rare ability to write recipes for authentic Chinese food that you can make at home. Following her two seminal volumes on Sichuan and Hunan cooking, Every Grain of Rice is inspired by the vibrant everyday cooking of southern China, in which vegetables play the starring role, with small portions of meat and fish. Try your hand at stir-fried potato slivers with chili pepper, vegetarian “Gong Bao Chicken,” sour-and-hot mushroom soup, or, if you’re ever in need of a quick fix, Fuchsia’s emergency late-night noodles. Many of the recipes require few ingredients and are ridiculously easy to make. Fuchsia also includes a comprehensive introduction to the key seasonings and techniques of the Chinese kitchen. With stunning photography and clear instructions, this is an essential cookbook for everyone, beginner and connoisseur alike, eager to introduce Chinese dishes into their daily cooking repertoire. —W. W. Norton & Company

Assuring Chinese Finish Their Live Lobster Sashimi

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
The Chinese Communist Party wants you to clean your plate, and it’s not afraid to barge into the dining room and take matters into official hands if you don’t.

Caixin Media

01.19.13

Shandong’s Slippery Gutter Oil Man

It’s oil with an extra something, but there’s nothing virgin about it. Pumped from sewers outside restaurants and drained from dumpsters, it’s cooking oil born from waste both human and mechanical.Known in China as “gutter oil,” it’s commonly used...

Telling China's Stories Through Food

Rebekah Denn
Seattle Times
Former Associated Press reporter Audra Ang, talks about To the People Food is Heaven, her journey through a complicated, sometimes maddening, sometimes breathtaking society.

Caixin Media

10.26.12

Below-Belt Blows in Kungfu Restaurant Battle

The crestfallen former chairman of fast-food restaurant giant Kungfu Catering Management Co. Ltd. is awaiting a verdict after a trial on corporate embezzlement charges apparently instigated by his former business partner’s wife.If Cai Dabiao is...

The Battle for Breakfast

D.W.
Economist
 Chinese love fast food but no Western chain has figured out how to please the hungry in the morning.

Environment

10.19.12

Overfishing Pushes 80% of Chinese Fishermen Towards Bankruptcy

from chinadialogue
In mid-September, the fishing season got under way as usual in Ningbo, on China’s east coast, after the three-month season when fishing is forbidden. Over 2,000 steel-hulled boats headed out to sea. But, on board, there was little cause for optimism...

Books

10.17.12

To the People, Food is Heaven

Audra Ang
In China, life is comfortable for the fortunate few. For others, it’s a hand-to-mouth struggle for a full stomach, a place to live, wages for work done, and freedom to speak openly. It’s a place where few things are more important than food; “Have you eaten yet?” is another way of saying hello. After traversing the country and meeting its people, Ang shares her delicious experiences with us. She tells of a clandestine cup of salty yak butter tea with a Tibetan monk during a military crackdown, and explains how a fluffy spring onion omelet encapsulates China’s drive for rural development. You’ll have lunch with some of the country’s most enduring activists, savor meals with earthquake survivors, and get to know a house cleaner who makes the best fried chicken in all of Beijing. Through her reporting, Ang bites into the gaping divide between rich and poor, urban and rural reform, intolerance for dissent, and the growing dissatisfaction with those in power. By serving these topics to us one at a time through the stories of ordinary citizens, To the People, Food Is Heaven provides a fresh perspective beyond the country’s anonymous identity as an economic powerhouse. Ang plates a terrific, wide-ranging feast that is the new China, a country convulsed by change and propelled by aspiration. Have you eaten yet?  —Lyons Press{chop}