‘China Has Conquered Kenya’: Inside Beijing’s New Strategy to Win African Hearts and Minds

Jonathan Kaiman
Los Angeles Times
It took the StarTimes satellite TV salesman about 30 minutes to install a pipeline for Chinese propaganda into Francis Gitonga’s squat, cinder-block home here in southern Kenya, near Africa’s Great Rift Valley.

Missile Row Drives Korean Culture Underground in China

Adam Jourdan and Joyce Lee
Reuters
The mainland chill on Korean content that follows Seoul’s decision to deploy a missile defense system is driving Chinese fans to get their “K-culture” fixes on peer-to-peer platforms instead of mainstream sites.

WWE’s China Hopes Rest on Bin Wang’s Big Shoulders

Jessica Toonkel
Reuters
Wang will be joined by seven other Chinese athletes hand-picked by WWE Inc, in the hope that one of them will become the first Chinese WWE "superstar"...

China’s ‘Walter White’ Sold $600k of Illegal Drugs Every Month to the US and Europe

Charlie Campbell
Time
A chemistry professor in China has been convicted in a case that has drawn comparisons with the hit TV show "Breaking Bad"...

With Odes to Military March, China Puts Nationalism into Overdrive

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
President Xi has been making the case for a “new long march,” using the anniversary to rally the public and warn against creeping complacency

China Long March Film: US Glamour Model’s Role Draws Ire

Jeff Li
BBC
State broadcasters touched a nerve among its viewers by casting an actress and model seen as "anti-China" in a documentary about the Long March...

And the Award for ‘Best Corruption Apology by a Chinese Official’ Goes To…

Zheping Huang
Quartz
The winner so far is Li Chuncheng, former deputy party chief of Sichuan province, who is now serving 13 years’ jail time for abusing power and bribery

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

China’s Real ‘House of Cards’: TV Series Unveils Graft Excess

Ting Shi
Bloomberg
The eight-episode series, called “Always On the Road,” is being beamed daily to hundreds of millions of Chinese homes through Oct. 25 on CCTV’s Channel 1

Chinese Corruption Gets House of Cards Treatment with Communist Mini-Series

Tom Phillips
Guardian
State-sanctioned TV drama will focus on the Communist Party’s resolve to eradicate corruption.

Conversation

03.04.16

Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

Jonathan Landreth, Taisu Zhang & more
By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has  had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or...

China Bars Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada (and Rights Advocate)

New York Times
A Chinese who moved to Canada as a kid, the charismatic Lin is a practitioner of Falun Gong, the spiritual movement China calls an “evil cult.”

China Gets the 2022 Winter Olympics

Economist
Beijing will stage the winter games in the desert.

Hong Kong Police Detain 9 After Finding Materials for Explosives

Alan Wong and Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Police linked the arrests to the most strident local voices against the Chinese government.

Alibaba to Invest in China Business News

Wei Gu and Gillian Wong
Wall Street Journal
E-commerce giant to pay about $200 million for a 30% stake.

Chubby Blue Cat Hints at Thaw in Ties Between China and Japan

Vanessa Piao
New York Times
In September, three Sichuan newspapers attacked the animated cat Doraemon as a tool of Japan’s “cultural invasion.”

In China, ‘Breaking Bad’ is Real

Wall Street Journal
Chinese police have arrested a Chinese college chemistry professor for joining forces with a drug kingpin.

China’s Feminists Stand up Against ‘Misogynistic’ TV Gala

Simon Denyer and Xu Yangjingjing
Washington Post
The most widely watched television show on earth was peppered with jokes at the expense of women.

Media

02.10.15

Chinese Corruption, Now Officially Hilarious

Rachel Lu
Corruption is finally funny—at least, according to the Chinese Communist Party. That’s because comedic performances in the upcoming February 18 performance of China’s annual New Year Gala, a variety show on China Central Television (CCTV) expected...

China to Limit Foreign TV Shows on Video-Streaming Sites

Lillian Lin
Wall Street Journal
Regulators expected to cap amount of imported television content at 30 percent.

Media

07.21.14

Everybody Hates Rui

He may be widely reviled in his home country, but oh, what a resume: The son of an author and screenwriter; a graduate of the prestigious China Foreign Affairs University; a Yale World Fellow; and state-run China Central Television (CCTV)’s best-...

China’s Censors Take Aim at Popular Internet TV Operators That Offer Foreign Shows

Wu Nan
South China Morning Post
Seven companies told ‘unauthorized’ content will be taken down in seven days and they could see license revoked if breach is found.

Yang Lan, the ‘Oprah of China,’ Expands Her Reach

Lily Rothman
Time
Yang Lan is partnering with MAKERS to bring the women's-stories platform to China...

“The Big Bang Theory” and Our Future with China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The United States has never faced a rival whose ordinary people lead lives that have so much in common with ours in America. (The Soviets did not get Carson.)

Why China is Censoring ‘The Big Bang Theory’ but not ‘Game of Thrones’

Lily Kuo
Quartz
While authorities speak of “cleaning the web” of offensive content, they may be more worried about reminding the country’s flourishing private internet firms that the government is still in charge.

China Forces Four U.S. TV Shows Off Web

Paul Mozur
Wall Street Journal
'Big Bang Theory' and 'Good Wife' are among programs taken down from popular video streaming sites Sohu, Youku Tudou, and Tencent, as government control of the Internet and over foreign entertainment content intensifies...

Sex, Spies, and Videotape: Why ‘House of Cards’ Has Nothing on ‘The Americans’

J. Dana Stuster
Foreign Policy
While House of Cards is obsessed with high office and overt power, The Americans succeeds by intimately focusing on the personal.

Rendezvous with Power

Wang Kaihao
China Daily
Apart from providing a glimpse into politics in the United States, the popular drama series depicts a shift in stereotypes of China.

‘House of Cards’ in China: Surprisingly Available and Popular

Steven Jiang
CNN
Some analysts are surprised by the government's largely hands-off approach to video streaming sites, but caution that it may not last...

‘House of Cards’ Breaks Barriers in China

Wayne Ma
Wall Street Journal
Although the second season paints an unflattering picture of Chinese diplomacy and officials, “House of Cards” wasn't prescreened by Chinese regulators and airs uncensored...

Conversation

02.19.14

China in ‘House of Cards’

Steven Jiang, Donald Clarke & more
China figures heavily in the second season of the Netflix series House of Cards, but how accurately does the show portray U.S.-China relations? Steven Jiang, a journalist for CNN in Beijing, binged-watched all thirteen recently-released web-only...

Media

02.19.14

Chinese Netizens (Still) Love ‘House of Cards’

“Everyone in China who works on this level pays who they need to pay.” Mild spoiler alert: These are the words of the fictitious Xander Feng, an influential Chinese billionaire on the Netflix series "House of Cards," a show that follows...

Sinica Podcast

02.14.14

Dissecting the 2014 Spring Festival Gala

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
A casual survey suggests that ninety-eight percent of Sinica listeners have at some point joined Chinese friends or family in watching the annual television spectacular known as the “Spring Festival Gala.” Sadly, whether from excessive pork...

China T.V. Expose on Sex Workers Sparks Angry Backlash

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
A salacious investigative report on state-run C.C.T.V., detailing widespread prostitution in the southern city of Dongguan, boomeranged on the broadcaster as a vocal contingent of citizens rallied to the defense of the city’s sex workers. ...

Why It Matters That Ellen is the First U.S. Talk Show in China

Lily Rothman
Time
The show may be a spark for change in attitudes toward LGBT Chinese.

The People's Republic of Television Portraits from 1980's China

Erik Kessels
Time
“Soon, photographs of people and their televisions began appearing around China.”

White House Responds to Jimmy Kimmel’s China Controversy

Ted Johnson
Variety
A joke concerning the killing of Chinese people to avoid paying down U.S. debt was said live on ABC.  

Gay Love Theory as Fans Relish Sherlock in China

BBC
"Curly Fu" and "Peanut" are the names given by Chinese fans to Sherlock and his sidekick, Dr Watson, men who many Chinese fans like to think of as being in love...

How Jimmy Kimmel’s Joke Became an Issue for the White House

Washington Post
Earlier this week, Kimmel aired a segment of his Kids Table, where he asks small children to address complex issues. When asked how the U.S. could solve the $1.3 trillion trade imbalance, one 6-year-old answered “Kill everyone in China.”...

Chinese Censors Crack Down on Cartoon Violence

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
In May, two young brothers from Jiangsu province were badly burned after being tied to a tree by a third boy and set alight – allegedly imitating a scene from the popular cartoon “Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf.” 

Media

09.30.13

China Watches “Breaking Bad”

Why do millions of Chinese care about a fictitious New Mexico meth cook? The soon-to-be-concluded television drama series Breaking Bad, which depicts embattled high school chemistry teacher Walter White’s transformation into a crystal...

Sinica Podcast

08.16.13

David Moser Interviews Mark Rowswell

David Moser & Mark Rowswell from Sinica Podcast
If you are a long-timer in China, this is a show that needs no introduction. One of the most famous foreigners in China, Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. Dashan), shot to fame in the early 1990s after a fortuitous break on Chinese television. In this live...

Viewpoint

08.09.13

Five Years On

Jonathan Landreth
On August 8, 2008, I was in Beijing reporting on the media aspects of China’s first Olympic Games, and I am still amazed that the four-hour opening ceremony, as designed by film director Zhang Yimou, was seen by sixty-nine percent of China’s...

Media

01.25.13

Former China State TV Director Bemoans Anti-Japanese Propaganda: “Where’s the Creativity?”

Are Chinese audiences growing weary of anti-Japanese propaganda? It would seem that some, at least, are growing sick of the pathetic villains, superhuman heroes, and lame endings that many Chinese movies and television series about World War II, or...

CCTV Airs “V for Vendetta”

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
When CCTV aired, uncut V for Vendetta about an anti-totalitarian masked crusader, viewers couldn’t believe their eyes.

China, Are You Ready for Some American Football?

Jonathan Landreth
New York Times
The NFL is hoping that American football’s flash could someday give basketball and soccer a run for their money in China.

In China, 'Mad Men' Reflects Reality of Modern Life

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
The 1960s-driven TV drama resonates with ambitious young Chinese professionals.

What’s Really Trending on China’s Twitter: The Voice of China

LIz Carter
Coverage of China in Western media tilts toward the political and economic, so it might surprise some to learn that the top trending terms this summer on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, have mostly related to the season’s top television hit: ...

Caixin Media

09.20.12

Hit TV Show Sings Song of Media Model Success

A reality-talent TV songfest popular in more than forty countries around the world has become an instant hit in China, underpinning enthusiasm for an experimental business model linked to media sector reform.The Voice of China’s debut show in July...

SARFT Finishes Plan for National Cable Operator

Tan Min
The broadcasting regulator has submitted a proposal to the State Council for the establishment of a national company to lead the integration of China cable networks. The move is the latest step toward long-planned integration of media networks.&...

China Bans Foreign TV Remakes and Calls For Fewer Jokes in History Dramas

Guardian
Chinese television may get more boring after the country's top broadcasting regulator issued six new guidelines banning remakes of foreign shows and demanding serials cut back on excessive family conflict and jokes in historical dramas.&...

The Charms of Qing TV

Jeremiah Jenne
Economist
It's a good time to be a Manchu on television. Costume dramas such as “Palace” and “Bu Bu Jing Xin”, which feature modern-day protagonists flung back in time to the days of the Qing emperors, rank among the most-watched programmes on China’s...

Media

05.24.12

TV Show Catches Flak for its Criticism of Contestants Who Have Lived Abroad

Bo Wang
The gameshow Fei Ni Mo Shu (Only You) has a pretty straightforward premise: a contestant steps onto a stage next to the host and introduces him/herself to a panel of twelve bosses of major companies who sit in highly extravagant throne-like chairs...

China’s Death-Row Reality Show

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
Until it was taken off the air last December, one of the most popular television programs in China’s Henan province, which has a population of 100 million, was “Interviews Before Execution.” The presenter was Ding Yu, a pretty young woman, always...

Media

12.15.11

Anxiety’s Remote Control

Hu Yong
The Chinese government agency that English speakers know as SARFT has several monikers. Its full name is the State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television. Literally translated, its Chinese name, guangdian zongju, is more...