Brother, Can You Spare a Renminbi?
Who deserves to be poor in modern China? One man in China’s southern Zhejiang province certainly seemed sympathetic: Each day, he pushed himself along the street on a homemade wooden skateboard, his apparently paralyzed legs tucked under...
Was Lee Kuan Yew an Inspiration or a Race Traitor? Chinese Can’t Agree
When Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, passed away at the ripe age of 91 on March 23, the elderly statesman was as controversial in death as in life—and nowhere was the debate more vigorous than in China.
China Has Its Own Anti-Vaxxers—Blame the Internet
While health officials in the United States and parts of Europe wrestle with a growing anti-vaccination, or “anti-vaxxer” movement, China is dealing with a less organized but similarly serious fear of immunizations. Social media reveals...
China’s Good Girls Want Tattoos
“It seems that Chinese men don’t want to marry a girl with tattoos,” complained one such girl on the Chinese online discussion platform Douban. She posted a picture of her body art, an abstract design on her lower back. “In East Asian...
China’s Real Inconvenient Truth: Its Class Divide
China is talking about its pollution problem, but its equally serious class problem remains obscured behind the haze.
The Other China
Writers Michael Meyer and Ian Buruma engage in a discussion co-sponsoted by The New York Review of Books centered on Meyer's new book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, which combines immersion...
The Word That Broke the Chinese Internet
It might be gibberish, but it’s also a sign of the times. The word duang, pronounced “dwong,” is spreading like wildfire throughout China’s active Internet—even though 1.3 billion Chinese people still haven’t figured out what it means. In...
Five Predictions for Chinese Censorship in the Year of the Sheep
Blocked websites, jailed journalists, and nationalist rhetoric have long been features of the Chinese Communist Party’s media control strategy. During the Year of the Horse, which just ended on China’s lunar calendar, President Xi Jinping...
Why 700 Million People Keep Watching the Chinese New Year Gala, Even Though It’s Terrible
The Chinese New Year Gala, which aired live on February 18 on Chinese Central Television (CCTV), is a four-and-half hour variety show with song and dance, comedic skits, magic tricks, acrobatic acts, and celebrity cameos. The show...
Chinese Corruption, Now Officially Hilarious
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)...
Why Chinese Promote Confining New Mothers for a Month
HONG KONG—Giving birth is never easy, but for new Chinese mothers the month following a baby’s arrival is particularly fraught. Immediately after I became pregnant for the first time, I started to hear about zuoyuezi, or “sitting the month...
Xi Jinping’s Pay Raise
It just got slightly less difficult to be a clean Chinese official. State media reported on January 20 that Chinese civil servants had received their first pay raise in ten years, a move that includes a 60 percent bump for President Xi...
This Culture Has Not Yet Been Rated
It all started with plunging necklines. After the sudden withdrawal and subsequent sanitizing of a popular Chinese show, viewers in China have renewed longstanding calls to strip government censors of their power, using one simple solution...
‘Where’s Our Unity March?’ China Wants to Know
The January 7 terrorist attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead has mostly inspired unity in the West, but the massive march held in its aftermath is spurring controversy, and even some disdain, in China.
What Will Happen to Uber in China?
Ride-sharing app Uber has expanded around the world at a blistering pace, launching in a new city every one or two days. At first glance, China would appear the ideal fit for the Silicon Valley startup.