China’s Latest Deadly Industrial Explosion Spotlights Dire Workplace Safety

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

Researcher Uncovers How Victims of China’s Cultural Revolution Really Died

Violet Law
Los Angeles Times
Her persistence has pierced the official silence enforced by the Chinese government. As time goes on, families of those who died are more willing to open up

What China Sees in Donald Trump--and in Itself

Jiayang Fan
New Yorker
Chinese observers have described the Trump-Clinton standoff as a spectacle of unfettered “chaos” that shakes their faith in the legitimacy of Western democracy

Breakfast Cereal Prices Surge in China Following Appearance on Soap Opera

Huileng Tan
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
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

Depth of Field


Over-Protective Mothers, E-cigarettes, Sports Hunting, and More

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
A photojournalist’s job is to capture the unique and the universal—to portray brief moments that tell individual stories, yet are instantly relatable to a wide audience. The delightful task of curating that type of Chinese photojournalism is the...

Sinica Podcast


An American’s Seven Months in a Chinese Jail

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In 2009, Michael Manning was working in Beijing for a state-owned news broadcaster by day, but he spent his nights selling bags of hashish. His position with CCTV was easy and brought him into contact with Chinese celebrities, while his other trade...

Thailand Bars Entry to Teenage HK Activist “at China’s Request”

Venus Wu and Cod Satrusayang
Joshua Wong was detained in Bangkok where he had been invited to speak at universities about Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement"...

China’s Media Challenges Western Narratives of Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Chinese media presence across Africa has expanded dramatically over the past ten years, as Beijing has built a vast distribution network for its newspaper, radio, and TV content. China’s flagship TV network, China Central Television (CCTV),...



How Does the American Election Look to Chinese?

Qiaoyi Zhuang, Liu Mingfu & more
During the first presidential debate on September 26, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump mentioned China a dozen times. They spoke about China and jobs, currency, exports, infrastructure, cyberhacking, nuclear non-proliferation, trade, and North Korea...

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

Richard Berman
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

A Storied Hong Kong Newspaper Feels the Heat from China

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

When China Began Streaming Trials Online

Stephen McDonell
Boot up your laptop or turn on your smartphone and take a peek inside legal proceedings

Humanizing the China-Africa Relationship with Film

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When independent filmmaker Carl Houston Mc Millan was growing up in the tiny southern African country of Lesotho, he saw firsthand the effects of China’s surging engagement in Africa. Even in this remote country, embedded within South Africa, far...

Peyton Manning is Looking for the Yao Ming of Football in China

Former quarterback says ‘no-brainer’ for NFL to play in China

Chinese State Media Say U.S. Debate Shows Vote is ‘Lose-Lose’

Party paper report calls Trump nervous, Clinton well-prepared

Blow-By-Blow Account of the China-Singapore Spat Over South China Sea Report

Viola Zhou
South China Morning Post
Global Times report stirs up controversy

Why the US Presidential Debate Couldn’t Ignore China

Viola Zhou and Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
Clinton, Trump clash over cybersecurity, terrorism, trade, and nuclear threats

How to Counter China’s Global Propaganda Offensive

Mareike Ohlberg and Bertram Lang
New York Times
It has been a difficult year for many Western democracies — and China is rubbing it in.

Sinica Podcast


What is the Chinese-American Identity?

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
What is the Chinese-American identity? How has the rise of China affected American attitudes toward ethnically Chinese people in the United States and elsewhere? How do the 3.8 million Chinese-Americans impact U.S.-China relations, and what role...



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...



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...

Depth of Field


African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

The People in Retreat

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Ai Xiaoming is one of China’s leading documentary filmmakers and political activists. Since 2004, she has made more than two dozen films, many of them long, gritty documentaries that detail citizen activism or uncover whitewashed historical events...



The Hong Kong Election: What Message Does it Send Beijing?

David Schlesinger, Melissa Chan & more
On September 4, Hong Kong elected a batch of its youngest and most pro-democratic lawmakers yet. Six new legislators, all under 40, won on platforms that called for Hong Kongers to decide their own fate. The youngest is 23-year-old Nathan Law, a...



What Can We Expect from China at the G20?

Sophie Richardson, Joanna Lewis & more
On September 4-5, heads of the world’s major economies will meet in the southeastern city of Hangzhou for the G20 summit. The meeting represents “the most significant gathering of world leaders in China’s history,” according to The New York Times...

Sinica Podcast


What Is Cultural About the Cultural Revolution? Creativity Amid Destruction

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, a chaotic decade of Chinese history made infamous in the West through books such as Wild Swans and Life and Death in Shanghai, which describe in horrific detail the...



The Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography

In 2014, ChinaFile and the Magnum Foundation founded the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography to support photographers working to address pressing social issues impacting China and its relations with the world that have not received...

China’s Undeserved Reputation for Building Bad Infrastructure in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Chinese build more infrastructure than any other country (foreign or African) in Africa. Chinese banks are financing billions of dollars in new loans, aid packages, and other deals to build badly-needed infrastructure across the continent, and...



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.

China Is Angry Over These Olympics

Scott Cendrowski
The state press and internet users are lashing out after an Australian swimmer’s comments.

China: The People’s Fury

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
It has long been routine to find in both China’s official news organizations and its social media a barrage of anti-American comment, but rarely has it reached quite the intensity and fury of the last few days. There have been calls from citizens on...

Jackie Chan’s ‘Skiptrace’ Leaps to $60 Million Opening

Patrick Frater
The film’s success justifies Chan’s role as a producer.

China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens

Internet portals must shut all original reporting operations.

Sinica Podcast


The Kaiser Kuo Exit Interview

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week, Kaiser sits in the guest chair and tells us about his 20-plus years of living in China. He recounts being the front man for the heavy metal band Tang Dynasty and the group’s tour stops in China’s backwater towns, shares his feelings on...

China’s Wanda Shows Interest in Viacom’s Paramount

Liana B. Baker and Jessica Toonkel
Deliberations over Paramount’s future has become the flashpoint of a bitter row between Viacom Chief Executive and the company’s controlling shareholder.

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

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



China’s Claims in the South China Sea Rejected

Andrew S. Erickson, Peter Dutton & more
On Tuesday in the Hague, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s claims that a scattering of rocks and reefs in the contested South China Sea qualify as Exclusive Economic Zones for China. The court found in favor of the Philippines’...

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....

Challenging China: Former Executive Hosts a Politically Sensitive Book Club

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

China Cracks Down on News Reports Spread via Social Media

Edward Wong
New York Times
The Cyberspace Administration of China works hard to filter the news....

Connecting to China's Patchy Internet Freedom

Euro News
Determined Chinese internet users turn to Virtual private Networks....



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...



Using Free Sex to Expose Sexual Abuse in China

Jonathan Landreth
Nanfu Wang hoped that a woman called Ye Haiyan (“Hooligan Sparrow”), who had offered free sex on the Internet to draw attention to the plight of poor women selling their bodies to support their children, would lead her to the prostitutes she wanted...

Lu Wei, China’s Internet Czar, Will Step Down From Post

Jane perlez
New York Times
China‘s “firewall” hands the position to Xu Lin after years of building internet policy....

China Cracks Down on ‘Harmful’ Speech

Cal Wong
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
Mixed emotions surface from “Mother Monster’s” meeting about kindness....



‘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.



A War of Words Over the South China Sea

Edward Friedman, Feng Zhang & more
Beginning earlier this year, four-star Admiral Harry Harris, the U.S. Navy’s top commander in the Pacific, has spoken out in speeches, interviews, private meetings, and testimony to Congress urging that the U.S. take more aggressive action against...

China’s Content Crackdown Forces Western Media Concessions

Lilian Lin
Wall Street Journal
Rules barring foreign media firms from video-streaming licenses are being more strictly enforced.

Inside the World of China's Ultra Rich

Al Jazeera
Kevin K Li, director of reality show Ultra Rich Asian Girls, speaks to Al Jazeera about China's wealthiest 1 percent...

'Truth Ain't Lie Dude': Official Chinese Account Goes on Twitter Spree

James Griffiths
They quickly attracted considerable mockery such as "go home State Council Information Office, you're drunk."...

Controversial Television Ad Prompts Outrage Across China

Charlie Campbell
'Most Chinese people have never been around a foreigner,' says the creator of a viral video that criticized the ad...

Online Outrage Over Racist Chinese Ad Says a Lot About How China and the West React to Racism

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The company behind the racist Chinese laundry detergent ad that sparked widespread online outrage around the world issued a half-hearted apology for the uproar it caused. Actually, it was one of those “we’re sorry if anyone was offended” kind of...



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...