How China’s Pink Economy Is Leading the Country’s Battle for LGBT Rights

Charlie Campbell
Fortune
China’s burgeoning LGBT community—estimated at some 70 million people—is a free-spending sector that few businesses can afford to ignore.

2016 China-Africa Year in Review

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
After years of relatively trouble-free development, 2016 marked a turning point in the China-Africa relationship, amid turbulent changes in the global economic and political order. China increased its deployment of combat troops to the continent,...

China Battles to Control Growing Online Nationalism

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
When Taiwan last year elected a president eager to reduce the island’s reliance on China, tens of thousands of Chinese netizens attacked Taiwanese websites in a co-ordinated action that was as much a surprise to Beijing as it was to its targets...

Viewpoint

01.06.17

No, Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement Is Not Anti-Mainland

Sebastian Veg
In a November 29 essay, “The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement,” published in Foreign Policy, Taisu Zhang tries to make the case that Beijing’s hardline attitude toward Hong Kong is traceable to what he calls the “bigotry of...

China Is Mad About Hollywood Remakes

Lillian Lin
Wall Street Journal
Aiming to crack new frontiers in China, Hollywood studios are turning to something familiar: established American films and TV series that can be remade for Chinese audiences.

Apple Removes New York Times App in China

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Company says it will not offer news site in app store because it has been told by Beijing it is in ‘violation of local regulations’

State Media Criticism of Trump’s ‘Addiction to Twitter Diplomacy’ Signals China’s Frustration

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
China’s state media has lambasted Donald Trump for conducting foreign policy through Twitter, in a commentary reflecting Beijing’s frustration with the US president-elect’s unorthodox style of diplomacy after his tweets broached sensitive issues in...

Twitter China Chief Kathy Chen Departs

Wall Street Journal
Twitter Inc.’s controversial China chief has departed after only eight months, the latest executive to leave amid a global reorganization. A stream of executives has left the company since it announced layoffs in October amid continued losses...

How George Michael’s Wham! Baffled Communist China and Inspired its Youth

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
It was a culture shock to rival the best of them: the coiffured hair and exuberant dancing of British pop stars, and the Communist Party’s dour uniformity

The Memes That Took Over China’s Internet in 2016

Echo Huang and Zheping Huang
Quartz
This year's most popular memes reflected a more ruthless and aggressive—but also more fragile—China...

Chinese Propaganda Video Warns of West’s “Devilish Claws”

Chris Buckley
New York Times
The video has been widely promoted online by public security offices that oversee the police, including the Ministry of Public Security

Could Jane Zhang Become China’s First Global Pop Star?

Grace Tsoi
BBC
Zhang's latest single breaks the mould of China's pop industry and could help her become its first global superstar...

Drone Diplomacy

Tim Hume
Vice News
Trump's tweets at China over a drone are intensifying an already strained relationship...

“Messy, Mindless, Illogical”: Chinese Moviegoers Review “Great Wall”

Josh Horwitz and Echo Huang
Quartz
One of the most hyped-up film productions of the year is shaping up to be a box office success, and a critical bomb

China’s State Media Has Been Mocking Donald Trump’s ‘Unpresidented’ Tweet

Charlie Campbell
Time
"Trump is not behaving as a President who will become master of the White House in a month"...

China to Review Film Limits as Box Office Growth Slows

Lisa Richwine and Adam Jourdan
Reuters
China's box office is set to end the year with its smallest growth in a decade...

China to Return Seized U.S. Drone, Says Washington 'Hyping Up' Incident

Ben Blanchard and Steve Holland
Reuters
The drone incident has raised fresh concerns about China's increased military presence and aggressive posture in the energy-rich South China Sea...

Mooted $75 Million Oscar Trade Sets Up Record China Soccer Spend

Tariq Panja
Bloomberg
Chinese teams set to continue soccer spending spree in window; Spending comes amid warning from Communist Party newspaper

Donald Trump Accuses China of 'Unpresidented' Act Over US Navy Drone

Martin Pengelly
Guardian
President-elect makes spelling error in belligerent early morning tweet; China says ‘hyping up’ of issue is not helpful but agrees return of vehicle

Viewpoint

12.15.16

The Missing Topic in Trump’s Tough Talk on China

Melissa Chan
President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggests he will push China on many issues, not just one. Some observers have held on to the hope that his phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, his burst of anti-China tweets, and his most recent...

Books

12.15.16

Crashing the Party

Scott Savitt
It’s 1983. Scott Savitt, one of the first American exchange students in Beijing, picks up his guitar and begins strumming “Blackbird.” He’s soon surrounded by Chinese students who know every word to every Beatles song he plays. Savitt stays on in Beijing, working as a reporter for Asiaweek Magazine. The city’s first nightclubs open; rock ‘n’ roll promises democracy. Promoted to foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times and then United Press International, Savitt finds himself drawn into China’s political heart. His girlfriend is the assistant to Bette Bao Lord, the wife of the U.S. ambassador. He interviews people who will become leaders of the democracy movement.Later, at 25 years old, Savitt is the youngest accredited foreign correspondent in China, with an intimate knowledge of Beijing’s backstreets. But as the seven-week occupation of Tiananmen Square ends in bloodshed on June 4, 1989, his greatest asset is his flame-red 500cc Honda motorcycle—giving Savitt the freedom to witness first-hand what the Chinese government still denies ever took place. After Tiananmen, Savitt founds the first independent English-language newspaper in China, Beijing Scene. He knows that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities move in, and sure enough, in 2000 he’s arrested, flung into solitary confinement and, after a month in jail, deported.Savitt’s extraordinary memoir of his two decades in China manages to take an extremely complex political-historical subject and turn it into an adventure story. —Soft Skull{chop}

China’s Digital Dictatorship

Economist
Turn the spotlight on the rulers, not the ruled: Instead of rating citizens, the government should be allowing them to assess the way it rules

As 'The Great Wall’ Hits Theaters in China, Hollywood is Watching

Erich Schwartzel
Wall Street Journal
Movie industry sees $150 million picture starring Matt Damon as harbinger for future U.S.-China co-productions

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

The Great Wall: China Takes on the World with New Matt Damon Film

John Sudworth
BBC
Despite a long tradition of movie-making, and much critical acclaim for its directors overseas, China has never yet produced a truly global blockbuster

Environment

12.06.16

The World’s Saddest Polar Bear

from chinadialogue
Pizza, “the world’s saddest polar bear,” is to be granted at least a temporary reprieve from the display case in which he lives in the Grandview shopping mall in Guangzhou, southern China. This follows a global outcry, a one-million-signature...

Depth of Field

12.06.16

From West Africa, the Czech Republic, and Home

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this month’s Depth of Field, Chinese photojournalists explore foreign terrain, both beyond China’s borders and within them. Independent photographer Yuyang Liu traveled the open seas to document the lives of Chinese and African workers who fish...

Media

12.02.16

Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...

Features

12.02.16

How Do You Stand up to China? Ask Mongolia

Sergey Radchenko
The day before the Dalai Lama’s November 18 trip to Mongolia, Beijing issued a “strong demand” to its neighbor to cancel the visit of the “anti-Chinese separatist” or face (unstated) consequences. The Dalai Lama would be making his ninth visit to...

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...

Sinica Podcast

11.30.16

The Intersection of Chinese Law and Politics

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
China’s legal system is much derided and poorly understood, but its development has, in many ways, been one of the defining features of the reform and opening-up era. Rachel Stern, a professor of law and political science at the University of...

Viewpoint

11.29.16

The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement

Taisu Zhang
Given the political earthquake that occurred on November 8, the recent political and constitutional crisis in Hong Kong now seems comparatively diminished in significance. At the time, however, it was widely seen as—and continues to be—a major...

Putin Brings China’s Great Firewall to Russia in Cybersecurity Pact

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Boroga
Guardian
The Kremlin has joined forces with Chinese authorities to bring the internet and its users under greater state control

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...

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...

Sinica Podcast

11.23.16

Lines of Fracture in Chinese Public Opinion: A Conversation with Ma Tianjie

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
On this week’s episode, our guest Ma Tianjie, editor of the bilingual environmental website chinadialogue and the blogger behind Chublic Opinion, untangles the complexities and contradictions of online discussions in China. Ma shares insights into...

Features

11.18.16

Chinese and American City-Dwellers Differ on Trump Win

Frances Hisgen
City-dwellers in China and the United States are among the greatest beneficiaries of the international trade deals President-elect Trump says he’s against, but the two groups responded differently to the outcome of the U.S. election, and the...

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

What Will a Trump Presidency Mean for China?

Rob Schmitz
NPR
The response of China's state-controlled media to Donald Trump's victory seemed almost gleeful. What's happens next?...

Media

11.09.16

Chinese, Netizens React to President-Elect Trump

Frances Hisgen & Ouyang Bin
When Donald Trump was elected president, the hashtag #TrumpWon was trending on Chinese social media. Chinese Internet users speculated about what Trump’s victory might mean for Sino-American relations, discussed the broader global implications of a...

Conversation

11.09.16

How Should Trump Deal with China, and How Should China Deal with Trump?

James Holmes, David Dollar & more
Donald J. Trump, president-elect of the United States, spent much of his antagonistic campaign blaming China for many of America’s economic ills, and repeatedly making thinly veiled threats of a U.S. trade war with Beijing. How should Trump engage...

China Passes Law to Ensure Films ‘Serve the People and Socialism’

Alan Evans
Guardian
First law governing the country’s film industry targets box-office fraud and says film-makers must have excellent moral integrity

EU Commissioner Oettinger Apologizes for China Speech

BBC
In a speech to German business leaders he described Chinese officials as having "hair combed... with black shoe polish" and "slitty-eyed"...

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...

Did a Story About Rape Take Down a Chinese TV Show?

Grace Tsoi
BBC
A popular TV show in China has been cancelled after featuring the mother and grandmother of a young woman who was repeatedly raped, but never reported it

An Exiled Editor Traces the Roots of Democratic Thought in China

Luo Siling
New York Times
An interview with Hu Ping, editor of the pro-democracy journal "Beijing Spring," based in New York...

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

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

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
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

Depth of Field

10.18.16

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

10.14.16

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
Reuters
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),...

Conversation

10.04.16

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
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