Media

08.14.13

Don’t Dream Big—Four Vignettes on Social Mobility in Modern China

The New York Times recently ran an article that detailed the struggles of three young college women from low-income backgrounds, raising questions about whether education remains the “great equalizer” in America. How does the picture look in China,...

Dalai Lama’s Chinese Website Infecting Visitors, Expert Warns

Jim Finkle
Reuters
A prominent computer security firm has warned that the Dalai Lama’s Chinese-language website has been compromised with malicious software that is infecting computers of visitors with software that could be used for spying.

China’s Overdue Payments to Hollywood Could Happen This Week

Patrick Frater
Variety
Hollywood studios expect to be paid every penny of revenue that has bee earned in China, which is currently held up by a payment dispute. Studio sources suggest that an announcement will be made  within a week.

The Olympics’ Leadership Mess

Minky Worden
New York Times
Members of the I.O.C. will vote for a new president for the first time in 12 years. This may be the last chance for many years to reform the committee’s approach to repressive governments that seek to host the games. 

Monster Zombie Spider to Crush Super Mario’s China Dreams

Bloomberg
Can Nintendo’s Super Mario take on Tencent Holding’s giant, undead Spider? As the country ends a 13-year ban on consoles, a generation of gamers have grown used to a free online model and increasingly migrating to mobile...

China Box-Office Standoff: Hollywood Could Receive Back Payments Soon

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
A solution in a tax dispute that has resulted in delays in box-office payments to Hollywood studios could be coming soon as China Film Group explores interim solutions ahead of a more permanent resolution in coming weeks.

Psst, Chinese State Media: It's Satire

Christina Larson
Businessweek
This week, Xinhua, China’s state-run newswire, picked up and translated a satirical blog post from the New Yorker’s Borowitz Report as though it were straight news reporting.

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...

Is This Lazy Panda China’s Zuckerberg?

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
State-owned China Network Television has installed more than 30 cameras at a panda reserve in Western China, designed a fancy website providing access to the cameras, launched a mobile app so the pandas can be watched on-the-go, and then...

China Detains Prominent Bo Xilai Supporter Ahead of Trial

Reuters
Song Yangbiao, a reporter for the magazine the Time Weekly, was detained on Sunday according to friends and supporters, apparently after using his Sina Weibo microblog to denounce the trial and call for an uprising to oppose it. ...

Chinese Judges Disciplined for Cavorting With Prostitutes

Jane Perlez
New York Times
 Two judges and an official of the Shanghai high court have been expelled from the Communist Party and dismissed from their jobs after being seen on video apparently consorting with prostitutes in glitzy nightclubs.

China Warns Against Rush to Set Code of Conduct in South China Sea

Xinhua
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday in Hanoi that the envisaged Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) cannot be set in a rush as it concerns the interests of many countries and lots of work is required.

The Chinese Communist Party Has Embraced the Internet—For Public Polling

Adam Pasick
Atlantic
Beijing has started to glean political intelligence from the same systems they restrict access to.

Life in a Toxic Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Before this assignment, I reported from Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my...

China Media on the Snowden Saga

BBC
Media in China see further embarrassment for the United States after whistleblower Edward Snowden gets temporary asylum in Russia.

Now Playing: China’s Booming Movie Market

Wei Gu
Wall Street Journal
In China, where pirated movies can be bought for less than $1, people are flocking to theaters, a sign of how Chinese consumers are willing to spend more on entertainment.

Books of the Times—“Five Star Billionaire”

Dwight Garner
New York Times
Shanghai For Strivers: Tash Aw’s new novel captures China’s changes.

Hollywood Studios Denied Payments from China

Rachel Abrams
Variety
Sony is up against an issue that has plagued the studios since at least January: The Chinese government wants to impose a value-added tax that cuts into what the studios expected to be their 25% revenue share of the Chinese box office.

Caixin Media

07.29.13

Why a Reporter Feels Sympathy for an Airport Bomber

These past few years as a reporter, I have met some people with nothing left to live for and now another person can be added to the list. Ji Zhongxing, the disabled man who set off a bomb in a Beijing airport on July 20, is that person.Ji and I are...

Hollywood's Trouble With China? It Has All the Leverage

Wrap
New data from China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television indicates that for the first time in recent history, Hollywood could experience negative growth in China. "The leverage is always on China's side,...

Reports

07.24.13

Throttling Dissent: China’’s New Leaders Refine Internet Control

Madeline Earp
Freedom House
This special report is based on the 2013 China chapter of Freedom House’’s annual Freedom on the Net survey. As the home of one of the most systematically controlled and monitored online environments in the world, China will no doubt retain its...

Bruno Wu, Former Bertelsmann CEO Form China Media Venture

Hollywood Reporter
Thomas Middelhoff and the Chinese mogul launch BT Capital, a “China-originated global media and alternative investment group” that will pool their entertainment assets with revenue of $1 billion-$2 billion.

Reporter Who Interviewed Jack Ma Resigns

WSJ: China Real Time Report
Liu Yi, the reporter who interviewed Mr. Ma, resigned on July 19, according to a statement on the SCMP’s site. The interview generated controversy online as Mr. Ma was quoted as saying the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square...

Billionaire Jack Ma Makes About-Face, Praises Chinese Government

Oiwan Lam
Global Voices
Prominent Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma has in the eyes of some shattered his independent image during a recent newspaper interview in which he applauded China for its online censorship and brutal, strong-arm tactics. 

Conversation

07.18.13

Xu Zhiyong Arrested: How Serious Can Beijing Be About Political Reform?

Donald Clarke, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Donald Clarke:When I heard that Xu Zhiyong had just been detained, my first thought was, “Again?” This seems to be something the authorities do every time they get nervous, a kind of political Alka Seltzer to settle an upset constitution. I searched...

Caixin Media

07.16.13

As Red Cross Probe Stumbles, Critics See Red

Two box lunches—and nothing more. Yuan Yue says that’s what the Red Cross Society of China has frugally handed out so far to each member of a special committee assigned to investigate the charity group’s finances.But critics of the special board...

Media

07.15.13

A Rite of Passage to Nowhere

Ying Zhu & Frances Hisgen
Tiny Times, a Chinese feature film set in contemporary Shanghai, made headline news on its opening day in late June by knocking the Hollywood blockbuster Man of Steel from its perch atop the domestic box-office and breaking the opening-day record...

Sinica Podcast

07.12.13

Ripples from the Egyptian Revolution

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In Egypt in 2011, what was by all accounts a free and fair democratic election resulted in the victory of Mohammed Morsi, a controversial figure whose brief rule ended last week after being overthrown by the Egyptian military. With Western media...

China’s Blackout of U.S. Media Can No Longer Be Ignored

Jim Sciutto
Washington Post
Web censorship is not just an inconvenience but also a reminder that many leading U.S. media and technology companies are excluded, or largely excluded, from one of the world’s largest markets and this country’s largest trading partner. ...

Censoring the News Before It Happens

Perry Link
New York Review of Books
Chinese censors number in the hundreds-of-thousands. Their duties are to not only block stories they disapprove of, but to alter and obscure details in published stories, and promote stories that cast the Party in a good light.

China Likely to Lift Foreign Game Console Ban

George Chen
South China Morning Post
China is expected to soon end a 13-year ban on the sale of gaming consoles with only one key condition: foreign firms like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft must make their products in Shanghai’s new free trade zone. 

China Box Office Up 36% to $1.79 Billion in First Half of 2013

Patrick Brzeski and Clarence Tsui
Hollywood Reporter
Buoyed by a surge in ticket sales for homegrown domestic films, China’s box office continued its rapid expansion in the first half of 2013, according to figures released by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television...

Media

07.10.13

Old Photo of Tiananmen Square Has Netizens Asking “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”

A rare old color photo of Tiananmen Square was posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter, and it was commented on hundreds of times as Internet users mused about the past and present of China’s most recognizable landmark.Here are the three things that stand...

Media

07.10.13

Australian PM’s Online Musings Have Chinese Wondering: Where Is Xi’s Microblog Account?

On July 9, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd posted on a social media site about a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The twist? The message was written in Chinese on the immensely popular Chinese microblogging platform Sina...

Censoring the News Before It Happens

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Every day in China, hundreds of messages are sent from government offices to website editors around the country that say things like, “Report on the new provincial budget tomorrow, but do not feature it on the front page, make no comparisons to...

For Chinese Families, a Journey Cut Short, and With It Their Dreams

Vivian Yee
New York Times
On their way to Bible camp in America, two Chinese teenagers from Zhejiang Province flew through South Korea and into San Francisco International Airport, where their plane skidded and burst into flames. Both died, the only fatalities in the crash...

Ex-Rail Minister in China Gets a Suspended Death Sentence

Christopher Buckley
New York Times
A Beijing Beijing sentenced former Chinese minister of railways Li Zhijun to a suspended death sentence after finding him guilty of taking bribes and abusing his powers, state-run media reported.

Media

07.02.13

American History, Through Chinese Eyes

White male privilege, genocide against Native Americans, slavery and subsequent racial oppression, exploitation of immigrants and laborers, repression of women and homosexuals, and environmental destruction—teaching American cultural history through...

Mixed Signals On China’s Policies in Tibet

Voice of America
Worshipping the Dalai Lama remains illegal in Tibetan areas of China, despite earlier reports of changes in China's policies in Lhasa and in some parts of neighboring Qinghai province.  ...

China Sex Film Mistakenly Shown on Big Screen in Jilin

BBC
A film banned as pornography in China was accidentally shown on a large LED screen in a public square in Jilin province, Chinese media report. A technician had been watching the film on his computer without realising it was connected to the...

China Online Petition Website Crashes on First Day

Xiaoqing Pi
WSJ: China Real Time Report
For centuries, China has offered its people a chance to come to Beijing to petition the emperor directly to address grievances. But starting Monday, Chinese officials offered a new way for those not inclined to make the trip: petition...

Media

06.28.13

A Character Battle Between China’s Government and its Internet Users

The horse is out of the barn. Now that China’s social Web has given every citizen the ability to publish for a wide audience—a privilege once reserved for the government—state publications and Web users there continue to wrangle over who best grasps...

Media

06.27.13

Jackie Chan—The Young Master Comes of Age

Jaime Wolf
Once in a while, if you’re lucky, and paying the right kind of attention, events align to give you a clear view of the future. In 1995, I was in Los Angeles staying with a friend who produced independent films and had the trade magazines Variety and...

China Hopes to Score a Slam Dunk With 3-D NBA Film 'Amazing'

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
The $10-million film, "Amazing," features New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Lakers center Dwight Howard and former Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen in supporting roles and had its world premiere at the Shanghai International...

China Must End Silence on Injustice, Warns Film Director Jia Zhangke

Tania Branigan
Guardian
A leading Chinese director has warned the country faces a rising tide of violence unless it tackles its social problems, as he discussed his graphic new film. Jia Zhangke's film, A Touch of Sin has been described as '...

Media

06.25.13

China’s “Urban Enforcers” Caught in a Vicious Cycle

Last week, another anecdote about chengguan— China’s urban enforcers whose main tasks include enforcing urban beautification ordinances and cracking down on unlicensed street vendors— caught the public’s attention. On June 15, a web user called @岔巴子...

Conversation

06.25.13

How Badly Have Snowden’s Leaks Hurt U.S.-China Relations?

Matt Schiavenza
Matt Schiavenza:In the understatement of the day, the United States is unhappy with the recent developments of the Edward Snowden situation. Just three days ago, Washington was in negotiations with Hong Kong to file a warrant for Snowden's...

The 'Long March' to Tinseltown

Liu Wei
China Daily
After working with Hollywood companies at a basic level for many years, it is only a matter of time before Chinese capital takes a share in the major six Hollywood studios. The next Kung Fu Panda will be the brainchild of both american and Chinese...

Conversation

06.18.13

What’s Right or Wrong with This Chinese Stance on Edward Snowden?

Shai Oster & Steve Dickinson
For today’s ChinaFile Conversation we asked contributors to react to the following excerpt from an op-ed published on Monday June 17 in the Global Times about Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old American contract intelligence analyst who last...

Chinese State Media Warns Against Extradition of Edward Snowden

Heather Saul
Independent
 Chinese newspaper, The Global Times published an article calling for China to “safeguard its interests”, describing extraditing Snowden back to the US as a “betrayal of Snowden’s trust.” The editorial published...

Media

06.17.13

Do Quotas in China’s College Admissions System Reinforce Existing Inequalities?

Earlier this month, millions of Chinese students took the exam for which they had been preparing their entire lives—the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, known colloquially as the gaokao. For some, the process was more arduous than for...

Media

06.12.13

In Box Office Hit, American Dream Is Still Alive—In a Maturing China

Over the last two weeks, the movie American Dreams in China (中国合伙人) has been the number one box office hit in China, selling over 400 million tickets to date. The movie is a gritty and at times tongue-in-cheek comedy that tells the true story of...

Media

06.11.13

Chinese Web Users React to U.S. National Security Agency Surveillance Program

The online reactions to the PRISM incident, in which the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been revealed to conduct a far-ranging surveillance program affecting many both in the U.S. and abroad, have been as fascinating as the event itself...

How China Views Obama-Xi Meeting in California

Charlie Campbell
Time
Comments about Xi’s arrival in the Golden State barely made waves on China’s Twitter-like social-media service Sina Weibo. The bulk of Friday’s traffic focused on the annual university-entrance exams that are currently under way. 

Media

06.07.13

Can Animation Cure What Ails the Chinese Movie Industry?

“Gold rush.” “1920s Hollywood.” “Faster than a speeding bullet.” These are a few ways that film professionals have described China’s booming movie industry. China’s film market, the second-largest in the world, grossed roughly U.S.$2.7 billion in...

Phonemica: A Quest to Save China’s Languages

Wendy Qian
Atlantic
Phonemica, or xiangyinyuan, is an innovative project that documents China’s myriad dialects and languages, many of which are slowly disappearing due to state-sponsorship of Mandarin as the national language.  

Viewpoint

06.05.13

A Re-Opening to China?

Paul Gewirtz
Five months into his second term, President Obama is about to undertake the most important diplomatic initiative of his presidency: an effort to reshape the relationship with China. With little fanfare thus far but considerable boldness on both...

Conversation

06.04.13

How Would Facing Its Past Change China’s Future?

David Wertime, Isabel Hilton & more
David Wertime:The memory of the 1989 massacre of protesters at Tiananmen Square remains neither alive nor dead, neither reckoned nor obliterated. Instead, it hangs spectre-like in the background, a muted but latently powerful symbol of resistance...

Media

06.04.13

On Eve of Tiananmen Anniversary, China’s Prominent Weiborati Speak Out

“Don’t worry about forgetfulness—at least the Sina censors remember,” tweeted Jia Zhangke, a film director.Like 2013, 1989 was the year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar. It was also a year that Chinese authorities prefer not to remember. On the...

Media

06.03.13

Online Outrage After Chinese City Proposes Fine on Single Mothers

Women giving birth out of wedlock in China have to contend with family pressure, social stigma, and financial hardship. Now, some of them may have to pay a hefty fine as well.Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people in Central China, posted a...