China’s Censors Battle Mounting Defiance

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
It was a message of defiance: Despite a monumental edifice of controls, censorship is losing.

Rise of 'Racist' Trump Shows Democracy is Scary, China Paper Writes

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
An "abusively racist and extremist" candidate is on the rise in the U.S., says China's Global Times. Maybe democracy isn't such a good idea after all...

Conversation

03.15.16

What’s Driving the Current Storm of Chinese Censorship?

David Schlesinger, Anne Henochowicz & more
The latest lightning flashes on China’s shifting media horizon this month took the form of the banishment from social media of a real estate tycoon who voiced support for constructive criticism, the firing of an editor at a newspaper that appeared...

China Cracks Down on VPNs During Political Meetings

Eva Dou
Wall Street Journal
The Great Firewall is fluid, and restrictions get stricter or looser based on political needs.

China’s Booming Box Office

David Wilder
Financial Times
February’s record haul of Rmb6.9bn ($1.06bn) was inflated by the week-long Chinese new year holiday.

Chinese Publication, Censored by Government, Exposes Article’s Removal

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
Caixin Media reported that the government had deleted its March 3 article because it contained “illegal content.”

China’s Censors Are Leaving the World’s Most Populous Nation With Very Little to Watch on TV

Hannah Beech
Time
New rules are so strict that even literary classics wouldn't make the cut...

Missing Bookseller Detained in China Returns to Hong Kong

Reuters
Bookseller specialized in gossip about Chinese leaders. 

In Xi Jinping’s Tears, a Message for China’s People

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
It’s all right to cry, even when you’re the leader of the world’s most populous nation.

Chinese Propaganda Machine Places Hopes in Cartoon Rappers

Associated Press
What's the world's largest propaganda organ to do when it can't get young Chinese to pay attention to the latest Communist Party slogans?...

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...

Hidden Message Suspected on Chinese Front Page, and Speculation Swirls

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The last two characters of each line in the headlines together read a possible lament for the fate of journalists under the party’s restraints.

Chinese Censors Have Taken a Popular Gay Drama Offline and Viewers Aren’t Happy

Charlie Campbell
Time
Online discussions garnered more than 110 million responses within a day of the show's cancelation...

Michelle Yeoh on 'Crouching Tiger 2,' Girl Power, and Anti-China Trump

Jan Yamato
Daily Beast
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 still tells a very Chinese tale.

China's Increasingly Muffled Press

New York Times
Mr. Xi recently visited the three main newsrooms in the country to convey in unmistakable terms that journalists are expected to behave like apparatchiks.

China’s Increasingly Muffled Press

New York Times
The Chinese media have never had much freedom to pursue muckraking stories. Now, President Xi is going extraordinary lengths to rein the press in further.

Conversation

02.23.16

How Long Can China’s Internet Thrive if the Rest of the World Gets Shut Out?

David Schlesinger, Jeff South & more
Last week, Chinese authorities announced that as of March 10, foreign-invested companies would not be allowed to publish anything on the Chinese Internet unless they have obtained government permission to publish with a Chinese partner. What does...

China Unveils Tough Controls on Foreign Media Activities

Patrick Fraser
Variety
Foreign-owned media or joint ventures in China will not be able to publish online without prior approval.

Media

02.19.16

New Video Celebrates Chinese Missiles With Old-School Communist Pomp

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Trumpets sound and trombones blare as a warhead launches. Intercontinental ballistic missiles mounted on trucks parade down the center of a boulevard crowded with bystanders. “We are the glorious Rocket Force,” a mixed choir sings in a Soviet-...

Conversation

02.18.16

‘Rule by Fear?’

Eva Pils, Taisu Zhang & more
In the just over three years since Xi Jinping assumed leadership of China, observers and scholars of the country have increasingly coalesced around the idea that Xi’s term in office has coincided with a shift in the tone, if not the practice, of...

Lost in China’s Exploding Future

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
Chinese director Jia Zhangke’s new movie, Mountains May Depart, begins with a disco dance in a bleak mining town to the sounds of “Go West” by the Pet Shop Boys. It is the lunar New Year, 1999. Outside, the end of the millennium is celebrated in a...

Infographics

02.08.16

Box Office Success: Money Rules

from Sohu
In 2014, Chinese annual box office earnings exceeded 29 billion RMB. As of July of this year, box office sales had reached 25.9 billion. Chinese films keep smashing box office records, and surpassing 100 million in sales has become a bare minimum.{...

Beauty and the East: China's Plastic Surgery Boom

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China’s social media and selfie obsessions are creating a new vanity craze and a market for cosmetic surgery.

‘Eyes on China’: Illuminating Life Across a Changing Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Two photographers living in China set up a collective Instagram account.

Conversation

02.02.16

How Close Was the Latest Close Call in the South China Sea?

Julian G. Ku, Feng Zhang & more
Had things in fact calmed down in recent weeks as the Chinese official press claimed, only to be stirred up again needlessly by another Freedom of Navigation sail by the U.S. Navy?

Media

02.02.16

When Push Comes to Shove—Movies, China, and the World

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
The moviemaking dance the United States is doing with China is picking up pace. The Asian giant’s audience influence is soaring as estimates show that Chinese box office returns could overtake American ticket sales this year or next. Parity in...

Media

01.29.16

‘The New Yorker’ on China

Jiayang Fan, Peter Hessler & more
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on December 17, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: The New Yorker On China.” (The full video appears above.) The evening, introduced by Asia Society President Josette Sheeran...

Media

01.29.16

‘I Don't Want to Think About Activating Change’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 2012, The New York Times published a groundbreaking investigative report showing that the family of Wen Jiabao, China’s then-prime minister, possessed wealth in excess of $2.7 billion. In response, the Chinese government blocked the Times’...

Viewpoint

01.28.16

The Trouble with Hong Kong’s Chief Executives

Denise Y. Ho & Alyssa King
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which...

Conversation

01.27.16

Is George Soros Right that China’s Headed for a Hard Landing?

Arthur R. Kroeber, Stephen S. Roach & more
On Tuesday in an article headlined, “Declaring War on China’s Currency? Ha ha,” the People’s Daily attacked billionaire investor George Soros for suggesting he might short the renminbi. The Chinese currency has dropped 5.7 percent since August when...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources. *ChinaFile updated the database for this tool through December 31, 2016. We hope to refresh it and continuing updating it in the spring of 2017. If you would like to be notified when we refresh the tool, please e-mail editors@chinafile.com

Conversation

01.20.16

Beijing’s Televised Confessions

Jeremy Goldkorn, David Bandurski & more
Recent days have seen two more in a long string of televised “confessions” on China Central Television, that of Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin and Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai. Did these gentlemen break any Chinese laws? What do these...

Caixin Media

01.19.16

Why China Doesn’t Publish Fatal Train Crash Data

Disputes between the two agencies running the trains in China over how to classify and publish details on fatal railroad incidents has kept reports on some fatal accidents last year from surfacing, people close to the matter say. Several employees...

Q. and A.: Bei Ling on the Missing Hong Kong Booksellers

Luo Siling
New York Times
The disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers in recent months has attracted international attention 

Conversation

01.13.16

Does Chinese Investment Pose a Threat to Hollywood?

Jonathan Landreth, Stanley Rosen & more
The Wanda Group, China’s leading real estate developer, on Monday paid $3.5 billion for a controlling stake in Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, maker of Jurassic World, among other global blockbusters. At a time when Hollywood is...

Wang Jianlin's Wanda Group Buys Legendary Entertainment

Los Angeles Times
Chinese Conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has acquired Ledendary Entertainment the Hollywood Company behind 'The Dark Knight'...

Dictatorship and Democracy, What China's Moviegoers are Learning From Star Wars

Zheping Huang
Quartz
A Galaxy far, far away has finally arrived in the Middle Kingdom. 

Viewpoint

01.07.16

What Is Disappearing from Hong Kong

Alvin Y.H. Cheung
The recent disappearance of publisher Lee Po—allegedly kidnapped from Hong Kong and rendered to Mainland China—has prompted widespread alarm about the state of Hong Kong’s autonomy, both within the city and internationally. In a widely-shared video...

Media

01.07.16

Assessing China’s Plan to Build Internet Power

Scott D. Livingston
When the Chinese Communist Party targeted clean energy in its 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), the resulting investment spree upended the global clean energy market almost overnight. Now, as China approaches its 13th Five Year Plan, a new policy...

Media

01.06.16

Is it Too Late for a ‘Two-Child Policy’?

Zhang Xiaoran from U.S.-China Dialogue
As of January 1, all married couples in China are now allowed to have a second child without penalty. When, in October, word spread that China’s government would end its longstanding one-child policy, Xiaoran Zhang posed the following questions to a...

Media

01.05.16

China’s Top 5 Censored Posts in 2015

Louisa Lim
Chinese President Xi Jinping rounded off 2015 by posting his first message on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, in the form of a new year’s greeting to the People’s Liberation Army. His post received 52,000 comments, mostly fawning messages of...

China's Wanda Acquiring Controlling Stake in Legendary Entertainment

Patrick Brzesk and Borys Kit
Hollywood Reporter
Wanda aims to be a global entertainment giant, buying the No. 2 U.S. cinema chain AMC for $2.6B in 2012.

Dow Plunges After Rout in Chinese Market

Dan Strumpf and Christopher Whittall
Wall Street Journal
Weak economic data in China spurs global selloff, while Shanghai Composite declines nearly 7%.

After Mysterious Disappearance, Hong Kong Publisher Claims He Is In China ‘Cooperating with Authorities’

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Lee Bo specializes in books critical of the Communist Party.

Media

12.30.15

After Deadly Chinese Landslide, Word Games Begin

David Wertime
On December 20, a tidal wave of red dirt and construction waste descended on Guangming New District, part of the Chinese southern megacity of Shenzhen, burying whole buildings and sending residents scrambling in fright. Those facts, captured in...

Japan Protests Intrusion of Armed Chinese Vessel Into its Waters

James Mayger and Yuji Nakamura
Bloomberg
The vessel was formerly a People’s Liberation Army Navy ship and is now operated by another department.

Another Journalist's Effective Expulsion From China

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier
Atlantic
A French journalist has managed to incite “the outrage of the Chinese people” with an article on Beijing’s relationship with Uighurs.

China and Russia’s Orwellian attacks on Internet freedom

The Editorial Board
Washington Post
Xi Jinping’s recent speech suggests that China won’t give up nudging global Internet governance toward the “sovereignty” model.

Media

12.22.15

‘New Yorker’ Writers Reflect on ‘Extreme’ Reporting About China

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
While international reporting on China has improved by leaps and bounds since foreign journalists first started trickling into the country in the 1970s, major challenges remain in giving readers back home a balanced image. That was the message from...

Will China’s Censorship Spread?

LI YUAN
Wall Street Journal
Since last year, China has been promoting its notion of ‘Internet sovereignty’ for global Internet governance.

Media

12.17.15

Smarter, Sexier State Media: There’s an App for That

Before the Internet age, it used to be relatively straightforward for authoritarian regimes to dictate popular news consumption: just control all the major newspapers, as China’s ruling Communist Party has done since the founding of the People’s...

After ‘Star Wars,’ Studios Ready to Battle for 2016 Chinese Film Slots

Patrick Frater
Variety
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be the first Hollywood film to play in China in 2016.

Conversation

12.15.15

Can an Alibaba ‘Morning Post’ Aid China’s Image Overseas?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, David Wertime & more
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is buying the Hong Kong media group of the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the leading independent English-language newspaper in the former British colony where freedom of the press has resisted control by the...

Media

12.14.15

R.I.P. SCMP?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian & David Wertime
On December 11, Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Hong Kong’s flagship English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post (SCMP). The announcement came as no surprise, as the ailing paper...

Alibaba Film Chief Grants First Interview: What China Can Do for Hollywood

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
In her first sit-down since becoming Jack Ma's top global film exec, Zhang Wei reveals what China's web giant can offer Tinseltown...

Mission Improbable—Jack Ma, China’s Biggest E-Commerce Tycoon, Wants To Be a Media Mogul Too

Economist
Jack Ma, Alibaba’s billionaire boss, wants to be a global media mogul.

Chinese State Media Hits Back at Claims of Racist 'Star Wars' Poster

James Griffiths
CNN
"Finn (who happens to be black) and Chewbacca (happens to be Wookiee) get shafted in China."...

Media

12.09.15

How to Say ‘Islamic State’ in Mandarin

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On December 6, the Islamic State released a slick recording of a Mandarin Chinese-language song glorifying jihad, in what seems to be a direct attempt to recruit Chinese Muslims to the terrorist group’s cause. “Awaken, Muslim brothers! Now is the...

China Web Tsar Admits Censorship Troubles

Charles Clover
Financial Times
“We have indeed called for reinforcements over prominent online problems, this is the truth.”

Xi Jinping 'Resigns', According To Typo In Chinese State Media Report

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Four Chinese journalists have been suspended after inadvertently – and incorrectly – announcing the resignation of president.