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.

China Box Office Hits $6.3 Billion for 2015, Marking 48 Percent Yearly Growth

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
Local Chinese films accounted for $3.7 billion (23.7 billion yuan), more than 59 percent of the total box office earnings for the year to date.

Green Space

12.03.15

Smog and Imagination

Michael Zhao
The last few days of November, air pollution was back in the headlines and social media feeds of millions of Chinese. Here are a few highlights:The creative WeChat post “Beijing Smog: Use Your Imagination When You Go Out,” shows a series of photos...

It’s Complicated: Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation Spurs Philanthropy Debate in China

Yang Jie
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Some Chinese Internet users are asking: is it a kind-hearted gift or a tax dodge?

Sinica Podcast

12.01.15

Live at the Bookworm, Part II

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This is the second part of the Live Sinica discussion recorded last month during a special event at the Bookworm literary festival. In this show, David Moser and Kaiser Kuo were joined by China-newcomer Jeremy Goldkorn, fresh off the plane from...

Viewpoint

11.30.15

Court in China Adds Last-Minute Charge Against Rights Leader During Sentencing

Yaxue Cao from China Change
On August 8, 2013, Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong) was arrested and then indicted on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” The heavy sentence came as a shock to everyone following the case. More shockingly, the...

China Bars Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada (and Rights Advocate)

New York Times
A Chinese who moved to Canada as a kid, the charismatic Lin is a practitioner of Falun Gong, the spiritual movement China calls an “evil cult.”

Media

11.27.15

‘Personal Media’ in China Takes a Hit From Pre-Publication Censorship

Hu Yong
Observers have long thought that Chinese authorities censor the media depending on type: the censorship of traditional media is primarily conducted in advance, with a thorough inspection of news and discussion before publication; new media, in...

Conversation

11.24.15

The China Africa Relationship: Crossroads or Cliff?

Cobus van Staden, Eric Olander & more
As we approach the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg, we try better to understand the main issues that surely will arise when Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma meet on December 4...

Xi’s China: The Illusion of Change

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Xi Jinping is often described as China’s most powerful leader in decades, perhaps even since Mao. He has been credited—if sometimes grudgingly—with pursuing a vigorous foreign policy, economic reforms, and a historic crackdown on corruption.But as...

China Cuts Mobile Service of Xinjiang Residents Evading Internet Filters

Paul Mozur
New York Times
The Chinese government is shutting down the mobile service of residents in Xinjiang.

China's Own 'Double Standard' on Terrorism

David Volodzko
Diplomat
China continues to lump terrorist groups and peaceful activists together — and to censor media coverage of both.

Media

11.20.15

Pulitzer’s ‘Lookout on the Bridge’ vs. China’s ‘News Ethics Committees’

David Bandurski
In a recent harangue on the imperative of better journalism, a website run by the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department tore a jagged page from the wisdom of American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer: “A journalist is the...

Conversation

11.19.15

Is China a Credible Partner in Fighting Terror?

Andrew Small, Chen Weihua & more
In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said, “China is also a victim of terrorism. The fight against the ‘East Turkestan Islamic Movement’… should become an important part of the international fight against...

Viewpoint

11.17.15

What Xi and Ma Really Said

Perry Link
The Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of people at all administrative levels, central to local, to prescribe and monitor how news stories are presented to the public. These people tell editors of newspapers and web pages not only what...

China Box Office: 'Spectre' Has the Competition Shaken and Stirred

Abid Rahman
Hollywood Reporter
It took a while, but James Bond finally won over Chinese audiences as Spectre, the 24th film in the franchise.

A Journalist’s View on Reporting the China-Africa Story

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The U.S.-based online news site Quartz is among a growing number of international media companies that is investing resources to better cover Africa. The company launched Quartz Africa in June 2015 with the opening of a new bureau in Nairobi and the...

China to Tighten Limit on Foreign TV and Video Imports

Lilian Lin
Wall Street Journal
Tighter licensing could further reduce amount of foreign content streamed in China.

China's Dream Factory

Willy Shih and Henry McGee
Atlantic
The long arc of moviemaking history may not bend inevitably toward China, but it does lead away from Hollywood, whose rise and long dominance of the film industry was predicated on a series of conditions that no longer exist.

Media

11.13.15

The Real Reason for China’s Two-Child Policy: Millions of New Consumers

Two fictitious Chinese brothers are born in Tuanjiehu Maternity Hospital in the Chinese capital of Beijing. Let’s say the first was born already, in late 2015; his parents nickname him Laoda, meaning “oldest child.” That’s because they have hopes...

Media

11.12.15

Good Journalist, Bad Journalist

David Bandurski
As China marked its annual Journalists’ Day over the weekend, proclaiming the importance of “correct news ideals,” even jaded New Yorkers stopped in their tracks and took notice. How could they not? The message beamed over 7th Avenue on Times Square...

Media

11.12.15

Watch Frank Underwood Advertise China’s Black Friday

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On November 11, at the stroke of midnight Beijing time, millions of Chinese sitting behind their computers or cradling their mobile phones began purchasing cell phones, handbags, and clothing at cutthroat prices. By the end of November 11, analysts...

With Help from 007's Daniel Craig, how Alibaba Turned 11-11 into China's Biggest Shopping Day

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
Online shopping and entertainment fused into a consumerist juggernaut.

Media

11.10.15

Chinese Hits Miss Out on the Global Box Office

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
If he’d had the time after meeting American captains of industry in Seattle and Barack Obama at the White House, Chinese President Xi Jinping might have ducked out at the close of his United Nations appearance and into a New York movie theater to...

Media

11.09.15

Can the China Model Succeed?

Daniel A. Bell, Timothy Garton Ash & more
Is this a new model? Is authoritarian capitalism, Leninist capitalism, something that has durability? Have the rules changed about how countries develop? That used to be, remember, that open markets led ineluctably to open societies. How does it...

Media

11.06.15

‘A Brutality Born of Helplessness’

Alexa Olesen
When China finally scrapped its one-child policy after more than three decades of brutality, almost no one lamented its passing. But Paul R. Ehlich, a Stanford-educated biologist and author of the 1968 fear-baiting classic The Population Bomb, was...

Media

11.06.15

Xi Jinping’s Taiwan Trap

Isaac Stone Fish
Before Chinese President Xi Jinping had a dream, his predecessor Hu Jintao had a wish: the “peaceful reunification” of China and Taiwan. In fact, all of Xi’s predecessors since Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 have pined for...

China Is on Track to Surpass U.S. as World's Biggest Movie Market by 2017

Richard Verrier
Los Angeles Times
Despite the recent economic slowdown in China, the country's film market is growing even faster than anticipated...

Media

11.05.15

With Historic Ma-Xi Summit, Chinese State Media Walks a Fine Line

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
For the first time in 66 years, the president of mainland China and the president of self-governing Taiwan will meet face to face. On November 3, Zhang Zhijun, minister in charge of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, stated that China’s Xi Jinping would...

Culture

11.04.15

Zhang Yimou: ‘Even Though Our Market Is Growing Fast, We’re Still Not Satisfied’

Jonathan Landreth
Hollywood has Steven Spielberg and China has Zhang Yimou, the senior statesman of moviemaking in the People’s Republic. From Red Sorghum, his 1987 debut right out of the Beijing Film Academy, through Hero, which grossed more in America in 2002 than...

China Drafts New Film Industry Law

Patrick Frater
Variety
China has moved forward with a new film industry law intended to boost the sector and help Chinese companies compete internationally.

China Box Office: 'Ant-Man' Narrowly Wins Another Week

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
Marvel's "mighty" superhero Ant-Man continued to punch above its weight at the Chinese box office, winning a second consecutive week...

Media

10.30.15

Xi’s State Visits As Seen on the Cover of ‘China Daily’

Orville Schell
The state visits of Chinese Communist Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping to Washington, D.C. in September and London last week were both significant milestones in China’s long term “rejuvenation,” a key element in Xi’s vaunted notion...

China Ranks Last of 65 Nations in Internet Freedom

New York Times
Chinese officials will be able to impose a prison sentence of up to seven years on a person convicted of creating and spreading “false information” online.

Media

10.29.15

Ai Weiwei Doesn’t Need Anyone to Give Him Legos

James Palmer
The noted Chinese artist and perennial dissident Ai Weiwei recently announced that Lego, a Denmark-based company, had refused his request to purchase more than a million of the tiny toy bricks for an Australian display of his work “Trace,” a...

Media

10.28.15

‘Stop Boasting and Fight’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On October 27, the high-stakes maritime game of chicken that has been playing out in the South China Sea came to a head. In a long-discussed freedom of navigation patrol, the United States sailed the USS Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, within 12...

Hong Kong Is the Happiest Place in China, According to WeChat Posts

Richard Macauley
Quartz
Hong Kong is home to the happiest people in Greater China, closely followed by Taiwan, according to Tencent.

Sinica Podcast

10.27.15

Hope and Fear in the Age of Asia

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
The West has spent decades pleading with China to become a responsible stakeholder in the global community, but what happens now that China is starting to take a more proactive role internationally? In this podcast, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are...