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...

Culture

10.26.15

Xi Jinping on What’s Wrong with Contemporary Chinese Culture

from China Film Insider
At the Beijing Forum on Literature and Art last October, President Xi Jinping spoke to a high-level audience of arts professionals about the role of arts and culture in China. The event, along with excerpts of the October 15, 2014 speech, given in...

Leaving China? Your books, Maps and DVDs May Be Confiscated

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
An odd thing happened when movers came to box up Ruth Kirchner's furnishings as she was preparing to return to Berlin after a decade in China...

Media

10.23.15

The Eagle, the Dragon, and the ‘Excellent Sheep’

Former Yale University English professor William Deresiewicz’s book, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, created a firestorm in the United States when it was released in August 2014. “The...

China’s Best Obama Impersonator Looks the Part, But Speaks ‘Fake English’

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
For Xiao Jiguo, a Chinese Obama impersonator, it’s all about the eyebrows.

Conversation

10.20.15

Britain: ‘China’s Best Partner in the West’?

Isabel Hilton, Sebastian Heilmann & more
This week, Xi Jinping is in Great Britain for a state visit, his first since assuming leadership of China nearly three years ago. Britain’s government under David Cameron has signaled—increasingly loudly in recent months—that it hopes to usher in a...

Conversation

10.16.15

Is There a China Model?

Daniel A. Bell, Timothy Garton Ash & more
The most recent public event in our ChinaFile Presents series, which we held October 15 in New York, was a discussion of the philosopher Daniel A. Bell’s controversial book, The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy, co-...

Culture Shock: Chinese Ministry Slammed on Not-so-Social Media

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Watch the country’s culture ministry get eviscerated on social media.

The Chinese Oscar Winner that Wasn’t

BETHANY ALLEN-EBRAHIMIAN
Foreign Policy
Wolf Totem is a spectacular film, but its soul is missing. That's just how Beijing wants it...

China Burnishes Xi Jinping’s Legend With TV Drama of His Years in Rural Hamlet

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Chinese bloggers label 45-part drama called Liangjiahe as latest homage to omnipotent ‘Big Daddy Xi’.

China Tightens TV Censorship after Cleavage Controversies

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
New rules may require some Chinese shows to delay broadcasts by as much as six months.

In China’s State News Media, What Is Said May Not Be What’s Printed

JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ
New York Times
An Australian journalist was misquoted as saying the people of Tibet had a “wonderful life.”

China Says Not Planning to Send Military Ships to Syria

Megha Rajagopalan and Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China said it had no plans to send military ships to Syria to fight with Russian forces.

Media

10.13.15

Chinese Censors Are Giving North Korea a P.R. Makeover

David Wertime
On October 10, Liu Yunshan, a member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee and one of the seven most powerful men in China, paid a visit to North Korea to observe a massive parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’...

In ‘The Assassin,’ a Director Blends the Fantastical and the Realistic

MEKADO MURPHY
New York Times
The director has made a film rooted in martial arts, but with imagery and settings that make “The Assassin” feel almost painterly.

When Palace Museum Meets Creativity

China Daily
In the minds of most people, Emperor and his concubines lived their lives solemnly.

Culture

10.07.15

Jia Zhangke on Finding Freedom in China on Film

Jonathan Landreth
Jia Zhangke is among the most celebrated filmmakers China has ever produced—outside of China. His 2013 film, A Touch of Sin, a weaving-together of four tales of violence ripped from modern-day newspaper headlines, won the Best Screenplay award at...

Media

10.07.15

An International Victory, Forged in China’s Tumultuous Past

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On October 5, a share of this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine went to 84-year-old Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou for her discovery, decades ago, of the anti-malarial drug artemisinin. Tu and her team made the discovery during the Cultural...

China Box Office: 'Lost in Hong Kong' Surges Past $200 Million

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
The film will soon surpass its predecessor, 'Lost in Thailand', which grossed $208 million in 2012, the most ever for a Chinese film at the time...

Sinica Podcast

10.05.15

Edmund Backhouse in the Long View of History

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
Edmund Backhouse, the 20th century Sinologist, long-time Beijing resident, and occasional con-artist, is perhaps best known for his incendiary memoirs, which not only distorted Western understanding of Chinese history for more than 50 years, but...

Culture

10.02.15

In Zhang Yimou’s ‘Coming Home’ History is Muted But Not Silent

Eva Shan Chou
Coming Home, directed by the celebrated Zhang Yimou and released in the U.S. last week, begins as a man escapes a labor camp in China’s northwest and tries to return home. But he is captured when he and his wife attempt to meet, after their daughter...

Media

10.02.15

Meet China’s Salman Rushdie

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On a warm late afternoon in June, I sat with Perhat Tursun as he slowly exhaled a puff of smoke from a blue cigarette with shiny gold trim. Arrayed on the pale lace tablecloth before us was an assortment of nuts, sunflower seeds, and wine. The...

Media

10.01.15

U.S. Presidential Candidates on China

Our Presidential Quotes tracker keeps you up to date on what the candidates are saying about China, and where and when they say it.