An American Lean-In Guru in China

John Corrigan
Wall Street Journal
Joy Chen got a glimpse of the limelight as a Los Angeles deputy mayor two decades ago, but it was nothing like the fame she has found in China urging women to forget what they’ve been taught about matrimony.

China’s ‘Digital City’ Showcases Xi’s Grand Ambition

Yizhen Jia and Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Transformation of rural backwater into the new Shenzhen is still some way off.

China: Security Guards Assault Women Attending LGBT Event

Lily Kuo
Guardian
Women wearing rainbow badges were blocked from entering Beijing’s 798 arts district by guards who punched them and then knocked them to the ground.

Depth of Field

04.02.18

Slow Trains, Shrinking Boomtowns, and Men Who Know Ice

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this issue of Depth of Field, we take a ride on one of China’s slowest trains, meet the workers who cut the ice for Harbin’s winter festival, and follow two mentally disabled “sent-down youth” on a rare trip home to visit their families. Also:...

Books

03.29.18

Patriot Number One

Lauren Hilgers
Crown Publishing Group: In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school and refuses to look backward.With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.{chop}

China’s Radical Plan to Limit the Populations of Beijing and Shanghai

Helen Roxburgh
Guardian
In the weaving alleys of Shanghai’s Laoximen district, swathes of residential buildings sit empty. The historic area in the heart of the city is being slowly demolished, and many residents have already abandoned it, leaving behind rows of...

Books

03.16.18

Young China

Zak Dychtwald
St. Martin’s Press: The author of Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World, who is in his twenties and fluent in Chinese, examines the future of China through the lens of the jiu ling hou, the generation born after 1990.{node, 45751}A close-up look at the Chinese generation born after 1990 exploring through personal encounters how young Chinese feel about everything from money and sex to their government, the West, and China’s shifting role in the world―not to mention their love affair with food, karaoke, and travel. Set primarily in the eastern second-tier city of Suzhou and the budding western metropolis of Chengdu, the book charts the touchstone issues this young generation faces. From single-child pressure to test-taking madness and the frenzy to buy an apartment as a prerequisite to marriage, from one-night-stands to an evolving understanding of family, Young China offers a fascinating portrait of the generation who will define what it means to be Chinese in the modern era.{chop}

A Malaysian Insta-City Becomes a Flash Point for Chinese Colonialism — and Capital Flight

Brook Larmer
New York Times
A futuristic city funded by China is rising from the sea off Malaysian coast.

Sinica Podcast

03.06.18

Courts & Torts: Driving the Chinese Legal System

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
“Having read hundreds and hundreds of these cases, I have decided that I’m never going to drive in China.” That is what Benjamin Liebman, the director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia University, concluded after his extensive...

Depth of Field

02.20.18

When You Give a Kid a Camera

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This dispatch of photojournalism from China cuts across a broad spectrum of society, from film screenings in Beijing for the visually impaired to an acrobatics school 200 miles south, in Puyang, Henan province, and from children in rural Sichuan to...

Books

02.07.18

Leftover in China

Roseann Lake
Editor’s note: After we originally posted this video interview about Leftover in China, questions were brought to our attention about the book. We took the video down while we reviewed these concerns, and we determined that the interview is suitable to run on our book video platform.W. W. Norton & Company: Factory Girls meets The Vagina Monologues in this fascinating narrative on China’s single women—and why they could be the source of its economic future.Forty years ago, China enacted the one-child policy, only recently relaxed. Among many other unintended consequences, it resulted in both an enormous gender imbalance—with predictions of over 20 million more men than women of marriage age by 2020—and China’s first generations of only-daughters. Given the resources normally reserved for boys, these girls were pushed to study, excel in college, and succeed in careers, as if they were sons.Now living in an economic powerhouse, enough of these women have decided to postpone marriage, or not marry at all, spawning a label: “leftovers.” Unprecedentedly well-educated and goal-oriented, they struggle to find partners in a society where gender roles have not evolved as vigorously as society itself, and where new professional opportunities have made women less willing to compromise their careers or concede to marriage for the sake of being wed. Further complicating their search for a mate, the vast majority of China’s single men reside in and are tied to the rural areas where they were raised. This makes them geographically, economically, and educationally incompatible with city-dwelling “leftovers,” who also face difficulty in partnering with urban men, given urban men’s general preference for more dutiful, domesticated wives.Part critique of China’s paternalistic ideals, part playful portrait of the romantic travails of China’s trailblazing women and their well-meaning parents who are anxious to see their daughters snuggled into traditional wedlock, Leftover in China focuses on the lives of four individual women against a backdrop of colorful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews, and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how these “leftovers” are the linchpin to China’s future.{chop}

More Than a Dozen Hurt as Van Crashes outside Starbucks in Shanghai

Charlie Campbell
Time
At least 18 people were injured after a minivan rammed into pedestrians near a Starbuck’s coffee shop in downtown Shanghai on Friday morning.

Media

02.02.18

Chinese Civil Society in 2018: What’s Ahead?

Wang Yongmei, Anthony Saich & more
The impetus for this event is it’s about a year since the new Foreign NGO Law was implemented in China. There was also another law implemented in 2016, the Charity Law, that governs how domestic NGOs function in China. But there’s a lot more going...

‘She’ll Die If She Stays with Us’: a Baby Abandoned in China

Javier C. Hernández and Iris Zhao
New York Times
The 6-month-old girl was found alone at night in a park in southern China, sleeping in a stroller. Next to her, in a lime-green backpack, was a bottle of infant formula, diapers and a two-page note from her parents.

China Takes Aim at Hip-Hop, Saying ‘Low-Taste Content’ Must Stop

Pei Li, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
China’s censors have a new target in a widespread clamp-down on popular culture: the country’s nascent hip-hop scene, which resonated with Chinese youth last year on hugely popular television show “Rap of China.”

Conversation

01.18.18

Are China’s Blue Skies Here to Stay?

Li Shuo, Angel Hsu & more
In mid-January, the environmental group Greenpeace announced dramatic improvements in air quality across China. In 74 Chinese cities, measurements of PM2.5, the fine particles that have been a major contributor to the country’s choked skies,...

Chinese Rooftop Climber Dies in 62-Storey Fall

BBC
BBC
A well-known Chinese climber has died while performing one of his trademark daredevil skyscraper stunts.

Forced Evictions in China's Capital Spark a Rare Display of Dissent

Joseph Hincks
Time
The protests in Feijia, a village in Beijing’s northeastern Chaoyang district, follow a controversial clean-up campaign that began after an apartment block fire killed 19 people last month, the South China Morning Post reports.

China’s Drive for Cleaner Energy Is Causing a Gas Shortage for Winter

Huileng Tan
CNBC
China's push to clean up its environment may have had an unintended consequence: a shortage of heating fuel supply is hitting some regions in the dead of winter, sending prices of domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a three-year high...

The Underclass That Threatens Xi's 'China Dream'

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Beijing’s mass evictions of migrants cast a chill over Xi’s lofty equality goals.

Conversation

11.30.17

The Beijing Migrants Crackdown

Jeremiah Jenne, Lucy Hornby & more
After a fire in a Beijing apartment building catering to migrant workers killed at least 19 people on November 18, the city government launched a 40-day campaign to demolish the capital’s “unsafe” buildings. Many Beijing residents view the campaign...

China Child Abuse Scandal: Police Accuse Parents of Making Claims Up

Steven Jiang
CNN
A child abuse scandal that has rocked China took a shocking turn Tuesday, as police accused two parents for fabricating tales of their children being drugged and molested at a Beijing kindergarten.

Xi Jinping Makes China’s Toilets a Number Two Priority

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Chinese urged to ‘Advance the Toilet Revolution Steadily’ and do away with squalid communal facilities as a national imperative.

Three Things to Know About China's Kindergarten Abuse Scandal

Casey Quackenbush
Time
A public firestorm has erupted in China over allegations of teachers abusing children at a kindergarten in Beijing. At the kindergarten in Xintiandi run by RYB Education, a New York-listed education chain that is well known in China, children were...

Mass Evictions in Freezing Beijing Winter Sparks Public Outrage but Little Official Remorse

Simon Denyer and Luna Lin
Washington Post
In his nationwide address to usher in the start of 2017, China’s President Xi Jinping said he was “seriously concerned” about people living in hardship in his country — those who struggle to find jobs, housing, health care and education for their...

China's Revealing Spin on the ‘Sharing Economy’

Brook Larmer
New York Times
China is the first country to frame “sharing economy” as a “national priority.” It fits with the image that Beijing wants to project: warm, generous, egalitarian.

Depth of Field

11.20.17

Fake Girlfriends, Chengdu Rappers, and a Chow Chow Making Bank

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Lonely dog owners in Beijing and a rented girlfriend in Fujian; the last Oroqen hunters in Heilongjiang and homegrown hip hop in Chengdu; young Chinese in an Indian tech hub and Hong Kong apartments only slightly larger than coffins—these are some...

China’s Skewed Sex Ratio Makes President Xi’s Job a Lot Harder

Quartz
As odd as it sounds, China’s economic policy is being held hostage by its heavily skewed sex ratio.

The Human Cost of China’s Economic Reforms

Robin Brant
BBC
Mr Yu is worried that millions of workers the Chinese government plans to lay off from failing state owned companies will be “abandoned” like he says he was 15 years ago.

New Documentary Portrays Nuanced View of Africans’ Experience Living in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When filmmakers Zhang Yong, Hodan Abdi, and Fu Dong set out to make a new documentary on the African migrant experience in China, they were determined to ensure that their own voices and experiences came through in the story. Until now, most if not...

It's Not Just Amazon: Chinese Tech Giants Are Selling Groceries Too

Sherisse Pham
CNN
Amazon (AMZN, Tech30)'s move to swallow Whole Foods for $13.7 billion grabbed attention in the U.S., and the internet giant has also been dabbling in cashier-less grocery stores. But experts say China is already ahead of the curve...

China Accused of Flooding Europe with Cheap E-Bikes

Ivana Kottasová
CNN
Imports of Chinese e-bikes to Europe have increased from almost zero in 2010 to an estimated 800,000 in 2017, according to the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association. The industry group has had enough: It filed a complaint with the European...

China Gives Carmakers More Time in Biggest Electric-Vehicle Plan

Bloomberg
China unveiled a comprehensive set of emission rules and delayed a credit-score program tied to the production of electric cars, giving automakers more time to prepare for the phasing out of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Ice Hockey Makes Push to Help China Get Its Skates On

Christian Shepherd, Pei Li
Reuters
The corralling of such resources behind the latest attempt by a major league to tap into the country’s huge market reflects how keen Beijing is to develop interest in the NHL and how much effort will be needed to make China an ice hockey country.

Hockey Gets Warm and Confused Welcome by the Chinese

Xinyu Yang, Qianyao Tang
The matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks in Shanghai -- the second leg of the NHL's first preseason games in China -- witnessed a much stronger welcome from a city bracing for the 2022 Winter Olympics...

Books

09.20.17

China’s Great Migration

Bradley Gardner
China’s rise over the past several decades has lifted more than half of its population out of poverty and reshaped the global economy. What has caused this dramatic transformation? In China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation, author Bradley Gardner looks at one of the most important but least discussed forces pushing China’s economic development: the migration of more than 260 million people from their birthplaces to China’s most economically vibrant cities. By combining an analysis of China’s political economy with current scholarship on the role of migration in economic development, China’s Great Migration shows how the largest economic migration in the history of the world has led to a bottom-up transformation of China.Gardner draws from his experience as a researcher and journalist working in China to investigate why people chose to migrate and the social and political consequences of their decisions. In the aftermath of China’s Cultural Revolution, the collapse of totalitarian government control allowed millions of people to skirt migration restrictions and move to China’s growing cities, where they offered a massive pool of labor that propelled industrial development, foreign investment, and urbanization. Struggling to respond to the demands of these migrants, the Chinese government loosened its grip on the economy, strengthening property rights and allowing migrants to employ themselves and each other, spurring the Chinese economic miracle.More than simply a narrative of economic progress, China’s Great Migration tells the human story of China’s transformation, featuring interviews with the men and women whose way of life has been remade. In its pages, readers will learn about the rebirth of a country and millions of lives changed, hear what migration can tell us about the future of China, and discover what China’s development can teach the rest of the world about the role of market liberalization and economic migration in fighting poverty and creating prosperity. —Independent Institute{chop}

China's 'Sponge Cities' Aim to Re-Use 70% of Rainwater

Asit K Biswas and Kris Hartley
CNN
Asian cities are struggling to accommodate rapid urban migration, and development is encroaching on flood-prone areas.

G.M. Chief, in China, Challenges Planned Bans of Gasoline Cars

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Speaking in Shanghai on Friday, Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors said her company was making a big push to develop electric cars but that consumers, not government dictates, should decide how cars are powered.

VW, China Partners to Recall 4.86 Million Vehicles over Takata Airbags

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Official Chinese estimates show over 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally. The air bags have the potential to explode with too much force and spray shrapnel.

The Chinese Female Gamers Putting Male Players in the Shade

Danny Vinceny
BBC
In the world’s newest superpower, professional video gaming is a booming industry set to be worth billions. Female players struggle to earn as much as their male competitors – but that's not stopping one talented team of young women...

China’s Top Bike-Sharing Groups Battle for London

Yuan Yang, Yingzhi Yang
Financial Times
China’s top bike-sharing companies are taking their rivalry to London after local supplier Ofo revealed plans to roll out a smart bike service this week in the UK to compete with rival Mobike.

What’s Yours Is Mine in China but Is Sharing at a Peak?

John Sudworth
BBC
Ok, so car sharing makes perfect sense. And we get bike sharing, too. But ball sharing?

China, Like U.S., Struggles to Revive Industrial Heartland

Michael Schuman
New York Times
The hulking, brown–brick industrial plants lining the roads were once the backbone of this gritty city. Today, they are outdated and unwanted, and the region is one of the Chinese economy’s most troubled. 

China to Rev up Bullet Train Revolution with World's Fastest Service on Shanghai-Beijing Line

Sarah Zheng
South China Morning Post
China will soon start official operation of the world’s fastest train service, knocking an hour off the 1,318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai.

Facebook Tests Way Into China Via Secret Photo—Sharing App

Yuan Yang
Financial Times
A photo—sharing app has appeared on Apple’s App Store in China that looks exactly like Facebook’s Moments app, and analysts say it may be a way for the US tech group to finally break into its most coveted market.

SoftBank Partners with China’s Ofo to Bring Its Dock-Less Bikes to Japan

Jon Russell
TechCrunch
A month after committing to help WeWork enter Japan, SoftBank is lending a hand to another global unicorn with its sights set on the country. Today, it announced a tie-in that will bring Ofo’s dock-less bike rental service to Japanese soil.

Depth of Field

08.03.17

Inspirational Vandalism, Theme Parks, and the Man Who Swam to Hong Kong

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month, five photo galleries explore different aspects of public and private space in contemporary China. Wu Yue meets a couple who swam to Hong Kong from Guangzhou during the Cultural Revolution and still find solace in the waters of Hong Kong’...

Chinese Blogger Sorry after Essay Slamming Beijingers’ ‘Fake’ Lives Goes Viral and Is Censored

Eva Li
South China Morning Post
Widely-read blog criticized by state media after it lists complaints about soaring property prices, crowded subways and lack of human warmth in the capital

Video

07.27.17

Where The Streets Had My Name

Ge Yulu
If you’re not dead yet and you were never very famous, can you still get a street named after you in Beijing? You can if you’re 27-year-old artist Ge Yulu. Open Google Maps, enter his name, and there you will find a 1,476-foot-long street that...

Anger at Plan to Let Chinese Police Patrol in Hong Kong

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
A Hong Kong government plan to lease part of a new high-speed rail station to China and allow Chinese police to enforce mainland laws has sparked new fears the city is losing its autonomy.

In Urban China, Cash Is Rapidly Becoming Obsolete

New York Times
Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything. At restaurants, a waiter will ask if you want to use WeChat or Alipay — the two smartphone payment options — before bringing up cash as a third, remote...

Chinese Umbrella-Sharing Firm Remains Upbeat Despite Losing Most of Its 300,000 Brollies

He Huifeng
South China Morning Post
Just weeks after making 300,000 brollies available to the public via a rental scheme, Sharing E Umbrella announced that most of them had gone missing, news website The Paper reported on Thursday.

Depth of Field

06.29.17

Love, Robots, and Fireworks

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Included in this Depth of Field column are stories of love, community, remembrance, and the future, told through the discerning eyes of some of China’s best photojournalists. Among them, the lives of African migrants in Guangzhou, seven years inside...

Viewpoint

06.26.17

Why Are So Many Tibetans Moving to Chinese Cities?

Gerald Roche, Ben Hillman & more
China’s Tibetan areas have been troubled by unrest since 2008, when protests swept the plateau, followed by a series of self-immolations which continue to this day. The Chinese state, as part of its arsenal of responses, has intensified urbanization...

Sinica Podcast

06.23.17

Islamophobia in China, Explained

Kaiser Kuo, Alice Y. Su & more from Sinica Podcast
Islamophobia isn’t a phenomenon limited to Trump’s America or the Europe of Brexit and Marine Le Pen. It has taken root in China, too—in a form that bears a striking resemblance to what we’ve seen in recent years in the West. The Chinese Party-state...

China Propels Rise of Electric Ultra-High-Performance Cars

New York Times
Want an insanely fast ride with zero emissions? Startup NIO has the car: An electric two-seater with muscular European lines and a top speed of 195 miles per hour (313 kilometers per hour). The catch: The EP9 costs nearly $1.5 million. NIO, a...

China, Where the Pressure to Marry Is Strong, and the Advice Flows Online

Karoline Kan
New York Times
Although women in their 20s are greatly outnumbered by men in the same age group in China, a product in part of the since-abandoned one-child family policy and a cultural preference for sons, they face enormous pressure to marry. Those who do not...