India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

Using Stealth, and Drones, to Document a Fading Hong Kong

Mike Ives
New York Times
If history was any guide, the explorers said, the building the drone was filming—a 1952 theater with unusual roof supports—would eventually be demolished because it is not on Hong Kong’s list of declared monuments.

Sinica Podcast

01.31.17

Talking ’Bout My Generation: Chinese Millennials

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Alec Ash, a young British writer who lives in Beijing, has covered “left-behind” children in Chinese villages, the “toughest high-school exam in the world,” and Internet live-streaming, among many other subjects. He is the author of Wish Lanterns,...

For Couriers, China’s E-Commerce Boom Can Be a Tough Road

Ryan McMorrow
New York Times
The Chinese e-commerce industry has been built on the backs of couriers—called kuaidi, or express delivery, in China. They number 1.2 million, and online retailers like Alibaba use them to zip packages to customers by scooter or three-wheeled...

Rich Chinese, Inspired by ‘Downton,’ Fuel Demand for Butlers

Chris Buckley and Karoline Kan
New York Times
Inspired in part by the Downton Abbey television drama, the country’s once raw and raucous tycoons are fueling demand for the services of homegrown butlers trained in the ways of a British manor.

Don’t Blame the Weather For China’s Smog

Junfeng Zhang
Fortune
China’s air quality has been particularly bad so far this winter. Severe smog or haze episodes have occurred one after another with short breaks in between,

‘Is This What the West Is Really Like?’ How It Felt to Leave China for Britain

Xiaolu Guo
Guardian
Desperate to find somewhere she could live and work as she wished, Xiaolu Guo moved from Beijing to London in 2002.

How to Ride an Escalator: China Says You’re Doing It Wrong

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Experts have recently warned that the practice is a danger to public safety

China Battles to Control Growing Online Nationalism

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
When Taiwan last year elected a president eager to reduce the island’s reliance on China, tens of thousands of Chinese netizens attacked Taiwanese websites in a co-ordinated action that was as much a surprise to Beijing as it was to its targets...

China’s Elite Bodyguards Are Struggling to Find Enough Rich People to Protect

Charlie Campbell
Time
Training bodyguards has been big business in China for years. Now, however, a slowing economy and an anti-corruption drive are putting the brakes on the private security industry

President Xi’s Great Chinese Soccer Dream

Chris Buckley
New York Times
The 48 soccer fields of the vast Evergrande Football School in south China seem barely enough for its 2,800 students. Against a backdrop of school spires that seem modeled on Hogwarts, the young athletes swarm onto the fields nearly every day,...

How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner

David Barboza
New York Times
A hidden bounty of benefits for Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, the world’s biggest iPhone factory, is central to the production of Apple’s most profitable product

Migrant-School Students Face Difficulty Getting Into College, Study Finds

Chen Shaoyuan and Li Rongde
Less than 6% of students in Beijing schools for migrant children entered college. In local public schools, 60% did

China Warmly Welcomes a Giant Rooster With Trumpian Characteristics

Mike Ives
New York Times
Trump's golden quiff has appeared on a 23-foot tall rooster statue outside a shopping mall in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan...

Bike-Sharing Revolution Aims to Put China Back on Two Wheels

Top Phillips
Guardian
From Shanghai to Sichuan, schemes are being rolled out to slash congestion, cut air pollution – and spin a profit

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

China Chokes on Smog So Bad that Planes Can't Land

John Bacon
USA Today
Major cities across northern China choked Monday under a blanket of smog so thick that industries were ordered shut down and air and ground traffic was disrupted

China’s Notorious City Management Officers in Legal Limbo Despite Expanding Role

Zhou Qijun, Sun Liangzi and Li Rongde
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has been charged with regulating the force that earlier was under the sole purview of local governments

Features

12.15.16

‘Caught in Quicksand’: Gay and HIV-Positive in China

Fan Fei, Jieqian Zhang & more
China is a country with giant cities, huge skyscrapers, and the world’s second largest economy. But underneath its modern looking facade, the country is still very traditional; this is especially true of attitudes toward homosexuality.China’s...

Books

12.15.16

Crashing the Party

Scott Savitt
It’s 1983. Scott Savitt, one of the first American exchange students in Beijing, picks up his guitar and begins strumming “Blackbird.” He’s soon surrounded by Chinese students who know every word to every Beatles song he plays. Savitt stays on in Beijing, working as a reporter for Asiaweek Magazine. The city’s first nightclubs open; rock ‘n’ roll promises democracy. Promoted to foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times and then United Press International, Savitt finds himself drawn into China’s political heart. His girlfriend is the assistant to Bette Bao Lord, the wife of the U.S. ambassador. He interviews people who will become leaders of the democracy movement.Later, at 25 years old, Savitt is the youngest accredited foreign correspondent in China, with an intimate knowledge of Beijing’s backstreets. But as the seven-week occupation of Tiananmen Square ends in bloodshed on June 4, 1989, his greatest asset is his flame-red 500cc Honda motorcycle—giving Savitt the freedom to witness first-hand what the Chinese government still denies ever took place. After Tiananmen, Savitt founds the first independent English-language newspaper in China, Beijing Scene. He knows that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities move in, and sure enough, in 2000 he’s arrested, flung into solitary confinement and, after a month in jail, deported.Savitt’s extraordinary memoir of his two decades in China manages to take an extremely complex political-historical subject and turn it into an adventure story. —Soft Skull{chop}

Caixin Media

12.15.16

Attempts to ‘Clean Up Beijing’ Target Low-Cost Migrant Homes

Li Yi, a young computer engineer working in Beijing, said authorities forced him out of his apartment in a village in Haidian district in November, days after his power supply was cut off even though he had paid the bills.Li (not his real name) is...

Environment

12.13.16

Chinese Consumers Adopt Greener Lifestyle

from chinadialogue
For the last two years, Helen Ni has hosted low-carbon technology workshops for local kids and their parents. The informal gatherings take place at her ground-floor apartment in the Shanghai suburb of Minhang, close to Jiaotong University, one of...

Attempts to ‘Clean Up Beijing’ Target Low-Cost Migrant Homes

Huang Shulun and Li Rongde
"They came and banged on tenants' doors every day until they agreed to move out, and they cut off their power supply for a week"...

China Riot Police Seal Off City Center After Smog Protestors Put Masks on Statues

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Clampdown in Chengdu after protesters place masks on statues in anger at air pollution choking the city

Environment

12.06.16

The World’s Saddest Polar Bear

from chinadialogue
Pizza, “the world’s saddest polar bear,” is to be granted at least a temporary reprieve from the display case in which he lives in the Grandview shopping mall in Guangzhou, southern China. This follows a global outcry, a one-million-signature...

Author’s Vision of a Future Beijing Looks to China’s Present

Karoline Kan and Javier Hernandez
New York Times
Meet Hao Jingfang, author of "Folding Beijing,” the science-fiction novelette that beat out Stephen King to win a Hugo Award. ...

'Social' Feature Turns China’s Alipay Into a Hook-up App

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Alipay update leads to suggestive content flooding the typically staid financial app

$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore ’Scares the Hell Out of Everybody’

Pooja Thakur Mahrotri and En Han Choong
Bloomberg
Planeloads of buyers fly in as condos rise from the sea

Conversation

11.21.16

Will China Take the Lead on Climate Change?

Sam Geall, Barbara A. Finamore & more
At a time when the world is looking to China and the United States, the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses, to cooperate under the terms of the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015, will China now take the lead in fighting climate change?

Features

11.18.16

Chinese and American City-Dwellers Differ on Trump Win

Frances Hisgen
City-dwellers in China and the United States are among the greatest beneficiaries of the international trade deals President-elect Trump says he’s against, but the two groups responded differently to the outcome of the U.S. election, and the...

Environment

11.16.16

The Future of Public Interest Litigation in China

from chinadialogue
China has seen a rapid growth in environmental public interest legal challenges since January 2015, when a revised version of the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) came into effect. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed by both NGOs and public...

Depth of Field

11.08.16

Dongbei’s Last Match Factory, Capital Straphangers, Retracing the Long March...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In October, several publications marked the 80th Anniversary of the Chinese Communists’ Long March. We have chosen two stories that revisited this event and that were standouts, visually. Elsewhere, photographers followed stories both large and...

Books

11.04.16

Land of Fish and Rice

Fuchsia Dunlop
The lower Yangtze region, or Jiangnan, with its modern capital Shanghai, has been known since ancient times as a “land of fish and rice.” For centuries, local cooks have harvested the bounty of its lakes, rivers, fields, and mountains to create a cuisine renowned for its delicacy and beauty. In Land of Fish and Rice, Fuchsia Dunlop draws on years of study and exploration to present the recipes, techniques, and ingredients of the Jiangnan kitchen. You will be inspired to try classic dishes such as Beggar’s Chicken and sumptuous Dongpo Pork, as well as fresh, simple recipes such as Clear-Steamed Sea Bass and Fresh Soybeans with Pickled Greens. Evocatively written and featuring stunning recipe photography, this is an important new work celebrating one of China’s most fascinating culinary regions. —W.W. Norton{chop}

China’s Other Car Problem

Economist
A lack of parking spots worries Chinese car-owners--and fixing it will be hard

Amazon Delivers Prime Program to China

Alyssa Abkowitz and Laura Stevens
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. e-commerce behemoth hopes to capitalize on Chinese consumers’ desire for overseas products

How One City in China is Trying to Avoid a Property Boom and Bust

Christian Shepherd
Financial Times
Chongqing mayor’s star rises thanks to scrutiny of real estate market

Smiling Panda, Weeping Dragon: China’s Banksy Brings Life to City Sprawl

Christy Yao
Guardian
Qi Xinghua, famous as a 3-D painter, says he wants to ‘add some fun to our lives’ by brightening up drab cityscapes

China’s Urbanites Embrace Sacrifice to Ride Property Frenzy

Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo
Reuters
There are signs mortgages are crimping household spending, in an economy increasingly reliant on domestic consumption

I Broadcast Myself on the Chinese Web for Two Weeks

Viola Rothschild
In the process, I learned why Chinese millennials can't seem to unplug from the live-streaming craze...

Breakfast Cereal Prices Surge in China Following Appearance on Soap Opera

Huileng Tan
CNBC
A shrewd product placement on a popular soap opera has propelled a Western breakfast cereal to frenzied popularity in China, sending prices up almost ten times in the gray market

Sinica Podcast

10.14.16

An American’s Seven Months in a Chinese Jail

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In 2009, Michael Manning was working in Beijing for a state-owned news broadcaster by day, but he spent his nights selling bags of hashish. His position with CCTV was easy and brought him into contact with Chinese celebrities, while his other trade...

China Returns to Pedal Power

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
With roads becoming less navigable by the day, citizens, entrepreneurs and the government are looking for alternatives. The solution: bring back the bike

Poignant Portraits Show What it is Like Being LGBT in China

Kenneth Dickerman
Washington Post
Despite being decriminalized in 1997, homosexuality is still heavily stigmatized in China.

Caixin Media

10.12.16

Government Should Kick Land Sale Addiction to Cure Overheated Property Market

Chinese cities have rolled out new measures over the past week to cool a home-buying frenzy that has seen prices skyrocket, marking a new round of tightening since policies were eased two years ago. More than a dozen of China's largest cities,...

Anger on Streets in China as Football Team Suffer Shock Defeat by War-Torn Syria

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Disgruntled fans demand that president of football association is sacked as hopes for a football revolution suffer a blow

Uber Slayer: How China’s Didi Beat the Ride-Hailing Superpower

Brad Stone and Lulu Yilun Chen
Bloomberg
“We felt like the People’s Liberation Army, with basic rifles, and we were bombed by airplanes and missiles.”

America’s Best Idea May Now Be China’s Too, as It Expands It’s National Park System

Jessica Meyers
Los Angeles Times
With U.S. guidance, China is launching a pilot project that spans nine provinces

China Struggles to Curb Housing Bubble

Takumi Sasaki
Nikkei Asian Review
Even as Chinese authorities desperately try to cool down an overheated housing market, their efforts are unlikely to halt the rise of speculators greased by low borrowing costs

Chengguan, Widely Despised Officers in China, Find Refuge and a Kind Ear

Karoline Kan
New York Times
China’s first Psychological Crisis Center for Chengguan opened in Nanjing this week

Chinese Tourists Encouraged to Behave Ahead of Mass Vacation

Alyssa Abkowitz
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Public urination and defacing monuments are no-nos

Long Absent in China, Tipping Makes a Comeback at a Few Trendy Restaurants

Anthony Kuhn
NPR
Scan your server's QR code if you like your service...

Mystery of China’s ‘Ghost Uber Drivers’

Sherry Fei Ju and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
An eruption of creepy faces on driver profiles has spooked potential passengers

Meet Pizza, the World’s Saddest Polar Bear

Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
Pizza is just one of thousands of “wild” animals languishing in China's malls...

A New Literary Genre Critiques the Scariest Part of Life in China: Reality

Adrienne Matei
Quartz
Enter chaohuan, the "ultra-unreal"...

Gay Pride: China Activists Fight ‘Conversion Therapy’

Benjamin Haas
Hong Kong Free Press
Coming out was never going to be easy, but Yu never thought it would see him committed

Once a Voice of Young China, Han Han Stakes Out a Different Path

Karoline Kan
New York Times
Han Han discusses his writings, the turns his life has taken and what people in the West fail to understand about China

Features

09.13.16

The Destruction of Baishizhou

Eli MacKinnon
Early this spring, the Chinese character for “demolish” (“拆”) showed up in red spray paint on a strip of shops in Shenzhen’s Baishizhou neighborhood. Wang An, 41, has been selling women’s underwear from one of these shops for the last 10 years. “...

Depth of Field

09.12.16

African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...