Want a Green Card? Invest in Real Estate

Julie Satow
New York Times
Developers also take the search for investors in their projects on the road, primarily to China.

Excerpts

05.14.15

The Bar

Suzanne Ma
She had been working at the bar for less than a week when the skin on her hands started to peel. Little bits of skin, translucent and pink, flaked off like Parmesan cheese. Then the cracks appeared. Tiny fissures ruptured at the joints and split her...

Searching for Identity in China’s Outer Lands

Q. Sakamaki & Dave Gershgorn
New York Times
“ ‘China’s Outer Lands’ is about people instinctively looking for their own identity, between conformity or originality or autonomy or dependence,” Mr. Sakamaki said. “It’s natural, it’s happening in not only China, it’s everywhere.”

Fatal Police Shooting Under Investigation: Ministry

Xinhua
There are clear rules on the carrying and use of fire arms by police officers, and it will take time to confirm whether police had opened fire legally in the case.

Books

04.30.15

Fantasy Islands

Julie Sze
The rise of China and its status as a leading global factory are altering the way people live and consume. At the same time, the world appears wary of the real costs involved. Fantasy Islands probes Chinese, European, and American eco-desire and eco-technological dreams, and examines the solutions they offer to environmental degradation in this age of global economic change.Uncovering the stories of sites in China, including the plan for a new eco-city called Dongtan on the island of Chongming, mega-suburbs, and the Shanghai World Expo, Julie Sze explores the flows, fears, and fantasies of Pacific Rim politics that shaped them. She charts how climate change discussions align with U.S. fears of China’s ascendancy and the related demise of the American Century, and she considers the motives of financial and political capital for eco-city and ecological development supported by elite power structures in the U.K. and China. Fantasy Islands shows how ineffectual these efforts are while challenging us to see what a true eco-city would be. —University of California Press{chop}

Wild Pigeon

Photos by Carolyn Drake, words by...
Daylight
“The underlying theme I heard when talking to people was that how you interpret things is how they will be, so its best to look at the bright side of things. You don’t mention bad dreams, or you try to interpret them in a positive way. People told...

Sinica Podcast

04.13.15

Styling It in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Sociologist Ben Ross, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, focuses on Chinese labor migration and related issues. He first got noticed by Sinica in 2007 while writing a blog about working as the only foreign "hair-washing trainee...

This Little Bridge Connects Guangzhou and Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is home to China’s largest African migrant population, predominantly from Nigeria. In the city’s Little North Road neighborhood there is a small pedestrian bridge where immigrants from all over the world go to...

Media

03.26.15

Brother, Can You Spare a Renminbi?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Who deserves to be poor in modern China? One man in China’s southern Zhejiang province certainly seemed sympathetic: Each day, he pushed himself along the street on a homemade wooden skateboard, his apparently paralyzed legs tucked under his body,...

Caixin Media

03.17.15

Chinese Businesses Eye Purchasing Power of LGBT Community

Chinese businesses are starting to show interest in the purchasing power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) consumer market, often referred to as the “pink dollar,” a trend led by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group...

Media

03.09.15

China’s Real Inconvenient Truth: Its Class Divide

Rachel Lu
China is talking about its pollution problem, but its equally serious class problem remains obscured behind the haze. Smog leapt to the forefront of Chinese national discourse after the February 28 release of "Under the Dome," a 103-minute...

Sinica Podcast

03.09.15

Under the Dome

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Under the Dome, Chai Jing's breakout documentary on China's catastrophic air pollution problem, finally hit insurmountable political opposition last Friday after seven days in which the video racked up over 200 million views. The eventual...

Environment

03.04.15

Clearing Skies

Adam Minter from Sierra Club
After dark is when the pollution arrives on the outskirts of Shanghai. On a bright night, when moonlight refracts through the smog, you can see black clouds of soot pouring out of small workshop smokestacks silhouetted against the sky. In case you...

Sinica Podcast

03.02.15

Keep in Touch, Nightman

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In 1997, Beijing was smaller city, and Keep in Touch, Jamhouse, and Nightman were the hippest venues around. There was no traffic on the ring roads, and if you got tired of Chinese food you might take a trip to Fangzhuang to visit this Italian...

Books

02.10.15

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs
Maverick environmental writers William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs follow up their acclaimed Smogtown with a provocative examination of China’s ecological calamity already imperiling a warming planet. Toxic smog most people figured was obsolete needlessly kills as many as died in the 9/11 attacks every day, while sometimes Grand Canyon-sized drifts of industrial particles aloft on the winds rain down ozone and waterway-poisoning mercury in America.In vivid, gonzo prose blending first-person reportage with exhaustive research and a sense of karma, Kelly and Jacobs describe China’s ancient love affair with coal, Bill Clinton’s blunders cutting free-trade deals enabling the U.S. to "export" manufacturing emissions to Asia in a shift that pilloried the West's middle class, Communist Party manipulation of eco-statistics, the horror of cancer villages, the deception of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spellbinding peasant revolts against cancer-spreading plants involving thousands in mostly-censored melées. Ending with China’s monumental coal-bases decried by climatologists as a global warming dagger, The People's Republic of Chemicals names names and emphasizes humanity over bloodless statistics in a classic sure to ruffle feathers as an indictment of money as the real green that not even Al Gore can deny.   —Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book  {chop}

Sinica Podcast

02.02.15

Shanghai and the Future Now

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Expats in Beijing may be partial to our rugged smogtropolis, but even the most diehard northerner will admit that Shanghai is the more romantic of the two cities, with its very name conjuring up images of 19th century opium dens, jazz bars in the...

Sinica Podcast

01.26.15

Inside the Property Revolution

Jeremy Goldkorn & Luigi Tomba from Sinica Podcast
Luigi Tomba, expert on municipal government in China, fellow at the Australian Centre on China and the World, and author of the book The Government Next Door: Neighborhood Politics in Urban China, is this week's Sinica Podcast guest. Since 2005...

Environment

01.23.15

China’s Air Pollution: The Tipping Point

Michael Zhao
Last November, Beijing saw a stretch of solidly clear skies and the Chinese media coined a phrase to describe them: APEC blue. After the diplomats and businesspeople gathered in China’s capital for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum...

Environment

01.21.15

‘New Measures Needed’ To Take China’s Cars Off the Roads

from chinadialogue
As air pollution once more soared to hazardous levels last week in Beijing, in Washington a panel of Chinese and other international experts explained some of the solutions to taking cars off the roads in the world’s most populous country, but there...

China Labor Activists Say Facing Unprecedented Intimidation

Alexandrea Hearney
Reuters
The number of strikes more than doubled in 2014 to 1,378 from 656 the year before, according to China Labor Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based advocacy group. April saw the biggest strike in decades, when about 40,000 employees of Adidas and Nike supplier...

Religion Among African Immigrants in China

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Nestled in apartments and offices throughout the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are dozens of improvised churches that cater to the region’s Pentacostal Africans, largely from Nigeria. These churches not only serve the community’s religious...

China Is Using ‘Charlie Hebdo’ to Justify Its Own Crackdown on Free Speech

Matt Schiavenza
New Republic
“The world is diverse and there should be limits on press freedom,” read the editorial by Paris bureau chief Ying Qiang. “Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation, and free speech are not acceptable.”

Pictures of the Day: January 15, 2015

Telegraph
Telegraph
A man walks along a newly built rainbow-colored tunnel in Zhengzhou, Henan province. The 400-meter-long tunnel is the first of this kind in China, local media reported.

Eating Alone in China

Fan Jiayang
New Yorker
The first time I ate at a restaurant by myself, I live-tweeted the experience. “Hot-potting alone!” I enthused, posting a photo I’d taken of a burbling electric pot, ringed by plates of enoki mushrooms, plump squares of tofu, and green-bean-infused...

China’s 109-Year-Old Dissenter Is Still Fighting for Democracy

Tom Hancock
Business Insider
Born when a Qing dynasty emperor was on the throne, the man who helped invent the Pinyin writing system used for transliterating Chinese worldwide turns 109 on Tuesday. But Zhou Youguang's outspoken support for democracy means his writings are...

Hong Kong’s Leader Says Concessions to Protesters Could Lead to Anarchy

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Leung Chun-ying, the chief executive of Hong Kong, offered the proposals in his first major policy package since the street demonstrations ended last month. Since Mr. Leung came to office in 2012, he has repeatedly vowed to redress the city’s...

Caixin Media

01.12.15

China Turning Gray Over Pension Reform Stress

About 8,000 teachers in the northeastern city of Zhaodong stayed home for three days in November to protest an experimental pension scheme they called tantamount to a pay cut.The teachers claimed they'd been illegally forced to participate in...

Firebombs Thrown at Jimmy Lai’s Home and Company in Hong Kong

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Apple Daily has been a vocal advocate of the recent demonstrations for expanded democracy in Hong Kong. Mr. Lai frequently attended the protests, which saw several main thoroughfares occupied for more than two months. He was arrested and released in...

In China, Projects to Make Great Wall Feel Small

David Barboza
New York Times
The plan here seems far-fetched—a $36 billion tunnel that would run twice the length of the one under the English Channel, and bore deep into one of Asia’s active earthquake zones. When completed, it would be the world’s longest underwater tunnel,...

Caixin Media

01.09.15

Baby Hatch Programs Struggle to Cope With Number of Infants With Birth Defects

Giving birth to her first baby granted Zheng Yuling no happiness, but instead brought pain and sadness. The seriously ill girl died hours after birth, and Zheng's husband, Chen Dafu, was arrested on suspicion he abandoned the newborn.Their baby...

Infographics

01.09.15

Think Renting in Your City is Bad? Try Beijing

David M. Barreda from Sohu
Compared with the numbers of a few years ago, first and second tier cities in China have an oversupply of stock on the housing market. Additionally, restrictions on multiple-home purchases are easing and “expected to be eased completely,” according...

Want to Hire a Private Car in China? There Will Be No App for That

Bonnie Cao and Huang Zhe
Bloomberg
“Banning private cars from using the apps will put passengers at ease,” the ministry said. “But apps for premium car services have an innovative service model and play a positive role in meeting the high-end and differentiated transportation market...

China to Expand Unemployment Benefits to Lure Migrants to Cities

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
Chinese municipal governments must widen unemployment benefits to residents who are not registered locally, China said on Wednesday, as it dismantles hurdles to urbanization efforts by easing conditions for migrant workers.

China to Expand Unemployment Benefits to Lure Migrants to Cities

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
China's reform-minded leaders have shown greater tolerance for slower economic growth, viewing healthy employment levels as a top policy priority and an important condition for social stability...

Sinica Podcast

01.06.15

The Sinica Podcast’s Second Annual Call-In Show

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
If you’ve been following all of the news and gossip involving China for the last year, join Kaiser and Jeremy as they take call-in questions and talk insider politics on everything from the ongoing anti-corruption campaign to the question of coming...

Stampede Highlights China’s Reliance on Outsourcing Security

James T. Areddy
Wall Street Journal
A week after the tragedy, authorities have yet to provide an official explanation for what went wrong.

Falling Through the Cracks of China’s Health-Care System

Qiyan Li and Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China says 95% of its 1.34 billion people are covered by medical insurance. That should have included Zhao Guomei, whose struggle with a rare but treatable disease shows how the system is failing for millions of China’s workers.

Beijing’s Art Scene Raises Its Profile

Vanessa Able
New York Times
On a recent Sunday afternoon in the sunken terrace of Beijing’s sleek Opposite House Hotel, an art event was in full swing. The wine was chilling, the dumplings steaming and a few dozen locals and foreigners were looking on with curiosity as the...

Other

12.30.14

A Look Back at 2014

It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in office just over two years and who...

China Indicts Jackie Chan’s Son on Drug Charge

Associated Press
Associated Press
Beijing police detained the younger Chan at his Beijing apartment in August along with Taiwanese movie star Ko Kai. Police said Chan and Ko both tested positive for marijuana and admitted using the drug, and that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of it were...

Here’s Where All Those Cheap Santa Hats and Plastic Snowmen Come from

Heather Timmons
Quartz
The Chinese city of Yiwu, about 250 kilometers from Shanghai, is often referred to as China’s “Christmas village” thanks to the massive amount of holiday-related merchandise made there. Xinhua, China’s state-news agency, claims that 60% of the world...

China’s Housing Resists Efforts to Spur Market

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Every urban real estate market is different in mainland China, driven by myriad municipal and provincial regulations and the varying strength of local economies. But the outcome is the same: The property market is under serious pressure.

China's Economy Is worth $300 Billion More than It Thought

Geoffrey Smith
Fortune
China just discovered an economy the size of Malaysia’s hiding down the back of the sofa.

In China, Expectant Dads Line Up to Experience Labor Pains

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
He described the treatment as creating a three-part sensation: hot steel balls dropping on his stomach and then a hook being gouged into him, followed by the ripping of his innards. “I treated her to a French dinner after,” says Mr. Li.

Diversity the New Game for Macau as Gambling Revenues Tumble

Tiffany Ap
South China Morning Post
When inaugural chief executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah threw the liberalisation dice that took Macau's flagging gaming industry into the 21st century in 2002, few could have predicted its stellar rise to become the top city for global gaming, leaving...

San Gabriel Valley’s El Monte Getting a Boost from Chinese Investors

Frank Shyong
Los Angeles Times
Trucks loaded with construction materials park in front of a vacant lot in El Monte, where a homeless man slumbers on the sidewalk next to a mountain of rags and trash bags. Overhead, colorful flags whip in the breeze, advertising opportunities for...

China’s Lost Generation Finds Itself in Ukraine

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
A working class high-school graduate who scored abysmally on China's college entrance exam, Mei now owns his own business, claims title to three-quarters of an acre of land, lives in a split-level house, and is married to an eighteen-year-old...

79 Days That Shook Hong Kong

Elizabeth Barber
Time
Photo Essay: Hong Kong's street occupations have ended, but many demonstrators say this is only the beginning of their fight for free elections...

Infographics

12.15.14

Is Studying Abroad Worth the Cost?

from Sohu
The number of Chinese students who choose to study abroad has increased by more than 1,000% since 2000. Yet education costs abroad also continue to rise. This infographic looks at reasons why Chinese students are choosing an education overseas.

China’s Baidu Set to Partner with Uber and Reportedly Invest up to $600M

Jon Russell and Catherine Shu
TechCrunch
If Baidu does put money into Uber, it will be a significant expansion of its international portfolio of products and investments. Baidu has focused on emerging markets, including Southeast Asia, Egypt and Brazil, where it recently acquired e-...

China: Inside an Internet Gaming Disorder Rehab Center

Massoud Hayoun
Al Jazeera
There are about 113,000 Internet cafes and bars in China, according to official figures. Lower-end establishments are typically a sole means of accessing the Web for China’s migrant labor population and the poor—or at 24-hour locations, a place to...

Fidel Castro Wins China’s Alternative Peace Prize

Associated Press
Guardian
In line with past recipients, the ailing Castro did not come to Beijing to pick up his award and it was unclear whether he was aware of the honour. The prize, in the form of a gold statuette and certificate, was instead handed to a Cuban foreign...

Hong Kong Democracy Protesters Brace for Final Camp Shutdown

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
The operation reflects the waning support for demonstrators after more than two months of civil disobedience and clashes that began over Beijing’s role in directing elections in the former British colony.

China Sentences 8 to Death for Attacks in Xinjiang

Didi Tang
ABC
The Urumqi Intermediate People's Court in the capital of Xinjiang also handed out suspended death sentences to five others, China Central Television said, without mentioning when the trials were held...

Labor Movement ‘Concertmaster’ Tests Beijing’s Boundaries

John Ruwitch
Reuters
When local officials warned striking shoe factory workers in China's Pearl River Delta this summer that they were breaking the law, a slight, bespectacled figure barely 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 meters) tall faced them down. "Where is the...

China Mulls Giving Migrant Population More Equal Rights

Xinhua
Xinhua
China's migrant population may get equal access to more public services formerly restricted to the locals, according to a draft document of the government...