Alibaba Smashes Its Sales Record On China’s Singles’ Day Shopping Bonanza

Jon Russell
TechCrunch
In case you missed the media hype and have no idea why November 11 (11/11) is significant, it’s China biggest e-commerce sales day. Think of it as an amalgamation of all of North America’s biggest online retail days into one… on steroids.

China Criminal Gang Floods Market with 100 Metric Tons of Toxic Tofu

Adam Jourdan
Reuters
The gang added industrial bleaching agent rongalite to make dried tofu sticks brighter and chewier, the Shanghai Daily reported on Monday, citing official media in Shandong province.

Few Signs of Construction at Yujiapu, China's Manhattan Replica

Ian Williams
NBC News
Complete with its own Rockefeller Center and Twin Towers, Yujiapu been billed as the world's largest financial center in the making. But this Manhattan still has a long way to go...

Ali Baba’s Cave and Pandora’s Box

David Bandurski
China Media Project
When Lu Wei — the man who reportedly led the crackdown on the “Big V” Weibo account holders last year — was asked at a press conference why sites like Facebook (which is blocked in China) had been “shut down,” he responded with a homespun metaphor.

Britain Soft on China over Hong Kong Crisis, Says Chris Patten

Reuters
Guardian
Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong before the 1997 handover, said China’s actions were “spit in the face” of the 1984 Joint Declaration on the conditions under which Hong Kong would be handed over.

China Puts the Brakes on Car Makers

William Boston and Yoko Kubota
Wall Street Journal
Global car makers sounded new warnings that demand in China, the auto market’s strongest growth engine in recent years, is cooling further and clouding prospects after several reported disappointing October sales in the country.

China Rolls out the Red Carpet for APEC

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
The APEC summit of nations that collectively represent more than half the global economy is more about dialogue and non-binding commitments than implementing change.

Is China’s Grand Ethnic Experiment Working?

David McKenzie
BBC
In a gleaming classroom at Chong Hua High School in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, students peer at onion slices under microscopes. Their biology teacher calls on Abdurrahman Mamat to explain what he sees."Plasmolysis," he replies...

Beijing Subway Bans Halloween Costumes

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
The Chinese capital banned Halloween costumes from its subway system, warning they could cause “panic” and “stampedes.”

In Hong Kong Photographer, China Sees Image of Spy

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Dan Garrett, a gnarled, tattooed former Pentagon intelligence analyst, has attracted more stares than usual lately when he prowls the streets here with a camera fitted with a 300-millimeter lens, snapping images of pro-democracy demonstrations,...

Hong Kong Politician Likens Protesters to African-American Slaves

Siobhan Downes
New York Times
“American slaves were liberated in 1861, but did not get voting rights until 107 years later,” she was reported as saying by The Standard, an English-language Hong Kong newspaper. “So why can’t Hong Kong wait for a while?”

Nine out of 10 Hong Kong Activists Say Will Fight on for a Year

Reuters
Reuters
The most tenacious protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 have already persisted beyond most expectations.

China to Ban Extralegal Administration with Power List

Xinhua
Xinhua
The new policy hopes to curb problems in administration and law enforcement such as failure in strictly observing or enforcing the law, putting their power above law, bending law for personal gains and power-for-money trades, Xi Jinping said.

Taking Back Hong Kong’s Future

Joshua Wong Chi-Fung
New York Times
Since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, less than a year after I was born, the people of this city have muddled through with a political system that leaves power in the hands of the wealthy and the well-connected.

Xinhua Insight: China's Legal Renaissance Sounds Death Knell for Guanxi

Xinhua
Xinhua
As the curtain fell on a key meeting on rule of law on Thursday, Israeli Yuval Golan, 29, felt good about his business prospects in what should be a more transparent and predictable China.

The Secret History of Hong Kong’s Stillborn Democracy

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
By September 29 peaceful protesters had been clogging Hong Kong’s downtown for less than a day, but to the Chinese Communist Party this already smacked of ingratitude.

China Began Push Against Hong Kong Elections in ’50s

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Beginning in the 1950s, the colonial governors who ran Hong Kong repeatedly sought to introduce popular elections but abandoned those efforts in the face of pressure by Communist Party leaders in Beijing.

Pro-Democracy Movement’s Vote in Hong Kong Abruptly Called Off

Chris Buckley and Alan Wong
New York Times
The referendum boiled down to two simple questions: Did voters endorse demanding that the Hong Kong government press Beijing to make democratic concessions on election rules, and did they agree that the changes should apply to city Legislative...

Why China Chose a French-Directed Film as Its Oscar Submission

Lilian Lin and Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
“It’s a mild, breezy, accessible, feel-good drama which really pictures China as a harmonious, wonderful place where conflicts of various stripes—across age, class or geographical divides—could easily be reconciled,” said Clarence Tsui, a film...

Dispatches From Xinjiang: The Uyghur Blockbuster “Money On The Road”

Beige Wind
Beijing Cream
The comedy Money on the Road (Money Found on the Way in Chinese) features an ensemble of stars, including a cameo by the famous singer Abdulla. It follows the misadventures of three Uyghur farmers who come to the city as migrant workers to...

"Like Running on Mars" - Runners share their Beijing Marathon Stories

Steve George
That’s
To run or not to run? That was the question faced by entrants in Sunday’s Beijing marathon, as they awoke to find hazardous levels of pollution engulfing the city. 

Hong Kong’s High Court Orders Protesters Off Roads in Mong Kok and Admiralty

Staff Reporters
South China Morning Post
In an interview with The New York Times, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying hinted at possible intervention by the central government if the situation remained unresolved.

Thomas Sauvin’s Beijing Silvermine

Amy Connors
New Yorker
Thomas Sauvin estimates that he has sifted through more than half a million images, taken by ordinary citizens, between 1985 and the early aughts, that depict everyday life, leisure, and travel, both in China and abroad.

Hong Kong’s Leader Blames Foreigners for Fanning Protests

Frederik Balfour, Chong Pooi Koon and...
Bloomberg
“There is obviously participation by people, organizations from outside of Hong Kong,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in an interview on Asia Television Ltd.

Why China May Avoid a U.S.-Style Property Crash

Esther Fung
Wall Street Journal
“China has clear signs of ‘froth,’ if not a bubble, in housing,” says Goldman Sachs. It looks reminiscent of the bubbles in Japan in the early 1990s and the U.S. from 2006 to 2010, it says—and finds China might turn out differently.

The Hong Kong Protesters Who Won't Negotiate

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
Pro-democracy protests took a violent turn in Hong Kong, as police officers clashed with demonstrators in the territory's Mong Kok neighborhood...

The U.S. Is No Role Model in Hong Kong’s Democracy Fight

Heather Timmons
Quartz
C.Y. Leung explains the protests that continue to paralyze parts of Hong Kong, after thwarting a police crackdown over the weekend: they are being supported by “external forces."...

Books

10.15.14

China’s Super Consumers

Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour
China has transformed itself from a feudal economy in the 19th century, to Mao and Communism in the 20th century, to the largest consumer market in the world by the early 21st century. China's Super Consumers explores the extraordinary birth of consumerism in China and explains who these super consumers are. China's Super Consumers offers an in-depth explanation of what's inside the minds of Chinese consumers and explores what they buy, where they buy, how they buy, and most importantly why they buy.The book is filled with real-world stories of the foreign and domestic companies, leading brands, and top executives who have succeeded in selling to this burgeoning marketplace. This remarkable book also takes you inside the boardrooms of the people who understand Chinese consumers and have had success in the Chinese market.A hands-on resource for succeeding in the Chinese marketplaceFilled with real-world stories of companies who have made an impact in ChinaDiscover what the Chinese consumer wants and how to deliver the goodsThis book is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants a clear understanding of how China's Super Consumers are changing the world and how to sell to them. —Wiley {chop}

Maid in Hong Kong Fights for Justice Against Abuser

Deb Price, Chester Yung and Sara...
Wall Street Journal
Maids from Indonesia and the Philippines are an indispensable part of the Hong Kong’s vibrant economy and society. But incidents of abuse often stay hidden from public view.

When Hong Kong Protests Are Over, Where Will the Art Go?

Ramy Inocencio
Wall Street Journal
As Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests wane, what will become of the iconic artwork Umbrella Man, the Lennon Wall of sticky notes and all the banners?...

LIVE: Police With Shields and Batons Push Back Protesters On Lung Wo Road

Staff Reporters
South China Morning Post
Hundreds of police with power tools tore down protesters’ barricades on Queensway in Admiralty, following a swiftly executed dawn operation to remove a number of blockades in Causeway Bay.

Hong Kong Heats Up Again

J.C.
Economist
Masked men attacked pro-democracy protesters for the second time in as many weeks on the morning of October 13th near Hong Kong’s Admiralty business district.

Sinica Podcast

10.10.14

The Sounds of Old Beijing

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by Colin Chinnery from the Beijing Sound History Project, a recording project that aims to preserve the distinctive clangs, songs, and shouts of traditional Beijing life. In addition to sampling some...

Chinese Communist Party as the Mafia Boss

Chang Ping
China Change
The next surprise for the protesters came as assaults from members of the mafia, posing as ordinary citizens. We now have enough evidence that the Anti-Occupy Central crowd, emblazoned with blue ribbons, can count on the government’s support, if not...

Protests in Hong Kong: Three Things to Know

Barbara Demick
Council on Foreign Relations
Former Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau chief Barbara Demick tells us the Hong Kong protests are Not Tiananmen, show Broken Promises and reveal Hong Konger's Basic Complaints...

Hong Kong Protests

Stephen Colbert, Louise Lim
Colbert Report
"The People's Republic of Amnesia" author Louisa Lim talks with Stephen Colbert about the growing civil unrest in Hong Kong and China's efforts to contain it. ...

Out of Tiananmen’s Shadow

John Delury
Foreign Affairs
Similarities to the protest and crackdown at Tiananmen Square have indeed been striking -- and unnerving, given the outcome of that beautiful and terrible spring.

Waldorf Astoria NY hotel sold to China’s Anbang for $1.95bn

Anna Nicolaou
Financial Times
The sale allows the companies to “finally maximise the full value of this iconic asset on a full city block in midtown Manhattan,” said Christopher Nassetta, chief executive of Hilton Worldwide.

Hong Kong Protesters Promise to Keep Up Occupation

Tania Branigan
Guardian
The student federation said it would not end the protests as no progress had been made on political reform and because the police had yet to address their handling of violent attacks on protesters.

Viewpoint

09.25.14

How Bad Does the Air Pollution Have to Be Before You’d Wear a Face Mask?

Stephanie Ho
“Mommy, why don’t I wear a face mask?” asked my nine-year-old daughter Maggie nearly every day during the first few weeks of school. Two of her expat classmates had been in Beijing less than a year, but it seemed as if they wore theirs all the time...

China Eases Credit Rules for Some Property Developers

Esther Fung
Wall Street Journal
The biggest of China's some 85,000 property developers are the only ones likely to benefit from this credit loosening. Authorities have been trying to streamline the number of companies as part of economic overhauls...

Books

09.02.14

Cities and Stability

Jeremy L. Wallace
China's management of urbanization is an under-appreciated factor in the regime's longevity. The Chinese Communist Party fears "Latin Americanization"—the emergence of highly unequal megacities with their attendant slums and social unrest. Such cities threaten the survival of nondemocratic regimes. To combat the threat, many regimes, including China's, favor cities in policymaking. Cities and Stability shows this "urban bias" to be a Faustian Bargain: cities may be stabilized for a time, but the massive in-migration from the countryside that results can generate the conditions for political upheaval. Through its hukou system of internal migration restrictions, China has avoided this dilemma, simultaneously aiding urbanites and keeping farmers in the countryside. The system helped prevent social upheaval even during the Great Recession, when tens of millions of laid-off migrant workers dispersed from coastal cities. Jeremy Wallace's powerful account forces us to rethink the relationship between cities and political stability throughout the developing world. —Oxford University Press {chop}

Infographics

08.19.14

Landed

Chinese are the largest foreign buyers of U.S. real estate, spending around $22 billion in total in from April 2013 to March 2014, about a quarter of the United States’ total sales to foreigners, according to a July 8 report by the National...

China Denounces Pet Dogs As Filthy Imports from West

Patrick Winn
NBC News
In a recent People's Daily op-ed, pet dogs are referred to as a “crude and ludicrious imitation... of a Western lifestyle” and a blight on “social peace and harmony.”  ...

Environment

08.13.14

Can a Pollution-Tracking App Kickstart Transparency?

from chinadialogue
It seems counter-intuitive that publicly available data needs grassroots activists to make it accessible. Yet, in a sea of regulations and information, official environmental information can be difficult to parse.The risk of information overload...

Video

08.12.14

Chinese Dreamers

Sharron Lovell & Tom Wang
A dream, in the truest sense, is a solo act. It can’t be created by committee or replicated en masse. Try as you might, you can’t compel your neighbor to conjure up the reverie that you envision. And therein lies the latent, uncertain energy in the...

China Will Ban All Coal Use In Beijing By 2020

Business Insider
Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.

The End of China’s Hated Hukou System is Less Ground-breaking Than It Seems

Richard Macauley
Quartz
The new rules only make it easier for formerly rural hukou holders to move to small, backwater cities, not the vibrant mega-cities along China’s eastern coast where the vast majority of migrants are.

Books

07.31.14

Leftover Women

Leta Hong Fincher
A century ago, Chinese feminists fighting for the emancipation of women helped spark the Republican Revolution, which overthrew the Qing empire. After China's Communist revolution of 1949, Chairman Mao famously proclaimed that "women hold up half the sky." In the early years of the People's Republic, the Communist Party sought to transform gender relations with expansive initiatives such as assigning urban women jobs in the planned economy. Yet those gains are now being eroded in China's post-socialist era. Contrary to many claims made in the mainstream media, women in China have experienced a dramatic rollback of many rights and gains relative to men.Leftover Women debunks the popular myth that women have fared well as a result of post-socialist China's economic reforms and breakneck growth. Laying out the structural discrimination against women in China will speak to broader problems with China's economy, politics, and development.—Zed Books {chop}

China to Help 100 Million Settle in Cities

Xinhua
China State Council said it plans to help about 100 million people without urban ID records to settle in towns and cities by 2020 in a reform of the nation's household registration, or "hukou," system...

China's Rich Look Abroad as Home Prices Fall, Others Stay Put

Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing
Reuters
"Smart money" checking the exit is a bad omen for any market, especially one considered frothy after a five-year record-breaking bull run, but analysts say there is no reason for alarm yet...

China Supplier Sold McDonald's, KFC Expired Meat

AP
Associated Press
McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken...

All Aboard: China’s Railway Dream

Carrie Gracie
BBC
At Asia’s biggest rail cargo base in Chengdu in south-west China, the cranes are hard at work, swinging containers from trucks onto a freight train. The containers are filled with computers, clothes, even cars.

PM2.5 Index Reduced in Beijing

Shanghai Daily
Beijing's average PM2.5 index of 91.6 micrograms per cubic meter in first half of 2014 represents an 11.2 percent year-on-year decrease...

Hundreds of NYC’s Homeless Were Duped by a Chinese Millionaire Today

Olivia Becker
Vice News
A Chinese millionaire treated 250 homeless New Yorkers to a feast and karaoke rendition of “We Are the World” in Central Park today, but pretty much everyone left the event totally totally disappointed.

China is Building Phoenix Towers, the World’s Tallest Twin Skyscrapers

News.com.au
Chinese builders have ambitious designs on erecting the world’s tallest skyscraper, soaring more than more 3,000 feet into the heavens.

Young Men Who Are Anything Short Of Wealthy In Urban China Face Brutal Girlfriend Reality

Rob Wile
Business Insider
China has at least more than 30 million more men than women. As a result, finding a girlfriend there is extremely difficult.

A Man Takes His Cabbage for a Walk

Jonah M. Kessel
New York Times
The Chinese performance artist Han Bing recently dragged a cabbage through city centers as a social commentary on people’s relationships with objects in their lives.

Caixin Media

06.18.14

China’s Retiring Migrant Workers Have No Place to Call Home

A generation of Chinese people from rural areas who moved to the big cities to find work is reaching retirement age, but many are finding they have been left outside the country's urban pension system despite extensive reforms in recent years...