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...

China’s Answer To Its Poverty Of Space: Moving Mountains

Eric Meyer
Forbes
Chongqing, Shiyan, Yichang, Lanzhou and Yan’an. All belong to the “Yellow” China, a parched region tormented by a complicated geography that severely limits almost all human activities, such as farming, communications, construction or industry.

Capital Mobilizes Anti-Terrorism Volunteer Force

Zheng Xin and Hou Liqiang
China Daily
Beijing has deployed an anti-terrorism force of about 850,000 urban volunteers to patrol its streets following recent terrorist attacks across the country.

Elaborate Lattice Work in Confucius Lane

Sue Ann
Shanghai Street Stories
In my few years of photographing old houses around Shanghai, I have never been this buoyant over lattice woodwork in its original setting.

Deadly McDonald’s Attack Highlights Fears About Cults in China

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
The perpetrators were six members of a religious cult, including a middle-age man, his two grown daughters and his 12-year-old son, who became angry when refused a phone number.

China Admits to Failures Over Air Quality

Calum MacLeod
USA Today
Only three cities, or 4.1%, of the 74 major Chinese cities subject to air quality standards met the national standard for good air quality in 2013.

Why Scrapping 6 Million Cars is Not Going to End China’s Pollution Problem

Adam Taylor
Washington Post
While studies have shown some success from these measures, the fact that this bigger ban is being proposed is perhaps a sign it wasn't enough...

Books

05.22.14

Age of Ambition

Evan Osnos
From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy—or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don’t see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes.As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals—fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture—consider themselves “angry youth,” dedicated to resisting the West’s influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth?Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail. —Farrar, Straus, and Giroux {chop}

Infographics

05.15.14

China’s Fake Urbanization

from Sohu
This infographic explains why it is so hard for rural migrants to settle permanently in cities. For starters, city dwellers were the first to get rich after Reform and Opening Up, which created a large income disparity between them and people living...

State Sector is China’s Secret Sauce

Joe Zhang
South China Morning Post
The state sector has provided essential organization, capital and the ability to survive turbulence collectively. That’s the Chinese edge, like it or not.

China Tightens Security in Beijing

BBC
China has deployed armed police patrol vehicles in Beijing after three attacks at transport hubs around the country.

Mapping the Four C's of Chinese Wealth

Warner Brown
Live in a city near China's coast, and in a capital. (Coal doesn't hurt.)...

Caixin Media

05.06.14

Growing Pains for a Megalopolis in Transition

Twenty years of on-and-off government discussions have yielded little progress toward the goal of coordinating urban and industrial development in a key Chinese megalopolis—the region encompassing the nation's capital Beijing, neighboring Hebei...

Infographics

05.02.14

The ‘Nongmin’ Breakdown

from Sohu
Who are China's rural migrant workers?A uniquely Chinese social identity, the category of “rural migrant worker” is a product of China’s urban/rural dichotomy. It refers to a class of citizens no longer employed in the agricultural sector who...

China’s Income Inequality Surpasses U.S., Posing Risk for President Xi Jinping,

Lorraine Woellert and Sharon Chen
Bloomberg
The income gap between the rich and poor in China has surpassed that of the U.S. and is among the widest in the world, a report showed, adding to the challenges for President Xi Jinping as growth slows.

Sinica Podcast

04.25.14

Trash Talk with Adam Minter

Jeremy Goldkorn & Adam Minter from Sinica Podcast
Anyone living in China doubtless has a sense of the unholy number of people who seem to be involved in the trash trade here, and who will ferret away everything from your cardboard boxes to plastic bottles faster than you can unpack them or consume...

China’s Losers: Disillusioned Office Workers

Gady Epstein
Economist
Amid spreading prosperity, a generation of self-styled also-rans emerges.

China’s Air Pollution Leading to More Erratic Climate for US, Say Scientists

Jonathan Kaiman
Guardian
Computer modelling shows intensification of U.S.-bound Pacific storms, driven by fine aerosols from coal power plants and traffic.

Massive China Shoe Factory Strike Rolls on as Offer Falls Flat

John Ruwitch and Danny Kwok
Reuters
Chinese shoe factory workers shrugged off an offer of improved benefits, prolonging one of the largest strikes in recent years amid signs of increased labor activism as the economy slows.

China Property Collapse Has Begun

Gordon G. Chang
Forbes
Walmart will be closing its Zhaohui store in Hangzhou on April 23 as a part of its overall plan to dump marginal locations—about nine percent of the total—in China.

Photo Gallery

04.09.14

Sunflower Protestors Open Up

Chien-min Chung
On March 18 some 200 Taiwanese, mostly college students, stormed the offices of Taiwan’s legislature, beginning a protest over a proposed trade agreement between the self-governed island and mainland China, which considers it a “renegade province.”...

Is the American Middle Class Losing Out to China and India?

Thomas B. Edsall
New York Times
CUNY professor Branko Milanovic says the middle class in China and India experienced 60 to 70 percent income growth from 1998 to 2008, while middle class growth stalled in the United States.