Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back into China

Mike Isaacs
New York Times
The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas

German Automaker Chief Removed After ‘Racist Rant’ in China

BBC
German carmaker Daimler has apologized and removed a senior executive from his job after he made racist remarks in a row over parking

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...

China Presses Tech Firms to Police the Internet

Eva Dou
Wall Street Journal
Third-annual World Internet Conference aimed at proselytizing China’s view to global audience

Media

11.09.16

Chinese, Netizens React to President-Elect Trump

Frances Hisgen & Ouyang Bin
When Donald Trump was elected president, the hashtag #TrumpWon was trending on Chinese social media. Chinese Internet users speculated about what Trump’s victory might mean for Sino-American relations, discussed the broader global implications of a...

Why Chinese Netizens Cheer Trump

Zak Dychtwald
To online 'Trump Guards,' the U.S. race pits a corrupt official against a plain-spoken outsider

The 80-Year-Old Runway Model Reshaping China’s Views on Aging

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Last year, at 79, Mr. Wang walked the runway for the first time, his physique at his age causing a national sensation

A Toddler Dies as Her Mother Checks Her Phone, and China Wrings Its Hands

Owen Guo and Mike Ives
New York Times
The toddler’s death has led to an outpouring of anger on Chinese social media about the dangers of being obsessed with one’s phone

And the Award for ‘Best Corruption Apology by a Chinese Official’ Goes To…

Zheping Huang
Quartz
The winner so far is Li Chuncheng, former deputy party chief of Sichuan province, who is now serving 13 years’ jail time for abusing power and bribery

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.

China’s Internet Child-Safety Policies Could Force Changes at Tech Firms

Eva Dou and Li Yuan
Wall Street Journal
Tech companies doing business in China might have to adjust operations to comply with proposed rules

Risk of Vanishing: More than 1,300 Elderly Go Missing in China Every Day

Chen Mengwei
China Daily
Online app helps find 100 lost seniors as research shows growing dementia threat

U.S. Presidential Debate Inspires Schadenfreude in China

Te-Ping Chen
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Many Chinese took to social media to heap scorn on both candidates

Propaganda and Censorship Remain China’s Favored Tools of Control

Cary Huang
South China Morning Post
Recent court rulings rapping people questioning the party-state’s tales about war heroes reflect leaders’ insecurity over their rule

China’s Streaming Craze Launches a Billion Shooting Stars

Jacky Wong
Wall Street Journal
The owner of streaming app Inke is China’s newest unicorn thanks to a 19-fold increase in value

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

Media

06.22.16

‘Wukan,’ Once a Byword For Chinese Democracy, Now Censored

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A fishing village in southern Guangdong province, once a standard-bearer for small-time democracy in China, has now become a political disaster—and the most-censored term on Chinese social media.In September 2011, amid protests over land sales in...

Media

05.20.16

The Chinese Trolls Who Pump Out 488 Million Fake Social Media Posts

David Wertime
They are the most hated group in Chinese cyberspace. They are, to hear their ideological opponents tell it, “fiercely ignorant,” keen to “insert themselves in everything,” and preen as if they were “spokesmen for the country.” Westerners bemoan...

Sinica Podcast

04.19.16

Public Opinion with Chinese Characteristics

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
The immense popularity of social media has afforded China watchers a terrific window onto public opinion in China. In recent years, a slew of English-language websites have emerged to interpret the various trends and phenomena, discourse, and...

China Censors Mentions of ‘Panama Papers’ Leaks

Michael Forsythe and Austin Ramzy
New York Times
The names of relatives of several top leaders are found in the documents exposing offshore companies, but most citizens will never hear of the news.

Media

04.05.16

Chinese Censors Rush to Make ‘Panama Papers’ Disappear

David Wertime
On April 3, the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit International Committee of Investigative Journalists dropped what struck many as a bombshell: news that a leaked trove of 11.5 million previously secret files from Panama-based law firm Mossack...

On Social Media in China, Size 0 Doesn’t Make the Cut

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Women—and some men—are boasting that they are paper thin by posting photographs of their waists behind a vertical piece of A4 paper.

Beauty and the East: China's Plastic Surgery Boom

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China’s social media and selfie obsessions are creating a new vanity craze and a market for cosmetic surgery.

‘Eyes on China’: Illuminating Life Across a Changing Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Two photographers living in China set up a collective Instagram account.

Media

01.05.16

China’s Top 5 Censored Posts in 2015

Louisa Lim
Chinese President Xi Jinping rounded off 2015 by posting his first message on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, in the form of a new year’s greeting to the People’s Liberation Army. His post received 52,000 comments, mostly fawning messages of...

Green Space

12.03.15

Smog and Imagination

Michael Zhao
The last few days of November, air pollution was back in the headlines and social media feeds of millions of Chinese. Here are a few highlights:The creative WeChat post “Beijing Smog: Use Your Imagination When You Go Out,” shows a series of photos...

China's Rich Face Criticism After Mark Zuckerberg's Charity Pledge

Duncan Hewitt
International Business Times
China has a fast growing number of super-rich -- it created 242 billionaires in the past year alone.

It’s Complicated: Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation Spurs Philanthropy Debate in China

Yang Jie
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Some Chinese Internet users are asking: is it a kind-hearted gift or a tax dodge?

Media

11.27.15

‘Personal Media’ in China Takes a Hit From Pre-Publication Censorship

Hu Yong
Observers have long thought that Chinese authorities censor the media depending on type: the censorship of traditional media is primarily conducted in advance, with a thorough inspection of news and discussion before publication; new media, in...

China Shuts Down Service For Some Phones With Foreign Messaging Apps

Colin Lecher
Verge
As mobile users try to evade censorship in China through software, the government appears to be trying a new technique to head off such attempts.

Media

11.20.15

China Censors Online Outcry After ISIS Execution

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On November 18, the Islamic State (IS) released photos of what it claimed were two executed hostages. The photos, appearing in the terrorist group’s English-language magazine Dabiq, depict two men with bloodied faces, the word “executed” emblazoned...

Media

10.29.15

Ai Weiwei Doesn’t Need Anyone to Give Him Legos

James Palmer
The noted Chinese artist and perennial dissident Ai Weiwei recently announced that Lego, a Denmark-based company, had refused his request to purchase more than a million of the tiny toy bricks for an Australian display of his work “Trace,” a...

Media

10.13.15

Chinese Censors Are Giving North Korea a P.R. Makeover

David Wertime
On October 10, Liu Yunshan, a member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee and one of the seven most powerful men in China, paid a visit to North Korea to observe a massive parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’...

Media

10.01.15

When Chinese Internet Users Call Xi Jinping Daddy

Anne Henochowicz
Internet censorship in China has inspired the invention of a menagerie of online creatures: the river crab, the elephant of truth, the monkey-snake. Each beast’s name plays on a word or phrase that has at some point angered Chinese Internet users,...

Media

08.27.15

Chinese Media Jumps on Tragic Virginia Shooting

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On the morning of August 26, a reporter and a cameraman for a local Virginia television station were fatally shot during a live television interview. The alleged gunman, now dead, apparently shot himself before being apprehended by police.The...

Media

08.17.15

4 Questions Chinese Want Answered After Deadly Tianjin Blast

David Wertime
Around 11:30 p.m., Beijing time, on Wednesday, at least two fearsome blasts in quick succession rocked the large northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin. Originating at or near a hazardous materials warehouse near the city’s downtown, the...

Media

08.04.15

Beijing’s Winter Doldrums

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On July 31, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing, the arid northern capital of a country with little tradition of winter sports. Beijing will be the first city in history to host both the winter games and...

Media

07.02.15

Who Would China Vote for in 2016?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
As 2016 draws nearer, a cascade of mostly Republican presidential hopefuls have announced their entry into the U.S. presidential race. Until a successor to current President Barack Obama is selected in November 2016, Americans can count on an...

Sinica Podcast

06.23.15

The Brother Orange Saga

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The story started when a Buzzfeed editor lost his iPhone in an East Village bar in February of last year and blossomed into the Sino-American romance of the century, and probably the most up-lifting and altogether unlikely China story that we can...

China’s Annual Dog-Eating Festival Prompts Social Media Firestorm

Lindsey Bever and Nick Kirkpatrick
Washington Post
At a solstice festival in China 10,000 canines are said to be beaten, killed and cooked for human consumption.

Media

04.21.15

This Chart Explains Everything You Need to Know About Chinese Internet Censorship

David Wertime
What goes through a Chinese web user’s head the moment before he or she hits the “publish” button? Pundits, scholars, and everyday netizens have spent years trying to parse the (ever-shifting) rules of the Chinese Internet. Although Chinese...

Media

03.20.15

China Has Its Own Anti-Vaxxers—Blame the Internet

Alexa Olesen
While health officials in the United States and parts of Europe wrestle with a growing anti-vaccination, or “anti-vaxxer” movement, China is dealing with a less organized but similarly serious fear of immunizations. Social media reveals traces of...

Books

03.05.15

Has the American Media Misjudged China

William J. Holstein, Editor on behalf of The Overseas Press Club
Thirty-five years after China's opening to the world, some of the key assumptions that have guided coverage are being tested by the presidency of Xi Jinping. This book is must reading for anyone involved in U.S.-Chinese relations or for anyone who is just plain curious about how the assumptions that have guided American media coverage of China are now being challenged by the presidency of Xi Jinping. He has a very different vision of his country's future than the one often presented in some media accounts. —William J. Holstein  {chop}

Media

03.03.15

The Word That Broke the Chinese Internet

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
It might be gibberish, but it’s also a sign of the times. The word duang, pronounced “dwong,” is spreading like wildfire throughout China’s active Internet—even though 1.3 billion Chinese people still haven’t figured out what it means. In fact, its...

China: Inventing a Crime

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
In late January, Chinese authorities announced that they are considering formal charges against Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who has been in detention since last May. Pu’s friends fear that even a life sentence is...

Media

01.13.15

‘Where’s Our Unity March?’ China Wants to Know

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian & Rachel Lu
The January 7 terrorist attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead has mostly inspired unity in the West, but the massive march held in its aftermath is spurring controversy, and even some disdain, in China. While the...

Drawing the News: Wo Shi Chali (Je Suis Charlie)

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Chinese cartoonists and netizens have responded quickly to the slaying of cartoonists and editors at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Masked gunmen entered the offices of the journal and fired automatic weapons at staff in an...

Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Make It Clear He's Cool with China

Matt Sheehan
Huffington Post
Lu Wei, the Chinese Internet czar who heads a censorship system that keeps many popular American sites—including, of course, Facebook—out of China, was touring American tech companies recently. Chinese media reported that when he arrived at...

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...

Thousands of Local Internet Propaganda Emails Leaked

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
The archive includes correspondence, photos, directories of “Internet commentators” (网评员), summaries of commentary work, and records of the online activities of specific individuals, among other documents. Over 2,700 emails are included in the...

As Chinese Duo Perform at American Music Awards, Those at Home Are Skeptical

Te-Ping Chen and Yang Jie
Wall Street Journal
In an indication of how fragile domestic confidence is in the country’s cultural exports, many Chinese commentators were immediately skeptical of the award’s authenticity. By the next morning on Weibo, the phrase “Chopstick Brothers bought an award...

In China, Even Creating a Pollution Tracking App Is a Risky Business

Steven Millward
Tech in Asia
It was mid-October 2011, and the air quality in Beijing was quite bad, as you may imagine. It came to my mind that if we could check the air quality on our phones and receive pollution notifications, that would be quite helpful and handy. After some...

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.

Media

11.05.14

Tim Cook Coming Out Has Turned China Into a Nation of Fifth-Graders

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
"Let me be clear," wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on October 30. "I'm proud to be gay."Within an hour of the article's publication, Cook's first public announcement of his...

Manual on How to Spot a Spy Circulates in an Increasingly Wary China

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Or an American spy. Or a “hostile foreign force.” So says the “China Folk Counterespionage Manual,” a “how to spot a spy” guide circulating on the Internet.

Media

10.03.14

Under Different Umbrellas

Zhang Xiaoran
“Dozens of mainlanders were taken away by the police because they openly supported Occupy Central and at least ten of them have been detained…They are in Jiangxi, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, etc,” Hong Kong-based blogger and...

Media

10.01.14

They Can Take Our Freedom, But They Will Never Take Our Instagram

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
When thousands of Hong Kong protesters clashed with police on Sunday, September 28, many residents of the city immediately took to the photo-sharing platform Instagram. There, they uploaded images of police violence and demonstrations that shocked...

Viewpoint

09.10.14

China’s Tough New Internet Rules Explained

Hu Yong
On August 7, the State Internet Information Office issued a new set of guidelines entitled “Provisional Regulations for the Development and Management of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services.” These regulations require that...

Media

09.02.14

Anti-Vice Click-Bait Spawns Popular Govt. Social Media Feed

Alexa Olesen
The Chinese government institution with the biggest social media following goes to...the nationwide anti-vice campaign called "Strike the four blacks, Eliminate the four harms." Da Sihei, Chu Sihai in Mandarin, the four blacks and four...

Chinese Social Media Shrinks by 7% During Internet Crackdown

China Digital Times
According to China Internet Network Information Center, the number of Chinese Internet users logging on to social media websites declined by 7.4% percent in the first half of 2014 amid a year of slow Internet usage growth.