Caixin Media

04.01.13

Staking a New Claim on Internet Insurance

When three household brand names in China announced they would cooperate to form a company offering insurance services on the Internet, excitement naturally was the order of the day.Last year, Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings, and Ping An Insurance...

Caixin Media

04.01.13

New Hands Take the Financial Regulation Wheel

Who’s steering China’s carefully managed financial system? Speculators were busy name-guessing before and for several months after the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress in November.Finally, the dust started to settle with formal appointments...

Environment

03.25.13

Chinese Nuclear Disaster “Highly Probable” by 2030

from chinadialogue
Some members of the nuclear power industry rely too much on theoretical calculations, when only experience can provide real accuracy.The lifetime of nuclear reactors is calculated in “reactor-years.” One reactor-year means one reactor operating for...

Caixin Media

03.23.13

China’s Economic Policymakers Turning a Page

Written into the script for China’s once-in-a-decade leadership shuffle, confirmed at the recently concluded National People’s Congress, are macroeconomic policies for the new government that plot a course for future growth.The policy book has...

Caixin Media

03.23.13

Achieving Real Progress in How Government Functions

After months of speculation, the reorganization of the State Council has finally been approved by the National People’s Congress.Under the shake-up, China’s rail business will no longer be managed by the regulator. Three national agencies will be...

Environment

03.22.13

Public Fury After Chinese Environment Minister Keeps Job

from chinadialogue
In his eight years as China’s environmental protection minister, Zhou Shengxian has failed to keep almost a single promise. I say “almost”: he has kept his word at least when it comes to his own career—as promised, he has not quit.When the new...

Media

03.21.13

The Men Are Louder: A Gender Analysis of Weibo

Does Sina Weibo provide an equal platform for expression for both men and women in China? According to a recent study conducted by Sun Huan, a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies and a research assistant at the Center for Civic Media at...

Viewpoint

03.19.13

For Many in China, the One Child Policy is Already Irrelevant

Leslie T. Chang
Before getting pregnant with her second child, Lu Qingmin went to the family-planning office to apply for a birth permit. Officials in her husband’s Hunan village where she was living turned her down, but she had the baby anyway. She may eventually...

Environment

03.18.13

Baby Milk Restrictions Cause Outrage in Mainland China

from chinadialogue
The Hong Kong government’s recent listing of baby formula as a “reserved commodity” and a 1.8kg per person per day export limit has sparked widespread criticism—as well as becoming a hot topic at China’s annual session of parliament [the Lianghui,...

Caixin Media

03.17.13

Ladders, Losers, and Direct-Marketing Schemes

A skin cream customer pays an extra fee and, voilà, instantly becomes a company representative with the right to sell cream and other products, as well as recruit more dealers.Eventually, she persuades other women to buy the cream and join the...

Caixin Media

03.16.13

Spin of a Crooked Record

Hundreds of villagers in Hebei province discovered they were victims of identity theft—and in demanding officials find the culprit, they became the recipients of harassment and legal bills. Instead of seeing a shakeout, the villagers watched...

Media

03.15.13

CNBC Quarrel About China’s Housing Market Bubbles Over on Chinese Internet

Ouyang Bin & Luo Xiaoyuan
China’s real estate prices continue to skyrocket despite government efforts to rein them in to prevent a dangerous housing bubble. On March 5, American television network CNBC invited two analysts to debate the state of the sector. But when Peter...

Environment

03.13.13

Chinese Fracking Plans Prompt “Water-Grabbing” Fears

from chinadialogue
China has become one of Asia’s leaders in expanding unconventional shale-gas extraction in the name of energy self-sufficiency and national autonomy. Experiences of “fracking” worldwide, however, suggest the costs to China of joining this revolution...

Media

03.13.13

Chavez and Bo Xilai Gone: Death of a Political Model?

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5, 2013 came in the same week as the “Two Sessions” began in China, when China’s national legislature meets in Beijing. It was also almost exactly a year since the spectacular political demise of Bo...

Media

03.12.13

Pig Carcasses in Shanghai River Spawn Dark Humor on Chinese Internet

The Huangpu River usually appears in glamor shots of Shanghai, serving as scenic backdrop to the colonial splendor of the Bund or the modern marvel of the Pudong skyline. But of late, a more grim and distasteful association has emerged. As of March...

Media

03.11.13

Young Family’s Arrest Brings Tension Between Vendors and Police into Focus

A one-and-a-half-year-old girl wraps her arms around her mother’s neck, crying. Her mother, handcuffed, cannot hug her back—she can only squat down beside the police car to match her daughter’s height. “I’m sorry, mommy can’t hold you…”On March 6,...

Caixin Media

03.10.13

Finding IPO Alley

China’s IPO action has been locked in ice since October by China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) officials intent on boosting investor confidence and improving scrutiny of stock market hopefuls.Yet the heat is on for aspiring executives at...

Caixin Media

03.09.13

Is Railway Reform Finally On Track?

Finally, it seems the railways ministry may soon be restructured as part of a wider exercise by the government to streamline its ministries. Putting railway reform on the agenda of this year’s meetings of the National People’s Congress and the...

Media

03.08.13

“Shanghai Calling” Translates Funny

Jonathan Landreth
Director Daniel Hsia and producer Janet Yang were motivated to make Shanghai Calling, their first feature film together, by the shared feeling that no matter how much more important relations between the United States and China grew, they always...

Culture

03.06.13

Lei Lei: A Sketch of the Animator As a Young Man

Sun Yunfan
Lei Lei, a.k.a. Ray Lei, 27, is one of the best-known animators in China. Unlike many other smart kids of his generation who graduated from China’s top universities, he went off the beaten path early in his career and never turned back. In a country...

Environment

03.06.13

Environmentalists Unconvinced by Wen Jiabao’s Green Words

from chinadialogue
China’s outgoing premier Wen Jiabao vowed that the government would solve the country’s ever-worsening pollution in his final work report yesterday as he opened the annual session of parliament.But coming amid rising public concern about China’s air...

Media

03.05.13

What Do You Know About China’s Politics?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
The Liang Hui or “Two Sessions”—the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)—are the most crowded, most covered, and probably most hilarious annual political events in China. Every March,...

Media

03.04.13

‘Zombies’ and ‘Reincarnation’

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, announced on February 20 that it had surpassed half a billion users—more people than live in South America, and approximately the population of North America. Thickly-settled Europe edges out Weibo by...

Caixin Media

03.04.13

China’s Frills and Posh Market Springs a Leak

Imagine a luxury goods shopper so confident and flush with cash that one day he walks into a Shanghai handbag shop, flashes 300,000 yuan, and waltzes out with almost every bag in stock.That’s what happened last year at a Prada store where Benny Lu...

Environment

03.02.13

China Criticized over Tiger Farms and Illegal Ivory

from chinadialogue
China is under pressure to regulate its rampant trade in illegal ivory and tiger parts ahead of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), opening this weekend in Bangkok.It has also been accused of quietly stimulating...

Caixin Media

03.02.13

Poison Eaters of Gansu Province

Barely any rainfall on a bone-dry landscape has always made crop farming in the province of Gansu a rough gamble between the sky and local irrigation policies. But now, farmers reap only sorrow from fields that experts say are severely contaminated...

Media

03.01.13

No Closer to the Chinese Dream?

Timothy Garton Ash
2013 began dramatically in China with a standoff between journalists and state propaganda authorities over a drastically rewritten New Year’s editorial at the Southern Weekly newspaper.In the first week of the New Year, the editors of Southern...

Culture

02.28.13

Classical Music with Chinese Characteristics

Sheila Melvin
On a frigid Friday morning at the end of 2012, a stream of expectant concertgoers poured through the cavernous lobby of the China National Center for the Performing Arts. They had come to the stunning, egg-shaped arts complex at this unusually early...

Environment

02.28.13

Drought and Earthquakes Pose “Enormous Risk” to China’s Nuclear Plans

from chinadialogue
When the Fukushima nuclear disaster struck, China was building new nuclear power capacity at a rate unprecedented in world history: 40 percent of all reactors planned or under construction were in China. Targets for installed nuclear generation...

Media

02.26.13

Flowers of the Motherland

Sun Yunfan
School uniforms have been a hot topic in the Chinese media since last Thursday. On February 20, 2013, on a new satirical TV news talk show akin to the Colbert Report but with a pre-recorded laugh track instead of a live audience, host Jin Yan of...

Viewpoint

02.25.13

Xi Jinping Should Expand Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms

Zhou Ruijin
A month after the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 18th National Congress, the new Secretary General of the CCP and Central Military Commission, comrade Xi Jinping, left Beijing to visit Shenzhen, the first foothold of China’s...

Caixin Media

02.24.13

Dirty Business for China’s Internet Scrubbers

Flames of a public relations disaster were licking at the heels of a private equity firm when China’s most notorious Internet-scrubbing company rode to the rescue.Saving the Shenzhen-based firm’s image was not cheap, and it took more than two months...

Caixin Media

02.23.13

China’s 3D Printing: Not a Revolution—Yet

Engineers, inventors, and industrial futurists in China are setting sights on a new technological frontier as three-dimensional printing slowly revolutionizes manufacturing.A Beijing University research team, for example, has been working on what...

Environment

02.22.13

Could Smartphones Help Clear China’s Congested Roads?

from chinadialogue
The extraordinary growth of China’s cities is well-known. Today, 160 Chinese metropolises have over one million inhabitants and more than half the population lives in urban areas, which are growing at two to three times the rate of Western cities...

Media

02.22.13

Complaints, Nationalism, and Spoofs

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
This week, United States government and American media charges of Chinese cyberattacks have led to a variety of responses from netizens across China. On February 19, a CNN camera crew tried to shoot video of the twelve-story military-owned building...

Media

02.22.13

China’s State-Run Media Shares Powerful Map of “Cancer Villages” Creeping Inland

It appears that Chinese environmental activism is going further mainstream. The Sina micro-blogging account of Global Times, a well-known Communist Party mouthpiece, has just shared news about the horrific proliferation of “cancer villages” in China...

Media

02.21.13

In Face of Mainland Censorship, Taiwanese Revisit Reunification Question

Within twenty-four hours of registration, Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) deleted the microblog account of Frank Hsieh, former premier of Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Ironically, Hsieh’s last tweet before...

Environment

02.20.13

Air Quality in China: A Snapshot

Nearly five weeks ago, Beijing experienced its worst day of air quality on record: Levels of PM2.5—small particulates that can cause lung, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease—soared to more than thirty times the level considered safe by the...

Media

02.20.13

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked

As The New York Times reported yesterday evening, U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant has just released a deeply troubling report called “Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units.” The report alleges wide-spread hacking sponsored by the...

Environment

02.19.13

China’s Disappointing Absence from U.N. Water Summit

from chinadialogue
After recent heated debate over China’s mega-dam plans, any visitor to the launch on February 11 of the U.N.’s much-vaunted International Year of Water Cooperation would have been disappointed.As well as a notable absence of any...

Media

02.16.13

NBA Star Debuts on Chinese Social Media, Fans Clamor: #I want to speak to Kobe#

Tea Leaf Nation editor David Wertime spoke on February 15 on Public Radio International’s The World about NBA star Kobe Bryant (@KobeBryant), who has recently opened an account on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter. Listen to the full two-minute interview...

Media

02.15.13

Free Coffee for North Korea?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
What should China do to persuade its moody ally North Korea to comply with international restrictions on its nuclear ambitions?“Free conference rooms, free coffee, free soft drinks and dessert,” was the surprising and quickly viral Internet...

Environment

02.14.13

A Progress Report on U.S.-China Energy & Climate Change Cooperation

Leah Thompson
In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama committed to confronting climate change, stating, “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it...

Media

02.13.13

Officer Draws Gun on Drunk Driver—To Overwhelming Online Applause

A policeman draws his gun to stop a desperately escaping criminal. It may sound sensational, but this is technically what happened in the southern Chinese megalopolis of Guangzhou on January 31. As traffic policemen were manning a drunk driving...

Environment

02.13.13

Nuclear Fusion: An Answer to China’s Energy Problems?

from chinadialogue
The global nuclear sector has been through something of an apocalyptic patch since the disaster at Fukushima—from power station shutdowns in Japan and Germany to waste-plan chaos in the U.K. to doubts about China’s ability to showcase new reactor...

Media

02.12.13

Joke About Gay Romance on Chinese New Year Gala Lights Up Blogosphere

Is “bromance” in the air? Not according to state-run China Central Television (CCTV).{vertical_photo_right}Thousands of fans yelled “Get together” in unison when piano prodigy Li Yundi made a guest appearance at Chinese-American pop sensation Leehom...

Viewpoint

02.11.13

A Beginning for China’s Battered Women

Ying Zhu
Like it or not, it takes an American woman to give a face, bring a voice, and deliver a victory to battered women in China. On February 3, a milestone court decision in Beijing granted a divorce to Kim Lee, a victim of domestic abuse, from her...

Media

02.11.13

Covering China: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

On February 5, 2013, ChinaFile celebrated its official launch by bringing together a panel of former and current New York Times correspondents, whose collective China experience spans the course of half a century, to discuss their coverage of China...

Media

02.08.13

Lil Buck Goes to China

Jonathan Landreth
In November 2011, The Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, headed by Orville Schell, hosted the inaugural U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.Schell's son, Ole, a filmmaker, tagged along with his video camera and captured the...

Environment

02.07.13

Xi Jinping Must Tackle Corruption and Boost Innovation in Food Sector

from chinadialogue
In January 2013, Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths began restricting sales of baby formula to four tins per customer after a massive increase in demand stripped shelves bare of popular brands such as Karicare.The buyers were not...

Media

02.07.13

Chinese Beverage Maker Turns Legal Setback Into Viral Ad Campaign

This is no tempest in an herbal tea pot. The JDB Group, maker of China’s most popular herbal tea—one that raked in approximately 20 billion RMB (USD $3.2 billion) in revenues in 2012—lost another legal battle in its epic trademark war with the state...

Media

02.04.13

Media Censorship and Its Future

Ouyang Bin
The year 2013 has gotten off to an inauspicious start for China’s press, especially for its most outspoken members. At the end of last year, when many of the country’s media were heralding newly installed Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to...

Caixin Media

02.04.13

Lights, Camera, Pending IPOs for Filmmakers

The cameras could be rolling soon for long-anticipated stock listings by the nation’s largest movie producer and foreign flick importer China Film Group, as well as a smaller but ambitious rival, Shanghai Film Group.The state-owned companies’ names...

Caixin Media

02.04.13

Defining the Chinese Dream

A new phase of Sino-American relations is poised to begin now that Xi Jinping has been confirmed as China’s next leader and Barack Obama re-elected U.S. president.In both countries, the debate about foreign policy options has been robust,...

Media

01.30.13

Chinese Web Erupts With Widespread Calls for Change as Beijing Endures Airpocalypse 2.0

Beijingers are choking on their air—again. Just seventeen days after Chinese cyberspace erupted with complaints about air so bad that it was “beyond index,” denizens of the Chinese capital awoke once again to a city blanketed with smog. Over the...

Caixin Media

01.28.13

Cleaning Up China’s Secret Police Sleuthing

Wiretapping, email hacking, cell phone tracking, and secret videotaping are just a few of the cloak-and-dagger techniques long employed by police in the course of criminal investigations in China.But now, for the first time, new rules say that...

Caixin Media

01.26.13

Garden of Lost Children

It started with a baby that was left in the doorway of a hospital bathroom. Yuan Lihai took in the girl with a cleft lip while working at a Henan province hospital in 1989. At the department of gynecology and obstetrics, she was paid 20 yuan for...

Media

01.25.13

Former China State TV Director Bemoans Anti-Japanese Propaganda: “Where’s the Creativity?”

Are Chinese audiences growing weary of anti-Japanese propaganda? It would seem that some, at least, are growing sick of the pathetic villains, superhuman heroes, and lame endings that many Chinese movies and television series about World War II, or...