China’s Press Corps Ordered to Study Marxism

Josh Rudolph
China Digital Times
The nation’s 307,000 reporters, producers and editors will soon have to sit through at least two days of Marxism classes, the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department has announced along with the press association...

Ai Weiwei on China’s Trial of the Century

Ai Weiwei
Bloomberg
Ai Weiwei’s commentary on the twisted courtroom drama provided by the trial of Bo Xilai and what implications it holds for the future of “rule of law” in China, both for citizens and officials of all ranks. 

30-Year Throwback: What Fodor’s Was Saying About China Three Decades Ago

Paul Chung
Asia Blog
When asked to give examples of China's transformation over the last three decades, you may first be tempted to cite year-to-year G.D.P. growth figures. Yet in 2013, we may also find some of these answers tucked inside a Fodor's...

Censorship, Sex, and the Bo Xilai Trial

Jiayang Fan
New Yorker
By allowing the ousted politician to have a say at all, and by releasing portions of the daily transcript the Party has highlighted its progressiveness and successfully deflected attention from the theatrical nature of a masterfully choreographed...

China’s “Seven Base Lines” for a Clean Internet

David Bandurski
China Media Project
Run down the list of the “Seven Base Lines” and it is painfully obvious that this is part of a new government initiative to assert stronger control over online speech. This is yet another internet tightening in China ostensibly...

Police Break Up Beijing Independent Film Festival

Natalie Ornell
China Digital Times
Directors, jury and invited guests who had come from as far as Sweden were told the 10th Beijing Independent Film Festival were threatened with power cuts and the arrest of Wang Hongwei if they persisted in holding the festival. 

How the Media Got the Bo Xilai Trial Wrong

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
Beijing managed to keep much of the Bo saga - and the elite machinations that precipitated it - from the foreign press. As humbling as it may be to admit, we know very little about what goes on at the highest levels of Chinese politics. 

Political Staging in Trial of Fallen China Official

Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield
New York Times
The courtroom spectacle is an effort by the party to convince Bo’s elite party allies and ordinary supporters that he had his say in court, and that the long prison sentence he is expected to get is based on evidence of crimes committed, not...

6 Things You Need to Know About Bo Xilai’s Trial

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
Day one of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai’s trial on charges of bribery, corruption, and abusing his power has come to an end. For those who didn’t spend last night glued to their devices, here’s what you missed. 

Bo Xilai Trial As Blogged by the Court

BBC
The court at which disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai is being tried has taken the unprecedented step of posting live updates of his trial on Sina weibo, one of China’s Twitter-like microblogs. 

A Path to the World for Chinese Directors

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
CNEX, a nonprofit, has unique connections in the Chinese Communist Party which help insulate budding documentarians from undue interference so they can film and release films on a broader array of issues. 

Bo Xilai Trial Draws Comparisons to China’s Greatest Courtroom Drama

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Review of Books
In 1980, the Gang of Four trial was widely mocked in the West as a political show trial in which Deng Xiaoping purged his enemies. While there are many differences between that trial and Bo’s it is the long ago trial that is likely to prove more...

Mardi Gras In Jinan: Foreign Correspondents Flock To The Party Of The Century

Anthony Tao
Beijing Cream
If you’re a China correspondent, you’re likely in Jinan, Shandong province right now, where disgraced former Chongqing Party Chief Bo Xilai, 64, will stand open trial for corruption tomorrow at the Jinan Intermediate...

Can China’s Show Trial Show the Way to Reform

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
The Communist Party and its mouthpieces will celebrate the decisiveness of the Bo Xilai verdict as proof that the party - and the courts it controls - won’t tolerate corruption in its ranks. But who will believe this? 

Conversation

08.28.13

Beijing, Why So Tense?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
Andrew Nathan:I think of the Chinese leaders as holding a plant spritzer and dousing sparks that are jumping up all around them.  Mao made the famous remark, “A single spark can start a prairie fire.”  The leaders have seen that...

Bo Guagua’s Statement

New York Times
 Bo Guagua released to The New York Times on August 19. Mr. Bo’s father, Bo Xilai, a former Chinese Communist Party official, is scheduled to go on trial on August 22 on charges of taking bribes, corruption and abuse of power. 

Political Rebalancing: Tilting Backwards

J.M.
Economist
The speed with which Mr Xi has moved to establish his conservative ideological credentials, having at first struck a somewhat more liberal tone, has still been a surprise to some observers.  

Media

08.27.13

The Surprise Loser of China’s Trial of the Century: Its Corruption Watchdog

It seems like everybody has something to gain from Show Trial 2.0, a.k.a. the semi-live tweeting of fallen politician Bo Xilai’s day in court.Bo Xilai the showman takes a bow with a flourish; Gu Kailai, the scorned wife, exacts sweet revenge;...

China Takes Aim at Western Ideas

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through...

Media

08.27.13

China’s Original Social Media: Bathroom Graffiti

The men’s room in the passenger station in Qujing, Yunnan province will be familiar to anyone who has answered the call of nature in one of China’s provincial bus stations. Dim fluorescent lights give a clinical blue pallor to the bleary-eyed,...

China’s Fallen Former High-Flyer Bo to Stand Trial

Benjamin Kang Lin and Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The long-awaited trial of Bo who is still popular with conservatives and the disaffected, will be the country’s highest-profile hearing since the 1976 downfall of Mao Zedong’s widow, Jiang Qing, and her Gang of Four at the end of the Cultural...

Viewpoint

08.22.13

How Bo Xilai Split the Party and Divided the People

Ouyang Bin from Chinese Law Prof Blog
After the 1989 Tiananmen Incident, Chinese political struggles became milder and more mundane. Members of the Politburo and politicians of higher rank rarely were toppled (except for Chen Liangyu in 2006) and ideology seldom triggered significant...

Media

08.22.13

You Can’t Handle the Truth: Bo Xilai’s Courtroom Performance Wins Fans

A show trial this is not. But is a twist ending in the major blockbuster “The Life of Bo Xilai” in the offing?The long-awaited trial of Bo Xilai, once a rising star in the Chinese Communist Party, took place Thursday morning, but instead of the...

Conversation

08.21.13

Is Xi Jinping Redder Than Bo Xilai Or Vice Versa?

Michael Anti & Shai Oster
Michael Anti:Competing for Redness: The Scarlet Bo vs the Vermilion Xi?Bo Xilai, the fallen Chinese princeling famous for leading a “Red Songs” communist campaign in southwest China's megacity Chongqing, is on trial today, live-Twittered from...

Inside China’s Hoop Dreams

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
When it comes to cracking the Chinese market, Hollywood could take a page out of the NBA’s playbook. “The love for basketball here is just incredible,” says Kobe Bryant.

Liu Xiaobo’s Brother-in-Law Liu Hui to Serve 11 Years After Losing Appeal

Tania Branigan
Guardian
 Family angered over confirmation of verdict seen as persecution of the Nobel prize-winner’s family.

Amid Tribute to King of Pop, an Echo of Tiananmen Square

Edward Wong
New York Times
 The famous and politcally sensitive “Tank Man” photograph of June 1989 appears during a Michael Jackson tribute concert in Beijing. 

Xi Jinping’s Overlooked Revelation on China’s Maritime Disputes

M. Taylor Fravel
Diplomat
Although unnoticed by foreign analysts, Xi Jinping recently signaled a desire to dial back tensions in the South and East China Seas.

China Vanke Chairman Wang Shi Defends Right to Speak out on Politics

Adrian Wan
South China Morning Post
Property tycoon Wang Shi has defended the rights of businessmen like himself to speak up on political issues, citing disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai’s efforts to enlist his support for his controversial campaigns.

Why Aren’t Chinese People Reading Books Anymore?

Helen Gao
Atlantic
China’s once-robust trade in serious literature has withered under an increasingly materialistic, results-oriented society.

Japanese visits to shrine on war anniversary anger China

Antoni Slodkowski
Reuters
Japan's prime minister sent an offering to a shrine for war dead on the anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat, drawing harsh complaints from China and South Korea and risking tentative ties...

About That Tiananmen Tank Man Image In Cirque du Soleil’s Beijing Show

Anthony Tao
Beijing Cream
On opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour in Beijing, the highly sensitive the Tiananmen Tank Man image was displayed on the giant big-screens above the stage in Wukesong MasterCard Arena.

Sinica Podcast

08.16.13

David Moser Interviews Mark Rowswell

David Moser & Mark Rowswell from Sinica Podcast
If you are a long-timer in China, this is a show that needs no introduction. One of the most famous foreigners in China, Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. Dashan), shot to fame in the early 1990s after a fortuitous break on Chinese television. In this live...

Media

08.14.13

Don’t Dream Big—Four Vignettes on Social Mobility in Modern China

The New York Times recently ran an article that detailed the struggles of three young college women from low-income backgrounds, raising questions about whether education remains the “great equalizer” in America. How does the picture look in China,...

Dalai Lama’s Chinese Website Infecting Visitors, Expert Warns

Jim Finkle
Reuters
A prominent computer security firm has warned that the Dalai Lama’s Chinese-language website has been compromised with malicious software that is infecting computers of visitors with software that could be used for spying.

China’s Overdue Payments to Hollywood Could Happen This Week

Patrick Frater
Variety
Hollywood studios expect to be paid every penny of revenue that has bee earned in China, which is currently held up by a payment dispute. Studio sources suggest that an announcement will be made  within a week.

The Olympics’ Leadership Mess

Minky Worden
New York Times
Members of the I.O.C. will vote for a new president for the first time in 12 years. This may be the last chance for many years to reform the committee’s approach to repressive governments that seek to host the games. 

Monster Zombie Spider to Crush Super Mario’s China Dreams

Bloomberg
Can Nintendo’s Super Mario take on Tencent Holding’s giant, undead Spider? As the country ends a 13-year ban on consoles, a generation of gamers have grown used to a free online model and increasingly migrating to mobile...

China Box-Office Standoff: Hollywood Could Receive Back Payments Soon

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
A solution in a tax dispute that has resulted in delays in box-office payments to Hollywood studios could be coming soon as China Film Group explores interim solutions ahead of a more permanent resolution in coming weeks.

Psst, Chinese State Media: It's Satire

Christina Larson
Businessweek
This week, Xinhua, China’s state-run newswire, picked up and translated a satirical blog post from the New Yorker’s Borowitz Report as though it were straight news reporting.

Viewpoint

08.09.13

Five Years On

Jonathan Landreth
On August 8, 2008, I was in Beijing reporting on the media aspects of China’s first Olympic Games, and I am still amazed that the four-hour opening ceremony, as designed by film director Zhang Yimou, was seen by sixty-nine percent of China’s...

Is This Lazy Panda China’s Zuckerberg?

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
State-owned China Network Television has installed more than 30 cameras at a panda reserve in Western China, designed a fancy website providing access to the cameras, launched a mobile app so the pandas can be watched on-the-go, and then...

China Detains Prominent Bo Xilai Supporter Ahead of Trial

Reuters
Song Yangbiao, a reporter for the magazine the Time Weekly, was detained on Sunday according to friends and supporters, apparently after using his Sina Weibo microblog to denounce the trial and call for an uprising to oppose it. ...

Chinese Judges Disciplined for Cavorting With Prostitutes

Jane Perlez
New York Times
 Two judges and an official of the Shanghai high court have been expelled from the Communist Party and dismissed from their jobs after being seen on video apparently consorting with prostitutes in glitzy nightclubs.

China Warns Against Rush to Set Code of Conduct in South China Sea

Xinhua
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday in Hanoi that the envisaged Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) cannot be set in a rush as it concerns the interests of many countries and lots of work is required.

The Chinese Communist Party Has Embraced the Internet—For Public Polling

Adam Pasick
Atlantic
Beijing has started to glean political intelligence from the same systems they restrict access to.

Life in a Toxic Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Before this assignment, I reported from Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my...

China Media on the Snowden Saga

BBC
Media in China see further embarrassment for the United States after whistleblower Edward Snowden gets temporary asylum in Russia.

Now Playing: China’s Booming Movie Market

Wei Gu
Wall Street Journal
In China, where pirated movies can be bought for less than $1, people are flocking to theaters, a sign of how Chinese consumers are willing to spend more on entertainment.

Books of the Times—“Five Star Billionaire”

Dwight Garner
New York Times
Shanghai For Strivers: Tash Aw’s new novel captures China’s changes.

Hollywood Studios Denied Payments from China

Rachel Abrams
Variety
Sony is up against an issue that has plagued the studios since at least January: The Chinese government wants to impose a value-added tax that cuts into what the studios expected to be their 25% revenue share of the Chinese box office.

Caixin Media

07.29.13

Why a Reporter Feels Sympathy for an Airport Bomber

These past few years as a reporter, I have met some people with nothing left to live for and now another person can be added to the list. Ji Zhongxing, the disabled man who set off a bomb in a Beijing airport on July 20, is that person.Ji and I are...

Hollywood's Trouble With China? It Has All the Leverage

Wrap
New data from China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television indicates that for the first time in recent history, Hollywood could experience negative growth in China. "The leverage is always on China's side,...

Reports

07.24.13

Throttling Dissent: China’’s New Leaders Refine Internet Control

Madeline Earp
Freedom House
This special report is based on the 2013 China chapter of Freedom House’’s annual Freedom on the Net survey. As the home of one of the most systematically controlled and monitored online environments in the world, China will no doubt retain its...

Bruno Wu, Former Bertelsmann CEO Form China Media Venture

Hollywood Reporter
Thomas Middelhoff and the Chinese mogul launch BT Capital, a “China-originated global media and alternative investment group” that will pool their entertainment assets with revenue of $1 billion-$2 billion.

Reporter Who Interviewed Jack Ma Resigns

WSJ: China Real Time Report
Liu Yi, the reporter who interviewed Mr. Ma, resigned on July 19, according to a statement on the SCMP’s site. The interview generated controversy online as Mr. Ma was quoted as saying the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square...

Billionaire Jack Ma Makes About-Face, Praises Chinese Government

Oiwan Lam
Global Voices
Prominent Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma has in the eyes of some shattered his independent image during a recent newspaper interview in which he applauded China for its online censorship and brutal, strong-arm tactics. 

Conversation

07.18.13

Xu Zhiyong Arrested: How Serious Can Beijing Be About Political Reform?

Donald Clarke, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Donald Clarke:When I heard that Xu Zhiyong had just been detained, my first thought was, “Again?” This seems to be something the authorities do every time they get nervous, a kind of political Alka Seltzer to settle an upset constitution. I searched...

Caixin Media

07.16.13

As Red Cross Probe Stumbles, Critics See Red

Two box lunches—and nothing more. Yuan Yue says that’s what the Red Cross Society of China has frugally handed out so far to each member of a special committee assigned to investigate the charity group’s finances.But critics of the special board...

Media

07.15.13

A Rite of Passage to Nowhere

Ying Zhu & Frances Hisgen
Tiny Times, a Chinese feature film set in contemporary Shanghai, made headline news on its opening day in late June by knocking the Hollywood blockbuster Man of Steel from its perch atop the domestic box-office and breaking the opening-day record...