Ed's note: Our friend Justin Mitchell, who quietly left China last year after a decade here, grew nostalgic upon watching the latest Donnie video and got in touch. He should be in touch more often. Read more »
Authorities in Beijing's have reportedly used concrete to seal off wells that had served as makeshift homes for migrant workers in a particularly impoverished area in Chaoyang district. Hug China reports: Read more »
Shanghai, China’s financial hub, appears determined to compete with Beijing, China’s political epicenter, in every aspect, including pollution.
Starting Thursday, smog has shrouded Shanghai and nearby provinces, with PM2.5 readings shooting from 200 micrograms per cubic meter to as high as 700 at some air quality monitoring stations.
As of 1 pm Friday, the average PM2.5 reading in Shanghai reached an off-the-charts level of 602.5; the PM10 reading reached 671, with the highest reading recorded at 726 in Putuo district. Read more »
The latest column from New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan is about China: an article that first summarizes why it's becoming increasingly difficult for foreign correspondents to work here, then reminds its readers that the Times remains -- unlike Bloomberg, I think is clearly one implication -- a news company first and foremost. Read more »
Today on C4: China goes for bronze with a soft moon landing attempt. Plus, this:
Stuart: "Chang'e, by the way, is the goddess of the moon... and the shuttle is her Jade Rabbit."
Rob: "Her Jade Rabbit, I bet she has a lot of fun with that, doesn't she?" Read more »
Editor’s note: Yesterday, the UK brewery BrewDog issued an open letter on its website to call out a “fake” BrewDog pub in Changzhou, Jiangsu province. “I’ll be along to visit soon – I’m looking forward to trying the 6AM Saint and the Funk IPA,” wrote James, one of the owners. “I do still nurture a small hope, though, that imitation is the starting point for imagination for you. If next time, rather than knocking up a do-it-yourself BrewDog bar with an odd red logo, you go one step further and have a stab at your own craft beer, then you will really be onto something.” What follows is the China Craft Beer Association’s reply, written by Great Leap Brewing owner Carl Setzer. Read more »
In 1935, cartoonist Zhang Leping created one of Asia’s most enduring characters: Sanmao. The emaciated boy, named for the three hairs on his head, lent a friendly face to Shanghai’s nameless street urchins and children orphaned by Japanese attacks.
But more importantly, Sanmao’s bitter adventures captured the spirit of social injustice in the city’s “golden era.” Read more »
Illustrator Josh Cochran posted the following, a veritable visual crossword highlighting the year in pop culture, two weeks ago on his Tumblr. The artist has generously allowed us to republish the image, on which we'll highlight two China-related elements: Edward Snowden ("there are 10 Edward Snowdens here," Cochran writes; see how many you can find), and the sharks. We really hope it's an allusion to this shark story from Shanghai. Read more »
Sharon Kui Yee-Tak, a 25-year-old former teacher’s aide at Frost School, a Maryland-based private school for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, is believed to have fled to Hong Kong, where her brother resides. Read more »
The Silk Road of Pop (2013: 53 min) ends with a young rapper saying he wants the world to know Uyghurs exist. The man, a sculpted crop of hair jutting from his chin, says, “Aside from China, who knows that Uyghurs exist? Zero percent.” As a view from a train window merges into film credits while the Uyghur musician Perhet Xaliq and his wife Pezilet sing an old song of Uyghur youth “sent down” from the city, the pathos of the rapper's plea seems to resonate with the atmosphere of the land, the tight cement block apartments, the frozen sidewalks paved with Shandong tiles. Read more »
Our favorite Masshole in China, Donnie, has done his best work yet, pretending to be Roger Federer on the streets of Shanghai. "Wo ai Zhongguo," he says, which is exactly what the real Rog would've said, probably.
Not to be missed is the girl who covers her mouth and nearly giggles herself into oblivion, thinking Roger Federer just told her (in Chinese!) that she's "very cute." Read more »
Thought Singles Day last month was a bit random? It seems that December 2 is now, perhaps unofficially, Traffic Police Day. The date, 12/2, coincides with China’s emergency traffic number: 1-2-2. In celebration of themselves, the Huizhou traffic police in Guandong released a professional music video showcasing traffic rules, as found by Eric Jou of Kotaku, set to the Korean band Crayon Pop’s song "Bar Bar Bar." Read more »
Pacman, Peso, and I recently returned from a 16-day Asia trip that included a five-day stay in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (as in America, the N-word is taboo in DPRK). This journey started in August when our record label, Forest Hills Tenleytown Music Group, launched a Kickstarter seeking $6,000 to fund the trip and a music video called "Escape to North Korea." With the help of a five-page feature in the Washington Post Style section and a generous $5,100 donation from James Passin (aka "The American Who Bought Mongolia”), we were able to raise $10,400 and get a lot of attention in the process. People actually cared, for some reason. Read more »
UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Beijing yesterday to boost China-UK relations -- to "appease" Beijing, as Western media types would put it -- and to back a new EU-China free trade agreement. A few days before, on November 29, Cameron opened a Sina Weibo account, with the first message reading: "Hello my friends in China. I'm pleased to have joined Weibo and look forward to visiting China very soon." Read more »
The above photo, taken by legendary photographer Lang Jingshan in 1928, is the country's oldest known nude shot, reports China.org. The model, surnamed Zhang, "suffered brutal kicks and blows from her father who heard it four days later." Read more »