“Like a hammer to the head” Review: Arthur Meursalt’s ‘Party Members’

Cover art by the renowned satirist Badiucao
If you transcribed every twisted, bitter, sick thought you ever had about China, tied it to a brick, then repeatedly smashed it into someone’s skull, you might give them an experience akin to reading Arthur Meursault’s debut novel Party Members (Camphor Press). There is no more unrelentingly savage satire of modern China ever written, and perhaps deserves more attention than it... Read more »

We Found Her, The Worst Mother-In-Law In China

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Ever the Quiet Burier of Ledes, Global Times published a news item Monday that surely qualifies for Hideous China Story of the Year (Relationships Edition)... although GT went for the more casual "Mom jailed for covert contraceptive." It's a Turducken of a tale...

Cast of Beijing’s ‘Art’ premier talk success, censorship, sandwiches

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The first authorized English production of Yasmina Reza’s Art begins its four-day Beijing run from tonight, May 11. Since the London premiere of Christopher Hampton’s translation, with Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott as the three principals, Marc, Serge and Yvan, Art has raked in over $250 million worldwide, showcased innumerable all-star lineups, stunt... Read more »

Rock Off: Briefly memorializing Sanlitun’s best and only punk-rock dive bar

There was a restaurant? (Pic via Thats)
Up a rickety staircase, above a neglected sex shop, there they were: some of the laziest and most disinterested barkeeps in Beijing. But now they’ve disappeared, along with the rest of 3 Rock, a hole of a rock bar that encapsulated the punk spirit of Sanlitun’s “dirty bar street” – something best loved when it’s... Read more »

Forbes editor gets drunk, posts dreadful China article

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Strange to imagine there was once a time when Forbes had a Beijing correspondent. A time of dragons. “Ancient times.” Yesterday, an editor at the venerable in-flight magazine of Trump Airlines published an article by one of its many, many, many useless contributors entitled ‘China Expert: I’m Drunk,’ in which the author has a chin-stroker... Read more »

New Rules: How China’s Latest Laws For Foreign Media Affect Us And You

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As some readers may be aware, new measures restricting foreign content online in China (or “Administrative Regulations for Online Publishing Services”) are dropping March 10 – today. Over at China Law Blog, Steve Dickinson has answers to most of the major players and questions, but we felt obliged to follow up with Steve on a... Read more »

The Tianjin Blast and the Art of Disaster Management

An aerial picture of smoke rising at the site of the explosions is seen at the Binhai new district, Tianjin
“Thanks to the hyper-paranoid system, authorities are doing themselves further disservice by fighting another fire online, badly.” The Oriental Star ferry “disaster management” model, in which the goon squad manages to seize control of the information spigot early on and develops the subsequent narrative, is not the “new normal” in China that some may have... Read more »

App’s What Xi Said: China’s President Is Now On Your Phone

The Cheese Stands Alone: Welcome You to the Xi Jinping App
Something for the weekend, sir? With Chinese cadres under official instruction to behave themselves for, perhaps, ever, the kind folks at Ccln.gov.cn, a website operated by the Central Communist Party School, have offered them a replacement entertainment to getting lobster-faced on baijiu, vomiting down their suit and curling up with a dead-eyed mistress. The classics-quoting, picture-rich, cutting-edge “Learning China" app was launched yesterday, and is set to blow your mind – or your phone. Just three minutes after I opened the app, my two-year-old HTC had frozen up – like its owner, it was obviously having a hard time processing all the fun.

ARRESTED: Beijing ‘gang’ alleged to have targeted foreigners with bats

Galsworthy (left) takes an image of his injuries shortly after the attack
A trio of Chinese men armed with baseball bats and metal pipes has been detained, following a violent assault on students at one of Beijing’s best-known universities. The case bears strong similarities to a series of racially tinged assaults alleged to have recently occurred in several foreign-centric districts, including Sanlitun, Houhai and Wudaokou, in which... Read more »

Did Ken Livingstone Crony and Anti-Occupy Spokesman John Ross “Censor” the Global Times?

John Ross
When John Ross,“former director of London’s Economic and Business Policy to ex-Mayor Ken Livingstone and current Senior Fellow with the Chongyang Institute” at Renmin University, was approached by Chinese tabloid Global Times (GT) for a profile about foreign China Watchers, he was, no doubt, expecting a nice soap-job.

Foreigners Told: Stay Off The Drugs – And Twitter?

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New details have emerged about last weekend’s drug raid in Beijing, which allegedly saw five foreigners deported and a similar number of Chinese detained – sending local Twitter users into collective shock. A comprehensive report on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s website by correspondent Stephen McDonell explains how he’d headed down to dirty dawg bar Dos... Read more »

This Actually Happened: The ‘Night of “Expats In Chinese Film And TV” Awards’

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Good day, mortals. Enjoy the weekend? Unless you were at the inaugural Expats in Chinese Film and TV Awards, not as much as these players. Described by one excited attendee as “the stupidest, most Z-list thing ever… a fake award ceremony with fake red carpet,” the “expat Oscars” (as no one is calling it) was hosted by this nubile pair:

Rui’s Anatomy: Black Behavior At The Heart Of TV Scandal

The finger is now being pointed at Rui Chenggang
The arrest of another journalist in China is normally cause for concern: as the news is shared across social networks, tweets of sympathy accumulate, human rights groups and lawyers protest, and diplomats may even issue statements of public concern. But the detention of economics anchor Rui Chenggang (pictured), reportedly “dragged” from his offices by investigators just hours before his show was due to go live, has prompted almost the opposite – the overwhelming response, as the NY Times’s Ed Wong noted, has been one of schadenfreude (xingzai lehuo, “feel happy about someone’s disaster”).