The Creamcast, Ep.13: Blogging China Panel At Bookworm Literary Festival

BJC The Creamcast logo 250x250
Blogging China was a March 18 Bookworm Literary Festival panel discussion moderated by Anthony Tao and featuring Jeremy Goldkorn (Danwei), Alec Ash (the Anthill), Mia Li (Sinosphere), and Tao Stein (WeChat: 石涛讲故事 / shitaojianggushi). In front of a full house, we talked about the characteristics of bloggers (journalists without credentials? writers without agents? mavens without business plans?), the purpose of blogs, particularly in relation with traditional media, censorship, curation / aggregation, Sina Weibo, and whether WeChat is the future of blogging -- among many other topics. Read more »

Classical Beauties Modernized In Zhang Botao’s Oil Paintings

Zhang Botao Sorrowful beauties 4
Zhang Botao searches for remnants of ancient tradition in China’s modern women. Since 2010, he has been working on oil paintings inspired by ancient beauties at his studio in the Songzhuang artist colony. His paintings blend modern figures with ancient oriental traits. Each of the women in his works show eyes full of desperation and sorrow. Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: The Legacy Of Uyghur Rock Icon Exmetjan

The Legacy of a Uyghur Rock Icon Exmetjan
People still remember where they were the day Exmetjan died. It was Thursday, June 13, 1991. He was only 22 years old. As is common with the death of an icon, many people refused to believe he was gone. Instead, rumors spread that thugs from a rival disco had knifed him in a back alley or that he had faked his death and gone abroad to marry a princess. Read more »

Savills Is Offering Bullshit Medical Advice: “Tricks To Protect You From Haze”

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When it comes to toadying up to authority, you can’t beat foreign business. While smog comes and goes like a dissident in the night, its legacy lives on -- for example, in the missive below from Savills, the London-based real estate agency, which wins our coveted Beijing Cream Corporate Whore of the Month Award with “Twelve tricks to protect you from haze.” Read more »

Russian Embassy Compares Crimea Crisis With Tiananmen Incident On Weibo

Russia Embassy microblog Tiananmen comparison
As the US and EU prepare to levy economic sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, Russia's leaders may be growing desperate to find support wherever they can. On Tuesday at 12:14 pm, the official Sina Weibo microblog of the Russian Embassy posted a message that, in no uncertain terms, sought Chinese empathy. There was one big problem: the post contained a remarkably tone deaf reference to the "Tiananmen Incident," i.e. the 1989 student protests in Beijing that resulted in a violent government crackdown, i.e. the one event that no one here is supposed to talk about. Read more »

No Survivors On MH370, Says Malaysian PM, Sparking Sanctioned Protest In Beijing

MH370 headlines in black and white
In a televised statement on Monday at Lido Hotel in Beijing, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which has now been missing for 18 days, likely "ended in the southern Indian Ocean." After his statement, family and friends of MH370 passengers were reportedly notified by text that "none of those on board have survived." Read more »

Former Bloomberg Editor Says China Reporting “Undermined By A Tiny Band Of Fools”

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Bloomberg continues to lose longtime reporters because it values financial services over journalism. On Monday, Bloomberg News editor Ben Richardson, based in Hong Kong, resigned after 13 years with the company over the mishandling of an investigative piece -- it was unceremoniously spiked -- about a Chinese entrepreneur's financial ties with Communist Party leaders and their families. Read more »

Junkyard Transformers In Shandong Are Somewhat Amazing

Transformer made by repairman in Jinan, Shandong featured image
China's obsession with Transformers is evident in box office revenue, filming location (Transformers: Age of Extinction has scenes from Wulong county in Chongqing), and this massive Optimus Prime in Kunming. We can now add another chapter to the legend, thanks to "repairmen" in Jinan, Shandong province. Read more »

Sindicator, Ep.02: Austere China: Xi Jinping Is. Not. Playing

Sindicator Ep02
Communist Party cadres throw down rapper-level cash on luxury brands, especially in the name of "gifts of guanxi," but a shrinkage in the gift market has affected some key industries in the domestic policy game, like Moutai, which has seen sales plummet over the last year. Luxury darlings Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier also have all seen a slump in demand. Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: Who Are The Guang Hui Flying Tigers Of Xinjiang?

Xinjiang Flying Tigers
The Xinjiang Guang Hui Flying Tigers are flying high. Riding the phenomenal success of their imported stars, Americans Lester Hudson and James Singleton and a Taiwanese player named Yang Jinmin, the support of China national team players such as the Uyghur point guard Shiralijan (Xi-re-li-jiang) and the Han center Tang Zhengdong, they're back in the Chinese Basketball Association finals for the fourth time in six years -- but the first since 2011, when Quicy Douby took them within two wins of a championship. Read more »

Ducks Dominant In Opening Game Of CBA Finals

Beijing Ducks vs Xinjiang Game 1
Believe it or not, a 37-year-old point guard from Coney Island, New York who played 13 years in the NBA is putting the city of Beijing on his back. With one CBA championship on his resume -- and a statue outside MasterCard Center -- Stephon Marbury already is a Chinese basketball living legend. So what happens if he wins another, all while averaging 28 points per game this postseason on a bum knee? Read more »