Alan Wong

Alan Wong

Editor, Inkstone

Alan is the editor of Inkstone. He was a digital editor for The New York Times in Hong Kong.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
US-China relations, technology, Hong Kong politics
Front-line activists won big in Hong Kong polls. Beijing is not amused
Beijing could further crack down on Hong Kong’s political opposition ahead of key legislative elections in September, analysts say. Chinese officials have lashed out at organizers of an unofficial primary over the weekend after activists on the front lines of anti-government protests outperformed their rivals in the opposition bloc. Two central government offices overseeing Hong Kong affairs have accused the primary’s organizers of trying to subvert state power in breach of a new national security law. It may portend the mass disqualification of pro-democracy candidates that could lead to further unrest, observers said. “They might see the high turnout as a result of the mobilization of for
Thousands protest China’s security law for Hong Kong
Thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Wednesday to protest a sweeping new security law that critics said could undermine the city’s political and legal autonomy.  Beijing imposed the law on Hong Kong on Tuesday night, which gives the Chinese authorities expansive powers to crack down on actions deemed as endangering national security.  Opposition politicians fear Beijing would use it as a tool to muzzle dissent in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago under a “one country, two systems” framework that gives it a wide range of civil liberties unavailable elsewhere in China. In the first test of the law, the Hong Kong police force said it arrested a man f
Beijing abandons 2020 economic growth target
In a break with the past, the Chinese government will not set a target for its economic growth this year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday. The decision underscores the uncertainty facing the world’s most populous country brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and worsening US-China relations.  Li announced the decision during the opening session of China’s annual parliamentary gathering, which was delayed for two months due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  China has set a hard target for its gross domestic product growth every year since 1994. Li attributed the move to scrap the 2020 target to “the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment.”
Trump official’s Chinese speech reaches few listeners in China
A top aide to President Donald Trump criticized the Chinese Communist Party’s firm grip on power in a speech delivered entirely in Mandarin, but few people in China have heard what he said. Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, who worked as a journalist in Beijing for seven years, drew on modern Chinese history to deliver a 20-minute critique of the Chinese authorities, including their early missteps in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first Chinese-language speech given by an official in the Trump administration. “The reason I spoke in Chinese… goes back to the shocking lack of diversity in voices,” he said in English in a Q&A session following the Monday sp
Trump stops calling coronavirus ‘Chinese virus’ after using the term 16 times
President Donald Trump on Monday stopped referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and called for the protection of Asian-Americans. “It’s very important that we totally protect our Asian-American community in the United States and all around the world,” Trump said at a White House briefing. “They’re amazing people and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way shape or form,” he said.  Trump’s shift in tone was abrupt, having called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” at least once every day since March 17 – a reference that was made at least eight times on Twitter and another eight times in the White House. Asked in the briefing why he stopped using the term, Trump
Coronavirus patients are contagious 2 days before symptoms show, study suggests
People infected with the new coronavirus may be most contagious right when their symptoms begin to show and even a couple of days beforehand. Scholars observed the highest viral load in throat swabs at the initial sign of symptoms and inferred that infectiousness peaked on or before symptom onset, and people may be highly contagious 2.5 days before symptoms show. It is a pattern similar to that of seasonal influenza. The findings set the new coronavirus apart from the Sars virus, which becomes most infectious 10 to 12 days after the onset of symptoms. Estimating that 44% of transmissions could take place before symptoms develop in an infected person, the research underscores the capability o
What we’ve learned so far about the coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak is a pandemic and has reached the highest level of risk globally, according to the World Health Organization.  Inkstone reviews what medical professionals and public health researchers have learned since China first reported the outbreak to the WHO on December 31, 2019. This article was last updated on April 18, 2020. The virus has spread across the world The new coronavirus has a footprint covering more than 200 countries and territories. The virus has sickened at least 2.2 million people and killed 150,000 worldwide. The United States, Spain and Italy have reported the most deaths. What to call the virus and the disease  The new, or novel, coronavirus is found to
Hotpot, barbecue, ‘super-spreader’: Coronavirus defies curbs on meeting and travel
Restaurants in Hong Kong have scrambled to drop hotpot from their menus after the better part of a family who shared the dish was infected with the coronavirus as health authorities advised against large gatherings. Hotpot is a winter staple at the Chinese dining table where people cook and eat meat and vegetables by dipping them in a shared pot of simmering broth. Several restaurant chains in the city have suspended the menu item after Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection said 11 of 19 members of an extended family who shared a hotpot and barbecue meal tested positive for the coronavirus.  Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the center, said members of the p
What makes Elon Musk dance like nobody’s watching in China
The video came with a warning, for good reason. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, shared footage of him awkwardly dancing on stage at a Shanghai event for his electric car company.  In his own telling, the video of his flailing limps was “NSFW!!” – not safe for work – internet lingo usually applied to porn and other stuff you don’t want to be caught watching in the office. At Tesla Giga Shanghai NSFW!! pic.twitter.com/1yrPyzJQGZ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2020 Scripted or not, Musk’s unabashed display of joy is testimony to the good fortune he’s had in China as he sought to expand Tesla’s sales and production.  The Shanghai event was held on Tuesday to mark the delivery to cust
9 fascinating China stories you might have missed in 2019
In 2019, Inkstone published some 250 issues and about 1,500 stories about China. By our rough estimate, that’s more than 1 million words, or about the length of the whole Harry Potter series.  That’s a lot of news, owing in part to an eventful year. But as unrest in Hong Kong and tensions between the United States and China dominated the headlines for months on end, there were stories that we liked that you might have missed. At the year’s end, we have put together a list of interesting, but lesser-read articles 📝 and videos 📺 that deserve a second chance. 1. ‘Let’s find somewhere private’: Single, retired and looking for love in Beijing 📝 China's widowers and single elderly people are lo