Alan Wong

Alan Wong

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

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 March 20, 2020. The virus has spread across the world The new coronavirus has a footprint covering more than 170 countries and territories. The virus has taken its greatest toll in China, where the outbreak first emerged, Italy and Iran.  Mainland China has reported one-third of the 245,660 infections globally and 3,248 deaths. Italy, which has reported about half the
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
Battle for No 2 Bridge: Hong Kong student protesters clash with police
The hillside campus of a top Hong Kong university was on edge on Wednesday after it was turned into a battlefield between masked student protesters and the police. Once known for its tranquility, the site of the Chinese University of Hong Kong became a flashpoint on Tuesday as riot police officers and students fought over a bridge on the eastern edge of the campus. Called the No 2 Bridge, the structure straddles the Tolo Highway, a major artery in the city’s New Territories region. Black-masked student protesters, huddled behind tables and other makeshift shields, clashed with riot police against the backdrop of swirling tear gas and the amber of raging fires. The resulting smoke could be s
The ‘widespread misconception’ fueling mainland Chinese anger at Hong Kong
When a police officer fired bullets at masked protesters in Hong Kong on Monday morning, the scene went viral online across the city and mainland China. What happened was not in dispute, but their perceptions were wildly different. While Hongkongers were outraged and questioned the officer’s use of live ammunition, viewers in the mainland put the blame squarely on the protesters, including the 21-year-old student who was shot. “The police officer was firing to save his life from the cockroach. He did nothing wrong,” said a top comment on the Weibo social media site popular among mainland Chinese users. The divergence highlights the wide divide in public opinion between mainland China and the
Why Andrew Yang’s name sounds weird to Chinese speakers
How do you pronounce the surname of the US presidential candidate Andrew Yang? Does it rhyme with “gang,” as in “Yang Gang”?  While this pronunciation may be intuitive to Americans – it’s how the Democratic hopeful says his name – it might sound a little off to Chinese ears. In the video above, we explain the difference between how Mandarin speakers pronounce the popular Chinese last name and how most Americans say it.
The short video app at the center of a US security debate
The videos look innocuous enough. Selfies. Stunts. Scripted comedy. cat lady in training pic.twitter.com/LKovVQYknh — TikTok (@tiktok_us) November 2, 2019 But TikTok, a rare Chinese-owned social media app that has thrived outside China, has found itself the target of a serious accusation: threatening American security. The intensifying scrutiny on the app, owned by the Chinese internet giant ByteDance, has come amid rising suspicion in Washington of Beijing’s growing global influence. US lawmakers and critics of the Chinese government have accused the popular video-sharing app of potentially allowing China’s ruling Communist Party to exploit information about its millions of American users f