Alice Yan

Alice Yan

Social news reporter, China

Alice Yan is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a Shanghai-based social and medical news reporter at the South China Morning Post.

Location
Shanghai
Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China's social news
Decision to postpone retirement sparks fury in China
The Chinese government released a directive in November that suggests authorities are seriously considering asking their citizens to delay their retirements.  The directive has gone viral online and it has been met with widespread opposition from a general public that is worried about postponing their pensions.  China created its retirement policy 50 years ago, with men allowed to file for retirement benefits when they turn 60. Women in blue-collar jobs can retire when they are 50, while the retirement age for female office workers is a bit later at 55 years old.  China wants to extend retirement ages because the pension fund will likely run out of money by 2035 as China’s population rapidly
China's guide to ending abuse of students in college
China’s education department issued a new regulation on November 11 banning postgraduate tutors from having “improper” relations with students to prevent instances of exploitation.  Postgraduate tutors are often treated as guiding mentors, or even employers, by students who face immense pressure to achieve high marks in China’s notoriously high-pressure academic culture. The relationship dynamic has resulted in sexual misconduct or bullying from teachers, and in some cases resulted in the student committing suicide.  The directive banned tutors from the following violations, among others: Humiliating their students Using their students to apply for research grants Willfully postponing stud
China’s female comedians turning patriarchy into punchlines
When Chinese female stand-up comedian Yang Li asked on stage, “Why are men so mediocre but still so confident?” some people were amused, while others were hostile. “This is the funniest sentence of this year,” one person said on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “If some men can share a bit of their confidence with me, I won’t feel inferior and anxious about my trivial shortcomings.” Chu Yin, a male law professor in Beijing, fired back: “A man doesn’t need to be special to be confident in front of you.” He continued: “A man may be average, but you are likely ugly without make-up.” It was not the first time Yang’s comments had caused a buzz online. With a style described as delivering the
‘Singles’ Day’ shopping bonanza adds more pressure on delivery workers
As the largest shopping bonanza in the world kicked off on November 11, a small but persistent complaint served as a reminder: Please remember to be kind to the delivery people.  With the State Post Bureau predicting a daily average of 490 million packages will be shipped across China during the sales period, delivery companies are going through a stress test on how to handle the mountains of packages bought by people online.  Alibaba said that it saw an average of 583,000 orders per second on Tmall.com – its largest shopping platform – just 4 seconds after midnight on November 11. Alibaba is the parent company of Inkstone.  The sheer volume of transactions means peak season for delivery wor
China has a plan to help its children get more exercise
China is to put greater emphasis on physical education in its high-school entrance exam in an effort to push schools and parents to ensure children get more exercise. It follows repeated warnings that Chinese children have high levels of obesity and poor eyesight, with physical education often neglected in China’s primary and middle schools in favor of academic subjects. Last month, the education ministry announced plans to give sports a higher weighting in the nation’s high-school entry exam, the zhongkao, putting it almost on a par with academic subjects such as Chinese, math and English. The zhongkao already includes a score for sports, but gives it very low weighting compared with other
Salmon scare grips Beijing amid coronavirus outbreak
China has halted imports from European salmon suppliers after state-run newspapers reported that chopping boards used for the fish contained traces of coronavirus, although experts say the fish itself is unlikely to carry the disease. Beijing is currently trying to contain an outbreak centered on the Xinfadi market that has so far infected 137 people. The reports prompted major supermarkets in Beijing to remove salmon from their shelves. “We have stopped all sales to China and are waiting for the situation to be clarified,” said Stein Martinsen, head of sales and marketing at Norway Royal Salmon. Mike Ryan, the head of the World Health Organization’s emergency program, said the claim that t
Lockdowns return to Beijing after coronavirus outbreak at food market
Beijing has imposed “wartime management” on one of its districts and locked down more than 20 housing estates after a new coronavirus outbreak at the city’s biggest vegetable market. There were 36 new reported cases on Sunday, taking the number in the capital’s fresh outbreak to 79 – all of them linked to the Xinfadi wholesale market, a huge food distribution center in southern Beijing that supplies food to northern provinces. Some of the cases were found in a second market, Yuquandong, but had links to Xinfadi. In Fengtai district, where Xinfadi market is located, 11 residential compounds had been locked down and were under guard, and a command center had been set up to oversee “wartime” re
China wants to help new graduates find jobs in 100 days. Here’s how
Beijing has kicked off a campaign to help graduates enter the labor market as the country faces growing pressure to reboot a sagging economy. Much like the rest of the world, China’s economy ground to a halt as the country instituted strict movement restrictions to battle the coronavirus, which first emerged in the central city of Wuhan.  The country’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter this year – an unprecedented GDP contraction. Ten initiatives were announced on Wednesday that aim to help people find jobs for this year’s 8.74 million new graduates. The “100-day” campaign includes more graduate degree programs for universities, hiring an extra 400,000 graduates as teachers, expandin
Coronavirus killed 50% more people in Wuhan than previously reported, officials said
The Chinese city of Wuhan said 50% more people died from the coronavirus than it previously reported.  The government of the central city, where the new coronavirus was first reported, on Friday added 1,290 more deaths to its tally, bringing the official death toll from 2,579 to 3,869. The change is consistent with the suspicion held by many doctors and residents in Wuhan that a significant number of Covid-19 deaths was not counted. Some people who likely contracted the coronavirus reportedly died before they could be diagnosed or treated because an explosion of patients paralyzed the city’s medical system. The government said the increase in the death toll was mainly because many people di
China's toughest test just got harder
Last Tuesday was the most anticipated opening day of a new term for Yin Shirui, a high school student in Ganzhou, in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi. It came about two months later than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic. For final-year high school students in nine Chinese provinces, last week marked their return to campus after an extended winter holiday and weeks of online learning at home. “I don’t like learning on the internet at all. I stayed at home alone for most of the day, from morning until late in the afternoon,” Yin, 17, said. “I am not interested in what is taught in online class because the teachers there do not target me, or my class. They target the whole grad