Echo Xie

Echo Xie

Reporter, China

Echo is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a Beijing-based Chinese politics and policy reporter for the South China Morning Post.

Location
Beijing
Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China politics, policy
Signing a mobile contract in China? Get ready for a facial scan
China has introduced a new rule that requires people to have their faces scanned when signing up for mobile phone services, as experts and even state media raised concerns that there were insufficient measures in place to safeguard privacy rights. Before the introduction of the new requirement on Sunday, which had been announced in September by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, people registering for mobile phone services had to provide only a copy of their identity cards. The ministry said the new measure would help to stem the resale of sim cards and protect people from unknowingly signing up for phone services if their identities were stolen. Many online services and so
Signing a mobile contract in China? Get ready for a facial scan
School surveillance questioned: ‘Why do we need to monitor them?’
Almost every second of Betty Li’s school life is monitored. The 22-year-old student at a university in northwestern China must get through facial scanners to enter her classes and her dormitory, while cameras above the blackboards in classrooms keep an eye on her attentiveness. Like many other educational institutions across the country, the university in Xian, Shaanxi province, deployed AI-powered gates and facial recognition cameras several years ago as a part of the “smart campuses” campaign promoted by the Ministry of Education. The universities are at the forefront of a national effort to lead the world in emerging technologies and move China’s economy up the value chain. But the monito
School surveillance questioned: ‘Why do we need to monitor them?’
‘Grandstanding’ Beijing is unlikely to intervene in Hong Kong, analysts say
The Chinese government stepped up its rhetoric against anti-government protests in Hong Kong this week, warning that escalating violence by protesters in clashes with police was showing “signs of terrorism.” Yang Guang, a spokesman for China’s top office overseeing Hong Kong policy, called on the city’s police on Monday to end “violent criminal activity” by demonstrators “with no hesitation or mercy.” But analysts say Beijing is unlikely to directly intervene in Hong Kong, even as pressure is mounting on the city’s police to put an immediate end to months of protests. China amended its counterterrorism law in 2016 to broaden the definition of terrorist activities, but the law is not applicab
‘Grandstanding’ Beijing is unlikely to intervene in Hong Kong, analysts say
China is one step closer to developing reusable rockets
China got closer to being able to land a rocket after it successfully tested the use of SpaceX-style grid fins to steer a spent booster to a target site late last month. The technology could help China develop reusable rockets like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and drive down launch costs as the country has ramped up its space program.  Grid fins are aerodynamic control surfaces that are folded during launch but deployed in flight to control a rocket’s re-entry. China on July 26 launched a Long March 2C rocket with the steering devices for the first time and crash-landed its spent booster at a landing spot in Guizhou province in the country’s southwest, state-run Science and Technology Daily has report
China is one step closer to developing reusable rockets
Beijing’s new Zaha Hadid-designed airport is almost ready
Main construction work on Beijing’s starfish-shaped new mega-airport was completed on Sunday, state media reported.  It’s set to open its doors in September – in time for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1. Designed by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is located in the south of the capital. It will be the world’s largest single-terminal airport, with a total investment of about $17.47 billion. Its futuristic, golden terminal spans 7.5 million sq ft, though it is designed to keep walking to a minimum. It is expected to have seven runways eventually and will be able to handle 45 million pas
Beijing’s new Zaha Hadid-designed airport is almost ready
They put the Tank Man on booze bottles, and got punished
Two Chinese activists who made a veiled protest over China’s bloody 1989 crackdown on a pro-democracy movement in Beijing have been given suspended jail sentences. They were among several people detained in 2016 after they put labels on liquor bottles paying tribute to the Tank Man and urging people to remember the student-led demonstrations on Tiananmen Square. The sentencing highlights Beijing’s continued control over discussions of the pro-democracy movement in the Chinese capital and the violent crackdown that ended it nearly three decades ago, in which hundreds, by some estimates more than 1,000, of civilians were killed. One of the activists, Fu Hailu, a native of the southwestern pro
They put the Tank Man on booze bottles, and got punished
Law professor suspended after openly criticizing China’s president
A law professor at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University who openly criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping has been suspended by the university, according to one of his colleagues and several academics familiar with the situation. Xu Zhangrun, 56, was suspended this month after he wrote several articles criticizing Beijing over political and social issues, his colleague Guo Yuhua, a sociology professor at the university, told the South China Morning Post. In one opinion piece last year, Xu questioned the personality cult surrounding Xi and the decision by China’s parliament to scrap the term limit on the Chinese presidency. The article, and others written by Xu critical of the president,
Law professor suspended after openly criticizing China’s president