Gene Lin

Gene Lin

Gene is a contributor to Inkstone. He studies journalism and computer science at The University of Hong Kong. He previously worked at the Hong Kong Free Press.

China’s top mountaineer finds the meaning of life at 26,000 feet
When Chinese mountaineer Zhang Liang took his first step on the peak of North America’s tallest peak, he was making history. By conquering Alaska’s Denali in June, the 54-year-old became only the second mountaineer ever to achieve what’s known as the “True Explorer’s Grand Slam” – climbing the world’s 20 highest peaks and reaching both the North and South Poles on foot. Standing on the snowy peak with nothing but the sky above him, he felt a teary thrill. “The 18 years that went into completing this challenge has been a strenuous and grueling experience,” Zhang tells Inkstone. “It gives you a lot to reflect on, when you think about how many lives are lost at the expense of this extreme spor
China’s top mountaineer finds the meaning of life at 26,000 feet
Left hanging
Two window cleaners crossed paths with death this Tuesday, when a technical malfunction left them dangling outside the 57th story of a skyscraper in central China’s Hunan province. The cleaners’ gondola was left suspended in the air outside the 862-foot building. The workers were stuck in the sky for nearly three hours, before firefighters arrived and were able to haul the trapped workers to safety, one at a time.
Left hanging
Nice day for a wet wedding
Three Chinese couples braved torrential rain and knee-deep floodwater to get married in central China’s Henan province last Saturday. The day had been deemed an auspicious date to tie the knot — meaning that those who got married then would be blessed with good fortune. But Typhoon Rumbia didn’t make it easy. One bride’s family decided to transport her on an inflatable raft, while another groom hopped into a big truck to make it to the ceremony. Meanwhile, a couple who weren’t as fortunate decided to perform their ceremony roadside, so they wouldn’t miss that auspicious window. Flooding is common in some Chinese regions during the rainy season. In July, a surge in rainfall caused the famous
Nice day for a wet wedding
Feeding the hungry ghosts
When spirits come to your neighbourhood, you’d better serve up your best. Ethnic Chinese Malaysians celebrated Hungry Ghost month in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. The tradition is associated with Buddhism and Taoism, and commonly practiced in Asian countries including China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Indonesia. Legend has it that the gates to the underworld open once a year, and ghosts return to the land of the living in search of food. Ghosts of memories Gene Lin, Inkstone My family frequently observed the Hungry Ghost Festival — also known as the “Zhongyuan” Festival — when I was growing up in Taiwan. Each August, my grandmother would put up an altar of delicious food for ou
Feeding the hungry ghosts
China’s Tesla challenger wants to raise billions in the States
Chinese electric car startup NIO is aiming to raise $1.8 billion by going public on the New York Stock Exchange, according to documents the company filed on Monday. Analysts have described NIO as China’s “Tesla-fighter,” thanks to the company’s futuristic design, high-tech features and goals to popularize autonomous vehicles that run on renewable energy. Today, China has the world’s largest and fastest-growing electric vehicle market. For a carmaker startup founded in 2014, NIO harbors great ambitions. Having raised $2.1 billion in funding this year, the Chinese startup is eyeing not just the local, but also the overseas market. NIO’s founder and chairman William Li — dubbed the "Elon Musk
China’s Tesla challenger wants to raise billions in the States
The asses are back
The Mongolian wild asses are returning to their homeland in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The asses are a threatened species of donkey, with a meager population of just 2,000. They suffered a sharp decline in their population numbers from the 1960s, due to poaching and a loss of habitat. Now the Chinese government has deployed wildlife patrols and artificial breeding as a means to rebuild the population, with slow but steady result. “With the improvement of the ecological environment, the rarely seen Mongolian wild asses have returned to their home and their breeding habitat recently. We have spotted nearly 400 of them," said Chen Shengming, the director of the wildlife
The asses are back
China blocks Reddit — but why now?
Reddit appears to be blocked in China, joining sites like Google, Facebook and Twitter on a list of foreign-owned websites inaccessible in the country. Internet users in China began reporting their inability to access the world’s most popular discussion forum since as early as Friday. That Reddit is blocked hasn’t surprised many users of the freewheeling message board, but the question is: why now? “One thing we always have to bear in mind when it comes to actions like this is that the system is primarily paranoid, and only secondarily rational,” David Bandurski, co-director at the China Media Project, told Inkstone, referring to China’s censorship regime. Bandurski compared the Chinese cen
China blocks Reddit — but why now?
The Great Flierwall
The 2018 Drone Champions League (DCL) came to the Chinese capital of Beijing this weekend. The sport has picked up a keen following in recent years, and features drone racers navigating their craft at top speeds of 87 miles per hour through complex racecourses around some of the world’s best-known landmarks. The weekend’s venue: the Great Wall of China. The race ended with the UK, the US and the Czech Republic winning the top three places. This is the first time that the DCL has taken place in Asia.
The Great Flierwall
Forget crypto. MacCoin is China’s newest craze
Move over, gold-backed currency. Watch out, asset-backed crypto. The hottest asset in town is MacCoin, backed by burgers. McDonald’s announced this week that it is issuing “MacCoin” tokens, each allowing its holder to redeem exactly one Big Mac. But as is the case with anything with “blockchain” or “coin” in its name these days, the innocuous sounding MacCoin has taken on a life of its own on the Chinese internet. Perhaps in the hope of getting rich, people have started trading these brass-colored physical tokens at prices as high as $146 per coin on the nation’s e-commerce platforms. We're celebrating 50 years of Big Mac by creating a global currency—MacCoin—each one worth a free Big Mac ar
Forget crypto. MacCoin is China’s newest craze
Solar stew
This tube-like device is able to cook your breakfast — using power of the sun. Himin Solar Energy Group, organised a food festival in China’s eastern Shandong province to show off the apparatus. It wants to convince chefs and home cooks to try out their invention, claiming it reduces carbon emissions and still cooks a mean bowl of noodles. The chefs insert food into a mirrored vacuum tube. The sun’s heat is concentrated in the tube, cooking the dish. Roughly 600 million of China's 1.4 billion people still cook with coal, wood or other biomass, according to a 2016 report by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The Chinese government has been trying to reduce carbon emissions for years, i
Solar stew