He Huifeng

He Huifeng

Guangdong Correspondant

Huifeng is a contributor to Inkstone. She is an award-winning journalist with a focus on China’s political, economic and social issues.

Location
Guangdong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
Chinese political economics, China news, content editing
35 may be too old to find work in China
Is 35 suddenly becoming “over the hill” in China? It certainly feels that way to some workers.  As the competition for jobs becomes more fierce among a pandemic-related economic slowdown, a growing number of employment ads are posting age limits of 35 for fresh applicants.  The problem is so widespread that state media has even branded it the “age 35 phenomenon.” In his forties, David Huang is one of the scores of Chinese workers above 35 feeling increasingly vulnerable.  After the small clothing factory he owned in the southern province of Guangdong closed last year, he now roams between wet markets and roadside stalls, trying to sell his remaining inventory of about 10,000 garments. “I’m
Money to burn: Chinese elite swap international travel for high-end spending at home
Watches, diamonds, gold and leather goods were among the luxury items that made up a whopping US$54 billion spent by China’s wealthiest families last year. With coronavirus severely curtailing all international travel – and extravagant shopping excursions to Paris, Dubai, New York and London – affluent families in China have been forced to shop up a storm at home in a bid to reduce their anxiety about border closures that keep them stuck in China. “Before the outbreak, we would travel abroad a lot every year, or even live for a while away from the mainland. Last year I turned to shop more for watches, diamonds and gold to compensate for the regret for not being able to travel abroad,” said
China’s rich nervous to move assets overseas amid pandemic crisis
For years, China’s wealthiest have strived to gain residency overseas in order to protect their assets, but the pandemic has complicated matters.  Many are now facing a million-dollar question, do they stay in China and risk losing their assets, or move abroad where they risk contracting the virus? According to consultants and business people, many are conflicted and feel pressured that the Chinese government could seize their assets in what is perceived as a campaign against business owners. Among them is Wendy Zhao and her husband, who own properties worth more than US$3 million in Shenzhen, China’s hi-tech hub.  They are at odds over whether to move to New Zealand next year to start a ne
Entertainment spending highlights China’s great wealth divide
If ever there was a barometer of China’s rich and poor divide, it is a new report on how much people spend on entertainment and leisure activities. Almost 45% of the population - equivalent to 620 million people in China – spend less than US$153 on entertainment for the entire year, a new survey reveals. About 4.1% of respondents said they spent nothing on leisure. “The last time I went to a wedding reception in a neighboring village, I spent 80 yuan (US$12) on a gift,” said Luo Xiu, who is in her 50s and lives in Wan’an county in the southwestern Jiangxi province. “I had a good meal and fun there. I think that is my only expense on leisure in the last year.”  The survey, by the Chinese Aca
China’s rich are worried about the future of Hong Kong
Wealthy investors from mainland China are watching developments in Hong Kong with growing concern, as tensions between Beijing and Washington over a new national security law raise questions about the future of the city. While anti-government protests have hurt Hong Kong’s reputation as an orderly financial hub, well-off investors in the mainland are still attracted to the city’s unique privileges within China.  Unlike mainland China, Hong Kong has unrestricted capital flows, an uncensored internet and rule of law upheld by an independent judiciary. The freedoms have allowed affluent investors to park money in the city and access the outside world. But China’s decision to move ahead with a
China’s poorest are battling to survive
Li Ming, a 36-year-old marketing manager for a car company in Beijing, is feeling the pinch for the first time in her life. When the coronavirus outbreak started, car sales slumped and she was furloughed from her job in February. To make matters worse, her husband, who works for an airline, has also had to take a 40% pay cut. “Suddenly half our household income evaporated,” Li said. “I haven’t had a decent sleep for months. We have a mortgage to pay and two children. They are a heavy burden now.” Li was able to save 12,000 yuan ($1,700) a month by firing the family’s domestic helper. “I explained and told her not to come back after the Lunar New Year holiday, which she was spending with her
Migrant workers struggle to find jobs as pandemic hits China’s factories
At a suburb area in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, hundreds of migrant workers were standing, sitting or squatting next to a temporary bus stop, with their bags, suitcases, kitchen items, sewing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioners.  They were not fleeing a natural disaster, but a sluggish manufacturing industry that could not offer the jobs they had before the coronavirus pandemic.  Some had arrived in the manufacturing hub in southern China from Hubei province, where lockdowns have been lifted over the past weeks. They had quickly made the decision to leave, as the economic opportunities they had arrived in search of no longer existed. The scramble for labor as China sought
Study says coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan seafood market
The novel coronavirus that causes the infectious disease known as Covid-19 did not originate at a seafood market in the central China city of Wuhan as was first thought, a new study by a team of Chinese scientists suggests. The coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, was imported from elsewhere, said researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research. The team, led by Dr Yu Wenbin, sequenced the genomic data of 93 SARS-CoV-2 samples provided by 12 countries in a bid to track down the source of the infection and understand how it spreads. What they found was that while the virus had spread rapidly within the H
Why Chinese banks are giving out free pork to new customers
Handing out servings of expensive pork as a reward for opening an account is the latest gimmick being used by a growing number of small local banks across China to lure new depositors. The fact that pork could be seen as a desirable reward for opening a bank account speaks to the country’s massive shortage of its favorite staple meat. On Monday, clients who deposited $1,430 or more in a three-month time deposit at the Linhai Rural Commercial Bank in Duqiao in Zhejiang province were then eligible to enter a lottery to win a portion of pork ranging from one to ten pounds. “The money is still my own, and the interest is good. I’m happy to receive a piece of pork in addition,” one female client,
The Chinese city struggling after Samsung closes its last factory
Looking out over her small restaurant in Huizhou city on the north of the Pearl River Delta, known to be the beating heart of China’s manufacturing industry, Li Bing can still picture the hustle and bustle of a throng of customers from a nearby factory. But now, as Li looks up from her broom, she is gr eeted by empty tables, a sight that has been familiar for the last two months, and one that is replicated around the local industrial complex, located in the southern Chinese province of Guandong.  The reason behind the downturn is simple: the closure of Samsung’s complex in Huizhou, which until October was the South Korean company’s last smartphone factory in China. Li’s restaurant had bene