Jane Zhang

Jane Zhang

Reporter, Hong Kong and China

Jane Zhang is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a reporter with the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China business, China-Hong Kong relations, video production
How the coolest music company in China died
One of the coolest music start-ups in China, Xiami Music, simply couldn’t cut it and will close next month after management admitted it missed “crucial opportunities” in the battle with rival Tencent Music. Owned by Alibaba (which owns Inkstone), Xiami has become a cautionary tale of how a company can be beloved by the fans, but won’t be able to survive if it can’t attract the mass market.  It also marks an end of an era, harkening back to a time when the Chinese internet was less concerned about making money and more focused on building businesses with innovative ideas. Just a few years ago, Xiami was one of the top streaming platforms in China, but, in the time since, Tencent has grown to
Trump hands Biden a headache with ban on Chinese tech companies
US President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps, including Alipay and WeChat Pay, this week, the latest escalation of the US-China tech war.  But it will be a problem the incoming Biden administration will need to manage, analysts said, and it remains unclear if he plans to implement the order, meant to take effect in 45 days. Trump should have left the presidency by then. The latest executive order from the White House cited national security concerns, saying the Chinese programs could provide the personal data of American citizens to the Chinese government.  The ban will likely only have a limited impact on the companies because of their li
What next for Huawei after yet more US tech sanctions?
After the United States further tightened its restrictions on Chinese telecoms maker Huawei on Monday, analysts had only one word to describe the situation facing the company: impossible. In what has become a major battleground in the growing US-China tech rivalry, the Trump administration – which claims Huawei products could be used to facilitate spying by the Chinese government – has blacklisted a further 38 Huawei affiliates from buying US products. It aims to strangle the Chinese company by cutting off its ability to buy semiconductors produced using American technology. Since May, foreign chip makers using US technology have been required to apply for a license to sell chips to Huawei.
A $4.57 million meal with Warren Buffett was ‘priceless,’ crypto founder says
The man who spent $4.57 million to have a meal with Warren Buffett finally got to enjoy his sit-down with the legendary investor.  Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun Yuchen had to postpone the lunch with the Berkshire Hathaway chairman last year because of a kidney stones issue. When they finally met, it was for dinner.  Sun's $4.57 million bid was enough to win the opportunity at a charity auction in June last year but postponed it, first citing health issues and then apologizing to the public for overhyping the plan to dine with one of the world’s richest people. Sun thanked Buffett for his dinner, wisdom and vision. “$4.56 million for a $515.05 dinner was money well spent! Th
6 hours spent online per day: China’s mobile population in numbers
Chinese mobile users are spending more time than ever on their devices, according to a report published by research firm QuestMobile on Thursday. From the beginning of 2019 to the end of last November, each user spent an average of 6.2 hours a day – or 1.8 full days a week – using mobile devices to get online. The number represents an 11.3% increase over the same period last year, data from QuestMobile showed.  The average number of apps they used per month also increased from 21.3 in 2018 to 23.6 in 2019, according to the report. 6.2 hours Average time Chinese users spend on their mobile devices per day A separate report by research firm eMarketer in May last year estimated that the average
I took a self-driving robotaxi in China
From Batman to Transformers, self-driving cars have long captured the popular imagination. And China, where the pervasive use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies extends from sorting rubbish to traffic control, is a natural testing ground for companies jostling to make this sci-fi fantasy a reality. They are part of a global move towards autonomous vehicles, which are quickly becoming the world's first major AI revolution. The sector has drawn billions of dollars of investment over the past few years, with the global autonomous vehicles market projected to be worth $65.3 billion by 2027, according to a report by Market Research Future. Major US players such as Google, Tesla and Gene
Life in the world’s most surveilled city
After a long, exhausting shift driving his taxi, 33-year-old Wu Fuchun pulled over to find a bathroom. Five minutes later, a message popped up on his phone saying his car had been parked in the wrong place, in violation of traffic laws. What came next was three penalty points on his license and a fine of $28. Far from being surprised, Wu accepted his fate, as being fined like this is nothing new in Chongqing, officially the world’s most surveilled city. As of 2019 Chongqing had about 2.58 million surveillance cameras covering 15.35 million people, meaning about 168 cameras per 1,000 people and even higher than the number in Beijing, according to an analysis published in August by Comparitech
China set to lose half of its pigs to epidemic. Can fake pork save the day?
With pork prices in China spiking in recent months, a food company thinks now is the perfect time to convince the world’s largest pork consumer to try something new: fake pork. Since last August, a deadly swine epidemic has left 40% of China’s pigs dead or culled. Financial service firm Rabobank estimates China could lose half of its pig herd by the end of 2019. Despite China’s move to release emergency pork reserves to the markets, pork prices have jumped close to 50% since July, according to China’s agriculture department. Hong Kong-based Omnipork, a plant-based meat producer, sees a “good window of opportunity” as consumers and restaurants look for pork alternatives. David Yeung, co-foun
Chinese park shuts because people kept stealing flowers from it
An ecological park in southwest China has been forced to close for the rest of the year because hundreds of tourists had stolen its celebrated lotus flowers. Longqiao Cultural and Ecological Park in Sichuan province’s Lu county has been closed since late March for construction and was due to reopen soon. The park is well known for its sprawling fields of lotus flowers that cover around 62 acres – an area larger than New York’s Grand Central Terminal. But since the start of the summer blossom season last month, hundreds of people have been breaking into the park to pick the flowers, forcing managers to keep it closed for the rest of the year. “We cannot control the tourists. We can just guar
Young Chinese mock proposal to lower marriage age
Young Chinese aren’t buying a proposal by legislators to lower the legal minimum age for marriage in an effort to combat the country’s looming demographic crisis.  Last week, several members of the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp legislative body, proposed lowering the minimum marriage age to 18 for both sexes. Currently, the legal minimum age is 22 for men and 20 for women. Zhang Sujun, one of the body’s Standing Committee members, who proposed the change, said the proposal could encourage young couples to marry earlier and to have more babies. China’s birth rate fell in 2018 to its lowest level since 2000. Researchers have warned that the country’s population is aging rapi