Jane Zhang

Jane Zhang

Reporter

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
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
Inkstone index: China’s unicorns
186: That’s the number of unicorns – startups valued at at least $1 billion – that China had as of 2018, according to the Shanghai-based Hurun Report. The combined valuation of all the unicorns was $736 billion, according to Hurun. The top three were Ant Financial Services, which operates mobile payment provider Alipay, followed by news aggregator site Toutiao and car-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. (Ant Financial is owned by Alibaba, which also owns Inkstone.) Of the unicorns, Toutiao, live-streaming app Kuaishou and online agricultural produce seller Meicai recorded the fastest growth last year, each rising 400% in their valuations. The Hurun Report also publishes the China Rich List, an annu
In China, the family business is out and the business family is in
In China’s rise to become an economy to rival the United States, few played a role as key as the country’s private companies. These businesses are mostly run by men, usually in manufacturing and real estate, and nearly all owned by families. But like in many families, things can get tricky when it comes to succession. China is about to be hit by a wave of retirements of aging business titans who don’t always have a solid plan for what’s next – or even children who want to carry on the family business.  This is a problem for not just the companies, but also the country as a whole, as it seeks to shift its economy’s reliance from manufacturing to advanced technology. The quality and success of
Man behind ‘gene-edited babies’ has $40 million in start-up funding
Dr He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies, has received at least $40 million (298 million yuan) in funding for his two biotech start-ups from Chinese and international investors.  He has defended his work against a chorus of criticism from scientists, who questioned the ethics and medical justification for his use of gene-editing technology on humans.  The global gene modification therapy market is rapidly growing and is expected to reach $17.4 billion by the end of 2023, according to BCC Research. This doesn’t include editing human embryos and implanting them in a mother’s womb, which is banned in much of the world. He claimed that