Juliana Liu

Juliana Liu

Juliana is editor at Inkstone. Previously, she was an international correspondent for BBC News in Hong Kong.

Why China has its eyes on the North Pole
As melting sea ice makes shipping across the North Pole more viable, the Arctic Ocean has become an important region for countries to expand their presence. The Artic's potential has led to a spat between the US and China, both vying for influence around the North Pole and the potential economic opportunities. In the video above, we look into why the region is so important and why tension over China’s plans there could escalate.
‘The Rape of Nanking’ author celebrated with California park
Tucked into a corner of northern San Jose, California, near where she lived with her family, lies a small park full of modern sculptures celebrating the life of Iris Chang, a groundbreaking Chinese-American historian and author known for The Rape of Nanking, a bestselling book that brought a brutal period in Chinese history to Western attention. Chang, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, published the book in 1997 to instant acclaim. She would publish one more book – this one about Chinese-American history – before taking her own life in 2004 after struggling with mental illness. Her death at age 36 shocked her family and fans around the world and gave rise to many now-discredited conspira
Pet food maker behind Pedigree, Whiskas says it’s betting big on China
With a history of dog eating, especially in lean times, China hasn’t always been a haven for pets. Pet keeping was branded as bourgeois after the communists swept to power in 1949. But in the past few decades, as Chinese citizens have become wealthier, pet ownership has soared. In fact, China has the second-largest pet market in the world, behind only the US, says Cai Xiaodong, general manager of Royal Canin in China. The pet food producer is a unit of Mars, an American global food giant that also produces the Pedigree and Whiskas brands of dog and cat food. Cai told the Shanghai-based online news site Thepaper.cn that Mars planned to invest more than $100 million in a new pet food factory
Beijing expats mourn closure of beloved cafe and bookstore
For Beijing’s bookish English-speaking expatriate population, the Bookworm was more than a humble cafe full of reading material. It was a cultural destination, a place for live performances and a home away from home. But after being in business for nearly 20 years, its managers announced on Tuesday that the bookstore would close next week – to the shock of its current patrons and legions of former Beijingers around the world. “Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of ‘illegal structures,’ and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease,” said a statement on the Bookworm’s official WeChat account. “This is particularly disappointing give
Doctor says 67-year-old mother in China conceived naturally
A woman reported to be China’s oldest mother gave birth last week at the age of 67. If the claim is substantiated, the woman, surnamed Tian, would have overtaken the previous record held by a woman who gave birth at the age of 64 in 2016. But that woman, from the northern Chinese province of Jilin, reportedly conceived her child from in vitro fertilization. It was not known whether she had used her own eggs or eggs from a donor. Celebrities such as Janet Jackson and Brigitte Nielsen have made headlines for giving birth in their early 50s, around the average age of menopause. Nielsen reportedly said she had frozen her eggs.  What’s unusual about Tian, a retired nurse from the eastern provin
Chinese animal rights groups outraged about arrival of baby elephants
Animal protection groups in China have expressed sadness and disappointment about the arrival of some 30 baby African elephants from Zimbabwe, in a case that has caused outrage among global wildlife campaigners. The wild-caught baby elephants, estimated to be between two to six years old, arrived last week at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, according to two animal rights groups.  The elephants are believed to be undergoing one month of inspection and quarantine at an unknown location before being sent to zoos across China. Keeping elephants caught from the wild in zoos is considered cruel by conservation groups. Zimbabwean wildlife protection groups had filed court papers at the Harare High Cou
Ali Wong’s rules for work, love and life
Comedian Ali Wong entered my life this summer when I desperately needed her. I had returned to work three months after the birth of my fourth child. In a routine familiar to many working moms, every few hours, I excused myself to go to the nursing room to pump. Somehow, I got the idea to watch something funny as I pumped to boost my supply. It worked! For many weeks, I watched Wong’s two stand-up Netflix specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife on a loop.  Last week, the talented Chinese-Vietnamese-American performer released her first book Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life.  The book is framed as a series of essays to her two daughters. Wong isn’t
How Abominable is trying to avoid a Crazy Rich Asians-style flop in China
The animated film Abominable, the first Hollywood cartoon to feature a modern Chinese family, has conquered the US box office in its opening weekend, taking in more than $20 million, according to Box Office Mojo. But in order to recoup its reported $75 million production budget and related marketing costs, it’ll have to do better than that. Film watchers say it’ll have to be a global hit, particularly in China, the world’s second-largest box office. Luckily, Abominable is a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and Shanghai-based Pearl Studio. That means the family film, set in China and starring a fluffy white Yeti called Everest, is not subject to quotas that the country imposes on fo
What happens when a rich Chinese tech bro looks for love online
A wealthy Chinese tech bro has stirred up a hornet’s nest with a brutally honest online ad looking for love. Actually, he doesn’t talk about love at all. Instead, he lists his salary, job, education, financial assets and family background and gives a detailed description of the kind of woman he is looking for.  The ad was posted on the Twitter-like Weibo last week by an online influencer, Beijing Big Potato, on behalf of the man, who says he’s an employee at tech giant Alibaba. Inkstone, which is also owned by Alibaba, was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the viral ad, but it appears to be a genuine window into how marriage, money, childbearing, gender roles, heightism and
Aussie comic satirizes Hong Kong protests with yoga video
The ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, currently in their 15th week, have spawned a creative outpouring of books, poetry, music and artwork, including propaganda cartoons. An Australian comedian, Sammy J, has joined the fray by dropping a satirical video using yoga to convey what’s happening in the city, which is gearing up for another weekend of demonstrations. In a Q&A with Inkstone, the comic explains his creative process. 1. Most of your work seems to be centered around Australian politics. How did you get interested in Hong Kong? Increasingly, it seems that even local Australian political stories are internationally focused.  For example, this week there has been some controv