Laurie Chen

Laurie Chen

Reporter, China

Laurie is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a China reporter at the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
Chinese society, internet culture
China commemorates national hero: its first female tractor driver
Liang Jun, a woman who became an archetype for the ideal socialist worker, died on Tuesday in the northern Chinese city of Harbin. She was 89 years old.  Liang, who had been sick for the past two years, was famous in China because she was featured on the country’s 1 yuan banknote, which pictured her contentedly driving a tractor. The banknote was released in 1962 and stopped circulating in 2000. In 1950, Liang was hailed as “China's first female tractor driver” by People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece. That same year, she became a “national model worker,” which is an honorary title given to those deemed to have contributed significantly to building a socialist society. The title w
China commemorates national hero: its first female tractor driver
Chinese blog panned for dissing Australian firefighters
A viral blog that attacked Australia’s failure to stop the months-long bush fires and implied Chinese firefighters were braver and more patriotic has stirred vigorous online debate. The post, published on China’s Facebook-like WeChat, contrasted the situation in Australia with China’s largest-ever wildfire, which lasted just under a month in 1987.  The article quickly racked up more than 23 million views, but was criticized by high-profile media commentators for insensitivity and using nationalism to generate cheap viral clicks. Friday’s article, titled “If it weren’t for the Australian bush fires, I would’ve never known that China was so powerful 33 years ago,” also suggested that Australia
Chinese blog panned for dissing Australian firefighters
Rare advert featuring same-sex couple goes viral in China
A new ad from the Chinese shopping site Tmall featuring a same-sex couple has been hailed as a small but significant win by China’s LGBT community. The 20-second clip released this week, promoting the site’s annual pre-Lunar New Year shopping event, features a gay man introducing his partner to his family. In the clip, the gay man brought his boyfriend to his home. On the dinner table, the boyfriend called his partner’s father “dad,” in a way married people in China address their in-laws.  The clip had racked up thousands of views and a wave of support on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, suggesting young Chinese audiences are increasingly accepting of the LGBT community. Chinese LGBT a
Rare advert featuring same-sex couple goes viral in China
Beijing unveils plans to become ‘international music capital’ in 5 years
Beijing – China’s political, economic and cultural capital – has set an ambitious plan to become an “international music capital” by 2025. Wang Yezhen, an official with the Beijing Municipal Committee’s propaganda department, told Beijing Business Today on Tuesday that the city aimed to expand its music and creative industries to be worth more than $17 billion in five years. In 2017, the sector was about half that size, he was quoted as saying. Its proposal also called for the city to speed up development of its digital music industry, offer artists better copyright protections and build more small-scale venues for live music. “[Our research has shown that] the scope of the music industry is
Beijing unveils plans to become ‘international music capital’ in 5 years
K-pop star ‘liked’ a tweet about Hong Kong. His Chinese fans are not amused
K-pop singer Choi Siwon — from the popular boy band Super Junior — has apologized to his 16 million Chinese fans for “liking” a post on Twitter about the Hong Kong protests. Choi, 33, liked – and later unliked – a Tweet from the South Korean newspaper Chosun on Sunday which linked to an interview with Chow Pak-kwan, the 21-year-old Hong Kong protester who was shot by a police officer at point-blank range on November 11.  Mainland internet users called for Choi to leave Super Junior. He is another public figure from the Asian entertainment world who has sparked an online backlash from nationalistic Chinese over alleged support for the anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Many commenters on
K-pop star ‘liked’ a tweet about Hong Kong. His Chinese fans are not amused
Chinese woman gave birth at 67 to her third child – and could be fined for it
China’s oldest new mother and her husband may be fined for breaking family planning rules because they already have two adult children, according to a Chinese media report. A 67-year-old retired hospital worker, surnamed Tian, gave birth to a girl named Tianci by cesarean section at the Zaozhuang Maternity and Child Health Hospital in Shandong province on October 25. Tianci’s birth made headlines around the world, and some commentators questioned her parents’ claim that she was conceived naturally. “We don’t know what people are saying online, but this really happened to us,” the news website ThePaper.cn quoted Huang Weiping, the child’s father, on Saturday as saying. “Besides being in good
Chinese woman gave birth at 67 to her third child – and could be fined for it
Tech bro gets caught stealing pork as prices soar in China
A tech bro with a steady, well-paid job is the latest person to get caught stealing pork in the south of China, as prices soar in the country due to the spread of African swine fever. The man, surnamed Guo, admitted stealing 4.4 pounds of pork left unattended in a woman’s bike basket in the city of Foshan. It was the latest in a rash of reports about petty thefts of the staple as an epidemic devastates pig herds across the country. According to surveillance camera footage posted online, the shopper, a woman surnamed Ma, put two plastic shopping bags into her bike’s front basket before walking away. A man standing nearby with his bike watched her and took a bag of pork, valued at about $14,
Tech bro gets caught stealing pork as prices soar in China
Hero of China’s rural HIV crisis is immortalized in a play
Wang Shuping, a doctor who helped expose a tainted blood scandal in rural China in the 1990s, passed away in Salt Lake City at the age of 59 last month. Family and friends have paid tribute to the whistleblower, who had to leave China in 2001 after being forced to close her lab in the central Chinese province of Henan, the epicenter of the blood selling crisis.   Wang’s life has been immortalized in a play, The King of Hell’s Palace, which had its world premiere at the Hampstead Theatre in London in September, just a week before her death. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, a Chinese-American playwright, spoke to Inkstone about her creative process and her plans to make the play accessible to a Chinese-
Hero of China’s rural HIV crisis is immortalized in a play
Chinese filmmaker defies state boycott of Taiwan’s Oscars
A mainland Chinese director has vowed to ignore a national boycott and keep her documentary in the running for Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, the Oscars of the Chinese-speaking world.  The film, whose title loosely translates as Young People Question Taoism, was directed by filmmaker Zhu Yu. It is the only mainland Chinese production still registered for the festival, which is held every year in self-ruled Taiwan.  The documentary follows four young Taoist priests on a 370-mile pilgrimage through China as they seek the true meaning of their faith. They stop along the way to pray for the souls of dead animals. The Chinese government this month banned mainland Chinese films and stars from parti
Chinese filmmaker defies state boycott of Taiwan’s Oscars
Decoded app exposes how China carries out ‘predictive policing’ in Xinjiang
A report by Human Rights Watch has revealed details of a mobile app being used by authorities in China’s far western region of Xinjiang to identify target groups for enhanced surveillance and monitoring. The document, released on Thursday, sheds light on the technologies – from big data analysis to facial recognition and artificial intelligence – employed by China’s security agencies to build an extensive system for social control in the predominantly Muslim region. The report said it provides “a detailed description and analysis of a mobile app that police and other officials use to communicate with the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP)”. The app analyzes information about local p
Decoded app exposes how China carries out ‘predictive policing’ in Xinjiang