Linda Lew

Linda Lew

Reporter

Linda is a contributor to Inkstone. Born in China and raised in New Zealand, she is a reporter for the South China Morning Post. Previously, she freelanced for Chinese technology media site TechNode.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
Business, technology, Australasia and South Pacific culture and society
WHO says silent spread of coronavirus ‘extremely rare.’ Classified data from China suggests otherwise
The number of “silent carriers” – people who are infected by the new coronavirus but show delayed or no symptoms – could be as high as one-third of those who test positive, according to classified Chinese government data seen by the South China Morning Post. That could further complicate the strategies being used by countries to contain the virus, which has infected more than 340,000 people and killed more than 14,000 globally. More than 43,000 people in China had tested positive for Covid-19 by the end of February but had no immediate symptoms, a condition typically known as asymptomatic, according to the data. They were placed in quarantine and monitored but were not included in the offici
‘Fearlessly naive’ coronavirus vaccine volunteers recount experience
There may have been diarrhea, high temperatures and a fair bit of apprehension, but 108 people from Wuhan can proudly say they became the first in the country to be injected with a possible vaccine for the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The trials got underway in the central Chinese city, where the virus first emerged, on Thursday. They started just three days after CanSino Biologics – the pharmaceutical company that developed the product in cooperation with the Chinese military – was given the green light by Beijing. According to information published on China’s clinical trial registry, the volunteers – aged from 18 to 60 and in good health – were divided into three groups of 36 and then gi
Coronavirus patients are contagious 2 days before symptoms show, study suggests
People infected with the new coronavirus may be most contagious right when their symptoms begin to show and even a couple of days beforehand. Scholars observed the highest viral load in throat swabs at the initial sign of symptoms and inferred that infectiousness peaked on or before symptom onset, and people may be highly contagious 2.5 days before symptoms show. It is a pattern similar to that of seasonal influenza. The findings set the new coronavirus apart from the Sars virus, which becomes most infectious 10 to 12 days after the onset of symptoms. Estimating that 44% of transmissions could take place before symptoms develop in an infected person, the research underscores the capability o
One month in virus lockdown: ‘Have we been abandoned and left here to die?’
It all came without warning. One month ago in the early hours, authorities in Wuhan, the biggest city in the central province of Hubei, announced a full lockdown in response to a coronavirus crisis that just a day earlier had been declared “under control.” It was an unprecedented moment in the history of China – and the world – and condemned the 9 million people left within the city’s limits to an unknown fate. Not even at the height of the Sars epidemic, another coronavirus outbreak 17 years earlier, had such sweeping controls on movement been imposed on so many people at one time. In the weeks since, people in the city have confronted life-altering experiences, whether in a supermarket que
Former Chinese university official fired after #MeToo allegation
Despite arrests and censorship campaigns, China’s #MeToo movement has succeeded in shedding light on problems of sexual harassment in the country, particularly in universities.  In once such recent case, a former vice-president of a top Chinese university was fired over allegations of sexual harassment after a six-month-long investigation.  Cai Xiang also faces charges of corruption and has been stripped of his Communist Party membership.  China’s education disciplinary commission and the party’s disciplinary watchdog for Beijing municipality found that Cai Xiang had maintained “inappropriate sexual relationships with several women, accepted bribes and misused public funds.” In July 2018, a
Mystery virus in China isn’t Sars or Mers, officials say
Health authorities in central China say a mysterious form of pneumonia that has infected dozens of people is not Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome). As of Sunday, officials in the city of Wuhan were still in the process of identifying the virus. A total of 59 people had been hospitalized with the as-yet unidentified form of pneumonia. In Hong Kong, which is connected with the mainland Chinese city via high-speed rail, there were a total of 17 suspected cases of the illness found in people who had returned from Wuhan. In Singapore, the Ministry of Health earlier said it had been informed of a suspected case, involving a three-year-old girl from
Prominent Chinese pastor sentenced to 9 years in prison
A founding pastor of China’s Early Rain Covenant Church has been sentenced to nine years in jail by a Chinese court for inciting subversion of state power and other crimes. Wang Yi was detained in December 2018 along with other senior figures in the prominent underground Christian church during overnight raids across various districts of Chengdu, the southwestern city where the church was founded. On Monday, the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court released its judgment, which said the pastor was also convicted of illegal business operations. In addition to the jail term, Wang would be stripped of his political rights for three years. Personal assets valuing $7,000 would also be confiscated.
China says it’ll stop detaining sex workers for up to 2 years without trial
China’s extrajudicial detention of sex workers or their customers, known as “custody and education (C&E),” is set to be abolished in what experts called a long-overdue move. The detention system has been used to crack down on prostitution, which is illegal on the mainland, since the 1980s. Sex workers and their clients could be detained for up to two years without trial in centers overseen by the police. More than 300,000 people were detained using C&E between 1987 and 2000, according to a report by Asia Catalyst, an advocacy group focused on health issues. Although the government does not publish regular numbers of detainees, mainland Chinese media have reported a steady decrease in detenti
How does China get global big pharma to cut prices?
China has added the largest ever batch of new products to its list of subsidized drugs, in a move that will cut the costs of many drugs in half.  Seventy drugs were added to the national reimbursement list at the end of November, many of them cancer and anti-infection treatments, after extensive negotiations with pharmaceutical companies. “The number of new drugs and the total amount of medications negotiated have reached a new record. Many imported drugs will have the lowest price in the world,” the National Healthcare Security Administration said. High drug prices, especially for cancer drugs, have long been a problem in China. The issue was highlighted by the hit film Dying to Survive, re
Publishers look to stop printing in China to avoid the map police
Publishers from Australia and New Zealand are looking for printers outside China after falling foul of censorship laws that require maps to be vetted. A number of businesses have been hit by delays or cancellations – even if the books in question are not intended for local distribution or do not contain China-related content. Awa Press, a New Zealand publisher, suffered a one-month production delay in October last year when printing the fourth edition of a travel book called Antarctica Cruising Guide because the book contained a map of Antarctica and the Chinese printers needed the extra time to have the map vetted. “We would have to think about whether we will continue printing in China or