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
Chinese society and culture, diplomacy and politics
A new breed of Chinese KOLs who champion for worthwhile causes
Key opinion leaders, or KOLs, have recently come to dominate the advertising and marketing industry. They are celebrities in themselves, who have managed to gather a massive list of followers to leverage into commercial opportunities for brands and themselves. But a new breed of KOLs in China use their platform to champion worthy causes, ranging from environmentalism to sharing legal and medical knowledge.  Here 5 of the biggest stars.  Liang Yu grew to prominence when she decided to take the lead to help provide female healthcare workers with sanitary products.   The needs of women medical workers, such as access to menstruation pads, were ignored when Covid-19 began spreading throughout W
Chinese buzzwords reveal unease and aimlessness
The top buzzwords in China for 2020 reflected the coronavirus fatigue and general sense of aimlessness that have plagued this pandemic-addled year. Some trending terms also touched on social stagnation and wealth inequality. Selected by Yaowen Jiaozi, a magazine that promotes the Chinese language, the top buzzwords included “sacred beasts,” “new wave” and “Versaille literature.”  One word was particularly insightful: “Involution,” which describes the lack of advances in agrarian societies when agricultural labor intensity increases but the output per person does not. The term went viral in China in the second half of 2020 when it was used to describe a student at Tsinghua University, China’
How five words forced a film to be pulled from Chinese cinemas
To the scriptwriters of Monster Hunter, it was a simple pun on words, some light-hearted dialogue between two American soldiers.  But to Chinese cinemagoers, these two short lines were a major insult, their translation causing such public outrage that within 24 hours of the film’s release, it was pulled from Chinese cinemas. “What knees are these?” jokes an Asian soldier to a white soldier.   “Chi-knees,” he responds. What the film company failed to realize was that the Chinese subtitles changed the hard-to-translate pun to “there is gold underneath my knees” – a reference to a proverb that means men do not kneel or submit easily.  The backlash to the fantasy action movie was swift as outra
A fugitive tycoon is accused of a US presidential election misinformation campaign
In the run-up to the US presidential election, Chinese fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui is being accused of helping to promote unverified claims linking Democratic candidate Joe Biden to China.  Guo is most famous for making incendiary accusations against Beijing, fleeing China and finding sanctuary in the US.  The amplification of stories about Biden’s son Hunter and his alleged business ties to China was part of coordinated and sophisticated attempts to interfere with Tuesday’s US election, according to John Pan, a former collaborator with Guo, who is based in Australia. “Guo’s intention is to interfere with the US election,” Pan told the South China Morning Post in an interview. “He may not be
China ‘will keep its promise’ to share Covid-19 vaccines with countries in need
China’s promise to make its Covid-19 vaccines a “global public product” has been reiterated by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He made the comments after visits to China by envoys from Indonesia and the Philippines and his own tour of Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Singapore last week. “China will earnestly fulfil its commitment to make vaccines a global public product once they are successfully developed and put into use, and will contribute to the accessibility and affordability of the vaccines in developing countries,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency Xinhua. Several representatives of Southeast Asian countries had expressed an interest in working with China on vaccine resea
Chinese Muslims banned from going on individual trips to Mecca
China has introduced new rules banning non-official pilgrimages to Mecca and Muslims wishing to visit the holy site will need to arrange trips with the government.  Observers said the decision was another attempt by the Communist Party to control religious affairs. In rules issued on Monday for the Muslim pilgrimage, known as the haj, the State Administration for Religious Affairs said all such trips to Saudi Arabia must be arranged by the Islamic Association of China, an organization controlled by the party’s international outreach arm, the United Front Work Department. “The association should educate haj attendees on patriotic and safe behavior, strengthen the management of attendees, and
Why stylish pedestrians from China are showing up on your feed
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Videos of stylish people walking on the streets of China are cropping up on social media out of seemingly nowhere. A couple in matching black and white outfits, paired with a bag by an avant-garde Japanese designer. A buff man wearing a white tank top that exposes his defined biceps, with a guitar bag on his back. A woman dressed in traditional Chinese hanfu and elaborate makeup while holding a fan. The videos have racked up millions of views on TikTok and Twitter in the space of a few months. street fashion in china is a whole nother breed and i love it
Patriotic movies may have unlocked China’s blockbuster machine
In the climactic scene of a recent hit Chinese blockbuster, a handsome military leader gives his troops an inspirational speech, urging them to fight for the nation against Japanese imperialists.  As the music crescendos, the inspired soldiers chant, “The Chinese nation will not perish! The Chinese nation will not perish!” But as the camera zooms out, we see a surprising sight that viewers in China might have expected to be censored: the blue and red flag of the Republic of China, now known as Taiwan, waving from a rooftop.  Considered a symbol of Taiwan “separatism,” the flag was spotted a few times in the war epic The Eight Hundred, a movie set during the second Sino-Japanese war, when Chi
China Trends: China’s internet mourns Eddie Van Halen, and new iPhone sparks nationalism debate
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. China mourns rock legend Like in much of the world, music fans in China are mourning the loss of the legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen died Tuesday at age 65 after a long battle with cancer. He was the guitarist for a popular band from the 1970s and 1980s that bore his namesake. He became famous for his guitar solos that were loud, fast and complicated. The musician is often regarded as one of the world’s greatest guitar players, and Van Halen remains one of the world’s best-selling bands. They were inducte
China Trends: Trump mocked over tax avoidance, and does Gen Z have it better than boomers?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world's biggest internet population is talking about. Social media users take delight in Trump’s tax exposé A New York Times report on President Donald Trump’s tax filing records has made a splash on social media in China. Discussions about the article became one of the top trending topics on Twitter-like Weibo hours after it was published on Monday.  The November election is closely watched in China, whose relationship with the US has grown acrimonious under Trump’s presidency. Citing tax return data it obtained, the Times report said Trump avoided taxes with questionable