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
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
Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?
China released a white paper on Thursday claiming that its far-western region of Xinjiang has provided “vocational training” to nearly 1.3 million workers every year on average from 2014 to 2019. It comes as Beijing is facing mounting criticism from Western countries and human rights groups over its policies in the region, where it is believed to have detained at least 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in internment camps. China has been accused of subjecting detainees to political indoctrination and forced labor in the camps, but it has denied the allegations and insisted they are “vocational training centers” where people learn language and job skills. Observers said the
China’s coronavirus censorship at home comes at a global cost
Cui Yongyuan may not be a household name in the West, but the former state media television host has almost 20 million social media followers in China, or about double those tracking the Twitter account of CNN’s Anderson Cooper in the US. Cui was one of the highest-profile bloggers on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, where he was known for his social commentary and whistle-blowing. But last year his posting stopped and in May he found that posts containing his nickname “Xiaocui” had been blocked. That same month his account on WeChat, which has 1 billion active users worldwide, was suspended citing fraud, according to screenshots he posted on Twitter. “My name is censored. Are you tryi
‘Viral sovereignty’: Why countries don’t always share virus samples
When a deadly disease breaks out and threatens the world, countries are obliged to share laboratory samples and other information to help fight it, right? Wrong. In 2007, Indonesia refused to give the World Health Organization samples of an H5N1 influenza strain from an outbreak in the country until it was guaranteed fair access to any vaccines created from the material. Welcome to the world of “viral sovereignty.” The ownership of pathogens and related data that emerge in one country is part of a long-standing debate that touches an exploitative colonial nerve: wealthy countries plundering the natural resources – including biodiversity – of poorer nations and profiting from it. With the co
Covid-19 and the Wuhan lab: What we know so far
Facing criticism for its late response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration said it is seeking to investigate claims that a Chinese laboratory leaked the pathogen and caused the global crisis. The lab has been the source of speculation, conspiracy theories and debate since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. But why has it received so much attention?  What is the Wuhan lab? The research facility under scrutiny is the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It is China’s first laboratory with BSL-4 status – the highest international designation for bioresearch safety – designed for work with the deadly and easily transmittable class of pathogens known as P4.  The institute is ad