Mimi Lau

Mimi Lau

Senior Reporter, China

Mimi is a contributor to Inkstone and a reporter at the South China Morning Post. An experienced and passionate journalist, she believes firmly in giving a voice to the voiceless.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
China's human rights, religious affairs, civil society
Chinese city reports 6,000 coronavirus cases. It may be ‘tip of the iceberg’
The official number of coronavirus cases in China might not reflect the true scale of the crisis, as many patients at the center of the outbreak may not be able to get diagnosed, medical experts said. Wuhan – the city of 11 million people where the deadly virus outbreak began in December – has so far reported more than 6,000 confirmed cases of the pneumonia-like illness, or about one-third of the total number across mainland China. But the real number could be much higher given a shortage of coronavirus testing kits, medical experts say. Cases are only classified as confirmed once a patient has twice tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus.  Frontline doctors in Wuhan said that the
Chinese city reports 6,000 coronavirus cases. It may be ‘tip of the iceberg’
Shanghai students protest after school dropped commitment to ‘free thinking’
Dozens of students at a prestigious university in Shanghai took part in a flash mob demonstration on Wednesday against changes to the school charter that removed commitments to “free thinking” and “democratic management.” The revised charter of the Fudan University vows to uphold the leadership of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which has in recent years tightened ideological control in schools, spooking the country’s liberal thinkers. Campus security and teaching staff looked on as the students sang the first verse of Fudan’s school song, which celebrates the pursuit of academic independence and free thought without political and ideological influence. No slogans were shouted or banner
Shanghai students protest after school dropped commitment to ‘free thinking’
Beijing is struggling to recruit people to run Xinjiang
China’s Xinjiang autonomous region has attracted international attention for all the wrong reasons – police crackdowns and reports that local ethnic Uygur people are being held in internment camps.  What hasn’t gained much attention is the difficulty Beijing has drafting staff to execute its policies in the far northwest area. The measures targeting Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have triggered “widespread discontent among Han Chinese officials and citizens,” a source close to the central government told the South China Morning Post.  The source said Chinese President Xi Jinping was aware of the problem because he had been briefed by the country’s chief Xinjiang policy coordinator, Wan
Beijing is struggling to recruit people to run Xinjiang
China to scale back affirmative action for ethnic minorities
China is set to scale back its affirmative action policies for ethnic minorities, which could result in curbs on education opportunities as well as the removal of tax benefits and other subsidies for minority groups.  China has 56 officially recognized ethnic groups. The majority Han Chinese make up more than 90% of the population, while the other 55 groups, including ethnic Mongols, Tibetans and Uygurs, have about 110 million people, or four times the population of Australia.  Many minorities live in less-developed regions and face prevalent discrimination in the Han-dominated society. For decades, the government has granted them certain benefits, which resemble the affirmative action polic
China to scale back affirmative action for ethnic minorities
Leading #MeToo activist arrested in China
A journalist who was a leader of the #MeToo movement in China has been arrested in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou for allegedly disturbing public order, sources familiar with the case said on Thursday. Two sources said Huang Xueqin, who goes by Sophia, was formally arrested a week ago on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – an offense often used by police to detain dissidents and social activists. It can carry a prison sentence of up to five years. Huang also recently shared photos of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on her social media accounts. It’s unclear if this activity was related to her arrest.  The 30-year-old activist has been held at the Baiyun Dist
Leading #MeToo activist arrested in China
Law professor who criticized President Xi Jinping barred from leaving China
China’s liberal thinkers have simmered with anxiety since Beijing stunned the world last March by scrapping a term limit on the Chinese presidency. But few have stuck their necks out quite like Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at the prestigious Tsinghua University who openly criticized what he saw as Beijing’s dangerous march toward strongman rule under the Chinese Communist Party. But while many of his peers saw the rebuke as an act of bravery, given the mounting pressure on China’s intellectuals to toe the party line, Xu is now paying the price for speaking out. Xu has been barred from leaving the country, people familiar with the situation told the South China Morning Post. Earlier this mon
Law professor who criticized President Xi Jinping barred from leaving China
China puts human rights lawyer on trial over Christmas. Of course
When you weren’t looking, China put a prominent human rights lawyer on a trial that critics say was all but politically motivated. The day after Christmas in China, when many foreign diplomats and journalists were on holiday, Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang was brought to court in the Chinese city of Tianjin. The timing is hardly accidental. It’s the fourth year in a row when high-profile activists are tried during the Christmas season, and critics say it is a tactic to minimize global attention. Old tactics to open trial or sentence human rights defenders during Christmas holidays while journalists and diplomats are on holidays. However, would that reduce the attention on such absurd and inte
China puts human rights lawyer on trial over Christmas. Of course
Winter is coming for China’s underground Christian churches
The sound of footsteps storming up the stairs jolted the children’s Bible class. Outside, roads leading to the church were cordoned off. The Rongguili Church, in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, is widely known as the beacon of faith in south China, attracting thousands of worshippers of all ages every week. But on a recent morning, it was a lightning rod for the Chinese government’s toughening crackdown on unauthorized religious activities. On Saturday morning, more than 60 police officers and officials stormed the children’s Bible class and began a raid on the church that continued well into the evening. The Rongguili Church was the third prominent unregistered Protestant church to
Winter is coming for China’s underground Christian churches
100 people in China snatched in raid on unofficial church
Chinese authorities have cracked down on one of China’s largest unofficial churches, snatching up church leaders and some 100 congregants.  In a series of raids on Sunday, members of the Early Rain Covenant Church were taken away by authorities from their homes or from the streets in the southwestern city of Chengdu. Only state-approved religious organizations are allowed to operate in China, but a growing Christian community has seen numerous “house churches” thrive in living rooms and factory buildings. Authorities have in the past allowed many of the unofficial gatherings to operate under close monitoring and periodic inspections, out of concerns that forcing them to disband will cause so
100 people in China snatched in raid on unofficial church
China’s religion policies in Xinjiang could be spreading
The imminent closure of a 34-year-old Arabic language school in China’s northwestern province of Gansu has raised fears that draconian religion policies adopted in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are being applied to other Muslim-populated areas. Pingliang Arabic School, a charity that caters to underprivileged students, has been told by city education officials to close by December 17 and send its 200 students and 20 teachers home. Officials claim the school does not have the operational permits it needs, although it has been in business since 1984 in Pingliang: a poor, small city on the border between Gansu and Shaanxi province. The demise of Arabic language schools is a symptom of B
China’s religion policies in Xinjiang could be spreading