Viola Zhou

Viola Zhou

Viola is a multimedia producer at Inkstone. Previously, she wrote about Chinese politics for the South China Morning Post.

China’s coronavirus plight is now replaying in America
An explosion in the number of coronavirus infections has put the United States at the center of the global pandemic. By the end of Thursday, more than 85,991 cases of the Covid-19 disease were recorded in the US, surpassing the case numbers in China and Italy — the second and third most affected areas respectively.  The figure represents a snapshot of the number of infections the American authorities were able to detect so far, which is subject to testing capacity, reporting criteria and many other factors. China and Italy, which each reported about 80,000 coronavirus cases, do not count people who test positive for the virus but show no symptoms. The US Centers for Disease Control and Preve
China's ambassador distances himself from claims that coronavirus came from US
China’s ambassador to the United States has denounced speculation about the origin of the coronavirus after his fellow diplomats openly promoted dubious information about the pandemic. The remarks of the Chinese ambassador, Cui Tiankai, represents an oblique rebuke of a few of his colleagues who spread unfounded claims that the virus might have originated in America. Without naming names, Cui said speculating on the origin of the virus was “harmful” during an interview with Axios on HBO on March 17, published on Sunday.  “Eventually, we must have an answer to where the virus originally came [from],” Cui said. “But this is a job for the scientists to do, not for diplomats, not for journalists
Returning to work in China: easier said than done
China’s efforts to get people back to work are being hampered by a labyrinth of quarantine measures that remain in place despite the country having nearly eliminated local transmission of the coronavirus. “Every city has a different set of rules,” a 36-year-old businessman in Hubei province, the early epicenter of the outbreak, told Inkstone on Thursday. “My city has not had new cases for nearly 20 days. But other provinces don’t care about that.”  The man, who only gave his name as Andy, is one of the millions of Chinese workers who traveled to their hometown before the Lunar New Year in January to celebrate the occasion with their families.  But while new cases of the Covid-19 disease have
Governments close bars, seal off borders to fend off coronavirus
In a major development for China, the central city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic started, reported only one new infection on Tuesday. But outside China, governments are stepping up confinement measures and border controls to contain the spread of the virus, banning gatherings and closing restaurants.  Europe has supplanted China to become the epicenter of the coronavirus, while Asian hot spots are seeing new infections.  In East Asia, where domestic transmissions have shown signs of abating, governments are shifting their focus to preventing overseas travelers from bringing the virus into their countries.  Most of the new infections reported in China this week are “imported” cases
Fleeing coronavirus, overseas Chinese find haven at home
Desperate to return to his Beijing home from Boston, but fearful of catching the coronavirus in the confines of a plane, 26-year-old Liu began his journey with the assumption that all surfaces were covered in the virus. For his flights from Boston to Hong Kong, and then to Beijing over the weekend, the exchange PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology put on two face masks, protective goggles, plastic gloves and a raincoat. After he arrived in the Chinese capital, he spent 10 hours going through stringent immigration and health checks. For Liu, who declined to use his full name, the nearly 30-hour long journey was worth it. “If something happens to me, I would rather be in Ch
From school closure to travel ban: how countries are fighting the pandemic
The United States is escalating its response to the global spread of the coronavirus. While some countries have adopted drastic measures to fight the virus, which was first reported in the central Chinese province of Hubei in December, the world’s biggest economy has been criticized for what some people believe to be an inadequate response to the epidemic. Hours after the World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, citing “alarming levels of inaction,” the Trump administration announced a ban on most travel from Europe, its most forceful policy to date to curb the coronavirus. The US had previously denied entry to all foreigners who had visited China
Anger rises over Vietnamese capital’s globe-trotting ‘patient zero’
Internet users in Vietnam have expressed outrage at a 26-year-old woman who tested positive for the new coronavirus after returning from Europe. The woman, who has been identified by name on a government website, is connected to a cluster of new patients that brought the number of infections in the country to 35. Until her diagnosis on March 6, Vietnam had reported a total of 16 cases and no new infections for 22 days.  The series of infections linked to the woman highlights the infectiousness of the coronavirus and the social pressure put on those blamed for spreading the disease known as Covid-19. The woman, believed to be the “patient zero” of the capital city of Hanoi, has become the ta
‘I can’t accept China having people of different skin colors’
China’s proposed bill on granting permanent residency to foreigners has unleashed a wave of xenophobia on the Chinese internet. Even though China has one of the lowest shares of foreign-born people in the entire world, many people worry that a potential rise in foreign immigrants will make their life harder. In response to the bill, people have posted hostile comments online, especially against black people and Muslims, demanding that the government toughen rules on immigration. We spoke with several fierce opponents of the permanent residency bill about why they do not want more immigrants in China.
‘I’m worried about black people’: Uproar in China over plan to attract foreigners
The Chinese government on Saturday has promised to revise a draft bill on issuing “green cards” to foreigners after the proposal unleashed a wave of online xenophobia. China has one of the world’s strictest permanent residency programs, but many citizens say they don’t want more immigrants, especially black people, to settle in the country. Millions of angry comments have flooded Chinese social media to protest against a plan that Beijing said was meant to attract more foreign talent to boost the economy. “I’m worried about black people and Islam,” David Zhu, a 33-year-old banker in Shanghai, told Inkstone, calling black people “uncivilized” and Islam “a cancer.” “You can tell from the exper
Stocks tumble, masks run out as coronavirus goes global
The spread of the new coronavirus has eased in China but worsened elsewhere, adding to fears of a global pandemic.  South Korea on Friday reported more new infections of the virus than any other country did, after overtaking China’s daily tally for the first time on Thursday. Several countries in Europe and South America have reported their first coronavirus cases this week. And Italy and Iran have emerged as new regional centers of the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease. The continued global spread of the virus has spooked investors and prompted governments to ramp up their emergency responses to fend off a public health crisis that could upset their economies. The US stock market saw a histo