Viola Zhou

Viola Zhou

Viola is a multimedia producer at Inkstone. She covered Chinese politics for the South China Morning Post.

China Trends: China’s massive population census, and a man fired for cat torture
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. The biggest population census The Chinese government is sending some seven million workers to collect information from every household for the country’s 7th national population census. The census, conducted every 10 years, is aimed at providing the most accurate information about the age, education, occupation, marital and migration status of people living in the world’s most populous nation. While the work will officially kick off on November 1, census takers in some regions have already begun their door-to-door visits
China Trends: BTS fans caught in online fury, and woman falls in love with fake celebrity account
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. Idols or motherland? China’s BTS fans caught in online fury BTS fans in China are debating whether they should abandon their beloved idols after the group endorsed the alliance between South Korea and America in the Korean War.  Chinese nationalists were angered after the band’s leader RM told an awards ceremony that the group would always remember South Korea’s “history of pain” and shared “sacrifices” with the United States. During the 1950-53 Korean War, Chinese troops fought alongside North Korea against a US-led co
From China with mystery: how unsolicited seed packages fed conspiracy fears
Onion farmer Chris Pawelski of Warwick, New York, was curious in July when he found a package in his postbox that he had not ordered. The shipping label indicated it came from Shenzhen, a technology hub in southern China. It was also printed with “wire connector” in English and “rings” in Chinese. When Pawelski, 53, opened it, he found neither a wire connector nor jewelry, but a tiny plastic bag of mixed seeds. He is one of the thousands of people worldwide who received such seeds in recent months, which have drawn warnings from authorities the US amid speculation that they could be anything from a prank to bioweapons. In response to growing concerns, Amazon in September banned seed sales in
China’s post-Covid-19 tourism boom
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 637 million: the number of domestic trips made during China’s “golden week” holiday. Some 637 million visits to tourist spots were made during an eight-day national holiday that began on October 1, China’s National Day. Dubbed “golden week,” the holiday was the longest of the year and the first long break since the Covid-19 epidemic was contained in China, allowing people to eat out and travel.  Although the number of tourist visits was just 79% of the number made in previous years, the upsurge in economic activity comes after months of serious restrictions. In total, touris
America’s wary eye on China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 73%: the share of Americans who hold negative views about China.  Negative views of China have reached record levels among the public in 14 developed countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from June to August.  In the United States, 73% of the respondents have an unfavorable view of China, up 13 percentage points since just last year. When the survey was first conducted in 2005, only 35% of Americans viewed China negatively.  Views toward China have also grown increasingly negative in all the countries surveyed over the past year, according to the pol
China Trends: flight delayed by a passenger without a mask, and peak wedding season creates money problems
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. No mask, no take-off A flight in China was stranded at the airport for an hour because a passenger refused to put on a face mask. The plane was stranded at the airport in the central city of Changsha on October 3 because one passenger was reluctant to put on a face mask, according to a clip posted this week by video news portal Feidian. Mainland China has successfully contained the coronavirus with its borders thanks to strict mask wearing laws and social distancing rules. Most public transportation requires riders to w
‘A National Day gift’: Chinese internet ridicules Trump’s Covid-19 test result
Reports of Trump’s positive test result for Covid-19 have been met with ridicule and glee on Chinese social media, underscoring the enmity many in China hold against a US president who has made blaming China a central theme of his re-election campaign. Trump said on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. The announcement came hours after Hope Hicks, the president’s close adviser, was reported to have tested positive after developing symptoms this week. The announcements have prompted a wave of ridicule and schadenfreude by internet users in China. “It’s fine, he can just get an injection of disinfectant,” says one of the most liked comments on the so
The hidden engine of Hong Kong’s economy
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Foreign domestic helpers play an indispensable part in many Hong Kong households. Typically Filipino or Indonesian women, they cook for family members, take children to schools and care for the elderly.  The Hong Kong government and households have long been criticized for exploiting and discriminating against these workers despite the important role they play keeping the international finance center going.  Who are Hong Kong’s domestic helpers? Hong Kong’s foreign domestic helper program was introduced in 1973. The city currently has nearly 400,000 forei
A cake full of love, delight – and calories
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 800: The number of calories in a lotus paste mooncake with double egg yolks. Chinese people eat more than a billion mooncakes around the annual Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate the full moon and the coming together of families and friends. The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Its exact origin is a mystery, but people in China have been marking the day by holding family reunions, carrying lanterns and eating mooncakes for hundreds of years.  The traditional delicacy of mooncake is also one of the most unhealthy festival foods, and increasin
China Trends: Tibetan live-streamer burned by ex-husband, and students protest lockdowns
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. Tibetan woman set on fire by ex-husband A Tibetan live-streaming host has been hospitalized after her ex-husband set her on fire when she was at her home in southwestern China.  The woman, Lhamo, went into a coma after her ex-husband attacked her with gasoline and flames at her home in Ngawa, Sichuan province on the night of September 14, according to Chengdu Commercial Daily. Local police said the suspect, surnamed Tang, had been taken into custody.   Her injuries have added to an online outrage over violence against w