Viola Zhou

Viola Zhou

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

Fake resumes expose hiring biases against Muslims in China
A Muslim job seeker in China is less than half as likely to get a response from employers than their Han Chinese counterparts, according to a newly published study.  In an experiment carried out in 2017, researchers sent out more than 4,000 fictitious resumes from candidates identifying themselves by ethnicity – either Han, Hui or Uygur – to companies in major cities across China. The findings were published in December 2019. The Uygur and Hui, the two biggest Muslim-majority groups in the country, received far fewer replies than the ethnic Han job-seekers, according to the study, titled “Anti-muslim bias in the Chinese labor market.”  A Hui applicant is about half as likely to get a callbac
Fake resumes expose hiring biases against Muslims in China
The Chinese TV show accused of copying Queer Eye has no openly gay stars
Viewers in China say a new reality TV show in the country bears a striking resemblance to the popular Queer Eye series on Netflix. Just without the gay Fab Five. The reality show You are so Beautiful premiered on state-owned streaming service Mango TV in December. Like the Emmy-winning American show, the Chinese program depicts makeovers masterminded by five experts in charge of fashion, grooming, food, home design and lifestyle. However, none of the five experts on You are so Beautiful is openly gay. The show, which has streamed three episodes so far, has also made no effort to promote LGBTQ acceptance like Queer Eye.  Mentions of LGBTQ issues are often censored in Chinese media. Although
The Chinese TV show accused of copying Queer Eye has no openly gay stars
After KFG and Plada, Chinese lookalike sparks ‘disgust’
Chinese brand “Cherlss & Keich” has denied it was a copycat, after consumers complained of being tricked by its close resemblances with Singaporean fast-fashion brand Charles & Keith. On the Twitter-like Weibo, some users said they shopped at stores that looked almost the same as Charles & Keith’s only to find the brand name on the products was spelled differently.  The Cherlss & Keich brand is run by a leather product company in the southern city of Guangzhou. In photos posted on social media, the designs of its products, shopping bags and the storefronts all bear close resemblances to those of the Singaporean brand.  But an employee at Cherlss & Keich denied the company had copied from th
After KFG and Plada, Chinese lookalike sparks ‘disgust’
9 fascinating China stories you might have missed in 2019
In 2019, Inkstone published some 250 issues and about 1,500 stories about China. By our rough estimate, that’s more than 1 million words, or about the length of the whole Harry Potter series.  That’s a lot of news, owing in part to an eventful year. But as unrest in Hong Kong and tensions between the United States and China dominated the headlines for months on end, there were stories that we liked that you might have missed. At the year’s end, we have put together a list of interesting, but lesser-read articles 📝 and videos 📺 that deserve a second chance. 1. ‘Let’s find somewhere private’: Single, retired and looking for love in Beijing 📝 China's widowers and single elderly people are lo
9 fascinating China stories you might have missed in 2019
Who’s that in the logo? Trademark case claims $30 million in damages
It is an image that is easy to find across China. A martial artist, wearing a yellow jumpsuit, is holding up his arms ready to attack or defend. You could be forgiven if you drove by and thought it was a picture of the kung fu star Bruce Lee. But technically, it is not. It is the logo of a famous Chinese fast-food chain called Real Kungfu.  The company has been using the logo for 15 years, but now it is facing a lawsuit from Bruce Lee’s family.  The lawsuit is the latest example in a series of trademark disputes between Chinese companies and international celebrities.  Bruce Lee Enterprises, run by Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee, is suing the restaurant chain for 210 million yuan ($30 million).
Who’s that in the logo? Trademark case claims $30 million in damages
2019 in review: The told and untold stories of China
Part of what inspires someone to read Inkstone every day is a desire to understand China — one of the most complex, and often contradictory, countries in the world. As 2019 comes to a close, we believe the year was defined by extremes of these inspirations and disappointments.  The one defining story for China in 2019 also happens to be one of the biggest stories in the world, period. When people write a history of 2019, they will begin with the protest movement in Hong Kong. On June 9, hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Hong Kong to demonstrate against a bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be transferred to mainland China. At the time, we did not know that i
2019 in review: The told and untold stories of China
The surprising big spenders driving China’s growth
For business people looking to get rich in modern China, they may be wise to look beyond the big cities.  China’s small city youths have become a strong driver of the country’s consumption growth, even as most other people are spending less. The spending power of Chinese consumers has made fortunes for business globally, but some analysts have warned that slowing economic growth, and uncertainties caused by the US-China trade war, have made many people reluctant to spend.  According to a report published by the consultancy group McKinsey & Co this week, many consumers in metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have tightened their belts because of a slowdown in income growth.  Than
The surprising big spenders driving China’s growth
Charity for girls comes under fire for funding boys
A Chinese government-run charity aimed at helping poverty-stricken girls finish their schooling has prompted an online outcry after it was found to be funding boys’ education as well.  Despite a growing awareness of gender equality in urban China, girls, especially those in rural areas, still lag behind in their access to education due to long-held favoritism toward sons. To help provide education for poor girls, the state-run China Children and Teenagers’ Fund launched the Spring Bud Project in 1989.  The project’s promotional materials have almost entirely featured women, and China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan, is the charity’s special ambassador. But social media users found this week that a
Charity for girls comes under fire for funding boys
Hong Kong protesters get most votes in Time’s Person of the Year
Time has awarded its 2019 Person of the Year to Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg. A readers’ poll by the magazine, though, picked one of the finalists, Hong Kong protesters, as the winner with more than 30% of the 27 million votes. When the Time poll opened last month, thousands of Hong Kong protesters and supporters rallied online to vote for themselves, hoping the Person of the Year title would help support their movement. Even after Thunberg was announced as the winner, Hong Kong protesters flooded social media to draw attention to their cause. Since June, when the protests began, demonstrators have sought to advocate their demands for greater accountability and democracy to
Hong Kong protesters get most votes in Time’s Person of the Year
Chinese prof sacked after alleged sex assault of student prompted outrage
A Chinese professor has been sacked by a prominent university in Shanghai after a sexual assault allegation against him prompted public outrage.  Last weekend, a part-time graduate student at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics accused the associate professor, 55-year-old Qian Fengsheng, of sexual assault.  In a detailed online post, the student said the professor had been sending her suggestive WeChat messages since September. On November 16, he offered to answer the student’s academic questions in his car – only to drive to a deserted road, where he allegedly locked the car, kissed her forcibly and sexually assaulted her, according to the post.  The 28-year-old student, who w
Chinese prof sacked after alleged sex assault of student prompted outrage