Zoe Chen

Zoe Chen

Zoe is a video journalist at Inkstone. Previously, she was a video journalist and producer for BBC Chinese and BBC News in Beijing.

Inside China’s booming streetwear scene
Even though streetwear brand Supreme doesn't have a single store in China, you'll probably see it in almost every major Chinese city. While the brand selling "Supreme" in China might not be the original from New York, it is a testament to the immense popularity of streetwear in China. Last year, Chinese spending on luxury streetwear goods rose by 62%.  And as the industry grows, foreign brands are trying to capitalize, while Chinese streetwear labels aim to expand abroad. In the video above, we dive into the Chinese hypebeast scene and see how streetwear is growing among China's young, wealthy people.
How a Xinjiang R&B artist is smashing stereotypes in China
As in the United States, there are stereotypes about ethnic groups in China, especially those from its remote western provinces.  Akin, an ethnic Kazakh and musician from Xinjiang, is trying to break the mold. We followed Akin around Shanghai while he prepared to headline one of China’s biggest music festivals.  Dressed in an ironic Duck Dynasty shirt, he explains how he was inspired by American hip-hop and R&B from the 90s, and why he brought that sound to China.  In the video above, he told us how he wants to challenge prejudices, and why the independent music scene is thriving in China. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Why Chinese men are paying to meet Eastern European women
The women sit on the left, the men on the right. Between them, a host in a suit calls on the men to make the first move. Love is in the air – if the interpreters do their job. The women are either Russian or Ukrainian, the men all Chinese. On a recent Sunday afternoon, they meet in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai in search of love. Without translation, the opposing sexes can’t fully understand each other. But it doesn’t matter. Brought to the same place by sheer destiny – and, for the men, an agent and a payment of $880 – the 16 participants mingle over sappy music and red wine, hoping to find a lifelong partner. As China has become wealthier and more outward-looking, an increasing numbe
What does Lunar New Year mean to you?
Marked by red packets, fireworks, food and drink, Lunar New Year is when Chinese families get together and celebrate. But how do they do it, and what do they wish for? We talked to people in Hong Kong, both from the city and visitors from mainland China, to find out how they celebrate Lunar New Year, and what it means to them.
China’s fireworks capital struggles to keep the fuse lit
China is slowly falling out of love with a millennium-old tradition. Decrying fireworks as polluting and dangerous, the Chinese government has banned their display in more and more cities. The bans now risk snubbing out an industry – and disrupting the lifeblood of the city of Liuyang, in the southern province of Hunan.  Watch the video, above, for a glimpse into the past and future of the pyrotechnic capital of the world.
The way of the pole
Sun Jian discovered pole dancing online seven years ago, while working as a construction worker in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. He was instantly hooked. Soon, he quit his job to pursue pole dancing despite his parents’ protest that it was vulgar and unsuitable for a man. Sun’s hard work has paid off. Now he owns several pole dancing schools in China, and one third of his thousands of students are male. Sun and his students travel the world competing in pole dancing competitions, receiving one accolade after another along the way. In 2017, he won the top award in the prestigious Pole Art France competition. Sun hopes that his success will help change people’s attitude towards pole
Inside the market that sells everything from knickknacks to knock-offs
With a population of 1.2 million, Yiwu is a small city by Chinese standards. But every year, more than 400,000 foreigners, hailing from everywhere from Russia to Nigeria, fly into this city in eastern China to do business. “There are two places in the world where you can find at least one person from each and every country in the world. One is the United Nations, and the other one is Yiwu,” says Girdhar Jhanwar, an Indian businessman who moved to the eastern Chinese city about two decades ago. The visitors’ destination is the Yiwu Commodity Market. Since it opened in 1982 as China’s first market for small consumer goods, it has become a mecca for traders from around the globe on the hunt for
The car wash with a disabled workforce
At least 25 million people in China live with a developmental disability. But less than 10% of working-age developmentally disabled people are employed, according to Xinhua, China’s state media. Cao Jun is the father of a child with a learning disability. He founded a car wash business in Shenzhen in 2015. Xihaner Car Wash – which means “happy and simple children” – offers career opportunities to people with developmental disabilities, and now over a hundred of them work for Cao’s car washes across China. Cao says that he wants to change the way people think about those with developmental disabilities. Check out our video, above, to find out more.
Can Trump and Xi end the trade war this weekend?
World leaders have started to arrive in Buenos Aires for the Group of 20 summit of the world’s largest economies. All eyes will be on the presidents of the United States and China. The two sides are locked in an escalating trade war. Tensions are high. But can a deal emerge over dinner between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping? Watch Inkstone editor Alan Wong explain in the video, above. And here are the answers to the questions you may have about G20: What is the G20 summit? The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum of leaders of economies responsible for the bulk of the world’s economic output, trade and investment. The G20 summit is the most important event held by the group, during which world l
China U-turns on tiger and rhino parts
China has backtracked on a controversial move to lift a ban on using tiger and rhino parts for “scientific, medical and cultural purposes.” Environmental groups condemned the move, saying it would harm efforts to protect endangered animals, while also stoking the black market. Authorities made a U-turn on November 12, with a senior official telling Chinese state media Xinhua that the lifting of the ban had been “postponed after study”. Tiger and rhino parts are prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine to treat illnesses like fever, gout and insomnia.