Inkstone

Inkstone

Asia is starting to get out and exercise despite pandemic
Asia is in the middle of a fitness boom, and most people think it's here to stay.  This is despite the population being seen as less physically active than their counterparts living elsewhere in the world, with Asian professionals lagging behind in the exercise statistics, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study.   By 2025, China plans to build a sports economy worth US$850 billion. 20,000 soccer programs were launched in schools between 2015 and 2020. By 2025, China plans to have 50,000 soccer programs running in local schools. Children across Asia have often been encouraged to spend their leisure time on maths and science homework, rather than kicking a ball around or swingi
Xi Jinping wears a parka and the company’s stock soars
While stock markets are known to fluctuate in reaction to global events, it seems they also now respond to fashion choices. Chinese President Xi Jinping has sparked a financial fashion frenzy when he wore a US$1000 cobalt blue parka that sent the stock market soaring on Tuesday. Xi was wearing the coat while inspecting the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics site, and the images were splashed around news bulletins but barely caused a ripple on social media – because of the brand’s elite urban customer base. However, its impact was felt most on the Hong Kong stock market with the Anta Group – who own the brand Arc’teryx – jumping to 9.4% – on the same day. An official sponsor of the 2022 ga
More child policy: Government wants to convince Chinese to have more babies 
A provincial government in China wants to create a framework to incentivize people to have more children, but there are real questions about if it is possible.  The policy proposal in Shanxi, in central China, wants the government to create a “good matchmaking environment and encourage women aged between 21 and 29 to give birth during this optimal reproductive period.” The proposal reflects deep anxiety in China about a looming demographic crisis.  Chinese people have fewer children, and the country’s population is rapidly aging. The total population is expected to start to shrink as soon as 2027, a scenario that the government worries could slow down economic growth and put pressure on the
An artistic movement emerges around dumplings
The world, it seems, has gone mad for dumplings, with fans of the plump pillows of perfection getting all steamed up about them. But it’s not just on the dining table that these doughy parcels of deliciousness inspire rapturous delight. Dumplings have moved from the back burner to the front and center of the show from China to Hong Kong, America, and India, where artists create dumpling-themed designs for products gaining popularity worldwide. “I think dumplings have become a shorthand for various Asian cuisines in the West,” says Stephanie Shih, 34, a New York-based Taiwanese-American artist. In Hong Kong, dumplings are Elizabeth Fry’s ultimate comfort food. The designer, entrepreneur and
Chinese actress is embroiled in a surrogacy scandal
One of China’s favorite female actresses has been dumped as the face of a global fashion house and come under fire from Chinese authorities after a recording revealed she wanted her babies – born by surrogacy - aborted or given up for adoption. The actress had split up with the babies’ father before they were born. The surrogacy scandal broke with the news that Zheng Shuang, 29, had been accused by her former partner, producer Zhang Heng, of abandoning her two children born to surrogate mothers in the United States. Zhang said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, on Monday that he has been stranded in the US for over a year because he and his family “must take care of and protect two you
A child rapist’s five-year prison sentence sets off a wave of anger
A lenient sentence for a man who raped a five-year-old girl in China has deepened a rift between the public perception of child sexual assault and how the crime is treated by the law.  The 20-year-old man, surnamed Li, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined US$510 on January 15 by a local court in the southwestern province of Yunnan. The sentence caused outrage in China, with many people calling for a harsher sentence and even the death penalty.  Li is the uncle of the victim and he brought the girl to a public restroom at a local bus station and raped her, said the court’s statement. Li visited the girl’s family last August and took her out at night, saying he wanted to buy her can
Joe Biden told Xi Jinping that America is land of ‘possibilities’
US President Joe Biden referenced a conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, when both were vice-presidents, during one of his first official acts in his new role on Wednesday. “I was asked a long time ago when I was with Xi Jinping, and I was on the Tibetan plateau with him,” Biden said as he was administering an oath of office – virtually – to nearly 1,000 of his appointees.  Xi “asked me in a private dinner, he and I, and we each had an interpreter. He said can you define America for me, and I said yes and I meant it. “I said I can do it in one word, one word: possibilities. We believe anything’s possible if we set our mind to it, unlike any other country in the world.” Bide
Want to be Beijing cool? Try bird watching
Beijing is a global city famous for its symbols of Chinese history, governance and culture. It is not, however, known for its connection to mother nature.  But those prejudices may not be entirely accurate, and young people across the city are discovering a fact about the city: it boasts a remarkable biodiversity, especially for birds.  Li Siqi is one of these young birding enthusiasts. The 20-year-old woman took up the hobby in 2013 after she, “took a photo of a pretty bird and then started looking online to find out what it was. That got me interested.” Li now owns an environmental education company that takes families birdwatching, and she also teaches children about nature and birds bot
Chinese female bodybuilder with one leg aims to help 85 million people just like her
Gui Yuna has achieved more than most in her young life. At just 37-years-old, the Chinese mother-of-one, prize-winning bodybuilder, Olympian and world-record holder is no slouch when it comes to kicking big goals - despite having lost a leg in a tragic accident when she was just seven. Bullied relentlessly throughout school and discriminated against while searching for work, Gui’s biggest disability was the way other people saw her. On January 20, 2021, her birthday, Gui’s greatest reward is the steps she is taking to help millions of Chinese like her believe they can do anything. Something she is living proof of. With help from a local disability association in Yancheng, in the eastern Jia
Deaths at e-commerce giant cause ‘996’ controversy
China is a global leader in the technology industry, and tech companies have grown to become dominant forces in Chinese society. But it also has a dark side.  The death of two employees at the social commerce giant Pinduoduo has placed the spotlight on a culture of high-stress jobs and overwork. Called “996” (meaning working from 9am to 9pm for 6 days per week), many fear the infamous culture has become worse and not better due to pressure from the pandemic. On December 29, 2020, a 22-year-old woman surnamed Zhang, who was working at a new business unit in Urumqi, died. On January 4, another young worker, surnamed Tan, jumped to his death in his hometown of Changsha. Public anger at Pinduod