Society

Society

China Trends: Tap water tainted by sewage and a controversial ban on phones
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. Sewage finds its way into tap water Social media users in China are incensed by reports of water contamination in a village near the eastern city of Hangzhou. Residents of Hubu village on July 26 told local authorities that tap water in their homes was causing diarrhea and allergic skin reactions.  In less than a week, on July 31, investigators traced the contamination to a local waste management center and detained several of its operators. Chinese news site Thepaper.cn reported that 1,600 villagers were affected. The
This man has a master's degree – in ninja studies
Genichi Mitsuhashi is the first person in the world to hold a master's degree in ninja studies. The 45-year-old spent two years studying the history, traditions and fighting techniques of the ninja at Mie University in Iga, a place that was once home to many warriors.
Are China’s dams causing droughts in its neighbors?
Chinese dams aren’t the problem causing droughts for downstream nations along the Mekong River – they are part of the solution – says a Chinese study released in July. The study is an attempt to pour water on claims by a rival US-backed investigation that blamed dams in China for water shortages suffered by Southeast Asian countries on the river’s lower reaches. The Chinese study, a collaboration between Tsinghua University and China’s Institute of Water Resources, argues that the dams help alleviate the problem by storing water from the wet season and releasing it in the dry season. The claim has sparked an academic discussion about the root cause of shortages so severe that Vietnam declare
China Trends: wife of US consul general under attack, and a female cosplayer’s ‘indecent pose’
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. Caught in US-China consulate clash The food writer wife of the US consul general in Chengdu has come under fire on Chinese social media as the consulate dispute between Beijing and Washington caused another spike of anti-US sentiment in China.  Tze-i Chuang, a Taiwanese food writer and wife of US diplomat Jim Mullinax, has been posting about her cooking, her love for Sichuan food and personal life in Chinese on Weibo.  Her page, usually popular among food enthusiasts, has been filled with anti-America comments since Bei
Deaths of wives prompt outrage over violence against women
A series of cases in which husbands reportedly killed their wives in China have prompted online outrage over persistent domestic violence and the lack of legal protection for women. Domestic violence has been a persistent problem in China, and a new generation of feminists are pushing back against what they say is structural gender inequality that leads to women’s vulnerability to spousal violence.  More women are reporting domestic violence incidents and expressing outrage over a new law that mandates a 30-day cooling-off period for couples seeking a divorce. They argue that the rule would make it harder for women to escape abusive marriages.  The recent string of murders has only galvanize
China Trends: WeChat blocks Indian users and a student quits a top college to change major
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. WeChat complies to India’s ban WeChat, China’s messaging super-app owned by Tencent, officially restricted users in India from using the app on Saturday, as a result of India’s ban on WeChat and 58 other Chinese apps in June.  The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps in late June, including TikTok, WeChat and Baidu maps, saying they threatened India’s “sovereignty and integrity” two weeks after a fatal clash between Chinese and Indian troops at a Himalayan border.  The news prompted concerns on Chinese social media
China is home to 18 of the 20 most surveilled cities in the world
China is home to 18 of the world’s 20 most monitored cities and over half the surveillance cameras in use globally, according to a study by British technology website Comparitech. According to the research, of non-Chinese cities, London ranked third while Hyderabad in India took 16th place. But while the use of live video surveillance continues to grow, the study said that more cameras do not necessarily reduce crime rates. “A primary argument in favor of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance is improved law enforcement and crime prevention … [But] a higher number of cameras just barely correlates with a lower crime index,” it said. The study compared the number of public surveillan
This Chinese city wants to test all 6 million residents for Covid-19
Chinese health officials announced on Sunday that they would test all residents of the northeastern city of Dalian for Covid-19 as the local authorities scrambled to control the spread of a new cluster of coronavirus infections. Dalian, a port in Liaoning province with over six million people, confirmed 12 new cases of local origin and 14 asymptomatic cases on Saturday. Dalian’s cluster of infections was first reported on Wednesday when a 58-year-old man working at a seafood processing company tested positive. Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, led a team to Dalian on Friday night to guide the containment measures. As of Saturday, the contagion link from the city’s clus
Defectors from North Korea hit an all-time low
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 12: The number of North Koreans who defected to South Korea between April and June this year. The figure, an all-time low, represents a dramatic drop compared to the 320 people in North Korea who crossed into the South over the same period last year. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, in the first three months of 2020, 135 North Koreans sought asylum in its southern neighbor, a 41% drop compared with 2019. Ministry spokesperson Yoh Sang-key told reporters that regional border closures caused the drop due to the coronavirus pandemic. Experts said th
China Trends: University rape case controversy, and shock for TV viewer
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. University under fire for not expelling sex offender A prestigious university in China is facing an online backlash over its decision not to expel a student who was convicted of rape.  The male student at Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou was in April given a suspended sentence of 1.5 years in jail.  Last month, the university said it had put the student “under observation” for 12 months as punishment, partly on the basis that he turned himself in.  The decision prompted outrage online after screenshot