Society

Society

Panda Express gets its very own knockoff in China
A restaurant named Panda Express in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming has been closed for investigation after the American chain of the same name said it was unauthorized and infringed its trademark. The US fast-food chain, which serves American-style Chinese food, said it would consider taking legal action, while the Kunming restaurant – which has an almost identical panda logo – was closed. The management of its landlord, Chenggong Seazen Wuyue Plaza, told news portal Thepaper.cn it was reviewing the outlet’s credentials. The Chinese version’s listing on the food review portal Dianping said its operations were suspended. The restaurant declined to take calls on Thursday from the Sou
The cities that are growing and shrinking in China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. -18%: The average change in enrollment for elementary school children in Chinese cities that have become less popular over the past five years.  Chinese economics reporters, using elementary school enrollment figures to gauge demographic shifts in the country, have found a migration away from the country’s rust belt. The logic is if a city is attractive it would retain its current population and attract more families to relocate, thus, the primary student enrollment would increase. While there was no real trend of where people were moving to, there was a consistency
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
Rare protest in Beijing puts the spotlight on an industry in trouble
Hundreds of Chinese parents took to the streets in Beijing on Monday to demand a refund from an education company they feared was about to join a wave of business closures, highlighting the economic stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In a rare display of anger at the heart of the Chinese capital, the demonstrators gathered outside an office building and demanded that Youwin, an afterschool tutoring company, return their deposits. They eventually spilled into the streets and blocked traffic until the police ushered them back onto the sidewalk. Some of the parents said Youwin owed them more than $10,000 in prepaid tuition and had been unable to get a refund. Messages in a WeChat group 
China Trends: remnants of a sacked palace, and athletics become part of entrance exams
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. A reminder of past humiliation Every Chinese schoolchild knows the story of the Old Summer Palace. The palace was built throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries and featured a beautiful staircase leading into the main entrance overlooking a lavish garden. Located on Beijing’s outskirts, it was the perfect retreat for Chinese emperors looking for a respite from the bustling capital. In 1860 it was burned to the ground and looted by French and British troops during the Second Opium War. It has become a source of nati
Tired of work from home? Try a Ferris wheel
An amusement park in Tokyo has found a unique way to safely welcome back some visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Yomiuriland park has opened its doors to people tired of working from home and is offering guests a way to roll on with business from a more uplifting location – the Ferris wheel. 
Chinese Muslims banned from going on individual trips to Mecca
China has introduced new rules banning non-official pilgrimages to Mecca and Muslims wishing to visit the holy site will need to arrange trips with the government.  Observers said the decision was another attempt by the Communist Party to control religious affairs. In rules issued on Monday for the Muslim pilgrimage, known as the haj, the State Administration for Religious Affairs said all such trips to Saudi Arabia must be arranged by the Islamic Association of China, an organization controlled by the party’s international outreach arm, the United Front Work Department. “The association should educate haj attendees on patriotic and safe behavior, strengthen the management of attendees, and
What’s the deal between the Vatican and Beijing?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. A 2018 deal between China and the Vatican aimed to end a schism over the appointment of bishops in the world’s most populous country will expire later this month. While Pope Francis is willing to renew the pact, Beijing has yet to publicly express its intentions. The agreement aimed to resolve a split among China’s 12 million Catholics, who are split between a so-called underground church that is loyal to the Vatican and those who attend state-sanctioned churches. China under Chinese Communist Party rule has had a turbulent relationship with the Catholic
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
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