Society

Society

Chinese internet rages against ‘actress’ who criticized Covid-19 health leader
The Chinese internet exploded over the weekend after a post criticizing Zhong Nanshan, China’s equivalent to Anthony Fauci, touched a nerve in the country. The post, published by a person named Shen Jiaxin, who claims to be an actress, asked Dr Zhong, “Dr. Zhong, apart from appearing on camera all the time, what research have you conducted? What effective drugs have you invented? How many Covid patients have you cured?” “What kind of contribution have you made to the pandemic?” Zhong, who does not work for the government but is a member of the communist party, has become the public face of China’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He has an outsized celebrity compared to other public h
To love, honor and obey the law: Chinese bride, 13, sent back to school
A 13-year-old girl in southern China was ordered to go back to school after generating an online buzz for getting married to a 17-year-old boy. The teenagers were wedded in a formal ceremony based on local customs last week after developing a romantic relationship for over a year, the Guiyu township government in Shantou, Guangdong province, said in a statement over the weekend. They planned to get official marriage registration when they were old enough, as many child couples do in rural China. By Chinese law, a man has to be at least 22 years old to get married and a woman at least 20. We didn’t know [it was illegal]. We have now let them take the girl home, to go back to school Mother of
Bye-bye Black Friday. Chinese consumers fear overseas package may contain the coronavirus
In any other year Judy Shen would spend thousands of yuan on Amazon during the Black Friday shopping extravaganza but this year she is not buying anything. The Shanghai housewife said she worried that cross border packages might carry the coronavirus after Chinese authorities said recent local infections in the country were linked to cargo brought into China from overseas. “I don’t buy imported food anymore, either. I dare not use or eat things from overseas now,” she said. Shen is one of the 155 million Chinese online shoppers who use cross border e-commerce, known as haitao in China, in the hunt for lower prices and better quality products. Last year, they spent 2.64 trillion yuan (US$400
BTS among other celebrities who dared to anger China
There has been mounting pressure on celebrities to avoid angering Beijing and Chinese netizens, and risk losing access to China’s lucrative market, with a growing number falling afoul of Chinese fans and regulators for remarks deemed politically incorrect in the past year. BTS K-pop sensation BTS was the latest to spark boycott calls in China, after the group’s leader Kim Nam-joon, known as RM, delivered a speech last month about remembering the “history of pain” and “sacrifices” by the US and South Korea during the Korean war. The comments drew backlash from Chinese netizens, who took to social media to complain that BTS had not acknowledged Chinese suffering during the war. The Korean war,
Flammable tap water sparks government action
Despite years of complaining about contaminated water, residents in a township in northern Liaoning province finally got the problem fixed after a video of a man lighting his tap water on fire went viral.  The video clip, provided to news portal Thecover.cn, showed the water coming out of a faucet ignited into a significant flame after a resident sparked a lighter next to the running water.  Residents in the township had complained for years about their inflammable tap water, but in vain. It took two days to fix the problem after the video showing flammable tap water went viral. A woman told the outlet that they had suspected the water had been mixed with oil because their hands would be l
Tibetan heartthrob charms millions with ‘pure smile’
A young Tibetan man has become a national heartthrob in China after millions of people became fans of his “clean eyes and pure smile.”   In a video released November 11, Zhaxi Dingzhen, a 20-year-old native of Litang, a remote county in Sichuan province, smiles as he walks toward the camera with his swarthy skin, big eyes, long eyelashes and thick but messy hair. He was walking in front of his home on the Tibetan plateau and smiling toward the camera a bit shyly. The video quickly went viral, receiving over 2.7 million likes and 135,000 comments, most of which complimented the man.  “He is so handsome! I’ve seen this video dozens of times,” wrote one user on Douyin, the Chinese version of T
Famed pianist Liu Shikun has a new daughter. He’s 81 years old 
A famed Chinese pianist has caused jaws to drop across China, and it’s not for anything he did in the concert hall.  On November 7, Liu Shikun and his 45-year-old wife welcomed a newborn daughter and named her Bei Bei, meaning precious baby in Chinese. Liu is now 81 years old, and this fact, along with the large age gap between him and his wife, has sparked a conversation in China about love and relationships.  “She is our best gift received,” said the mother, Sun Ying (or Samantha Suen), in Chinese news reports. Sun is also a performing pianist and added that she hopes the daughter will carry on the musical heritage.  But Liu’s older age had many worried about an added risk of genetic dise
The ‘markets’ where Chinese parents peddle love for their adult children
Every weekend, hundreds of parents across major Chinese cities head to public parks to take part in loosely organized speed dating. But they aren’t trying to find love for themselves; they are there on behalf of their adult children.  These “marriage markets” have been a curious phenomenon in China for about 20 years. Chinese parents often go to them for their children, usually without getting their consent, believing they are helping the family.  But these markets also illustrate a spiritual clash between the country’s young and old. Parents’ traditional beliefs about romance are at odds with those of a younger generation who grew up with values acquired while watching the country grow into
Artist proves how difficult it is to avoid Chinese surveillance
On a sunny autumn day in Beijing, a group of people snuck down a street, inching sideways in a line, hand in hand. On the next block, they crouched next to a group of bicycles.  These people were not running from the police or trying to avoid an ex; they were on a mission to “disappear” from the street as part of a performance art piece organized by Deng Yufeng. The staged art project was an act of defiance against China’s pervasive surveillance system.  He wanted to dig into the invasion of privacy in China and he views his work as enlightenment for the public.  The idea had first come to Deng in 2015, who uses art to critique sensitive topics in China. He had gone undercover in previous
Retrial in case of a woman tortured to death because she could not get pregnant
A Chinese court is retrying the case of a woman who was tortured to death by her husband and in-laws because she could not get pregnant.  People criticized the “disproportionately light” punishment after the father-in-law was sentenced to three years in prison, the mother-in-law for 26 months and the husband got two years.  This sentencing came after the court heard that the family had abused Fang Yangyang for seven months before she died on January 31, 2019 at the age of 22. Fang died from serious injuries and malnutrition.  She had spent seven months in an ordeal of severe beatings, starvation, confinement and even being forced to stand outside for extended periods of time in frigid winter