Billionaire owner of ‘American Factory’ defends his anti-union stance
The Chinese billionaire featured in the Netflix documentary American Factory has defended his country’s labor practices by criticizing unions, saying they hurt efficiency.  In China, American Factory prompted a wave of soul-searching about the human costs of the country’s economic success and the rise of super-rich entrepreneurs such as Cao Dewang, who owns factories at home and abroad.   The film, backed by Barack and Michelle Obama, documents what happens at two factories owned by Cao – one in Dayton, Ohio and the other in Fujian, southeastern China. Cao is a main character of the documentary, in which he comes across as a pragmatic Chinese businessman bringing jobs to America’s Rust Belt.
Get to know rising Chinese leading man Li Xian
China’s top-rated TV series of the summer has made a leading man out of chiseled actor Li Xian. The 27-year-old starred as professional video gamer Han Shangyan in the 41-part smash hit romantic drama Go Go Squid! opposite established actress Yang Zi. The title of the show refers to the online handle of Yang’s character, a social media influencer. Li has been the talk of the town this summer. Since airing in July, the series has been streamed more than 9.6 billion times, making it China’s most-watched TV program last month. For proof of his newfound stardom, look no further than the party held at The Peninsula Beijing hotel by Chinese streaming giant iQiyi to get a sense of Li’s popularity.
Some Chinese think Shang-Chi isn’t hot enough (for them anyway)
When Marvel cast Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, the studio’s first Asian superhero, the Chinese internet reacted with a collective gasp.  The casting of the muscular Chinese-Canadian heartthrob, known for his role in the sitcom Kim’s Convenience, may be celebrated in the West, but for some Chinese, he just doesn’t look the part. “He looks like how Westerners think us Asians all look,” said one commentator on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The message is the second-most liked response to a report about Marvel’s casting decision on July 20. “Single eyelid, small eyes, square face, check, check, and check,” said another popular post.  Many say they prefer someone along the lines of Eddie Peng, a Canadian
Marvel’s Shang-Chi casting ignites racism debate in China
Marvel’s casting of Tony Leung, a beloved Hong Kong star, in the upcoming Shang-Chi film has stirred up an intense online debate in China about racism.  Veteran actor Leung, 57, will play the Mandarin, the villain of the film. Idolized in China, many Chinese fans have questioned Leung’s decision to take this role. The casting was announced by Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, at Comic-Con in San Diego. Some Chinese internet users believe the Mandarin is a similar character to the evil Dr Fu Manchu, a fictional character widely considered racist. Fu was first created by British author Sax Rohmer in 1912. In the Marvel comics, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, who was not announced a
The truth about Keanu Reeves and his Asian roots
There’s a photo that’s been skidding around the internet. It shows Keanu Reeves, whose career has been reignited by the success of the John Wick franchise and his brilliantly self-deprecating turn in the Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe, sitting on a couch with a smiling, bespectacled older East Asian woman in a flowered print top.  In truth, the picture itself isn’t particularly notable.  It’s actually the image’s whimsically spelled caption that has made the meme go viral: “Keanu Reeve’s grandma is Chinese Haiwaiian.” That Reeves has Asian Pacific Islander heritage isn’t exactly new information.  From his earliest initiation into Hollywood, Reeves has always been referred to as the “son
Disney got Mulan’s house wrong, say Chinese fans
Chinese fans are questioning the authenticity of Disney’s depiction of the iconic heroine Mulan, after viewing a new trailer for the highly anticipated live-action film. In the trailer, the titular character is seen riding her horse across emerald-green rice paddies and arriving at home – a distinctive donut-shaped structure with mud walls, tiled roofs and a bustling courtyard shared with neighbors. This scene has Chinese fans scratching their heads. The real Mulan, if she lived at all, could not have lived in such a house. “This is American-style ancient China,” said one internet user on the Twitter-like Weibo.  The unique, instantly identifiable home seen in the trailer is called a tulou,
Chinese filmgoers unhappy with Disney’s Ariel casting
Chinese fans may love NBA players and African-American entertainers, but they’re upset with Disney’s decision to cast Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the live-action movie adaption of The Little Mermaid. Disney announced the casting of 19-year-old Bailey, who is black, this week. While the casting was largely praised on Western social media, it triggered a wave of disappointment and anger on the Chinese internet.  “I don’t discriminate against black people, but the Little Mermaid is just not black in my memory,” said one of the most liked comments on the Twitter-like Weibo. “Is this mermaid from the Somali Sea?” another Weibo user said. “Don’t ruin my childhood, you big-head fish!” Internet u
Bruce Lee is officially history's greatest Lee
Kung fu star Bruce Lee is the greatest Lee of all.  That’s at least according to an online poll, inspired by US schools wanting to ditch their association with American Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Lee, a white supremacist who fought for the Confederate States of America that wanted to retain slavery, has been memorialized in the names of schools across the southern US. That has made some students and staff alike uncomfortable. However, cash-strapped school districts would have to pay out huge amounts of money –  some say more than $1 million – to replace signs, uniforms and other paraphernalia. That’s where Bruce comes in. Rather than wholly rename schools, some districts are choosing
Donnie Yen’s still kicking ass at 55
Martial arts superstar Donnie Yen may be turning 56 in July, but he’s still kicking ass. He’ll be on the big screen again very soon, with the fourth Ip Man film set to premiere in parts of Asia on July 25. In the popular action movies, Yen plays the eponymous master of Wing Chun, the Chinese martial art, who was renowned in real life for teaching Bruce Lee.         View this post on Instagram                   I’ve created and directed many action scenes, always finding new inspiration and try to come up with breakthrough action each time and always showcasing the actor’s best ability. Went over a few things with some of my men today, do u know who I’m directing tomorrow? #d
Gemma Chan wants to tell stories for Asians everywhere
Since Crazy Rich Asians hit theaters last August, life hasn’t been the same for Gemma Chan. After making a mark on-screen as the rich, elegant Astrid Leong-Teo, she has graced international magazine covers and starred in films Mary Queen of Scots and Captain Marvel. The world is now her oyster, but what she really wants is to help to tell stories about Asian people living everywhere. “What’s really good for me is to find stories that aren’t just pigeonholing Asians in Asia,” she said. “I think Crazy Rich Asians is a wonderful example of an Asian story but it’s also about the diaspora and what it’s like for Asian people living everywhere.” “And, some of the similarities and differences betwe