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The revival of China’s traditional believes – Ian Johnson

Often reviewers tend to look at the emergence of world religions like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, when they summarize Ian Johnson’s book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. But the most moving chapter is that on the 80 pilgrim associations from Beijing, writes professor Richard Madsen in the Washington Post.

Action needed to narrow wealth gap – Zhang Juwei

The wealth gap in China, reflected in the gini coefficient, is moving into dangerous heights, and government action is needed to narrow to divide between rich and poor, says professor Zhang Juwei, director of the labor and social security research center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to the China Daily.

What moves China on a global stage – Howard French

Explaining China’s position on a global stage, that is the underlying purpose of Howard French’s book Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power. As an emerging world power, we need to understand China, in a similar way we now understand the US, Britain, Russia and other current and past global powers, he explains to the South China Morning Post. “Tianxia” is the key concept to understand.

Next: home-grown designers – Jeffrey Towson

China has moved away from its copycat culture in much of manufacturing and R&D, but is still lacking experienced talent when it comes to developing design. That is just a matter of time, tells Peking University business professor Jeffrey Towson to Bloomberg. Branding and quality of design are getting higher on the agenda.

The disrupting power of China’s consumers – Jeffrey Towson

China’s consumers are becoming increasingly a force the rest of the world has to take into account, writes Beida business professor Jeffrey Towson at his weblog. Not only have Chinese more disposable income, they not only go for cheap offers, and regularly disrupt the world.

China-US trade deal: merely window dressing – Arthur Kroeber

The surprise trade deal between China and the US on beef and financial services is lacking real substance, tells economist Arthur Kroeber and author of China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know® at USagnet.

Prostitution: A mirror of society – Zhang Lijia

Prostitution is a mirror of society, tells Beijing-based author Zhang Lijia at the BBC. Her book Lotus: A Novel shows some of China’s most urgent problems related to prostitution: migration, the gap between men and women and moral decline.

Coca-Cola is on the wrong track selling a tin of water for US$9 – Tom Doctoroff

Coca-Cola surprised many branding experts by launching a tin of sparkling water called ‘Valser’ to Chinese consumers for US$9. It is not impossible, says branding guru Tom Doctoroff to the South China Morning Post, but then they have to change their marketing dramatically. “Turn it into a social currency,” Doctoroff says.

Jacky Chan as China’s soft power force – Ben Cavender

Gaining soft power is not an exclusive issue for China’s government. Jacky Chan and Wanda might be equally important for how the world sees China, says branding expert Ben Cavender to the South China Morning Post.

The future of religion in China – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson documented in this book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao how an estimated 350 million Chinese citizens found solace in religion, despite a ambiguous governments. In TimesOut Shanghai he tells how he feels that movement will develop in the future.

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