Category Archives: civil society

No children’s day for left-behind ones – Zhang Lijia

June 1 is Children’s Day in China, but for those left behind at the countryside, there is no Childrens’ Day, writes author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post. Earlier she wrote Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China and is currently working on her next book on left-behind children.

Social currency in an online society – Tom Doctoroff

China’s deep Confucian roots do influence the way the internet has developed, says marketing veteran Tom Doctoroff, author of What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism, and China’s Modern Consumer, to the South Morning Post. “I call it pride commerce, where there is the idea that you are what you buy … and that sharing your interests is a way to make your identity stronger,” Doctoroff said.

How ‘social’ became crucial for internet business in China – Shaun Rein

Social connectivity has become crucial for life and business in China. “If you want to do well as an internet company today, you need to be strong on the social aspect, otherwise you won’t be able to gain any traction,” tells business analyst Shaun Rein, author of The War for China’s Wallet: Profiting from the New World Order, to the South China Morning Post.

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake is still sending aftershocks – Ian Johnson

The devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake is still sending tremors into China’s society, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, in the NY Review of Books.”China’s supreme rulers today also have a strong hold over their citizens, but their edifice might not be immune from seismic change in society.”

How brands can overcome political problems – Tom Doctoroff

Cartoon Peppa Pig was the latest to get into China’s political crosshairs, but it was not the first and will not be the last, says branding expert Tom Doctoroff. For Mumbrella Asia he gives a quick overview of those problems, and some tips to avoid them, and limit the damage when you get caught.

WeChat: the new normal for 900 million users – Matthew Brennan

WeChat, Tencent’s mobile platform, is now reaching 900 million users in China, and in four year time it has become an indispensable tool for anybody living in the country, says WeChat expert Matthew Brennan at InTheBlack. “WeChat is not a social media. Think of it as an operating system for your life in China’,” says Brennan.

Zhang Lijia moves to London

Author and journalist Zhang Lijia, who recently published Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China, will move to London from Beijing early May. Currently, she is finishing her upcoming book about left-behind children from migrant workers in China.

Jack Ma, do not leave women behind – Zhang Lijia

Gender discrimination is commonplace in China, out of line with international agreements and practices. Author Zhang Lijia asks Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma, and other tech companies like Tencent, and the government, to end rampant discrimination against women on the work floor, for the New York Times.

How WeChat Pay took off with digital red envelopes – Matthew Brennan

When Tencent started during the 2014 CCTV New Year show to promote giving red envelopes online, few realized it was the successful kick-off what is now known as WeChat Pay, says WeChat expert Matthew Brennan to the JingDaily. Some luxury brands did not like the concept though: “The idea of a discount communicates value and is generally not an incentive that luxury brands want to be associated with.”

The forgotten left-behind children – Zhang Lijia

Very slowly the dreadful verdict of China’s approximately 30 million left-behind children on the country-side is slowly getting more coverage. Journalist Zhang Lijia, preparing a book on the issue, summarizes the problems for the New York Times. Why have they been forgotten?