Category Archives: culture

My nostalgic view on Spring Festival – Zhang Lijia

Much of China and many Chinese have become wealthy. But just a few decades ago, remembers author Zhang Lijia of “Socialism Is Great!”: A Worker’s Memoir of the New China Spring Festival was the only moment in the year where food was abundant. At her website, she looks with a nostalgic view at those poorer times.

Star Wars missing a following in China – Ben Cavender

Box office revenue for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was beaten by a local romantic movie, showing US movies do not automatically win in China. US classics to not have the following in China, they have at home, says business analyst Ben Cavender to CNBC. 

Mao killed more than Stalin or Hitler – Ian Johnson

Who killed more, Hitler or Stalin, is a question often asked. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, argues – 60 years after the Great Leap Forward started – that Mao Zedong is often wrongly excluded from this debate. But he opts for a nuanced approach in The New York Review of Books, although in numbers Mao beats both Stalin and Hitler.

Lifting branding to a new level – Tom Doctoroff

Deep insight in consumer behaviour is what marketing should offer, writes branding guru Tom Doctoroff, author of What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism, and China’s Modern Consumer, on his LinkedIn page. Cluttering that insight with “exaggerated faith in algorithms, programmatic efficacy and hyper-personalization,” is not helpful he adds. And: “Insights are not observations.”

You need to understand religion to understand China – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, explains what five books you need to read to understand China in a Five Books interview. Not surprisingly, those five books also focus on religion, just like Ian’s own bestseller. The search for a moral framework.

“Star Wars” lacks cult following in China – Ben Cavender

While many movie watchers even get fussy feelings when they hear the words “Star War”, China is lacking such a cult following, explains branding expert Ben Cavender to CNBC. Movies that would be a hit elsewhere in the world, are just not working in China, he says.

Meeting controversial artist Qiu Zhijie – Ian Johnson

Author Ian Johnson of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao meets controversial artist Qiu Zhijie for the New York Review of Books.Before the interview, Ian Johnson puts Qiu and their first meetings into perspective. Here is the introduction of the interview.

The Return of Religion: larger than a China quest – review

Journalist Ian Johnson’s latest book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao is not short of positive reviews. But Jeremiah Jenne gives in the World of Chinese his review an extra twist. The Return of religion in China is not limited to the country’s search of new values, but might be part of a worldwide search of values, Jenne writes.

Daoism is key to understand China – Ian Johnson

Daoism is key to understand today’s China, says journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. to ABC News. “You can provide values, an escape for people, or turn inward to piety, but you cannot challenge the Government. You can’t be an alternative source of values or the Government will turn against you.”

China’s changing attitude towards white people – Kaiser Kuo

When opening and reform of China took off, Western visitors were received as saviors. But that attitude has changed dramatically, writes Chinese-American Kaiser Kuo at SupChina. “While I full-throatedly decry this kind of anti-foreignism, I think at some level it’s entirely natural, and I’m actually thankful that it’s kept mostly in check,” he says.