Chen Jing

Shanghai Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao

Chen Jing joined Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk recently and will be posted to Shanghai this year. She has been working at Zaobao for more than eight years, covering financial news and societal stories in Singapore.

Internet celebrities flocked to Wuzhong Market over the Golden Week holiday to pose for pictures with vegetables wrapped in Prada packaging. (Xiaohongshu/@超赞小姐姐 (left); Xiaohongshu/@周小晨Kiki)

Chic and trendy wet markets are the in-thing in China

Below-the-line marketing tactics of high-end brand Prada sees a wet market in Shanghai wrapping its walls, stalls and vegetables — yes, even the edibles — in Prada packaging. Lucky shoppers also get to receive limited edition Prada paper bags. And it's not just in Shanghai; trendy markets that have cafes, reading areas, exhibition spaces and bars are popping up in first-tier cities all around China.
This handout image courtesy of Netflix shows a scene from season one of South Korea's Squid Game. (Youngkyu Park/Netflix/AFP)

Does China need its own Squid Game?

Despite Netflix not being in the China market, Chinese viewers have still managed to watch the global hit show Squid Game, prompting questions on whether China can come up with its own global hit. It is not so much a question of box office ticket sales or viewership revenue, but the gains of soft power and cultural diplomacy that can be reaped. What are China’s barriers to creating global hits?
A woman walks past a store of German fashion house Hugo Boss in Beijing, China, 27 March 2021. (Thomas Peter/File Photo/Reuters)

China's crackdown on pretty boys and temple temptresses: Why are Chinese women feeling targeted?

The Chinese authorities are not just clamping down on celebrities for their excesses or “unhealthy’ fandoms, but setting the ground rules for media portrayals of gender norms of appearance and behaviour. In particular, the "effeminate aesthetics" of male celebrities and female influencers marketing themselves in Chinese temples have come under attack. But why are Chinese women feeling targeted? Are these necessary actions to moderate the internet economy or just signs of an over-the-top paternalistic bent?
A man plays an online game on a computer at an internet cafe in Beijing, China, 31 August 2021. (Florence Lo/File Photo/Reuters)

A metaverse with Chinese characteristics?

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “Think of the metaverse as an immersive virtual world where people can spend time together and hang out, much like you can do today with virtual reality, dialed up to 11.” Stocks of companies working on constructing the said metaverse have been on the rise. China, with its huge video game market, should have a head start in this realm, but authorities are sounding words of caution. They fear the metaverse will be as ephemeral as it seems and worse, even harder to regulate. How will it get a piece of the pie in its own way?
Dr Zhang Wenhong, China’s top infectious diseases expert and head of the Center for Infectious Disease at Huashan Hospital. (Internet)

Who saved Dr Zhang Wenhong from punishment for questioning China's Covid-19 policy?

China's top infectious diseases expert Dr Zhang Wenhong was recently embroiled in an alleged academic fraud case but investigations have cleared his name later on. The investigation came after he put forward the view of "living with the virus", which is at odds with the official stance for achieving zero-Covid. Who protected Dr Zhang from punishment? Was it public opinion, the city of Shanghai or Dr Zhang's impeccable moral standards? Will this deter professionals from speaking the truth in the future?
This photo taken on 8 August 2021 shows a child being given a nucleic acid test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Nantong, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. (STR/AFP)

Singapore health experts: China the best positioned country to aim for zero-Covid

The world seems divided on whether to aim for zero Covid-19 infections, or to treat it as endemic and live with it. Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing notes that amid a resurgence of infections, experts believe that China is well-placed to aim for zero cases, albeit with some trade-offs.
Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani of Japan celebrate winning their match against Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, Tokyo Olympics, 26 July 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Japan-bashing by Chinese netizens: A lack of sportsmanship during the Olympics?

A week into the Tokyo Olympics and the Chinese internet is already a minefield of anti-Japan sentiments. Displeasure ranges from Japan’s win over China in the table-tennis mixed doubles to perceived slights against China. By playing the nationalism card, Chinese netizens are not doing China any favours in the run-up to next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.
Commuters take photos with a flag of the Communist Party of China at Nantong Railway Station, Jiangsu province, China on 1 July 2021, during celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. (STR/AFP)

More Chinese youths proud to be associated with the CCP

Positive attitudes towards the Chinese Communist Party among the young have been on the rise. China’s relative success in combating Covid-19 has further impressed Chinese youths. More of them are becoming party members and are proud to be called “red and expert”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting via video conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not seen) at the Kremlin in Moscow on 28 June 2021. (Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP)

Extension of China-Russia friendship treaty does not mean ties are solid

Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing notes that even as China and Russia extend their friendship treaty, their relationship could still fluctuate in the face of US-China tensions and the uneasy China-US-Russia strategic triangle.