China Desk, Lianhe Zaobao

China Desk, Lianhe Zaobao

Lianhe Zaobao is a Chinese-language broadsheet published by Singapore Press Holdings. It was established in 1983, following the merger of Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Jit Poh, which were started in 1923 and 1929 respectively. It offers timely, credible news reports and a wealth of features, commentaries and opinion pieces. With a Singapore perspective, it also provides news and valuable insights on developments in East Asia, particularly China. In 1995, Lianhe Zaobao became the first Chinese-language newspaper in the world to go online with its portal zaobao.sg. The website has now grown into two sites — zaobao.com to cater to its readers in the greater China region, and zaobao.sg for readers in Singapore and elsewhere.

The paper has correspondents in Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo, and experienced stringers in the Philippines, Japan, Europe and the US. It is one of the few foreign-owned Chinese-language media that is accessible online in China. Zaobao.com has an average of 5 million unique visitors per month, and a monthly pageview count of 100 million in China. The print edition of Lianhe Zaobao is also circulated in Indonesia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Vietnam and major cities of China like Beijing and Shanghai.

People release balloons as they gather to celebrate New Year's Eve, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 1 January 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Unease amid celebration: New year, old Covid worries in China

With the easing of Covid measures in China, many cities saw the return of New Year countdown celebrations, with major crowds congregating in droves. While the mood is upbeat, worries remain. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks at the people’s hopes for 2023.
Hong Kong scion Kenneth Fok has a shot at becoming Hong Kong's next Chief Executive. (SPH Media)

Will scion Kenneth Fok become Hong Kong's future chief executive?

Hong Kong scion Kenneth Fok seems to be favoured as a future candidate for Hong Kong’s next chief executive by the higher-ups in Beijing. The eldest grandson of the late "patriotic" tycoon Henry Fok Ying Tung and the husband of former Olympic gold-medal diver Guo Jingjing, Kenneth Fok's background is "politically correct" and fits well into the “patriots rule Hong Kong” governance model.
People line up at a fever clinic of a hospital, after the government gradually loosened the restrictions on Covid-19 control, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 10 December 2022. (Martin Pollard/Reuters)

Will mainland China see a 'tsunami' of Covid cases?

Following the protests against China’s strict Covid controls, the authorities have released ten new measures to ease or lift many Covid rules and restrictions. But while many people have been looking forward to this day, there is also anxiety as to what to expect with the sudden overnight changes.
A couple sits in a promenade along the Huangpu River under Lupu Bridge in Shanghai, China, on 9 November 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China’s marriage, divorce and birth rates are falling

The prolonged implementation of Covid-19 control measures has caused a significant socioeconomic impact in China, notably leading to the decline in marriage, divorce and birth rates, as well as the increase in youth unemployment. While the situation is more complex than what the data show, Chinese observers believe that both external and internal factors are at play.
Attendees ahead of a "First Tool-In" ceremony at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. facility under construction in Phoenix, Arizona, US, on 6 December 2022. (Caitlin O'Hara/Bloomberg)

Will TSMC’s American plant lead to an exodus of semiconductor talents from Taiwan?

TSMC’s new facility in Arizona, US, is set to begin production in 2024, with a second facility underway. The company’s US$40 billion investment is a first in many ways and marks a major shift in the global semiconductor industry. But TSMC has made conservative remarks about the move, and the new plant has also roused much concern from the Taiwanese.
A pandemic prevention worker in a protective suit keeps watch at at residential compound after it was locked down as outbreaks of Covid-19 continue in Beijing, 18 November 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese local governments struggle to find perfect way to ease pandemic rules

Various areas in China have responded to the new “20 measures” for Covid-19 controls, as announced by the Chinese central government on 11 November. Zaobao’s China Desk takes a look at how various local authorities have — or have not — adjusted their measures and the public’s reaction.
Cooperatives seem to be making a return in China, like this one in Heilongjiang. (Internet)

Cooperatives are making a comeback. Is China preparing for combat and famine?

Cooperatives that used to manage agricultural and other daily resources in China faded away during China's reform and opening up, but recently, they were highlighted again by the state media and promoted in various regions. Chinese people are concerned if this means that the government is going to further tighten its grip on the economy or that China is preparing for the likelihood of containment and even war?
The business district in Hong Kong, 28 October 2022. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

Will an investment summit revive Hong Kong’s status as a financial hub?

This week’s Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit in Hong Kong was an effort by the Hong Kong government to restore its position as a financial hub, which has been somewhat weakened due to China’s pandemic measures and other global responses. But despite John Lee’s optimistic address at the summit, the actual situation appears to be less than rosy, with several adopting a wait-and-see attitude.
A screen grab from a video showing people leaving Foxconn in Zhengzhou. (Twitter)

Chinese workers fleeing Foxconn highlights China's zero-Covid dilemma

An outbreak at Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, Henan province adds to the latest spate of Covid-19 cases in China. Prior to the lockdown of the factory area, many workers were seen “escaping” on foot. Amid the wave of criticism from the Chinese public, the incident has revealed flaws in the management at the factory as well as the lack of transparency from the government.