China Desk, Lianhe Zaobao

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 The website has now grown into two sites — to cater to its readers in the greater China region, and 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. 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.

A God of Fortune distributes hongbaos to visitors at Liandao Scenic Area in Lianyungang city, Jiangsu province, on 14 February 2024. (Xinhua)

Rising hongbao rates are putting pressure on Chinese youths

As China’s tradition of giving red packets or hongbaos during festive occasions puts young people under pressure, they are pushing back by giving fewer hongbaos or none at all, hoping that their refusal to conform will help to bring the focus back to the sentiment behind the giving.
Dragon dancers perform at a park on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Dragon in Beijing on 10 February 2024. (Greg Baker/AFP)

‘Loong’ or dragon?

There has been a recently renewed debate over whether the Chinese 龙 should be translated into English as "dragon" as it is currently known now, or whether there should be a new translation: “loong”. While there is some historical evidence that “loong” was actually one early translation, perhaps today it might be difficult for it to catch on.
China's piano industry is on the decline after more than a decade of rapid growth. (iStock)

China’s middle-class families are giving up their pianos

The poor performance of the piano industry has revealed a dying trend of learning how to play the piano in China’s middle class. No longer seen as a gateway into a higher social status, the piano has become a burden given the tough economic situation and the officials’ de-emphasis on piano talent in national examinations. Lianhe Zaobao’s China desk tells us more.
Migrant workers wait to be approached with offers for jobs. (Internet)

China's 'first generation of migrant workers' fail to achieve generational leap

As China's migrant workers get older, it can get harder for them to find jobs, especially for those aged 50 and above. Add to that the challenges of physical limits, lack of education and general disadvantages in terms of salary and insurance, and the issue of elderly migrant workers becomes very stark.
Sun Weidong has lived in the US for over 30 years, but more than half of that time on the streets of New York. (Screen grab from video)

American dream shattered: Chinese drifter with doctoral degree stirs debate in China

Recent news reports featured a Chinese man who slept on the streets of New York, who turned out to be a doctoral degree holder educated in Fudan University and the US. The story of how he did not return to China after getting a scholarship and became a US citizen but ultimately ended up on the streets drew reactions from the Chinese, who questioned why China should take him back.
The Alipay logo is seen at the Asian Games 2023, Hangzhou, China. (SPH Media)

Has Alipay become a state-owned enterprise?

With Alibaba founder Jack Ma ceding control of Alipay in January 2023, and the People's Bank of China granting the application for no controlling shareholder at Alipay a year later, no single individual is in control of the company's decisions, and no shareholder holds more than 30% of its shares. This is seen as a critical step before Ant Group's IPO. But, has Alipay become a "state-owned enterprise"?
A shot of people entering PKU in 2005. (Apple Daily) 

A Peking University professor’s movement to break down walls

Peking University professor Li Zhi recently made the news for getting chased down by campus security after refusing to submit to facial scans and going over the turnstiles at the university. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks into the professor’s call to break down the walls — literal and figurative — around academic grounds.
People learn folk dance at a night school in Gansu province, China, 30 November 2023. (CNS)

Night classes becoming a refuge for China’s young people?

Young people in China are turning to night classes as a source of mental respite from the daily grind. From Shanghai and Beijing to Nanjing and Wuxi, thousands of applications are seen for classes with dozens of vacancies. Does this trend point to a larger social phenomenon?
Kathy Chow was known for her roles in broadcaster TVB’s television dramas in the 1980s and 1990s. (Internet)

Passing of Kathy Chow puts focus on the rise of people living alone in China

Several media reports of Hong Kong star Kathy Chow’s passing seemed to have highlighted the fact that she was living alone. Advertently, her death has sparked off discussions about the rise of Chinese living alone and the stigma and policy challenges behind the trend. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk examines the issue.