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.

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.
A liquified natural gas (LNG) storage tank and workers are reflected in a puddle at PetroChina's receiving terminal at Rudong port in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China, 4 September 2018. (Stringer/Reuters)

From electric blankets to natural gas: Europe’s dependence on China for winter heating

As energy prices soar in Europe, the continent has been turning to China to get it through the approaching winter, from purchasing electric blankets and thermal stockings to importing natural gas. Zaobao’s China Desk explores the geopolitical factors involved and how Europe is both dependent on China and resistant to this dependence.
Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken 25 February 2022. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Has the US crushed China’s hopes for self-sufficiency in the chip industry?

China’s semiconductor industry has been dealt with multiple hurdles in the past year, with the latest roadblock coming from the US’s ban on chip export to China in October. Manufacturers, executives and technical experts now face the difficult decision of staying in this growing sector in China or in the US. Will China find a way around this new restriction?
Students from the School of Public Health listen as they graduate during Harvard University's 371st Commencement Exercises in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, 26 May 2022. (Brian Snyder/File Photo/Reuters)

Covid curveballs making Chinese students' road overseas even longer

Amid the difficult environment of unceasing Covid-19 restrictions, geopolitical tensions and grim economic and employment outlook, Chinese students are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their higher education. College and visa applications, taking online classes and returning to China to seek employment are proving to be one hurdle after another for the new generation. How will they cope?
Li-Ning's Fall/Winter collection included some looks reminiscent of WWII Japanese army uniforms. (Li-Ning/Weibo)

Chinese netizens chastise Li-Ning for Japanese military-style fashion

Some outfits at a showcase of Li-Ning’s Fall/Winter collection said to resemble uniforms worn by the Japanese military during their invasion of China have sparked a wave of controversy, and this is made worse by the fact that a member of Li-Ning’s senior management is Japanese-Chinese. Are the Chinese netizens too sensitive or is Li-Ning too insensitive?
In this file photo taken on 2 May 2022, Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America/AFP)

Elon Musk offended both sides of the Taiwan Strait

Tesla CEO Elon Musk drew widespread criticism for his comment on establishing Taiwan as a special administrative zone. While Musk raised his suggestions based on his own commercial interests, the controversial statement shows the impact of the Taiwan Strait issue for the business world. Is there a time and place for businessmen to tread on geopolitical issues?