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 cross a pedestrian crossing in Hong Kong on 16 May 2022. (Peter Parks/AFP)

Why is the Hong Kong government targeting Telegram?

The Hong Kong government has announced that it is considering blocking Telegram in response to doxxing content on the social media platform. The app has also been accused of playing a key role in facilitating social and democratic movements. But if Hong Kong bans Telegram, will that be the city's first step towards conforming with the mainland’s internet censorship rules?
Primary school students work with flour during a cooking lesson in school, in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, China, on 13 May 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese kids to undergo nine years of culinary training: Parents are worried 

China’s education ministry recently introduced a new curriculum for primary and secondary students with the aim of teaching life skills. From cooking to technology applications, young children will be better equipped to face society. However, parents have voiced their concerns about the added burden on both children and parents.
People wearing face masks walk out of a subway station during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, 26 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Patriotism has become a commodity on Chinese social media

Chinese internet celebrities have landed in hot water since social media platforms began displaying the IP addresses of posts by verified accounts. Netizens are crying foul as the locations of these individuals have potentially exposed the deception and falsehoods in their content and “patriotic” personae. Is this the end for the “patriotic Big Vs”?
Graduates attend a graduation ceremony at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 13 June 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Record 10.76 million Chinese university graduates face bleak job market and struggling economy

With over ten million Chinese university students set to graduate this year, the competition for jobs will be more intense than ever, and it does not help that certain sectors are scaling back recruitments for various reasons. Can the potential mismatch of jobs and skills be rectified? And will the impact of youth employment difficulties spill over to other areas?
A plane of China Eastern Airlines lands at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, 23 March 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's aviation industry suffers double mishap of pandemic and plane crash

Zaobao’s China Desk analyses the impact of the recent China Eastern Airlines crash, touted as China’s worst aviation disaster since 2010. This comes at a time when China has been improving its flight safety record and its airlines are struggling to recover from the losses suffered from the Covid-19 slowdown. Will the aviation industry regroup and come back stronger from this?
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, 16 March 2022. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

US regulations strangling the life out of China concept stocks?

Chinese concept stocks plunged after the US Securities and Exchange Commissions’ recent announcement that another five US-listed Chinese companies might be delisted for non-compliance with US regulations. Although there was a rebound after Vice-Premier Liu He’s reassurance that China will implement policies to stabilise the stock market and support overseas listings, Chinese companies looking to raise capital abroad will still have to deal with two sets of inherently contradictory regulations from the US and China.
A Slavic people living in Taiwan holds a placard during a protest against Russia's military invasion of Ukraine at the Liberty Square outside the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, on 6 March 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Lessons from Ukraine: Is it time to give up strategic ambiguity in the Taiwan Strait?

The US’s long-running policy of strategic ambiguity towards the Taiwan Strait has created a delicate balance on the Taiwan issue, and the US believes that with ambiguity, Beijing will think twice about taking military action against Taiwan, as it can never be sure if the Americans will come to Taiwan's aid. However, with the Ukraine war, some Taiwanese and Americans are questioning the effectiveness of strategic ambiguity. Since Russia has attacked Ukraine without the latter joining NATO, wouldn't Beijing do the same to Taiwan even if the latter does not declare de jure independence? They ask: Isn't it time to review the strategic ambiguity policy?
Livestreamer Huang Wei, known professionally as Viya, sits behind a ring light during a special livestreaming event arranged by Qianxun Group in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, on 30 April 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

200 million Chinese are in flexible employment. Is this their choice?

As the impact of the pandemic persists, some 200 million people are choosing flexible employment, which gives them greater freedom in terms of work hours, work location and income. While the media is eager to highlight success stories of those in glamorous jobs such as livestreaming, in reality, companies are hiring general workers for odd jobs instead. How far do the statistics reflect the actual situation?
Gold medallist China's Gu Ailing Eileen celebrates on the podium during the freestyle skiing women's freeski big air victory ceremony at the Beijing Medals Plaza in Beijing on 8 February 2022. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

China's love-hate relationship with naturalised athletes

The Beijing Winter Olympics has featured some naturalised China athletes, not least skier Eileen Gu and figure skater Zhu Yi, as well as the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. These naturalised athletes have come under close scrutiny, and Zhu Yi’s poor performance in particular has come under fire. What makes for an effective naturalised athlete policy?