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 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.

Lion statues decorate the entrance of China's Yellow River scientific station in Ny-Aalesund, Svalbard, Norway, on 6 April 2023. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

China’s polar great power dreams may be put on hold

With climate change and Arctic marine navigation expected to be extended from four months to more than half a year by 2030, Arctic states and self-declared “Near-Arctic State” China are looking to increase their influence in the region. China recently announced it would soon deploy a “polar subglacial shallow surface acoustic monitoring buoy system” and also embarked on its 13th expedition to the Arctic. But several obstacles may stand in the way. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks at the issue.
Supporters take a selfie with Terry Gou, the retired founder of major Apple supplier Foxconn, at a rally for legal reform and against high real estate prices in Taipei, Taiwan, on 16 July 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Foxconn's Terry Gou may yet be the kingmaker in Taiwan presidential race

On 23 July, the Kuomintang (KMT) formally approved New Taipei mayor Hou Yu-ih as its candidate in the 2024 presidential election, despite some talk that it might throw its weight behind Foxconn founder and billionaire Terry Gou after all. Even so, Gou may be joining the race as an independent, splitting the race into a four-cornered fight with the Democratic Progressive Party's William Lai, the KMT's Hou, and the Taiwan People's Party's Ko Wen-je. Lianhe Zaobao China Desk and Taiwan correspondent Woon Wei Jong take us through the latest developments.
“Pavel Korchatie” (left) and "Russia Nana" have been accused of using deepkfake AI to pass off as foreigners. (Weibo)

Why are Chinese internet stars pretending to be Russian?

​Finding online fame in China could be as simple as being a foreigner praising Chinese culture and food, as some would believe. This has led to a number of Chinese impersonators using deepfake AI to gain views on social media platforms. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk tells us more about this phenomenon.
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings, meets journalists as he formally retires after the company's Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong, China, on 10 May 2018. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

All eyes are still on retired Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing

Even after announcing his retirement in 2018, Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing is still making headlines. From the introduction of his granddaughter to the family businesses to the recent divestments of his companies from the UK and Europe, recent developments have led analysts and the public to speculate on mainland China’s economic conditions and whether Li could make a comeback. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk delves into the recent developments surrounding Hong Kong’s “Superman”.
Students visit an educational base of AI in Handan, in China's northern Hebei province on 25 May 2023. (AFP)

China’s OpenAI starting off on the wrong foot?

As the world is getting used to generative AI tools from the West, China is struggling to get its generative AI industry started. The high-profile acquisition of AI firm Light Years Beyond by Meituan started with much fanfare but prospects of it spearheading China’s AI rise are petering out. There is no doubt that the West holds the AI lead for now, but how long will it take for China to get running and catch up?
A screen shot from the video featuring the wall along the National Highway 214 in Yunnan province, blocking the view of the Jinsha River. (Internet)

Why China's local governments are building walls around tourist attractions

While local governments in China understandably want to capitalise on natural scenery for tourism, some places of interest can go to ridiculous lengths to earn the tourist dollar. China Desk looks at what the authorities are resorting to, from building walls around natural sights to blocking the view from those passing by, to charging a “transit fee” for those passing through.
A man was falsely accused of voyeurism on the Guangzhou subway. (iStock)

Trial by Weibo: A young woman accuses a middle-aged man of voyeurism

Is being “sentenced to death” by online public trial going too far? What recourse is there when accusations are made that turn out to be false? Zaobao’s China Desk looks into the Chinese phenomenon of going public with perceived injustices.
People walk past a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in Beijing, China, 1 April 2019. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

Why Chinese youths are travelling across cities to deposit money

In China, some people — mostly young people — are choosing to deposit their money in out-of-town banks, making long journeys to take advantage of varying interest rates between cities. Is this another whim and fancy of the younger generation or a measure done out of desperation to generate more savings? Zaobao’s China Desk looks into the phenomenon.
People walk in a public park in Beijing, China, on 15 April 2023. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Chinese youth cut ties with relatives even as family size gets smaller

On top of the multiple stressors that Chinese youths struggle with in their daily lives — from the bleak economic outlook to poor employment prospects and the financial blow caused by the pandemic — annoying relatives are getting the boot. Lianhe Zaobao China Desk looks into why young people are no longer tolerating toxic familial relationships and if this is an inevitable trend of modernisation.