Claudia Liao

Claudia Liao

Journalist, Lianhe Zaobao

Claudia joined Lianhe Wanbao in 2015, and was part of the court and crime team. She then joined SPH Chinese Media Group (CMG)'s Newshub in 2017, contributing articles to Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao on society, politics, policies, and current affairs. After taking a break for her further studies, she joined CMG's foreign news desk in 2020, covering stories on the Southeast Asia region and the West.

A Mixue Ice Cream & Tea outlet in Johor Bahru. (Photo: Claudia Liao)

Mixue, ChaGee, Luckin: F&B brands boosting China's soft power in Southeast Asia?

As China tries to sell its soft power, one channel it is tapping into is its food and beverage industry, with brands like Mixue and Luckin Coffee moving into overseas markets. Alongside its tech exports like smartphones, can China convince others of its products and improve its image?
Traffic jam at Bangkok's Chinatown, one of the top tourist attraction spots as Thailand is expecting arrivals of Chinese tourists after China reopens its borders amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Bangkok, Thailand, 6 January 2023. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

Chinese tourists return to Thailand on ‘zero-fare tours’, and locals aren’t happy

With China resuming outbound travel, Chinese tourists are on the move again. And with the wave of people, comes the resurgence of “zero-fare” tour groups — particularly in Thailand — that promise low-budget options. However, tourists are only brought to specific spots to spend money, which eventually goes back to Chinese operators without benefiting the local economy.