Han Yong Hong

Associate Editor, Zaobao; Editor, Zaobao.com

Yong Hong is associate editor of Zaobao and editor of Zaobao.com. She joined Lianhe Zaobao as a journalist in 2000, covering theatre, music and visual arts. In 2005, she was appointed Correspondent for the Zaobao Beijing Bureau and later become Beijing Chief Correspondent in 2009. She received the Business China Young Achiever Award in 2011, making her the second recipient of this award, and the first journalist to receive this recognition.

People walk in Qianmen street in Beijing, China, on 21 September 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Mainland China and Taiwan: The political hot potato of their CPTPP bids

Soon after mainland China put in its official application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Taiwan followed suit. The CPTPP is an agreement forged between 11 members sans the US when the latter withdrew from the then Transnational Pacific Partnership (TPP). Joining it would require tough internal changes from both mainland China or Taiwan. Who is more committed to the needed reforms? But does that even matter when it will be the political signature that counts from here on? Incoming CPTPP chair Singapore will have its work cut out.
A woman cries as she and other people gather at Evergrande's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on 16 September 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Will the Chinese government save Evergrande?

While retail investors and observers fear that Evergrande’s fall from grace will trigger a subprime mortgage crisis in China, the Chinese authorities seem quite comfortable letting Evergrande cover its own losses, despite the short-term instability foreseen. Han Yong Hong explains why.
This aerial photo taken on 1 September 2021 shows students attending the opening ceremony on the first day of the new semester in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. (STR/AFP)

A new Cultural Revolution? Why some Chinese are shocked by the CCP's relentless pursuit of 'common prosperity'

The Chinese authorities’ recent moves to regulate industries from internet platforms to tutoring to gaming have prompted fears of a new Cultural Revolution. Despite benign intentions expressed and a clear line drawn in the sand on history, what are people so afraid of? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong ponders the question.
US Vice President Kamala Harris Harris (left) and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hold a joint news conference in Singapore on 23 August 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/AFP)

China-US competition: Why small countries will not choose sides

The recent visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris to Singapore and Vietnam has brought the spotlight on Asia. Is Asia and the Indo-Pacific really a priority for the US, or is that just lip service? And as Singapore’s former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee asked: what does the US expect from the region? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong reflects on small countries' limited options amid great power competition.
A young girl sits on her father's shoulders outside a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on 1 June 2021. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Building a moral and prosperous Chinese society: Prelude to a social revolution in China?

Following the Chinese government's crackdown on big capital, China has recently announced its ambition to achieve "common prosperity" and wealth redistribution, with a strong emphasis on fairer income and good morals across society. Chinese internet giant Tencent responded immediately by investing 50 billion RMB (S$10.5 billion) to help promote the new initiative. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong asks: "Is this the prelude to a social revolution?"
A woman walks past a sign of the Financial Street in Beijing, China, 9 July 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Why China is cracking down on big capital

It is not new for the evils of capitalism to be criticised in China. But the recent crackdowns on whole sectors, be it tech, tuition centres, or online gaming, has businesses wondering what just hit them. Is this the state’s way of showing who’s boss, and how will China’s economic vibrance be affected?
Paramilitary police stand outside the Museum of the Communist Party of China, near the Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing, China on 25 June 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Tianjin meeting: China-US relations enter 'break-in period'

The recent high-official foreign ministry meetings between the US and China in Tianjin show two sides of a coin. On the one hand, both sides reiterated longstanding positions. On the other, any discussion is a step in the right direction. But as the two continue to test each other before making sudden moves, the road ahead could be a long and trying one.
A Chinese paramilitary police stands guard while a light show is seen from the Bund in Shanghai on 30 June 2021, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

When doing business in China, beware of patriotic netizens

Han Yong Hong takes stock of the bruised feelings and sensitivities that have been stirred up in a sideshow to the CCP’s recent 100th anniversary. Whether it is a “lone wolf” attack in Hong Kong, Didi’s fate or Sony’s misstep, nationalist netizens are quick to “correct” wrongdoings that hurt China or its feelings. All this just makes one feel a greater need to walk on eggshells. Looks like doing business in China just got trickier for foreign and domestic companies alike.
A supporter gestures while holding the final edition of Apple Daily in Hong Kong, China, 24 June 2021. (Lam Yik/Reuters)

Beijing’s message behind the closure of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily

Han Yong Hong observes that the Hong Kong pro-democracy paper Apple Daily meant different things to different people. Its own history and rise to infamy was also chequered and at times conflicting. But its demise just before 1 July seems to indicate that the central government is sending a clear message that without “one country”, there can be no “two systems”.