Society

A woman uses her mobile phone as she rides an escalator past an advertising board at a business district in Beijing, China, on 16 May 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

The dwindling space for public opinion in China

Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo, Bilibili and Douyin have announced measures to clean up the use of miswritten words and homonyms that could be related to sensitive terms, sparking backlash from netizens. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong tells us more.
A man rides a scooter with two children on board during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing'an district of Shanghai, China, on 25 May 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Chinese netizens lament barbarity of one-child policy era

A recent case of a couple looking for their son who was taken from them as a baby and “reallocated” in the 1990s has been circulating online, prompting the question of how many other similar cases of “reallocation” have happened over the years in China. What is the fate of these children, and can they be found?
Abortion rights protesters gather at the Utah State Capitol after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision, in Salt Lake City, Utah, US, 24 June 2022. (Jim Urquhart/File Photo/Reuters)

The US is more divided than ever

US academic Han Dongping believes that the US society is more divided than ever and this has led to a high risk of violent social conflicts. Extreme actions taken by anti-abortionists, gunmen and white supremacists are just some of the issues that characterise today’s American society. Meanwhile, politicians either have their hands tied in solving these problems, or are using them as political campaign tools.
People wearing face masks walk at Orchard Road, in Singapore, on 10 August 2021. (SPH Media)

Challenges of Singapore's Chinese community amid competing influences: Lessons from an old bookstore

Looking back on the history of Union Book Co, one of Singapore’s oldest Chinese language bookstores, editor-in-chief of the Chinese Media Group Lee Huay Leng muses that Singapore has always been a crossroads of different cultures and thinking. Even today, the challenge is to remain open yet stay vigilant against competing influences. Responding with Singapore’s national interest at heart is the mark of a nation’s confidence.
A sprinkler irrigates a corn field to mitigate the impact of drought brought by high temperatures, in Xiliangshi village of Boai county in Jiaozuo, Henan province, China, 20 June 2022. (China Daily via Reuters)

Pandemic could stymie China’s poverty alleviation and rural revitalisation efforts

The Covid-19 pandemic has badly hit the Chinese economy, with ordinary folk bearing the brunt of the impact. Migrant workers and rural farmers have had to pivot to other fields to make ends meet, and even then the outlook is still grim. Can the authorities safeguard its efforts in poverty alleviation and rural revitalisation? Zaobao journalists Miao Zong-Han and Zeng Shi look into the issue.
Demonstrators hold banners during a protest over the freezing of deposits by rural-based banks, outside a People's Bank of China building in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, 10 July 2022, in this screengrab taken from a video obtained by Reuters. (Reuters)

Henan rural banks scam: It's about public trust in the government

Rural bank depositors have clashed with police after finding themselves unable to withdraw their funds, prompting financial regulators to step in and repay customers on behalf of the banks first. If this exercise is not handled delicately, will trust between the people and government be affected? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to bank customers and academics to find out more.
An elderly man exercises inside a residential area under lockdown due to Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions in Beijing on 22 May 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Old and digitally unsavvy: China’s elderly bearing brunt of the digital divide

​As China embraces the digital age where smartphones are an integral part of life, one group seems to be left behind — the elderly, who generally need help to use apps for everyday activities. While the government does have some mitigating measures in place, are they enough?
​A security guard and a volunteer behind a fence surrounding a residential neighbourhood placed under lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shanghai, China, on 6 July 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Covid discrimination in China affecting work and everyday life

Discrimination against those who have had Covid-19 doesn’t only happen among neighbours and friends, but at the workplace and between localities too, says Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing. This discrimination is based on irrational fear and stems from China’s tight zero-Covid measures.
A worker wearing protective gear and standing behind a fence in a residential area under Covid-19 lockdown talks with a man on a scooter in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, China, on 16 June 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Singaporean in China: The Chinese netizens speaking up for their fellow men

Chinese netizens may get things wrong or even be out of line sometimes, but it is also their persistence in speaking up on Chinese social media that has got the authorities on their toes. At the very least, their willingness to make a stand shows they have a certain faith and hope in their fellow countrymen and their government to effect change.