Society

A woman shops for frozen items at a supermarket in Beijing on 13 August 2023. (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

Why China’s consumers are boycotting pre-made meals in restaurants and school canteens

While China’s pre-made meals are quick and convenient for eateries to provide to general consumers, there has been a recent controversy over bringing them into schools. There is also concern over the ingredients used and what goes into the meal. Given the current lack of regulation in pre-made meals, how will the authorities handle the rapidly growing industry?
A security personnel in a protective suit keeps watch as medical workers attend to patients at the fever department of Tongji Hospital, a major facility for Covid patients, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on 1 January 2023. (Staff/Reuters)

Chinese doctor: Why non-compliant practices are rampant in China's hospitals

Medical researcher and doctor Hayson Wang assesses that Chinese public hospitals being run like businesses is a key reason for the widespread occurrence of corruption in the medical sector. Unless hospitals are well-funded and supported, they will continue to find it difficult to provide good public welfare and stay away from corruption.
Customers queue outside an Apple store during the first day of sale of the iPhone 15 smartphone in Beijing, China on 22 September 2023. (Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg)

Behind Apple’s ‘insult’ of China

A photo on Apple’s customer service webpage sparked controversy in China by featuring a person with “stereotypical” Chinese looks, with slit eyes and a long braid, coming under fire for “uglifying” Chinese people. While aesthetic preferences do differ, is there something deeper under the criticism of a stranger’s looks?
Li fired back against netizens, stating: “Sometimes you should reflect on yourself to find out why your salary hasn’t gone up after years of work. Have you been working hard enough?” (Internet)

How China's 'lipstick king' lost 63,000 livestream followers overnight

A livestreamer’s comments over the cost of an eyebrow pencil recently brewed a public opinion storm in China. While the incident may be stirred by the livestreamer’s insensitive comments, it speaks to the public’s deeper discontent with the grim economic outlook and employment prospects. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
Escape from the British Museum follows the story of a jade teapot, played by Xiatian Meimei, that "escaped" and encountered Chinese reporter Zhang Yong-an, played by Jianbing Guozai, in the UK.

When a Chinese teapot wants to 'escape from the British Museum'

A short video series featuring Chinese artefacts in the British Museum has gone viral on social media in China, with viewers being moved by the story of a teapot trying to go home to China. But even as critics highlight the heavy sentiment and patriotism in the series, it has prompted calls by China and other countries for the British Museum to return artefacts to their rightful owners.
Yao Jianhua, one of the few old Beijingers who is still living in a hutong. (Photo: Li Shanyi)

[Video] The last few guardians of Beijing's hutong culture

While hutongs are a unique historical sight in Beijing, they are quickly disappearing as people move out and relocate to government housing with modern amenities. Those who remain are generally the older generation, while the look and function of hutongs is also changing. How much longer will hutongs last?
Local Kenya musicians entertain delegates at the Africa Climate Summit held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on 6 September 2023. (Simon Maina/AFP)

Young Chinese are making their presence felt in Africa's Kenya

Young Chinese Wang Hao shares his personal experience of working in Africa's Kenya. He says a growing number of young Chinese are venturing into Africa for exchanges, internships and full-time work. In this era of globalisation, it is important that young Chinese communicate with the outside world to develop a broader worldview and seek opportunities for growth.
A shot of the 7.15 million RMB (US$0.98 million) Cowherd and Weaving Maid sculpture in Pingdingshan city, Lushan County, in China's Henan province. (Internet)

Why did China's Cowherd and Weaving Maid statue draw flak?

Vanity projects in China often do not pan out as planned, and the latest project to make the headlines is a sculpture of the Cowherd and Weaving Maid in Lushan county in Henan province, which has been criticised for being expensive and ugly, and possibly a copy of another sculpture. Another factor is possible corruption and personal benefit, which is also difficult to root out.
A couple prepare to pose for photos near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 24 June 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Regular phone calls and cash incentives: China goes the extra mile to encourage childbirth

Local governments in Chinese cities are taking extra measures to encourage couples to marry early and have children. However, given the youth’s shifting values and society’s tolerance for singlehood, these measures are falling short. Meanwhile, netizens are lamenting that government policies should not be coercive or objectify women.