Entertainment

Visitors walk past the Casino Lisboa during Lunar New Year in Macau, China, 24 January 2023. (Lam Yik/Reuters)

Can Macau’s economy move beyond the gambling and gaming industry?

Gambling and casino-hopping have long been Macau's calling card. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks into what else Macau has to offer, and how the local government is trying to wean its economy off the gaming industry, especially given mainland China’s clampdown on illegal gambling.
A man pushes a trolley across a street in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong on 22 November 2022. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

A battle for the Hong Kong narrative: Why TVB is losing support among Hong Kongers

Hong Konger Thomas Chan reflects on the decline of TVB, once an icon of Hong Kong’s success in entertainment. While business bottom lines and competition are real concerns, the tussle to tell the Hong Kong narrative is at the heart of the strong centripetal forces at work.
A supporter holds the final edition of the newspaper outside the headquarters of the Apple Daily newspaper and its publisher Next Digital Ltd. in Hong Kong, China, on 24 June 2021. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

When a news media company becomes radically politicised: Jimmy Lai and the Apple Daily saga

The high-profile trial of Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai has been postponed, with some voices asserting that media freedom has not been respected. From his close observation of Apple Daily in his years as Zaobao’s editor, Lim Jim Koon takes a clear-eyed look at Apple Daily. He says that having crossed the baseline of news media organisations and broken the law, it can no longer justify its actions with media freedom.
A publicity poster for Warriors of Future. (Internet)

Hong Kongers are supporting Hong Kong films and making a political statement?

Hong Kong films have been doing well in the second half of this year, with several films among the top in box office takings. Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing looks at the factors behind this strong showing, including government funding, cast appeal, pent-up demand due to the pandemic, and possibly an indirect way for people to express their political wants.
Sensing that I'm drawn to such content, Douyin’s algorithm recommended more stories of Chinese families that tug at the heartstrings. (Screenshots provided by Jessie Tan)

Singaporean in China: China's poor no longer beg, they livestream

Former journalist Jessie Tan muses over the phenomenon of those in need transitioning from begging on the streets to selling goods on Douyin. While the poor or disabled have been given a more dignified and effective source of income, this is just one aspect of the good that comes with social media and technology.
A still from the movie Return to Dust, with Wu Renlin (left) and Hai Qing in the lead roles. (Internet)

Can China's movies depict poverty and the ugliness of society?

The movie Return to Dust depicts the difficult circumstances of a rural couple in China. Despite the high ratings and box office takings, some detractors say that the film feeds Western stereotypes of rural Chinese. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at whether the movie panders to Western tastes, and whether it invalidates China’s efforts at poverty alleviation.
A playground in a zoo with an admission fee of 10 RMB per child.

A Singaporean in China: Don't take free playgrounds for granted

Former journalist Jessie Tan shares her observations as a mother in China as she looks at the outdoor spaces where Chinese children can play, learn and grow. While the options are plenty, the costs to entertain children cannot be avoided, posing a challenge to lower-income families.
People wearing face masks walk out of a subway station during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, 26 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Patriotism has become a commodity on Chinese social media

Chinese internet celebrities have landed in hot water since social media platforms began displaying the IP addresses of posts by verified accounts. Netizens are crying foul as the locations of these individuals have potentially exposed the deception and falsehoods in their content and “patriotic” personae. Is this the end for the “patriotic Big Vs”?
A girl wearing a costume of Netflix series Squid Game poses for photographs in front of a giant doll named 'Younghee' from the series on display at a park in Seoul, South Korea, 26 October 2021. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

Lessons from Squid Game: Would you be slapped for US$10,000?

Art historian Chiang Hsun counts the ways that the hit Korean drama series Squid Game puts humanity to shame. The rich and powerful exploit the weaknesses of the poor while the ordinary man is given a choice but can’t help but choose the wrong choice each time. Life is one reckless gamble we willingly take, all for the chance of living a dream.