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Signage at the Alibaba office in Beijing, China, on 17 January 2023. (Bloomberg)

Will Beijing truly 'reconcile' with Chinese private enterprises in 2023?

Verbal sparring by Chinese internet opinion makers seem to suggest that the winds are blowing in favour of private firms at the moment. But will officials be able to walk the talk in their quest to use the private sector to drive China’s economic growth?
A woman reads Lianhe Zaobao at a bus interchange in Singapore. (SPH Media)

Navigating China-US competition: A Singapore Chinese-language paper's experience

Former Zaobao editor Lim Jim Koon observes that zaobao.com was recently lumped in with “local media” of China in one of the Japanese media reports. Intentionally or not, this is one of the ways that Singapore’s leading Chinese-language newspaper has sometimes been cast as pro-China or anti-China to suit the narratives of others. As China-US tensions intensify in the new Year of the Rabbit, the paper, and perhaps Singapore too, must brace itself for labels being cast on it, and keep vigilant in staying the course and guarding its own interests.
People release balloons as they gather to celebrate New Year's Eve, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 1 January 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Unease amid celebration: New year, old Covid worries in China

With the easing of Covid measures in China, many cities saw the return of New Year countdown celebrations, with major crowds congregating in droves. While the mood is upbeat, worries remain. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks at the people’s hopes for 2023.
People walk by a building decorated with an election campaign poster in Taipei, Taiwan, 14 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s local elections: Voter fatigue over thesis plagiarism tussle

Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han takes a closer look at voter fatigue in Taiwan in the upcoming “nine-in-one” elections, caused mostly by the arguing over plagiarism allegations, which might interest the highly educated but bore the average voter. Another question is whether the atmosphere at these elections will be a good indicator of things to come in the 2024 general election.
People use umbrellas as they walk along Qianmen street in Beijing, China, on 18 August 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Why Chinese youths are not spending

Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong notes that consumer spending attitudes have changed since the pandemic, especially among Chinese youths — the biggest spending market. This spells a more difficult road to recovery for China’s ailing economy.
In this file photo taken on 2 May 2022, Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America/AFP)

Elon Musk offended both sides of the Taiwan Strait

Tesla CEO Elon Musk drew widespread criticism for his comment on establishing Taiwan as a special administrative zone. While Musk raised his suggestions based on his own commercial interests, the controversial statement shows the impact of the Taiwan Strait issue for the business world. Is there a time and place for businessmen to tread on geopolitical issues?
People line up to be tested for Covid-19 next to a poster showing China's President Xi Jinping on a bulletin board in Beijing, China, on 31 August 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

China censors discussion on WHO's assessment of pandemic

Despite state media dispelling the misunderstanding that China’s zero-Covid policy would become a long-lasting basic national policy, Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong notes that the Chinese people are still wary of how much longer the strict measures will persist, especially amid the sudden censorship of specific search terms related to the end of the pandemic on social media. Is there an end in sight for the strict anti-epidemic measures?
Internet personality Sima Nan is caught in yet another storm of polarised public opinion. (Wikimedia)

'Patriotic' Chinese internet celebrity attacked by netizens for owning US house

Some Chinese netizens are furious with internet personality Sima Nan, known for his anti-US rhetoric, for owning a house in the US. Sima has blamed the onslaught of public opinion on Lenovo, claiming that the enterprise has plotted against him. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan suggests that people such as Sima who incite disputes and conspiracy theories will gradually lose ground in China's online public space.
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.