Social fragmentation

A person works at a residential building construction site in Beijing, China, on 6 September 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese property market: Second wind or brief respite?

Over the last two years, the Chinese property market suffered a downturn and this has had a knock-on effect on the country’s economy. In recent weeks, the government has loosened restrictions and rolled out policies to make it easier for the public to buy houses and to boost property sales. Is this a turning point for the Chinese property market? Will the government’s mantra that “houses are for living in, not speculation” take a back seat henceforth? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
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 player of Rogue Warriors esports team trains for the game "Arena of Valor" at his club in Shanghai, China, 3 September 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Why mobile gaming is important for maintaining social stability in China

Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi notes that it is necessary to regulate the Chinese gaming industry, especially for minors. However, for adults, gaming is a low-cost form of entertainment that fulfils the human need to socialise, and the Chinese government needs to find a balance between preventing addiction and encouraging industry growth.
A screenshot of a vlog featuring single living. (Bilibili)

Rejecting their parents' lifestyles, more single Chinese youths are sharing their everyday lives through vlogs

As young Chinese leave their hometowns to work and live in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, single living vlogs are gaining popularity. Whether they are toughing it out or living it up, the Chinese youths of today seem to be rejecting their parents' lifestyles and yearning to chart a life of their own. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks to some Chinese youths about the rise of single living vlogs.
People visit the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River during a Labour Day holiday in Shanghai on 1 May 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Is the US embassy in China recruiting ‘traitors’?

The US embassy in China recently released an Public Annual Statement outlining the requirements for funding through its public diplomacy grants programme. As the activities it supports aim to spread American values and culture in China, Chinese commentators have aired criticisms that this is an insidious attempt to “recruit traitors” within China. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan considers the theories behind this idea.
"Lost in a scarlet sea of fire"

[Comic] A Chinese youth waves goodbye to 2020

Amid the pandemic that has been ravaging the globe, the year 2020 has come to an end. Young comic artist Bai Yi looks at the world with all its scars battling a virus, the deteriorating environment, the faulty human systems, and the seemingly incomprehensible foolishness displayed by the adults.
A demonstrator wearing a protective mask holds a “Follow The Money” sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, 9 July 2020. The court cleared a New York grand jury to get President Donald Trump's financial records while blocking for now House subpoenas that might have led to their public release before the election. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg)

Chinese academic: The US is where money rules behind the facade of democracy

Chinese academic Qiao Xinsheng notes that despite its image of being democratic, the US is driven by capitalism and an individualism enjoyed only by a small number of elites. Such pre-existing conditions lead to a fragmented society made worse by the actions of President Donald Trump.
A man wearing a protective mask is reflected on a window in Chinatown during the Covid-19 outbreak in New York City, New York, US, on 17 May 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

Why do Chinese and Indian Americans stay silent during the US anti-racism protests?

Nothing is black and white when it comes to race debates, says Yu Shiyu. What if you’re not black but ‘brown’ as some term it, that is, a minority nonetheless. Some Asian Americans of Chinese and Indian descent have been labelled model minorities for largely rising through the ranks though they face some forms of discrimination. Question is, if they don't see the current protests as their fight and stay out of the fray, are they equally culpable?
Demonstrators raise their fists as they gather on 2 June 2020 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody. (Chandan Khanna/AFP)

A 'left-wing cultural revolution' has come to America?

There is little doubt that the US is in disarray at the moment. Hong Kong political commentator Chip Tsao does not hold back in giving his views on the current situation in the US, claiming that America’s move to the left after eight years under the Democratic Party have worsened the culture of political correctness and left little room for policies that motivate disadvantaged groups to keep their feet on the ground and contribute to society. The middle class is also made to shoulder growing societal and financial burdens. In that light, would the prospect of a change in the US government in five months time be a boon or bane?