The Invictus International School campus at Nanshan, Shenzhen announced its shuttering in July. (Photo: Daryl Lim)

Closure of international schools in China due to economic downturn

The current wave of closures among international schools in China can be attributed to factors such as high tuition fees, options in other countries, and falling birth rate. But the biggest factor is undoubtedly financial tightening by parents, in turn due to China’s economic situation. Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim finds out more.
People ride on a scooter past residential buildings under construction in Beijing, China, on 6 September 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China’s trillion-dollar local government ‘hidden debt’ dilemma

As China’s financial system remains plagued by trillions of dollars in local governments’ hidden debt, policy makers may need to take drastic measures to solve the problem.
Medical workers rescue a patient at the intensive care unit of Pengshan District People's Hospital, following a surge of Covid-19 infections across the country, in Meishan, Sichuan province, China, on 21 January 2023. (CNS photo via Reuters)

When heroes and the corrupt coexist: Rooting out medical corruption in China

Commentator Tan Haojun highlights the many grey areas that the people in white in China find themselves in, amid an all-out anti-corruption campaign in the medical sector. It may be unimaginable that the same sector lauded for brave work during the pandemic is under investigation for rampant corruption. The reality is that heroes and the corrupt coexist, and only by reining in those hungry for power and profit can the system start to rid itself of the bad hats.
Cosplayers walk on a shopping street, in Shanghai, China, 31 July 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Big Read: Young women are the driving force in China's consumer market

With the rise of e-commerce, traditional department stores are having a hard time attracting customers, especially following three years of the pandemic. While some stores have managed to re-style themselves to tap into the younger generation, others have struggled to move past the fashion of 20 or 30 years ago and are closing their doors as a result.
People walk on the street in Taipei, Taiwan, on 25 July 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Will cross-strait civilian exchange exit from long Covid?

While international tourism and study can be a bridge towards cross-strait understanding and reconciliation, it can sometimes be deployed as a geopolitical gambit. Taiwanese academic Ho Ming-sho shares more.
An electronic board shows stock indexes at the Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China, 21 March 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China’s new measures to attract foreign capital may not be enough to boost confidence

The Chinese authorities have been working to restore confidence in the economy, especially among foreign businesses and investors. The latest policy move is a raft of 24 measures aimed at attracting foreign capital. However, it seems that there has been a lack of attention on these measures, and it is still unclear how far they will go in drawing investments back.
Men gather at a labour market in Beijing on 15 August 2023, where people are hired for temporary jobs at factories and construction sites. (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

China’s information wall is distorting people’s worldviews

US-based academic Wu Guo visited his friends and relatives in China after the lifting of Covid restrictions. Based on his observations and interactions, he shares his worries that most Chinese only have one single source of information, and live in a world of simplified Chinese characters, which could result in them developing a distorted and illusory view of the world. 
People walk in a shopping district in Beijing, China, 14 July 2023. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

China needs a new model of economic development to revive the economy

Over the past four decades, China’s economic growth has been mainly driven externally by exports and internally by investments. But China can no longer count on exports to drive economic growth. Thus, the country is seeking to boost domestic demand. Academic Gu Qingyang shares that China needs a multi-prong approach, which would require a significant transformation of the economy.
People commute on a street in Beijing, China, on 25 July 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Struggling economy now a taboo topic in China

Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that the public space for discussion of China’s economic situation has tightened, even for experts and analysts. Should China control the narrative surrounding its struggling economy, which its people can clearly see and feel the impact of?