Legal

Signs of Alibaba Group and Ant Group are seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, 23 November 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Painful retrenchments at China’s internet giants

Even as the pandemic created greater demand for internet companies like Kuaishou, Alibaba and Meituan, these companies are finding their large staff numbers unsustainable, leading to a wave of major retrenchments over the past year or so. This is not just due to overexpansion, but also operational pressures that come with new regulations to protect employment rights. Zaobao journalist Meng Dandan reports.
A digital recreation of the painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival (清明上河图, Qingming Shanghe Tu) is seen on display at the exhibition, A Moving Masterpiece: The Song Dynasty As Living Art, at the Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore. (SPH)

Copying is a virtue in Chinese ink painting

Temporary orders to halt the KAWS public art installation exhibition led Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre CEO Low Sze Wee to ponder the copyright issues of Chinese ink paintings. He notes that many of Singapore’s first-generation artists like Chen Wen Hsi and Fan Chang Tien were educated in Shanghai in the 1920s and were deeply influenced by the Shanghai School. Copying was a common mode of learning, and students like Henri Chen Kezhan and Chua Ek Kay did their best to copy the works of their teachers. While they eventually developed their own styles over time, Low says it could be argued that their achievements were made possible by their formative years spent on copying.
Residents walk through Huanggang village in Shenzhen, China, on 11 October 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China needs to raise personal income to achieve common prosperity

Analyst Luo Zhiheng compares China's distribution of national income with 20 major economies and concludes that among other things, there is a need to address a lower-than-average share of personal income in China, in order to achieve common prosperity. The Chinese government can work towards the goal of fostering an olive-shaped income distribution pattern by adjusting the tax structure, providing more investment options to its people, and developing its social security network.
A general view shows light projections at Taiwan's Presidential Office in Taipei, on 5 October 2021, during a ceremony to celebrate Double Tenth Day on 10 October. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Chinese legal expert: ‘Legal reunification’ with Taiwan the best solution

Zong Haichao explains why “legal reunification” — peaceful reunification through legal means — is a possible alternative to military reunification or political reunification. It will serve the common interests of the CCP in mainland China and Taiwan’s ruling party DPP and opposition KMT, even if it may not be the optimal route in the eyes of each party. However, to make this option workable, the CCP needs to first achieve rule of law, democratisation and modernisation transformation. A possible scenario in the future?
Motorists pass the China-Myanmar border gate in Muse in Shan state on 5 July 2021. (STR/AFP)

Will the Chinese government's crackdown on cross-border crime in Myanmar work?

In recent years, Chinese criminal gangs have moved to Southeast Asia including Myanmar, Laos and Thailand as China tightened its crackdown on telecom fraud at home. These gangs even have the support of local authorities in some cases. Now that the Chinese authorities are cracking down on cross-border crime, will the situation improve? Or will it be a never-ending merry-go-round?
Cyclists traverse the main quad on Stanford University's campus in Stanford, California, US, on 9 May 2014. (Beck Diefenbach/Reuters)

Why US academics are protesting against the Department of Justice’s ‘China Initiative’

The former Trump administration launched the China Initiative in 2018, ostensibly to protect US national security interests. However, a recent open letter by US academics calling for an end to the initiative seems to suggest that the programme is not what it set out to be. Zaobao’s China Desk examines the China Initiative and what it has achieved — or not.
This photo taken on 6 September 2021 shows residents looking at a flooded area after heavy rainfalls in Quxian county, Dazhou city, Sichuan province, China. (STR/AFP)

Chinese economics professor: The making of a moral society

How can one encourage a society where people do things that benefit not just themselves but also others? How can we eliminate bad behaviours and encourage better ones by institutionalising various means of rewarding good behaviour? Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui looks at examples from Chinese modern life and history to find the answers.
Pedestrians walk on a street in the Wanchai district of Hong Kong on 6 August 2021. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

Beijing’s 'cleansing' of Hong Kong industries: Who will be the next target?

Amid taunts of being a “malignant tumour” by Chinese state media and being effectively blacklisted by Hong Kong’s education bureau, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) has announced its dissolution. While it is a professional organisation, it has long been associated with being a pro-democracy advocate. Is the HKPTU among the long line of those to fall in Beijing’s efforts to “cleanse“ various Hong Kong sectors? Who will be next? Zaobao’s China Desk finds out more.
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returns to a court hearing following a lunch break in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 16 August 2021. (Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters)

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou: Politics rather than law may decide her fate

Wang Jiangyu says Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has reason not to be optimistic about her court case regarding extradition to the US on charges of alleged bank fraud. While the Canadian court has raised some contradictions in the arguments of the US side, political factors may come into play.