Wong Siew Fong

Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao

Wong Siew Fong is Lianhe Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent. She has been working at Zaobao for more than five years, previously covering special features and Singapore local news, before moving on to her Beijing posting in May 2021.

Men in China's rural areas find themselves in a tough situation when it comes to marriage. (Noel Celis/AFP)

When millions of rural Chinese men are desperate for a wife

In China’s rural areas, despite traditional pressures to get married, young men are finding themselves in a difficult position as the high gender imbalance has led to a short supply of marriageable women. Furthermore, men who are not well-off cannot find wives, with many of the women looking to marry men with better prospects in other towns and cities as a means of upward social mobility. These social problems have led to the abduction and trafficking of women in rural China. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong visits some villages to find out more about these crimes.
This file photo taken on 25 April 2021 shows a medical staff member taking care of a newborn baby in the paediatric ward of a hospital in Fuyang in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

China wants to reverse its high abortion rate with pro-birth policies, and young women are not happy

As a result of the country’s now-abolished one-child policy and other factors, abortion has gained wide acceptance among women in China. A recent work plan by the national family planning unit stated its intention to “intervene” in abortions for unmarried women has sparked backlash that women would lose their reproductive autonomy. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks with researchers and Chinese women to understand the policy implications on women’s rights and how the issue will impact China’s shrinking birth rate.
Students, tourists and visitors gather in front of the Harry Elkins Widener Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, on 21 June 2011. (Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg)

Chinese returning talents losing their shine?

With Chinese returning talents (海归, haigui) increasingly becoming a dime a dozen amid worsening US-China relations and less Chinese students venturing abroad, the aura of prestige that such returnees used to enjoy is fast diminishing. In fact, many of them were ostracised in the early days of the pandemic for bringing the virus back to China. But all is not lost, as many among them feel their years spent abroad will still open doors.
Students attend a lesson at a school in Qingyuan county, Lishui city, Zhejiang province, China, on 9 December 2021. (AFP)

Students snitching on teachers in Chinese classrooms: Return of Cultural Revolution?

Another internet furore has erupted, this time over a Shanghai college lecturer who was ratted out by her student and accused of being “spiritually Japanese” for questioning the death toll of the Nanjing Massacre. Are fears of a Cultural Revolution returning justified as people feel emboldened to tell on others without much thought?
China's pet economy is taking off, driven by the one-child generation born in the 1980s and 1990s. (Internet/SPH)

China’s pet industry booms as the post-90s generation seeks to fill a void

The pet economy is thriving in China, driven mostly by the one-child generation who crave an emotional connection and young job seekers taking up “animal communication” gigs during the pandemic. Analysts are optimistic about this sector, where middle class households are more than willing to spend more on the physical and emotional well-being of their furkids. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks to pet owners and business owners to uncover more about this emerging industry.
A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden via video link, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, 16 November 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Xi-Biden virtual summit: Only a 'more polite' meeting

Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong notes that the virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping was cordial, with Xi describing both countries as “two giant ships” and Biden calling US and China “major world leaders”. However, academics say that given previous tensions and current tussling, perhaps it is too soon to say for sure that relations will improve from now on.
People walk along a street in Beijing, China, on 12 October 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Prelude to CPC’s 20th Party Congress in 2022: Seven new provincial party secretaries appointed

A year ahead of the Communist Party of China’s 20th Party Congress in autumn 2022, a round of promotions and game of musical chairs is at play again among provincial party secretaries. Which are the stars to look out for?
Internet celebrities flocked to Wuzhong Market over the Golden Week holiday to pose for pictures with vegetables wrapped in Prada packaging. (Xiaohongshu/@超赞小姐姐 (left); Xiaohongshu/@周小晨Kiki)

Chic and trendy wet markets are the in-thing in China

Below-the-line marketing tactics of high-end brand Prada sees a wet market in Shanghai wrapping its walls, stalls and vegetables — yes, even the edibles — in Prada packaging. Lucky shoppers also get to receive limited edition Prada paper bags. And it's not just in Shanghai; trendy markets that have cafes, reading areas, exhibition spaces and bars are popping up in first-tier cities all around China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcoming ceremony for Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, 14 May 2019. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

Chinese youth will be imbued with tenets of Xi Jinping Thought through school curriculum

The Chinese Ministry of Education has announced that Xi Jinping Thought will be integrated into the school curriculum from primary to university level. What does this mean for students, and what is the aim of the authorities? Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong takes a closer look.