Alipay and WeChat, China’s largest payment options, opened their services for foreign credit card holders, and it was about time too, says Shanghai-based business analyst Shaun Rein, author of the bestseller The War for China’s Wallet: Profiting from New World Order to the South China Morning Post. The South China MorningRead More →

China’s central government has been trying to sinicize religion, and that had especially a major effect on Christianity, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. For the New York Review of Books, he reviews Jesus in Asia by R.S. Sugirtharajah, but starts with a thorough overview of Beijing’s efforts to curtail Read More →

A raving review of the appearance of Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus, a novel, on prostitution in China, at the Jaipur Literary Festival in London, at The Citizen. “I was very fascinated by prostitutes. However, the only prostitution I have done was intellectual prostitution,” Zhang Lijia says.Read More →

China’s big cities are developing a new city life, including new identities, writes journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at the opening chapter of, Shanghai Sacred: The Religious Landscape of a Global City, by photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley, quoted in a review of the photo exhibition in Liverpool at Creative BoomRead More →

Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao reviews a show at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City on Tibetan Buddhism for the NY Review of Books, a must read even when you do not make it to New York. Ian Johnson adds on Facebook: “Probably no faith is more stereotyped than Tibetan Buddhism, which has morphed in the West to a sort of feel-good faith led by a nice guy with a Nobel Peace Prize.”Read More →

Morality classes are popping up all over the country, teaching past traditional attitudes towards women, warns author Zhang Lijia in an opinion piece in The South China Morning Post who signals a backlash towards banned feudal behavior. The government steps in when those excesses are discovered, but it remains unclear what stays under the radar, Zhang adds.Read More →

Organizing public debate in China is challenging, but former Xi’an professor Chen Hongguo does. Journalist Ian Johnson visited the book club Zhiwuzhi Chen established after he decided to leave university, and discusses how he manages to survive, for the NY Review of Books.Read More →