Overwork in China – called the 996 culture – is rampant, especially in the IT industry. The recent death of a Pinduoduo employee also shocked social commentator Zhang Lijia. For her, this cannot be solved by the industry or employees, but the government should step in, she writes in the South China Morning Post.Read More →

Panic struck some commentators in China when recent official figures showed the country counted 240 single households, the largest number for any country in the world. While China and the Chinese still might have to get used to this feature, those numbers are not surprising, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post.Read More →

A hidden problem in China are the 70 million children in the countryside, left behind by their migrant parents who left to work elsewhere in de big cities, says author Zhang Lijia in an interview with the Borgen Project. Many drop out of school and those who remain face dropping quality of their education. Zhang Lijia is currently working on a book on left-behind children (LBC’s).Read More →

Not authoritarian rule but solid support from China’s citizens allowed its government to beat the Covid-19 and effectively deal with the coronavirus crisis, argues Singapore-based journalist Ian Johnson, in the New York Review of Books. He uses the Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, to show the government did not silence critics but did win majority support by its people, helped by indeed heavily manipulated media in China.Read More →

China watcher Kaiser Kuo discusses Western narratives on China’s rise. Technology did not beat authoritarian regimes, he explains, just as other Western views on China were profoundly wrong. The Arab Spring uprising was the first sign technology did not bring repression down, but not the last one, he argues.Read More →

As the Black Lives Matter movement took over some of the headlines, China typically dismissed racism as a Western problem. Author Zhang Lijia begs to differ, in The Wire. “The Chinese government claims to have “zero tolerance” for racism, but there have been no reports that anyone has been punishedRead More →

This month the provisory agreement for cooperating on the nomination of bishops between the Vatican and the Chinese government is up for renewable. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, explains why the deal was for the Roman-Catholic church an “understandable gamble,” according to the NCR.Read More →