Posts tagged with ‘china’

Eastern vs. Western Perspectives on Daily Life
via Drama Fever:

Yang Liu is an artist who was born in China but lived in Germany from the time she was 14. She designed this series of infographics to represent her observations about Chinese culture and German culture. She covers a broad variety of subjects, from what a typical party looks like to attitudes towards waiting in line.

They’re all pretty great and true.  Above: Moods & Weather.

Eastern vs. Western Perspectives on Daily Life

via Drama Fever:

Yang Liu is an artist who was born in China but lived in Germany from the time she was 14. She designed this series of infographics to represent her observations about Chinese culture and German culture. She covers a broad variety of subjects, from what a typical party looks like to attitudes towards waiting in line.

They’re all pretty great and true.  Above: Moods & Weather.

China Televises Sunrise
Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.
The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Filed under: The future has arrived.
UPDATE 1/20/14: The above is, in part, apparently untrue. 
PolicyMic:

The truth: As TechInAsia reports, the smog is real but the fabled publicly-orchestrated virtual sunrise is not.
The sunrise was part of a 24/7, seven-days-a-week ad for tourism in the Shangdong province that runs continuously no matter how much smog is flowing into Beijing that day. This particular animation is less than 10 seconds of the ad; the photographer in question just took a lucky snapshot.

China Televises Sunrise

Daily Mail:

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Filed under: The future has arrived.

UPDATE 1/20/14: The above is, in part, apparently untrue. 

PolicyMic:

The truth: As TechInAsia reports, the smog is real but the fabled publicly-orchestrated virtual sunrise is not.

The sunrise was part of a 24/7, seven-days-a-week ad for tourism in the Shangdong province that runs continuously no matter how much smog is flowing into Beijing that day. This particular animation is less than 10 seconds of the ad; the photographer in question just took a lucky snapshot.

China’s Official Party Organ
File under things we missed in 2013: People’s Daily News, the official paper of China’s communist party, got a new building this year.
We say: Form follows function.

China’s Official Party Organ

File under things we missed in 2013: People’s Daily News, the official paper of China’s communist party, got a new building this year.

We say: Form follows function.

Bloomberg News Spiking Sensitive China Stories

Via The New York Times

The decision came in an early evening call to four journalists huddled in a Hong Kong conference room. On the line 12 time zones away in New York was their boss, Matthew Winkler, the longtime editor in chief of Bloomberg News. And they were frustrated by what he was telling them.

The investigative report they had been working on for the better part of a year, which detailed the hidden financial ties between one of the wealthiest men in China and the families of top Chinese leaders, would not be published.

In the call late last month, Mr. Winkler defended his decision, comparing it to the self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany, according to Bloomberg employees familiar with the discussion.

“He said, ‘If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,’ ” one of the employees said. Less than a week later, a second article, about the children of senior Chinese officials employed by foreign banks, was also declared dead, employees said.

Winkler denies that the stories have been killed.

As The Times notes, the Bloomberg Web site has been blocked inside of China since it published a 2012 series of stories on the personal wealth of family members of Chinese leaders. Bloomberg reporters, too, have been unable to get residency visas to the country since that time.

Subscriptions to its $20,000+ business news terminals have also declined within the country, The Times reports.

The Times finds itself in a similar boat. Its Chinese-language site has been blocked since it published a 2012 article on the family wealth of then Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and it has been able to secure residency visas for its journalists.

Video: Next Media creates a cartoon mocking Bloomberg News for self-censorship.

UPDATEBloomberg News ‘Disappointed’ in NY Times’ ‘Absolutely False’ Front Page Story, via Medaite.

A Mysterious Buddhist Kingdom Grapples with its Journalistic Future
Bhutan is a tiny, landlocked Buddhist kingdom up in the Himalayas with a pretty mysterious reputation. Its government has practiced modernization and development through its Gross National Happiness goals: sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation and good governance. Theoretically, it’s a little Utopia nestled between India and China. In reality, it’s got debt and governance problems like the rest of us.
Jon Funabiki, founder of the Bay Area’s Renaissance Journalism center, recently traveled to Bhutan to help administer a conference on the future of journalism by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy. (Keep in mind: BCMD is one of the very first civil society organizations in Bhutan.)
The country has experienced a series of firsts in the last fifteen years. Television was introduced in 1999. 2008 saw its first democratic elections for parliament. And now the internet and social media have arrived, along with an interesting set of developments. Funabiki writes:

This past July, Bhutan held its second national elections for parliament elections. Many Bhutanese—including some of the journalists—were shocked by the levels of acrimony, rumormongering, and anonymous or veiled accusations. This, after all, is a society known for nurturing compassion and harmony, where villagers are accustomed to the intimacy of face-to-face dialogue and people speak admiringly about the nomadic yak herders who leave a pile of firewood for the next traveler.

On the one hand, journalists in Bhutan are striving and struggle to bring to light the voices of the majority of the population—who are poor, and living in extremely rural areas. They fear government coverage of Gross National Happiness has been too shallow and desire to cover it fairly, accurately and critically. 
On the other hand, the country’s economy is so small that it doesn’t have enough businesses that can purchase media advertising, so journalists are somewhat stuck, writes Funabiki:

According to the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, the government accounts for 80 percent of all newspaper and broadcast advertising. This means that the government could close any news outlet simply by shutting off the flow of advertising. So far, the government has divided its advertising pot equally among the different news outlets in an effort to try to be fair—remember, this is Bhutan—but even this does not provide enough revenue. Journalists complain of low salaries and late paychecks. Freelance journalists run the risk of not getting paid. One outfit stopped printing its newspaper and publishes only on the Internet. Did I mention that largest newspaper, Kuensel, and the main television and radio network, Bhutan Broadcasting Service, are 51 percent owned by the government?

FJP: What to watch for? How media makers will shape their industry according to their country’s unique context. We’re fascinated.
Bonus: Columbia University’s School of Int’l & Public Affairs has also worked with journalists in Bhutan, on a trip last year headed up by Professors Anya Schiffrin and Joseph Stiglitz. Read about it here.
Image: Paro Dzhong, Bhutan (via Jean-Marie Hullot on Flickr)

A Mysterious Buddhist Kingdom Grapples with its Journalistic Future

Bhutan is a tiny, landlocked Buddhist kingdom up in the Himalayas with a pretty mysterious reputation. Its government has practiced modernization and development through its Gross National Happiness goals: sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation and good governance. Theoretically, it’s a little Utopia nestled between India and China. In reality, it’s got debt and governance problems like the rest of us.

Jon Funabiki, founder of the Bay Area’s Renaissance Journalism center, recently traveled to Bhutan to help administer a conference on the future of journalism by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy. (Keep in mind: BCMD is one of the very first civil society organizations in Bhutan.)

The country has experienced a series of firsts in the last fifteen years. Television was introduced in 1999. 2008 saw its first democratic elections for parliament. And now the internet and social media have arrived, along with an interesting set of developments. Funabiki writes:

This past July, Bhutan held its second national elections for parliament elections. Many Bhutanese—including some of the journalists—were shocked by the levels of acrimony, rumormongering, and anonymous or veiled accusations. This, after all, is a society known for nurturing compassion and harmony, where villagers are accustomed to the intimacy of face-to-face dialogue and people speak admiringly about the nomadic yak herders who leave a pile of firewood for the next traveler.

On the one hand, journalists in Bhutan are striving and struggle to bring to light the voices of the majority of the population—who are poor, and living in extremely rural areas. They fear government coverage of Gross National Happiness has been too shallow and desire to cover it fairly, accurately and critically.

On the other hand, the country’s economy is so small that it doesn’t have enough businesses that can purchase media advertising, so journalists are somewhat stuck, writes Funabiki:

According to the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, the government accounts for 80 percent of all newspaper and broadcast advertising. This means that the government could close any news outlet simply by shutting off the flow of advertising. So far, the government has divided its advertising pot equally among the different news outlets in an effort to try to be fair—remember, this is Bhutan—but even this does not provide enough revenue. Journalists complain of low salaries and late paychecks. Freelance journalists run the risk of not getting paid. One outfit stopped printing its newspaper and publishes only on the Internet. Did I mention that largest newspaper, Kuensel, and the main television and radio network, Bhutan Broadcasting Service, are 51 percent owned by the government?

FJP: What to watch for? How media makers will shape their industry according to their country’s unique context. We’re fascinated.

Bonus: Columbia University’s School of Int’l & Public Affairs has also worked with journalists in Bhutan, on a trip last year headed up by Professors Anya Schiffrin and Joseph Stiglitz. Read about it here.

Image: Paro Dzhong, Bhutan (via Jean-Marie Hullot on Flickr)

Bad Egg
Of course there’s a Wikipedia page teaching you how to curse in Mandarin.
Choose your angle: The butt, the boob, a variety pack of genitals. And turtles and eggs for the curious.

Bad Egg

Of course there’s a Wikipedia page teaching you how to curse in Mandarin.

Choose your angle: The butt, the boob, a variety pack of genitals. And turtles and eggs for the curious.

As in 1957, 1966 and 1989, Chinese intellectuals are feeling more or less the same fear as one does before an approaching mountain storm. The scariest [fear] of all is not being silenced or sent to prison; it is the sense of powerlessness and uncertainty about what comes next… It’s as if you are walking into a minefield blindfolded.

Hao Qun, as quoted in The Guardian. China Tries to Rein in Microbloggers.

The News, via The Guardian:

China has launched a new drive to tame its boisterous microblogging culture by closing influential accounts belonging to writers and intellectuals who have used them to highlight social injustice.

The strict censorship of mainstream media in China has made social media an essential forum for public debate, but authorities have shown increasing determination to control it. Previous campaigns have warned the public against spreading rumours – a theme that has recurred in this crackdown – and ordered users to register with their real names.

Now attention has turned to the country’s opinion formers. A recent commentary in the state-run Global Times newspaper warned that “Big Vs” – meaning verified accounts with millions of followers – had become “relay stations for online rumours” and accused them of “harming the dignity of the law”.

Somewhat Related: The South China Morning Post reports that the central government has ordered universities to stop teaching seven subjects, among them civil rights, press freedom and the communist party’s past mistakes.

China Forces Removal of Unapproved Satellite Dishes in Tibet →

Via The Tibet Post:

Chinese officials continued their crackdown on access to foreign media in Tibet on March 10 through the dismantling of satellite dishes at the Labrang Tashi Kyil monastery in Labrang erea (Gansu province), Amdho region, eastern Tibet.

Observed as the official ‘Uprising Day’, March 10 is the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa, rallies are held worldwide on this day n support of the Tibetan cause.  

Monastery administration was ordered to remove and then burn their satellite dishes. They were then told these should be replaced, alongside new receivers, with smaller state sanctioned ones. These new devices only receive state controlled programmes; thereby blocking Tibetans from obtaining international media.  

These new receivers are fitted with an automatic recorder and camera which are used as surveillance devices by the Chinese government television control office. If phrases such as “Free Tibet” of “His Holiness the Dalai Lama” are detected on this device then the officials are alerted and sanctions are carried out.

Earlier in January, Chinese authorities confiscated televisions and dismantled satellite equipment from 300 monasteries in the western part of the region. Cash rewards were announced for anyone informing the authorities about Tibetans holding back ‘illegal’ devices. Arrests and fines are imposed on those who are found to have such devices in their possession.

FJP: About 100 Tibetans have self-immolated themselves since 2009 in protest against human rights conditions and China blames foreign influence for the continued practice.

For example, in February, it accused the US-backed Voice of America of encouraging immolations. A charge the State Department denies.

Tibetan Jailed For Having Photos of Self-Immolators on Mobile Phone →

Via Radio Free Asia:

A young Tibetan traditional artist was sentenced to two years in jail with hard labor for having photos on his mobile phone of two compatriots who self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule, according to exile sources Saturday.

Ngawang Thupden, 20, was detained in October last year in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), but relatives learned of the prison sentence for “subversion” only four months later, the sources said, citing contacts in the Himalayan region…

…Chinese authorities have been cracking down hard on any efforts by Tibetans to publicize self-immolation protests after steps taken by Beijing to stop the burnings failed. 

Thupden was accused of “subversion, propagating incorrect political messages, and  causing disharmony among ethnic minorities.”

Information is an existential threat to these regimes.

James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert, to the Wall Street Journal. Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Media.

Yesterday we noted that the hackers in China have infiltrated the New York Times’ computer systems.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that it — along with Reuters and Bloomberg among others — has also been hacked:

Chinese hackers for years have targeted major U.S. media companies with hacking that has penetrated inside newsgathering systems, several people familiar with the response to the cyberattacks said. Tapping reporters’ computers could allow Beijing to identify sources on articles and information about pending stories. Chinese authorities in the past have penalized Chinese nationals who have passed information to foreign reporters.

Journal sources on occasion have become hard to reach after information identifying them was included in emails. However, Western reporters in China long have assumed that authorities are monitoring their communications and act accordingly in sensitive cases…

…Among the targets were a handful of journalists in the Beijing bureau, including Jeremy Page, who wrote articles about the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in a scandal that helped bring down Chinese politician Bo Xilai, people familiar with the matter said. Beijing Bureau Chief Andrew Browne also was a target, they said.

For its part, a spokesperson for the Chinese government rejects the allegation that it is behind the attacks.

UPDATE: Add the Washington Post to the list.

Hackers in China Infiltrate the New York Times
Via The New York Times:

For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees…
The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings.
Security experts hired by The Times to detect and block the computer attacks gathered digital evidence that Chinese hackers, using methods that some consultants have associated with the Chinese military in the past, breached The Times’s network. They broke into the e-mail accounts of its Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, who wrote the reports on Mr. Wen’s relatives, and Jim Yardley, The Times’s South Asia bureau chief in India, who previously worked as bureau chief in Beijing…
…The hackers tried to cloak the source of the attacks on The Times by first penetrating computers at United States universities and routing the attacks through them, said computer security experts at Mandiant, the company hired by The Times. This matches the subterfuge used in many other attacks that Mandiant has tracked to China…
…Security experts found evidence that the hackers stole the corporate passwords for every Times employee and used those to gain access to the personal computers of 53 employees, most of them outside The Times’s newsroom. Experts found no evidence that the intruders used the passwords to seek information that was not related to the reporting on the Wen family.

Image: The Times’ Patrick LaForge keeping things positive in a post on Twitter.

Hackers in China Infiltrate the New York Times

Via The New York Times:

For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees…

The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings.

Security experts hired by The Times to detect and block the computer attacks gathered digital evidence that Chinese hackers, using methods that some consultants have associated with the Chinese military in the past, breached The Times’s network. They broke into the e-mail accounts of its Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, who wrote the reports on Mr. Wen’s relatives, and Jim Yardley, The Times’s South Asia bureau chief in India, who previously worked as bureau chief in Beijing…

…The hackers tried to cloak the source of the attacks on The Times by first penetrating computers at United States universities and routing the attacks through them, said computer security experts at Mandiant, the company hired by The Times. This matches the subterfuge used in many other attacks that Mandiant has tracked to China…

…Security experts found evidence that the hackers stole the corporate passwords for every Times employee and used those to gain access to the personal computers of 53 employees, most of them outside The Times’s newsroom. Experts found no evidence that the intruders used the passwords to seek information that was not related to the reporting on the Wen family.

Image: The Times’ Patrick LaForge keeping things positive in a post on Twitter.

Chinese internet expert and Tea Leaf Nation founder David Wertime tells Harvard’s Berkman Center about China’s internet peculiarities.

From Nieman Lab’s summary:

In what ways is the Chinese Internet a better source for grassroots Chinese sentiment than traditional quotes and sources? In what ways is it worse? More broadly, what best practices can and should journalists use when mining social media for sentiment?

FJP: For more from us on China, you may want to see this post, and this one too.

In recent months, a team of researchers part of Canada’s Citizen Lab have been conducting network scans of public servers in countries on almost every continent. Today, they released their findings—which appear to show that networking technology made by Blue Coat, a Silicon Valley-based company, is being used in a host of countries with questionable human rights records.

The equipment in question can serve a legitimate purpose—like filtering out spam or malware. But in the hands of an authoritarian regime it can easily be turned into a tool for monitoring users or blocking content. Citizen Lab says it found Blue Coat filtering technology capable of censorship operating in countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It also found Blue Coat technology that can be used for surveillance and tracking of Web users in Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Ryan Gallagher, Slate. Report: Silicon Valley Internet Surveillance Gear Used by Authoritarian Regimes.

For more, see Citizen Lab, Blue Coat and the report itself. Bonus: a prior investigation on Blue Coat (via the article above.)

The Onion Picks Kim Jong Un as Sexiest Man Alive, China Believes It
From China’s People’s Daily newspaper, largely quoting the Onion announcement, which describes the leader as follows:

With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.

Also of note: a commenter at Buzzfeed found the article reposted at The Korean Times. And of one more note: remember, this has happened before.
H/T: Buzzfeed.

The Onion Picks Kim Jong Un as Sexiest Man Alive, China Believes It

From China’s People’s Daily newspaper, largely quoting the Onion announcement, which describes the leader as follows:

With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.

Also of note: a commenter at Buzzfeed found the article reposted at The Korean Times. And of one more note: remember, this has happened before.

H/T: Buzzfeed.