Media & Entertainment

This category contains 79 posts

Mao’s grandson is a laughing stock in today’s China

Bumbling and gaffe-prone, Major General Mao Xinyu has become the laughingstock for a country with increasingly mixed attitudes towards its most celebrated leader. Mao Zedong‘s grandson just can’t catch a break. The most-mocked man at China’s annual rubber-stamp congress was in some respects also its most privileged. The only living grandson of the “Great Helmsman,” … Continue reading

Instagram and Chinese art

When I first saw someone instagram a photo on Facebook, it reminded me of my parent’s wedding picture. I thought, “Oh how nice, looks very retro chic.” Then it became too much. Not everything needs to have a sense of nostalgia. I remember one of friends instagramed a plate of pickles and salami I had … Continue reading

Ang Lee’s Oscar win reminder of mainland China’s film failure

Ang Lee’s best director win at this year’s Academy Awards unleashed a wave of pride on Chinese social media sites, though for some the award – Lee’s second  – was a bittersweet reminder of mainland China’s frustrated film ambitions. Taiwanese-American Ang Lee won the award for “Life of Pi,” a lushly shot 3D epic based on … Continue reading

German reporter in China says equipment sabotaged, destroyed

A German reporter investigating a case of five children killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in southwest China said on Monday his computer and smart phone were sabotaged after his hotel room was broken into. Bernhard Zand, reporter for German weekly Der Spiegel, was investigating the accidental deaths in November of five street boys in Bijie, … Continue reading

China: Southern Weekend staff strike for press freedom

Editorial staff at Southern Weekly decided to stage a strike after a dramatic turn of events Sunday night that aggravated a potential major crisis facing the Communist Party‘s new leadership. It is the first time in more than two decades that the editorial staff of a major newspaper has openly staged a strike against government censorship. … Continue reading

China: Yanhuang Chunqiu website closed down for advocating constitutionalism

Southern Weekly’s New Year message advocating constitutionalism as Chinese dream was rudely replaced by another article by provincial propaganda authorities. Then according to SCMP report, “Yanhuang Chunqiu informed its registration ‘had been cancelled’ after publishing editorial urging implementation of constitutional rights.” In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, I said that Chinese people should learn from … Continue reading

Freedom of press in China; a battle worth fighting

The Guangdong provincial propaganda authorities rudely interfered with Guangzhou outspoken magazine Southern Weekly with respect to the magazine’s New Year message, and forced it to replace the message with one advocating constitutionalism, with a commentary glorifying the Communist Party. Journalists at the Southern Weekly were outraged because it was done without the consent of the … Continue reading

New York Times journalist forced to leave China

China apparently expelled a New York Times journalist after the paper ran a damaging report about the hidden wealth of outgoing premier Wen Jiabao and his family. Australian national Chris Buckley, who recently re-joined The New York Times after working as a correspondent for Reuters, left Beijing on Monday evening with his family after his application … Continue reading

Hollywood dominates Chinese movie market in 2012

China‘s 2012 box office was dominated by foreign films for the first time in four years as a deal cemented earlier this year saw more Hollywood films screened on the mainland, squeezing out domestic competition. China’s box office receipts are expected to reach 16.8 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) in 2012 and about 8 billion yuan … Continue reading

Beijing bans Warhol’s Mao portraits from China exhibition

Andy Warhol’s famous images of Chairman Mao won’t be part of the biggest ever travelling exhibition of his works when they go to China next year, an organiser said. The show includes more than 300 paintings, photographs and films, featuring Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup cans, Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe as well as 10 Mao … Continue reading

China attacks Sir Elton John for his support of dissident artist Ai Weiwei

China has attacked Sir Elton John for his support of dissident artist Ai Weiwei. A state-owned newspaper accused the veteran British singer of being ‘disrespectful’ and said his actions could lead to a ban on other Western performers putting on shows in China. The attack from China came after a concert by the 65-year-old at … Continue reading

China’s People’s Daily falls for Kim Jong-un ‘sexiest man alive’ spoof

The online version of China’s Communist party newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as the sexiest man alive – not realising it is satire. The People’s Daily ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the leader, under the headline North Korea’s top leader … Continue reading

China’s government hires people to distort web conversations

The Chinese government hires people to distort or deflect conversations on the web. Ai Weiwei persuades an “online commentator” to tell all. In February 2011, Ai Weiwei tweeted that he would like to conduct an interview with an “online commentator”. Commentators are hired by the Chinese government or the Communist Party of China to post … Continue reading

Did news story on riches of China’s Premier weaken reformists?

The hot pot of Chinese politics is still boiling madly after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party and the leadership transition that took place in Beijing on November 14, 2012. Many see the composition of the new Politburo Standing Committee as a defeat for outgoing President Hu Jintao, who failed to see his … Continue reading

China says Hollywood putting pinch on domestic films

China‘s films are taking a hit from a trade deal that allows for more U.S. movie imports, the country’s broadcast regulator said on Sunday, with their share of the box office take sliding even as the industry’s total revenues outpace those of last year. The movie pact, which exempted 14 films from China’s annual quota … Continue reading

Surprisingly, China’s newspapers criticise detention for dissent

Chinese government-controlled newspapers have openly criticised the detention of a village official who called for the end of Communist Party rule, an extraordinary move that some media experts see as a sign that Beijing is granting more leeway on free speech. The campaign is all the more remarkable because Ren Jianyu, 25, was sentenced to … Continue reading

Hollywood should bet on India over China

Hollywood should bet on India over China in the long term, according to Chris Dodd, the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Speaking to Business Standard on the sidelines of the inaugural Asian Film Summit at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, during September 6-16, Dodd said, “We talk about … Continue reading

Science Fiction in China

This past weekend I attended my first World Science Fiction Convention at Chicon 7. During the convention I listened in on several panels about Science Fiction in China. These panels were extremely interesting and very informative. There were discussions of many historical facts and ideas regarding the history of Chinese science fiction, which dates back to the … Continue reading

China seeking to dominate African news media, complete with censorship and propaganda

China’s investment prowess and construction know-how is widely on display in the long-congested Kenyan capital of Nairobi. A ring road and the nation’s first superhighway are being built and partly financed by Beijing. The international airport is undergoing a $208 million expansion supported by the Chinese, whose loans also paid for a working-class housing complex that … Continue reading

China’s political reform on its way, says playwright Sha Yexin

“Political reform and freedom of speech are imminent on the mainland, renowned playwright Sha Yexin has told the South China Morning Post. “Sha, 73, was in Hong Kong last month to promote a rerun of his play I am Chairman Mao‘s Bitch, which the Spring-time Experimental Theatre is showing later this month. Sha, known as … Continue reading

China censors Chinese villains from Men in Black 3

Censors in Beijing cut the latest Hollywood blockbuster, Men in Black 3, by 13 minutes to remove all Chinese baddies from the film. The makers of Men in Black 3 might not have realised that setting parts of the film in New York’s Chinatown would cause offence on the other side of the world. But … Continue reading

China state television host calls to “clean out foreign trash”

Following recent high-profile examples of foreigners behaving badly in China, last week saw a spike of anti-foreigner sentiment that culminated in the announcement of a hundred day Beijing police crackdown on illegal immigration. Among the commentators who applauded the crackdown was Yang Rui, a television host on China’s state-run English-language TV network, CCTV-9. On his … Continue reading

China’s Dalian Wanda to buy AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion

China’s Dalian Wanda Group agreed to acquire AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion, becoming the biggest theatre operator in the U.S. by revenue. Ties between the U.S. and Chinese movie industries have warmed after China agreed in February to open its market to more American films, with DreamWorks Animation announcing a landmark deal in the same … Continue reading

News Corp to acquire 20 percent of Chinese film distributor

News Corp has agreed to buy a stake in Chinese movie distributor Bona Film Group Ltd, becoming the latest U.S. media company to expand into China‘s booming movie market. News Corp will take a 19.9 percent stake in Bona Film from founder and chief executive Yu Dong, Bona said in a statement. It gave no … Continue reading

In China, Foreign Films Meet a Powerful Gatekeeper

Any foreign movie knocking on China’s door must pass through powerful gatekeepers — the China Film Group and its chief executive, Han Sanping. The China Film Group functions as the Chinese government’s guardian of a film market that recently shot past Japan’s to become the world’s second-largest in box-office receipts behind the United States. On … Continue reading

SEC probes movie studios over dealings in China

U.S. regulators are investigating major U.S. movie studios’ dealings with China as the entertainment companies try to get a greater foothold in one of the fastest-growing movie markets in the world. The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters of inquiry to at least five movie studios in the past two months, including News Corp’s … Continue reading

James Cameron eyes co-production projects in China

“Avatar” and “Titanic” film director James Cameron said on Sunday that he was looking at co-production of films in China, but would have to weigh issues like censorship and other restrictions before making any decisions. Hollywood has begun paying serious attention to China, despite the problems of government controls and piracy, reflecting the fast-growing Chinese … Continue reading

Iron Man 3 to be co-produced in China

The next “Iron Man” film will be co-produced in China under a joint agreement between Walt Disney Co, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment, the latest in a series of tie-ups between Hollywood and China where movie-going is growing fast. DMG – a Chinese entertainment and marketing group – will invest in Iron Man 3, manage … Continue reading

Hangzhou China NAFLE Drama Competition

November 23 2011: While living in Hangzhou, China, I was invited to write and direct a play for the Year 7 “Ruling Class” students. The play won the Zhejiang Province Division of the NAFLE Drama Festival, and the students are now scheduled to participate in the National Finals of the competition, to be held in … Continue reading


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