The Road Well-Traveled

    First proposed by Xi Jinping in late 2013, the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative covers a wide range of objectives, aiming to “instill vigor and vitality into the ancient Silk Road, connect Asian, European and African countries more closely and promote mutually beneficial cooperation to a new high and in new forms,” according to the text of the policy itself. As a … Continue reading The Road Well-Traveled

In Tech, China Marches Forward

   Why can’t China innovate? That was the question the authors of a 2014 Harvard Business Review article set out to answer. In a country often perceived as “a land of rule-bound rote learners, efforts to leap ahead in innovation were ultimately limited by the country’s rigid hierarchies and limits on intellectual freedom, the authors concluded.    Skepticism about China’s innovative prowess is not new. For … Continue reading In Tech, China Marches Forward

Constructing Corruption—Institutional Failure in China’s Urbanization Strategy

   Starting in 2017, a new school district housing (xuequfang) frenzy began to sweep China’s developed cities. School-district housing is 2017’s buzzword among the urbanized middle-class families with school-aged children. The phenomenon is responsible for pushing up real estate prices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and other first-tier mainland cities. The school district system, instituted by the Ministry of Education, stipulates that all students in nineteen … Continue reading Constructing Corruption—Institutional Failure in China’s Urbanization Strategy

Gone Only with the Wind: The Shortcomings of Air Pollution Regulations in China

   “We only wait for the wind.”    Zheng Liang, a Chinese teacher at Minzu University in Beijing, describes what she and most Beijingers do when smog storms hit China’s capital. Speaking frankly to a class of two students, including myself, her frustrations bleed through in the way she discusses pollution in China. She means every word of her comment about the wind. When smog … Continue reading Gone Only with the Wind: The Shortcomings of Air Pollution Regulations in China

Chinese Mobile Phone Game Goes Viral

Tim Lan examines the reasons for the popularity of the viral game, King of Glory.     At a crowded McDonald’s, two high school students face each other and tap their phone screens with both thumbs, ignoring the surrounding customers and their unfinished Cokes on the table.    This scene has become increasingly common in China as King of Glory has gone viral across the country. … Continue reading Chinese Mobile Phone Game Goes Viral

E-platform Economy and the New Luxury Retail

In a 3-part series, Margot de Groot van Embden explores new trends in China’s luxury market and presents case studies of Mihaibao and Dongjia. When Giorgio Armani opened its first store in China in 1998, only a few ultra-privileged visitors and wealthy foreign travelers ventured into the small boutique, located within Beijing’s Palace Hotel. But as the Chinese market kept developing, Armani followed other luxury mega-brands … Continue reading E-platform Economy and the New Luxury Retail