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Culture and Society


What prospects for Uber and its Chinese rivals?

A private driver told me “Didi Dache is still new, so who knows if the government might ban it later?” It’s a line that illustrates the difficult relationship that firms on the cutting edge of business innovation often have with Chinese authorities.


Day trip to Jiading

Shanghai is a big city, and the political boundary that defines the municipality is so big that it extends far beyond the …


China watches Breaking Bad

“After I finished watching this show, I was unsettled for a while, until I opened my nearby copy of Only Socialism can Save America and thought for a long, long time.“

Chinese stereotypes, in more detail

This post discusses the results of the China Autocompleted piece in further detail, with observations that didn’t make the cut for the …

China AC 11.1.14

Chinese stereotypes, mapped

Why does the western Chinese region of Xinjiang have “so many terrorists”? And do people from central Henan Province really steal manhole covers? These are just some of the questions that Chinese people ask about themselves and each other. Or at least, those are the questions they ask Baidu, the country’s top search engine.

Chinese bathroom graffiti: gambling

Though less prominent than ads for black market goods and sex, messages for gambling-related services are not uncommon. While on the surface …