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Sinica - Regulating the Fourth Estate in China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 01:00

The explosion of the commercial media sphere in China over the last decade hasn't been particularly subtle, especially if you're anything like us and walk past multiple Chinese newsstands in the morning. But let's look beyond the way kiosks have traded promoting the Beijing Evening News for hawking glossy cosmetics adverts and celebrity gossip rags, and ask how the rise of a for-profit motive in the press has affected the way the Chinese government regulates the industry, and what the consequences of this are for the rise of what we traditionally think of as the role of the fourth estate in Western democracies.

As we turn our focus to these questions this week, Kaiser Kuo is delighted to be joined by Daniela Stockmann, assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Leiden and the woman who quite literally wrote the book on this subject with the publication of Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China, a fact-heavy tome that goes into detail about how China has managed to maintain its apparatus of media control despite its ostensible shift towards a commercially-oriented media sector.

On a final note, we should point out that we've just put together a new version of Popup Chinese platform, and one of the features of the new site is a fancy new javascript-powered audio player that will let you listen to all of our shows directly using your iPhone or Android or flash-free tablet. That said, if you still want to download today's show as a standalone mp3 file, please consider yourself welcome to do so. And if you have any feedback on the show or suggestions about guests you'd like to see us host in the future.

Sinica - Cooperation or Exploitation: Howard French on China in Africa

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:00

Exactly how exploitative are Chinese development activities on the African continent? What exactly is motivating the various resources-for-development deals inked by African governments over the last decade, and what strategies are these governments now adopting in the face of power imbalances with China? What is driving the mass migration of Chinese workers to the African continent, and why does everyone from Senegal seem to come from Henan?

This week on Sinica, we ask these questions and many more as Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined in conversation with Howard French. If you've spent a while in China, you may have head of Howard as the author of a well-known book on Shanghai's architectural legacy, and lecturer on the subject. What you may not know is that he is also an expert on African development, and the new author of China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.

Want more Sinica, but frustrated at your biological limitations that force you to have to download each episode one-by-one (hint: standalone mp3 link)? Why not join the 21st century and set your computer to the task by subscribing to our Sinica RSS feed. If you have ideas on topics you'd like to hear covered or suggestions on guests we should feature on the show, please feel welcome to write the team at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Qing Wen - Towards 向 朝 往

ChinesePod - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Band of Brothers: China and South Africa

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 01:00

You'd be forgiven for thinking that China and South Africa weren't actual neighbors given all the pomp and ritual that surrounded South African President Jacob Zuma's recent state visit to China, a trip that saw China roll out the red carpet in a very uncritical fashion not often seen these days, with even Xinhua getting into the spirit of international camraderie with fulsome editorials praising the South African people and their international spirit.

And in the spirit of confusing co-host Kaiser and changing the balance of power in the studio, Jeremy is delighted to have invited a "real" South African to join us this week. And so our guest is John Bailey, Asia Correpondent of ENCA, the 24-hour television news broadcaster focusing on South African and African stories. In this hour-long show, John joins us to talk about what is happening in South Africa, and why the country's relations with China have taken such a rosy turn.

Enjoy Sinica? If you like this show and would like more to show up automatically on your iPhone as we publish them, subscribe to Sinica manually by selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast" from the File menu in iTunes and providing the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica when prompted. We also welcome everyone to download this show directly from our server as a standalone mp3 file, and to send comments and suggestions for future shows to us at sinica@popupchinese.com. Enjoy!

Qing Wen - 赶得上 or 来得及

ChinesePod - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Domestic Abuse in China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 01:00

It doesn't take a lot of time in China to see household violence play out in supermarkets, in schools, or even in the streets. But exactly how common is domestic violence in China? In the face of recent evidence from Peking University that more than 70 percent of all children suffer from some form of physical or emotional abuse, not to mention the never-stopping stories of spousal abuse (by both men and women) that pour out in the press, we wanted to take an episode to look into the issue and ask what the hell is going on?

That's why this week, Sinica is delighted to host Su Wenying and Cai Yiping, two leading advocates of women and children's rights who join us for a discussion of domestic violence in China. Our conversation starts with a discussion of the current legal landscape, and moves on to the prevalence of domestic abuse with some surprising stats about how education and social status does and does not affect the prevalence of violence in this country, before we look at public awareness of the problem, and ask to what extent it seems likely to change anytime soon.

Enjoy listening to Sinica? We invite everyone to download this show as an standalone mp3 file for listening offline or sharing. If you have any feedback on the show or suggestions about topics you'd like to hear covered, please feel welcome to leave a note in our comments section, or send us an email at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Qing Wen - 标志 and 表示

ChinesePod - Sat, 11/29/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Internet Wrangling in Wuzhen

Popup Chinese Lessons - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 01:00

With Jeremy Goldkorn conscripted into family duties as father of lucky newborn Felix Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo hosts alone this week as we turn our attention to the World Internet Conference last week, when a last minute attempt by Chinese organizers to foist the so-called Wuzhen Declaration on participants provoked an international backlash over concerns it was attempting to make the international community complicit in even sharper restrictions on Internet usage China seems poised to impose under the country's new Internet Tsar, Lu Wei.

Missed the news? Joining us to bring everyone up-to-date with a combination of insider-gossip and academic analysis is Rogier Creemers of Oxford University, founder of the China Copyright and Media Blog, and one of the unsung heroes of China-watching given his penchant for producing rapid and accurate translations of important Chinese policy documents and speeches that tend to be ignored by the rest of the press. Welcome Rogier!

Qing Wen - 出色 and 优秀

ChinesePod - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 14:00

Sinica - Banned but Booming: Golf in China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 01:00

"If you're not working in China, you're probably not working at all...."

Despite China's legal moratorium on the development of the golf industry, a policy driven by concerns over illegal farmland seizures and the potential misallocation of agricultural land and water resources, the golf industry has experienced an unprecedented frenzy of development over the past thirty years, with the very government organs that overtly disapprove of the luxury sport often promoting its growth, leading to a situation where not even the central government has more than a vague inkling of how many courses actually exist in the country.

With rumors of an impending crackdown on the industry circulating in the industry though, and questions of whether this kind of growth will or can continue, we are delighted to be joined in the studio by Dan Washburn, former founder of The Shanghaiist, and now Chief Content Officer for the Asia Society in New York, where Dan has lived while working on his latest book: The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream.

Like Sinica? Don't forget that you can download this show and all of our previous shows as a standalone mp3 file. And if you have any suggestions on topics you'd like to see us tackle or just feel like yelling at Kaiser or Jeremy, feel welcome to write us anytime at sinica@popupchinese.com.

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