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Shanghai Daily,上海日报

Global Lens on China

外媒看中国


The Melancholy Pop Idol Who Haunts China

The Melancholy Pop Idol Who Haunts China

邓丽君:让中国魂牵梦绕的明星

Earlier this year, the Chinese government finally lifted its restrictions on the Hong Kong director Peter Chan’s 1996 film, “Comrades, Almost a Love Story.” Insofar as censorship ever makes for sound cultural policy, the reasons for blocking “Comrades,” a star-driven romantic comedy about two Chinese migrants who venture to Hong Kong and the United States, seem especially joyless. Its offenses are slight, couched in minor differences of speech and habit. Even the most ideological viewer would be hard pressed to interpret this as an aggressively political film. But one of the strangest aspects of the long-overdue release of “Comrades” was the decision to have the elven young Chinese heartthrob Luhan record a new version of “Tian Mi Mi,” the Teresa Teng song that gives the film its Chinese title.


Originally released in 1979, “Tian Mi Mi” was one of Teng’s greatest hits, a loungy ballad about someone with a sweet and disarmingly familiar smile. “Where have I seen you before,” Teng wonders, before remembering: “Ah—in my dreams.” Despite this sense of bewitched yearning, she sounds calm, curious, almost teasing. Or maybe she merely accepts a fate in which reunion is impossible. Teng’s songs play throughout “Comrades,” beacons of sorts which remind the luckless pair of one another as well as of the China they’ve left behind. At one point, they try to trade on this nostalgia, peddling bootleg Teng cassettes and posters to other down-on-their-luck migrant workers. It spoils nothing to note that the lovers of “Comrades” do eventually reunite. At the end of it all, they stand outside a store window in Manhattan, both regarding the same TV news report: Teresa Teng, their idol, has just passed away. It might be the saddest moment in the film.


Millions of people experienced some version of this moment when Teng died twenty years ago, of an asthma attack, while on holiday in Chiang Mai, Thailand. At the time, she was probably the most famous Chinese singer in the world. After winning a series of talent competitions throughout Taiwan, she dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a singer, earning her first recording contract in 1968. She was fifteen, blessed with a sweet and versatile style that moved easily between traditional folk and newer, jazzier pop styles. During the next two decades, as Taiwan became a leading exporter of Mandarin-language entertainment, she would become a superstar in the Chinese-speaking world. She also eventually became an icon throughout the rest of Asia, where her ability to sing in different languages helped to herald the era of region-wide pop superstardom that has become today’s norm.


 

Full Story

New Yorker | August 3, 2015, Monday


California mom, Chinese dads: The story of an American surrogate

California mom, Chinese dads: The story of an American surrogate

加利福利亚妈妈,中国的爸爸:一个美国代孕妈妈的故事

Audra's seven-year old daughter Nadia cooed and gently placed her hands on her mother's belly.


"She likes it when he kicks," explains Audra's husband Shawn. But this was not a typical pregnancy.
"It's not my baby," Audra says. "I have no genetic relationship to this child."
Audra Anderson is a surrogate mom. She is the mother of one biological child: bubbly, blonde-haired Nadia. But the baby boy she delivered Friday grew from an implanted embryo from a donated egg, and sperm from a man in China.

Full Story

CNN | August 24, 2015, Monday


China's BAT dominate mobile user engagement

China's BAT dominate mobile user engagement

中国的BAT统治手机用户

China's three leading internet players are dominating user engagement on mobile platforms, consuming "a disproportionate share" of time spent on devices.


Apps associated with Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent -- commonly known as BAT -- accounted for close to 60 percent of time spent on mobile devices in the country, where consumers in the metro areas spent more than half of their online time on Tencent's messaging app, WeChat.


According to Forrester Research, Chinese consumers spent 18.2 hours a week on mobile internet activities, of which 9.2 hours were dedicated to WeChat.

Full Story

From ZD Net | August 26, 2015, Wednesday


What China’s panda monopoly means for zoos around the world

What China’s panda monopoly means for zoos around the world

中国的熊猫霸权对世界的动物园有何影响

On Saturday, the giant panda at the National Zoo in Washington gave birth to two little hairless bundles of joy, each about the size of a stick of butter. It was exciting news for panda lovers everywhere, coming almost exactly two years after the birth of the zoo's last panda cub. But somewhere an accountant may have been groaning.


Pandas are one of the zoo’s biggest attractions. If the panda cubs survive, they are likely to boost visitor numbers and merchandising sales as they (eventually) grow into cute, playful balls of fur. But they are also one of the most costly animals, due largely to an elaborate system of contracts and fees.


Pandas are unusual in that they are basically owned by one country. China is home to the vast majority of the world’s roughly 1,850 pandas, and it doles them out sparingly to zoos around the world. Zoos agree to return any cubs that are born, allowing China to maintain what is essentially a panda monopoly.


Perhaps no other animal represents conservation so much as the giant panda. The development and destruction of their native habitat, the mountain bamboo forests of western China, have reduced their numbers to just a few thousand. Pandas are notoriously bad at reproducing in captivity. The female can only get pregnant for a few days every year, and most, like Mei Xiang, have babies through artificial insemination.

Full Story

The Washiongton Post | August 26, 2015, Wednesday


Ironman to Be Acquired by China’s Dalian Wanda

Ironman to Be Acquired by China’s Dalian Wanda

中国大连万达将收购钢铁侠

Providence Equity Corp. said it reached an agreement to sell the Ironman triathlon series of races to China’s Dalian Wanda Group for about $650 million plus the assumption of debt.


A source familiar with the deal said that it had a value of about $900 million, and that it represents a quadrupling of Providence’s investment in World Triathlon Corp., owner of the Ironman brand and races.


After acquiring WTC in 2008, Providence transformed it from a licenser of the Ironman brand to an owner and operator of races. The number of races it owns and operates has grown exponentially since 2008, to more than 200. During that time the WTC workforce exploded to about 250 from barely 10.

Full Story

The Wall Street Journal | August 26, 2015, Wednesday


For Sympathetic Ear, More Chinese Turn to Smartphone Program

For Sympathetic Ear, More Chinese Turn to Smartphone Program

善解人意会聊天,微软小冰成中国大众情人

She is known as Xiaoice, and millions of young Chinese pick up their smartphones every day to exchange messages with her, drawn to her knowing sense of humor and listening skills. People often turn to her when they have a broken heart, have lost a job or have been feeling down. They often tell her, “I love you.”


“When I am in a bad mood, I will chat with her,” said Gao Yixin, a 24-year-old who works in the oil industry in Shandong Province. “Xiaoice is very intelligent.”


Xiaoice (pronounced Shao-ice) can chat with so many people for hours on end because she is not real. She is a chatbot, a program introduced last year by Microsoft that has become something of a hit in China. It is also making the 2013 film “Her,” in which the actor Joaquin Phoenix plays a character who falls in love with a computer operating system, seem less like science fiction.


 

Full Story

New York Times | July 31, 2015, Friday


Mtime Helps Hollywood Clear China’s Marketing Hurdles and Reach Fans

Mtime Helps Hollywood Clear China’s Marketing Hurdles and Reach Fans

时光网成为好莱坞与中国电影市场间的桥梁

Now that Hollywood has mostly figured out how to get its biggest movies approved for release in China, studio marketers here are grappling with a new puzzle: What is the best way to woo China’s ticket buyers?


Trailers and television advertisements, the two most effective methods to drum up interest, are difficult marketing tools to use in China. Chinese theaters do not typically play trailers. The cost of advertising on TV can be exorbitant, in part because studios must buy time at the last minute. China usually limits foreign films to an advertising window of a few weeks.


Instead, film companies pay for outdoor banners and signs, advertise online, team up with local promotional partners and, increasingly, call a company with enormous reach that few people outside of China have ever heard of: Mtime.


 

Full Story

New York Times | August 9, 2015, Sunday


Chinese Films Find Their Audience — and It’s Huge

Chinese Films Find Their Audience — and It’s Huge

中国电影新市场潜力无穷

This is turning out to be a very good season for domestic films in China.


“Monster Hunt,” a live-action/animated movie about a little monster resembling a white radish, has become the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time, taking in more than 1.6 billion renminbi, or about $268 million, since its opening July 16, according to the research organization EntGroup.


The movie has seized one local title after another: highest opening-day and opening-weekend sales; and shortest time — just eight days — for a Chinese film to gross 1 billion renminbi ($169 million). Industry analysts are predicting that “Monster Hunt” could be the first domestic movie to overtake Hollywood hits like “Furious 7” (2.5 billion renminbi, or $411 million) and “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction” (1.978 billion renminbi, or $330 million), the current box-office record-holders in China, according to Tencent Entertainment.

Full Story

New York Times | July 31, 2015, Friday


A Chinese Drought Weather Report Written on Cave Walls

A Chinese Drought Weather Report Written on Cave Walls

岩壁上的天气预报

Writings on the walls of a cave in China record the effects of droughts over the last 500 years, researchers have found.


The inscriptions are on the walls of Dayu Cave in the Qinling Mountains of central China. They describe the impacts of seven droughts between 1520 and 1920.


One inscription, dated 1528, reads, “Drought occurred in the 7th year of the Emperor Jiajing period, Ming Dynasty. Gui Jiang and Sishan Jiang came to Da’an town to acknowledge the Dragon Lake inside in Dayu Cave.”

Full Story

New York Times | August 17, 2015, Monday


Megacity: Beijing Quadrupled in Size in 10 Years

Megacity: Beijing Quadrupled in Size in 10 Years

大都市北京:十年内的四倍扩张

Beijing has seen explosive growth in recent years, with the physical size of the city quadrupling in just a decade, a new study reveals. Researchers used satellite data to see how much the Chinese capital has expanded, and calculated changes in the urban environment as well.


Using NASA's QuikScat satellite, researchers at NASA and Stanford University looked at new roads and buildings that had been constructed in Beijing between 2000 and 2009. Then, they estimated how these urban developments impacted winds and pollution in the city.


Beyond the uptick in pollution from residents moving into these newly developed neighborhoods, the scientists found that the actual infrastructure — buildings, roads and other features of big cities — had consequences for the urban environment. [Human Footprints: Satellite Photos Tracking Development From Space]


 

Full Story

LiveScience | August 17, 2015, Monday




As China continues to grab increasing media attention worldwide, our partner runs a regular column to reveal what overseas media are saying about China and how they view the country's fast economic, social and cultural development.

中国崛起聚焦了世界的目光。上至高层动态,下至社会民生,中国的一举一动无不成为外媒烹调的材料。我们的合作伙伴观察者网为您带来中文深度阅读。

Check it out at http://www.guancha.cn/WaiMeiKanZhongGuo/




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