The mainland’s internet universe is a closed book to nearly all Westerners – few know even the most rudimentary basics of spoken Putonghua, let alone have a grasp of the written language. Yet an explosion of interest in mainland microblogging sites, known as weibos (” weibo” loosely translates as “micro-blog”), has lured even resolutely monolingual …read more
Jie Chen giggles as she picks her way through Sina Weibo, China’s immensely popular microblogging site. The 25-year-old office worker from Shantou city in Guangdong province has revelled in her Weibo account for more than two years: it provides her with endless amusement and, sometimes, with useful information. Her long hair swings forward as she …read more
Shifting and giggling, the tourists and locals wait to pose with a mural painted on a dilapidated Penang street wall. An image of two laughing children on a three dimensional bicycle, the mural is a striking and thought-provoking contrast of forms. It is art that begs for interaction and it has proved incredibly popular in …read more
Sitting on a gently lolling junk, with a glass of wine in hand and a warm breeze blowing: it’s a good way to see the evening settle down over Hong Kong. The fan-shaped red sails of the junk, although not at all functional, are gently decorative and suggestive of an earlier and more romantic time: …read more
Staying overnight in an ancient garage might not be everybody’s idea of fun. But this isn’t the standard suburban garage found in most countries in the world, stuffed higgledy-piggledy with tins of paint, bits of bicycle, bottles of oil and screwdrivers.
Gold surged again this week when the US Federal Reserve announced it would try and boot the US economy along by buying billions of dollars worth of securities. This plan immediately sent investors and speculators scurrying to buy gold, the age-old safe haven in uncertain times.
If nothing else, the torrent of revelations released on the WikiLeaks whistle-blower website has changed our understanding of how the world works. It has also landed key WikiLeaks figures in an ocean of trouble.
Condoms, like food and medicine, are largely impervious to the deflation of economic bubbles. So Malaysia’s largest condom manufacturer, Karex, will blithely ignore depressing global financial trends and launch an initial public offering sometime in the near future. Beyond confirming the impending float, Karex this week shyly declined to reveal any further details, but chief …read more
SITTING smack on the shores of a bustling harbour, in the heart of an international city, looking across the water to skyscrapers, and flanked by trees and lawns: the parallels with the Sydney Opera House are manifest. Or at least they will be. Hong Kong’s M+ museum of visual culture hasn’t actually been built yet, …read more
Musaab Naji Al-Wakil is an ordinary, middle-class Iraqi who has been stuck in Malaysia with his wife and four children for five years, and he too has felt the pull of the boats.