China Dispatch is the monthly digital version of our magazine for the iPad and iPhone giving you the lowdown on all things China—views, news, culture, stories, and society—if it’s happening in China, we’ll let you know.
A yearly subscription for $ 16.99 includes six issues of our print magazine, and an additional themed China Dispatch issues. Individual issues are $2.99 each.
To access our digital version, click this link to our iTunes store or scan our QR code at the bottom of this page.
China Dispatch issues:
Fast Forward Issue
Visit the outer reaches of space with the world’s largest telescope, find out how China’s LGBT community is fighting conversion therapy, learn the history of Beijing’s Silicon Valley and much more.
Courier Army Issue
In this issue, TWOC looks behind the smart software to put a human face on the humble deliveryman. We hear tales of business and brotherhood, high risks and low rewards, that will certainly give pause for thought next time you curse your pizza for being five minutes overtime. Elsewhere, as hipster versions land abroad, we go in search of the authentic jianbing; return to the forgotten roots of overseas Chinese; take an unswerving look at the history of school uniforms; wonder whether knowledge has a price; and try to buy a live chicken. Well, our pizza was late…
The Middle Kingdom has its own take on Middle Earth. Novoland isn’t run by hobbits or orcs; you’re far more likely to see winged beings or immortal spirits. But the schisms of Novoland also play out in reality, as its creators squabble over the direction and the economics of their collaborative project. We take a look at the state of fantasy literature in China and where it’s headed in the future.
Also this issue, we take a leisurely ride on one of China’s famed green trains. As these very slow trains are phased out for faster models, they—as well as their significance to Chinese social life—may reach their final stop than expected. We also look at the business of maternity matrons, as well as the hollowing out of China’s villages and the implications of leaving elderly residents behind.
In Diaspora, you’ll find a Chinatown within China, where overseas Chinese have left a complicated legacy, and Made in China tells the tangled history of China’s wired radio. There’s plenty to see in these pages and if you want more, check out our digital edition. In the meantime, sit back, relax, and enjoy the spring weather.
Taobao Town Issue
The rise of online shopping, selling, and logistics has perhaps been one of the most important changes to modern life in China, and the effect of e-commerce entrepreneurship in China’s rural areas has been transformative. Villages that once farmed now make, package, and ship their goods all around the country. We visit one of China’s official “Taobao villages” to learn more about how modern shopping has changed the countryside—for better or worse.
Also this issue, we’ll be looking at China’s indie film sector and how it can fund itself, how grads are changing the job market by opting for fulfilling careers rather than filling their wallets, and what life is like in a migrant night market in Nanjing. We’ve made some changes for the New Year. You’ll find new columns, such as Art Attack and our new science and technology section, Tech Support. Counterpoint has been resurrected, and Frontier profiles businesses on the cutting edge. With all of that new content, we still aim to bring you the news, views, and reviews you’ve come to expect from us here at TWOC.
Get your digital copy today, and have a happy Spring Festival.
Climate Change Issue
Sticking our head in the sand when it comes to climate change is no longer an option (though admittedly easier considering the rate of desertification), and China is at the forefront of mitigating the effects of global warming. Can the Middle Kingdom rise to the infrastructure challenges posed by the specter of global warming? Perhaps, but these problems are getting bigger every day. We’ve also got “Out of Time” this issue, which discusses the prevalence of overtime and how it’s affecting the modern workplace.
“Open the Gates” looks at how Chinese parks are anything but public and how they might be opening up in the very near future. For our final feature, we have “New Age of Ads,” which looks at how social media profiles are becoming a haven for advertisers wanting to capitalize on temporary online celebrity.
As usual, we aim to bring you the very best in Chinese stories, including a first-ever look at a translated short story by Hugo Award-winner Hao Jingfang, a look into China’s last cavalry ranch, and a study into the cultural tropes and hopes of fox mythology. So, what are you waiting for?
Get your copy today.
Gender Equality Issue
Chairman Mao famously said that women hold up half the sky. Well, it’s time to pay up. Learn more about how women aren’t getting their share, how harassment shapes the workplace, and how China can become the benchmark for female equality in the workplace in “Women’s Work”. Also this issue, we discuss one of the worst things on the internet: spam. China is fast becoming a haven for the spam market, which, incidentally, is worth billions. Learn more in “Click Click Boom”.
Authentic Chinese cuisine is making a comeback overseas in “Culinary Incursion” and we learn more about how money in museums isn’t necessarily such a bad thing in “Forbidden Money”. Besides all that we’ve got a review of Liu Cixin’s Death’s End, original fiction from a very dark young voice, the inside story on the saddest polar bear in the world, and much more.
Download today, and enjoy.
China’s agricultural sector faces some very strange problems when it comes to getting your food to plate. From the organic revolution and food security to mechanizing China’s patchwork of farmland, the future of the country’s tables are in the fields. Also this issue, we look at how bullying has shaped the face of education in China, be they teachers or students.
Next, you can learn more about how the price of death has skyrocketed in the Middle Kingdom in recent years—from a family affair to a funerary festival. If your tastes run more to the artistic, head on over to our article “Still Life in the City” to see how suburban art districts are born. Besides that we have the usual mix of news, views, and reviews you’ve come to expect from us here at TWOC.
From the badass ladies of ancient history to the female pioneers of today, China is chock-full of women who matter.
The gaps between rich and poor, urban and rural, even young and old are perhaps nowhere more prevalent than in the world of dating. Tradition remains, but the modern world has its part to play in the peculiar realm of courting in the Middle Kingdom. Those in rural areas still rely on the grace and connections of a professional matchmaker caused in no small part by the country’s gender imbalance. Lastly, we look at the pick-up artists of China—and how their Chinese proponents are adding a Chinese flavor to this distasteful dish.
Also this issue, we’ve got the surprisingly arduous journey of golf in China, how it failed and how it might succeed once again with golf in the Olympics. In addition, we also look at the nation’s struggles with burgeoning Ponzi schemes that are bred from mistrust and lead many down dark paths. Our last feature takes on a slightly more upbeat subject: sexy lingerie; China has long been enthralled to foreign manufacturers in this arena, but the heart of manufacturing and a centuries-old piece of underwear might be bringing naughty knickers back home.
In this edition, literature lovers will find a new wuxia story from an up and coming female writer as well as an interview with Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Cao Wenxuan. We’ve also got some tasty reviews of China’s recent mer-film spectacular and a look into Mai Jia’s Decoded. All that and more are just a click away.
Internet Celebrity Issue
There’s precious little privacy in the online world, but there are those who scramble to give theirs away for a shot at stardom and cold hard cash; we take a look at what makes internet celebrities what they area and how the followers that make them break them. We’ve also got features on the changing face of China’s ethnic gods and China’s credibility crisis in academia, along with a look at the African community in Guangzhou. This issue is packed with the usual news, views, and reviews you’ve come to expect from us here at TWOC, including fiction from an up-and-coming mainland author about the vagaries of Hong Kong life as a student, a study in the Chinese side of Singapore, and the rebirth of Confucius at the turn of the century. Grab your copy and enjoy the story of China today.
The two-child bombshell still has folks reeling with the possibilities, and families are now pressed with a very important question: should we? Similarly, tradition has fallen to pragmatism with the rise of the househusband in China. But, there are also those often left out of the family debate: the elderly, as China faces grave questions about its aging population. From the nuclear family to nuclear power, we also look at the problems China is having in getting locals to accept the power of the atom, as well as fantastic features on the rising rap scene in the Middle Kingdom and a guide to the modern rise of the online literature industry. Enjoy some original fiction from Han Zhiliao, art from He Xun on the concept of the paradox, and some stunning photography from the Buddhas Chongshan Village. Besides all that, we have all the news, reviews, and views you’ve come to expect from us here at TWOC.
Mental Health Issue
Today, mental health is an issue discussed at the highest levels of government, but the mechanisms in place and social discourse alike are sorely in need of an update. Also, as the tattoo industry grows, consumers are looking for quality over quantity, something they can find in “Middle Ink-dom”. In “Game Theory” you can learn more about how China’s international needs are changing gaming, and “Unwed and Undefended” will take you into the harrowing world single moms face every day. This issue also has an in-depth interview with Hugo Award Winner Liu Cixin, where he tells us all about his newly-translated Dark Forrest, his views on science fiction, and the upcoming film for the Three-Body Problem. Along with all that, we host the news, views, and issues you’ve come to expect from us here at The World of Chinese.
Hungry ghosts, werewolves, and a whole host of beasts from myth and nightmare—this China Dispatch will amaze. In China’s long history, much has been embellished, but the best of those embellishments turn into fantastical tales of daring-do and man-eating monsters. There are dreaded beasts in China’s lakes and dragons beneath Beijing, there are always interesting stories behind yarns like these, and we take a look at how and why they came about. Also, this issue deals with some more important questions concerning Chinese mythology, such as what happens when you die in ancient China and how to interpret dreams according to Chinese methodologies. Enjoy, and don’t turn the light out.
The modern military is more than tech savvy weapons and hardware rolling down Chang’an Avenue—it’s soldiers, men and women who sign up for very different reasons. From college grads hoping for a cushy job to kids wearing camo, the military is made up of an eclectic group of young people looking to make their mark. We look at the nation’s hunt for qualified graduates and the tradition of compulsory military training in a developed China, a country where the job of military recruiter has become more difficult. This issue also features a light-hearted feature about how baseball is taking off in Xinjiang in “Stepping up to the Plate”, the perils of being a canine in China’s cities in “A Dog’s Life”, and the battle of the cab apps raging around the nation in “Cab Wars”. For a more cultured view of the Middle Kingdom, check out original fiction from up-and-comer Li Jingrui and some groundbreaking artwork from Zhang Linhai, as well as the usual news, views, reviews, photography, and language you’ve come to expect from us here at TWOC.
For many a corrupt official and outdated policy Judgment Day has come; we look at three ways China’s beleaguered court system is changing for the better, from reeducation through labor to paying judges properly. From the courts to the fields, we also look at how the differences inherent in cultivation—the grizzled independence of wheat and the wise solidarity of rice—has affected Chinese culture from north to south. However, that land once tilled by farm hands now plays host to outlet malls, so we take a look at how people change and adapt to the life relocated as the countryside makes way for modernity. Beneath even the soil itself lies one of China’s greatest treasures: a wealth of hominid remains; the bones in China’s earth tell the story of mankind—from the lost bones of the Peking Man to the “dragon bones” of the Lantian Women. Besides all that, we bring you the best in fiction, travel, art, film, interviews, language, and storytelling we hope you’ve come to expect from us.
Drinking Culture Issue
We start with drinking and prohibition in ancient China, complete with drunken despots, merry ministers and plastered poets. Sections on the present-day drinking culture include knowledge about Chinese beer brands and the people’s most popular choices of liquor, including Red Star erguotou. Learn all the unique rules and etiquette for any guest to behave correctly at a Chinese banquet, including practical and tactical advice on dealing with the toasting minefield. Don’t forget some traditional hangover cures that will help you with the terrible headache the morning after. But like anywhere else, there’s a dark side to drinking in the Middle Kingdom—alcoholism, a grave personal crisis that doesn’t really get the attention it deserves in China. In an alcoholics anonymous group in Beijing, members are battling addiction in the hope of rebuilding their lives. All that and more inside this issue, enjoy!
China’s precious fauna have seen better days, but there is still some life in the creatures of the Middle Kingdom. Go with scientists to the heart of China’s wilderness to look for new species in “Where the Wild Things Are” or learn more about the biggest reptiles in China, from giant freshwater turtles hiding in the mud to the terrifying jaws of the Chinese alligator in “Here be Dragons”. If you like your animals a bit more warm blooded, check out “Elephants and Man in the Land of Rubber” to learn more about how these colossal pachyderms get on with the locals, or take a look at our profile of the noble and frightening power of the Tibetan mastiff. You can find all that and more inside. Enjoy.
Startup Kingdom Issue
Just a few decades ago being an entrepreneur or small business owner was practically a criminal offense in some areas of the country. But, somehow, over the past few years, China has grown into a startup superpower. This issue also features “The Ayi Industry”. Once upon a time, as in just a decade ago, China’s large families looked after the children, the elderly, and did the housework, but contemporary households have different needs. Also, check out “Rock the Pop” for a look at how reality television is changing Chinese pop music for the better, and take a look at “Money and Matrimony” for a peek into how marriage has changed in recent years. As usual we bring you the quality fiction, news, stories, and photography you’ve come to expect from us here at TWOC.
Silk Road Issue
In the thousands of years of history held in the footsteps along the Silk Road, there are millions of stories. We bring you three of them. The first is from the Tang Dynasty, following a grizzled Chinese general to the gates of Central Asia where he fights a brutal battle to maintain his country’s most important trade route. The second tale follows a humble servant, an attendant to the Portuguese Jesuit Benedict Goës, as the two travel in search of a mythical Christian kingdom hidden in Cathay. Finally, we take a look at a humble truck driver who follows the twists and turns of the modern Silk Road through China and beyond—a modern look at a trade route that has weathered millennia. Off the Silk Road and into the sky, we also look at how China became a haven for odd architecture. Next, the microscope is put on China’s recent plastic surgery craze and its sometimes shocking consequences. You can also have a look at how a sport gets off the ground in China, this time with under the lens of American football. Beyond that, we have fiction on ancient Chinese medicine, paintings from a prodigy changing to a darker hue, book reviews that span the universe, and even a little bit of hospital advice—all accompanied by the usual news, photography, and interviews that you’ve hopefully come to expect from TWOC. Enjoy! History — Days of Old
If there’s one thing China has plenty of, it’s history.
This digital issue brings you some fascinating stories from the Middle Kingdom’s long and often odd history, a smorgasbord of historical stories and trivia from ancient supernovas to the strange sports of China’s feudal past. One historical staple throughout the annals of Chinese history is that of the jester—jokers who used their own bawdy brand of humor to speak truth to power. We also look at an interesting tale trying to track down elephants from antiquity in the streets of Beijing, and for a bit more excitement, you can learn a bit more about China’s ancient hitmen and the weapons they used to kill emperors and warlords. For a bit more recent history, enjoy an in-depth feature into the tumultuous history of kissing over the past 30 years and at some interesting stories from Shanghai at the turn of the century. For some fiction from over a thousand years ago, check out “Tales of the Marvelous”, which features three nineth century stories from the Tang Dynasty writer Pei Xing. We’ve got all that and more inside, so enjoy this journey back in time.
2015 Buddhism Digital Issue
Masters of kung-fu, sources of ancient and infallible wisdom, religious leaders beyond reproach—the Buddhist monk and the grand tradition of monasteries is of incalculable value to the culture of China. But, the modern world brings with it something far more dangerous to these traditions than all the martial arts and religious purges in the world: money. For the faithful, the introduction of the free market is finishing off the work that the Cultural Revolution started. “Fake” monasteries have become the new norm, and places of worship are becoming money pits and tourist traps. While this modern trend does ensure the spread and popularity of Buddhism, purists and the monks are fighting against the tide and losing badly. Also this issue, you can learn about how China is changing the world of experimental and applied physics, how ancient Chinese zodiac superstitions affect modern life, and how the recyclers in China brave the fickle whims of the free market. It’s all just a few clicks away. Enjoy.
Social Chinese (now with audio clips)
Get the latest and best in modern Chinese slang and conversation with Social Chinese, an issue that will keep you on your Mandarin toes with enough humor and insight to keep you reading. Social Chinese teaches you how to garner the gift of gab for in a number of situations, everything from learning how to talk on Taobao to throwing a sajiao-laden temper tantrum and from literary snobbery to speaking like a true revolutionary. The Chinese tongue is tough to use naturally and even tougher to master, but this guide will hopefully put you on the road to lording your Mandarin mastery over your Chinese chums.
Love & Marriage
Love, marriage, dating—it’s all a bit scary. Today, whether you’re planning for a “naked wedding” or trying to find a girlfriend for Chinese New Year, there are a myriad of factors to consider when bowing to the almighty force of social convention. From modern matchmakers to LGBT liberty, this supplement supplies an important guide to the state of love in contemporary China. The mating habits of the Chinese have changed over the years, but there’s still tradition to be found around every corner. Whether it’s male sajiao-ing or leftover women, this issue has everything you need to get started on the horrifying road to love, dating, and marriage. Be it parents or social convention, there is a lot of pressure on young couples today to get a get married and have a baby, but the world has changed and China is changing with it.
2014 Influence Digital Issue
Today, there are any number of Chinese citizens changing the world in constructive and fascinating ways—scientists, entrepreneurs, journalists, activists, and so many more. This issue, we discuss and profile six very special Chinese personalities that have helped shape the modern world and how people think about the Middle Kingdom. There’s Wu Changhua, helping to put actions to climate change grandstanding; the famous Jack Ma and his Alibaba empire; Wang Jianlin, China’s property king; Chen Guangbiao, the clown prince of Chinese philanthropy; journalist Hu Xunli, dubbed China’s most dangerous woman; and there’s scientist Yuan Longping, whose contribution to the human race has been almost indescribably important. All of these people have made—or are going to make—essential contributions to society at large and as such play a role in how the world sees China and how China sees itself. Also this issue, you can take a look at the real price China has paid and is paying for its modern day gold rush, how the nation is facing up to the tragic crime of domestic violence, and how a combination of half-truths and plagiarism keep China in its self-help book boom.
2014 Ocean Digital Issue
China’s newfound wealth and power puts it in an interesting position to give the planet a whole new heading in the wet parts of the world. To start with, Xi Jingping’s opaque announcement of a new maritime silk road has put all hands at the ready in coastal cities throughout the world in the hopes of resurrecting a 2,000 year old lane of maritime economic traffic to link Fuzhou to Europe. However, China’s influence on the world’s oceans has not been wholly positive. In fact, China’s endless hunger for the oceans’ ecosystems is wreaking havoc on the environment; overfishing is a major problem, a difficulty China should be in the vanguard of fixing. There is, also, an area where China is changing the oceans far below the surface, very far indeed. China’s Jiaolong deep sea submersible, a marvel of engineering, is breaking records, able to reach over 99 percent of the planet’s oceans—7,000 meters straight down and below the abyss itself. Also this issue, you can learn about China’s internet addiction epidemic, how China’s gun culture is growing above and below the law, and how the Middle Kingdom came to be at the forefront of genomics. That’s just a taste of what we have in store this issue, so subscribe and enjoy.
2014 Food — China Chow
All of us enjoy a good nosh, and of all the varied aspects of Chinese culture, the one we experience the most is the glorious diversion of needless gluttony; on that front, China has so much to offer. This food supplement has everything from ancient recipes to food safety gurus and from pig feet to Southern cuisine to chase away the summer heat. So, be it street food or fine dining, this little bit of electronic pulp will put your taste buds into overdrive.
2014 Travel — China Wanderlust
From the majestic beauty of a Sichuan Shangri-La to bean curd in the alleys of Pingyao, travel in China never truly ends. Whether you’re a history buff or an adrenaline junkie, this supplement will tell you everything you need to know about travel in modern China through the eyes of both weekend warriors and adventurous trekkers. If you’re on the courageous side of the traveler spectrum, you’ll find guides for surviving long bus journeys and even a bum-a-ride guide for all you hitchhikers out there. For those who like a little more culture in their wayfaring, you can find the secrets of the Monkey King on Mount Emei to China’s most charming ancient villages.
2014 Issue 3: The TV Issue What’s wrong with Chinese TV, violence against doctors, and a long dead religion that shaped China—all that and more inside.
2014 Issue 2: The Crime Issue China, just like everywhere else in the world, has its problems with those how flout society’s laws, from cunning street hustlers to the drug peddling websites. This issue studies modern crime and some of China’s most famous lawbreakers, a look into China’s underbelly and the gray area that is legality. In this very special crime issue, we take a look at some of China’s most impressive police officers and their tales of daring do and good old fashioned deductive reasoning; rampant drug sales online and around the country; the industry of kidnapped children; and deep into the bleak world of the Middle Kingdom’s serial murderers.
2014 Issue1: The Red China Issue Fuel yourselves with revolutionary spirit, and drive the glorious proletariat toward a brighter future against the imperialist Western dogs! Or, ya know, don’t; it’s up to you really. Either way, this Red China issue has everything you will ever want to know about modern Maoism in China. Inside you can find China’s New Left movement, Cultural Revolution confessions, a Maoist Mecca in Henan Province, and the heart breaking tale behind the China’s national anthem.