Our China lawyers are constantly asked what to read to stay up on China and our responses truly vary. One of our lawyers reads almost exclusively Chinese language media and social media, believing that anything else is at least somewhat filtered. Another of our lawyers insists that everyone should start their day reading at least 3-4 of the South China Morning Post, the Economist, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, many of which require a subscription, but some of which do not, especially if you do not read all that much of them. One of our international trade lawyers (a true policy wonk) seems to read just about everything.
In other words, we don’t really have a great answer. Until now.
A client sent me a list of SupChina “sources” and asked me what I think of it. I think it is fantastic and not just because this blog is on there and not just because I (and just about everyone else think SupChina and its Sinica podcast are fantastic). SupChina says it reads 150+ sites a day to help it determine about what it should write and it lists the following as its “top seven” English language sites for their ability “to sift through the noise to present a clear, coherent, concise picture of a complex China.”
These are all great sites and all of them have been in my feedly feed for many years. But if you want to just focus on business (and not China’s tech or cultural scene, I would cut out all but the SCMP (Okay, so I’m the lawyer mentioned above who is always pushing the SCMP, I admit it).
SupChina then lists the following “really good sources….you should look at, listed alphabetically:
- The Africa China Reporting Project
- The Beijinger
- The China Africa Project
- China Africa Research Initiative
- China Channel
- The China Collection
- China Daily Show
- China Dialogue
- China Digital Times
- China Film Insider
- China Heritage
- China Internet Watch
- China Labour Bulletin
- China Law Blog
- China Law Translate
- China Media Project
- China Policy
- China Policy Institute: Analysis
- China Sports Insider
- China-US Focus
- Chinese politics from the provinces
- Chublic Opinion
- The Cleaver Quarterly
- The Harbinger
- Jing Daily
- NPC Observer
- Paper Republic
- Radii China
- The World of Chinese
- Yicai Global
I have to confess that I only know about half of these sites and regularly read maybe 20 percent of those. Far too many of these are too narrow or too focused on Chinese culture for my taste. Fortunately, SupChina gives a brief description of each of the above sufficient to allow you to determine which of these sites are likely to suit your China interests.
SupChina also lists out its recommended Twitter Accounts, China Podcasts, China Newsletters, State and Mainstream Chinese Media, Chinese Video Reporting, Chinese Social Media, and Media from Around the World.
Next time I get asked what someone should read to keep up on China, I will direct them to the SupChina China Sources List and tell them to pick their favorites from that. Note that this list comes from 2017, but I did not see any publications on it that are no more nor could I think of any worthy publications not on it.
But hey, if you think there is something on there that should be removed either because it no longer exists or just isn’t that good, please let us know with a comment. Similarly, if you think there is anything that belongs on this list that is not on it, please let us know that too.
UPDATE: Not fair I know, (but who even before the college cheating scandal actually believed life was fair?) but the site I would add to the above is our own China Law Blog Facebook page, which until fairly recently was little more than an afterthought. It has more than doubled its followers in less than a year and it now has more than 24,000 followers (I base this on its number of “likes”) and it is the rare post that does not engender discussion, often heated. With no government there to restrain us, we can be a lot more free-wheeling there than anywhere else and we are. Hardly a day goes by without someone plaintively asking us either why we hate China or why we give it so much slack. With all the tension that has been going on between China and the US these days (much of which cannot be discussed here without repercussions) our Facebook page has truly become a key source for helping figure out what is happening. It also has its lighter side as we often will just post cool pictures of China or really whatever strikes our fancy about China. I urge you to go there and “like” us so you can consistently benefit from what we are doing there.