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Chinese Film Stars

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Zhang Ziyi is one of China's hottest actresses, and over the course of a fairly short career (so far) she has managed to conquer both Hollywood and Chinese film, and work with China's greatest directors.

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Chinese Culture Spotlight10

Hong Kong Film's Elder Statesman

Monday April 21, 2014

Ah, Jackie Chan. These days, he seems to be as famous for putting his foot in his mouth as he is for making films, but it's important to remember that whatever you think of his political beliefs, this man is a huge figure in the world of Chinese film. His success in Hollywood is particularly notable because it has paved the way for future Chinese stars, and his contributions to Hong Kong kung fu films are unassailable.

If you're not familiar with any of his work, the Police Story films are a good place to start. Other good options include 1978's Drunken Master or, if you're in the mood for something much newer and much more Hollywood, Rush Hour.

An Intro to Tencent

Monday April 21, 2014

If you want to understand the Chinese internet market, you sort of have to start with Tencent. After all, you can barely even have a conversation with Chinese people online or on mobile these days without some kind of Tencent account. And if you like to play games or surf the web, chances are you'll come across a lot of other Tencent products on your sojourn through the Chinese web.

The company has a reputation as a bit of a copycat, but it remains popular in China because it executes ideas well and promotes them effectively. WeChat may have been, in some ways, a similar product to WhatsApp, for example, but Tencent fine-tuned the idea for Chinese users and did a great job of hyping it up in the market.

Cao Cao: Hero or Villain?

Monday April 21, 2014
If you've read about Cao Cao in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, you know the answer you're supposed to give. This guy is a conniving villain! History, as usual, is a bit less black and white. But only a bit. Cao Cao was a real historical figure who lived and waged war during the Three Kingdoms period, just as the novel suggests. And he really was known for being unnecessarily harsh at times (and occasionally massacring the families of his enemies). He may not have been quite the storybook villain he comes off as in some re-tellings these days, but he was not the kind of guy you'd necessarily want to make angry, either.

More media bluster

Monday April 21, 2014

When it comes to Chinese newspapers, they don't get more entertaining than The Global Times. The broadsheet has a reputation for being one of China's most bombastic nationalist rags, and even in English, it rarely disappoints. The editorial section is often a very amusing or very disturbing read, depending on your point of view.

The English version was originally launched to try to create a Chinese media brand that could compete with Western behemoths. On that count it has certainly failed so far, and as long as it remains under the control of the Chinese government, it will likely continue to do so.

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