Why you should care
Because the most populous country in the world — with 1.4 billion people — is full of surprises.
The polical and economic developments in China are now part of the daily news cycle. The greater stature in power the Asian nation gains, the more important it becomes to have an informed news media covering its impact on the world. But there are plenty of stories coming out of China not immediately connected to these well-trodden subjects that are slipping by, uncovered. That’s where OZY comes in. Our reporters have looked at the latest Chinese trends and found stories we know you’ll love, from state workers who are paid to watch porn to Indian gurus helping Chinese citizens achieve new Zen lifestyles. It turns out China is engaged in the world in ways few would have expected. Read on to find out more.
China’s wealthiest citizens are on the move – to the United States. Using high-priced “investment visas” to grease their move from China by promising to each create ten American jobs over two years, many of the country’s top high-rollers are already here. Last year, eight out of every ten investment visas issued by the U.S. went to Chinese millionaires eager to raise their kids in an environment less tainted by pollution and government corruption. But how will this affect the immigration enviroment in the U.S. if only the richest can afford to pay for green cards? Read more here to find out.
A 2010 leaked speech found the Chinese government was planning on removing itself from the global Internet. Having already erected the Great Firewall to prevent the country’s 600 million users from accessing “undesirable” sites like YouTube, the new web initiative would likely increase monitoring and censorship. Expected “features” will include party-friendly alternatives to Twitter and Facebook that would give Chinese users the illusion of open interaction. How will this technology be used? Read more here for the answer.
Liberating what was once one of the most sexually repressed societies in the world is no small task, but there is evidence of change. There’s widespread availability of pornography in China, as well as a growing acceptance of gay people and an expectation that having multiple partners is OK— not to mention a proliferation of masturbation contests posted on national media. But while a revolution invariably meets resistance, progress in China is expected to continue, even if it likely won’t resemble the United States in the 1960s. Read more here to find out how the old Maoist view of sex and relationships has changed.
In recent years, disputes over loan repayments multiplied and eventually started clogging up the Chinese court system. Last year alone, one million cases were filed, which led to many borrowers skipping town. China is taking steps to avoid these problems by building infrastructure strong enough to support a modern credit system through new credit bureaus and web-based banking. You might call it the Great Transparent Wall of China, where financial transgressions are no longer kept in the shadows. Read more here.
China has 39 million public servants on its payroll and many fill their working hours pushing paper and rubber-stamping. But others watch X-rated movies. What? Oh yea. That type of racy content is illegal in China so someone has to determine its legality. Other workers make money by playing video games and building up credits that get sold to other gamers. For those looking for more action, there’s the option of becoming a paid protestor, earning money for participating in pro-China rallies. Doesn’t it make you want to go to China and apply? Read more here.
Is there really Indian-type spirituality in atheist, communist China? You bet. With its growing affluence and global awareness, China is eager to catch up with citizens of other advanced countries and how they choose to spend their time and money. To that end, thousands of Chinese are flocking to Indian faith healers and yoga gurus in their search for tranquility. For the young, fast-tracking Chinese, modern Indian spiritual practices are being packaged in such a way that even a few minutes a day — devoted to meditation or yoga — delivers them peace of mind. All this, in a country known for clamping down on intellectual freedom. Read more here.