"Murdering a guy together is how you really get to know someone...."

So begins our discussion with James Palmer, and you won't know how badly we're twisting his words out of context until you listen to the full show, which starts with us grilling James on "what you have to do to be part of Chinese business culture" and descends from there into stories of the sort of booze-and-ketamine-fuelled business dealmaking that seems to consist of a large amount of male business culture in China. But why? And what is happening to the whole industry under Xi Jinping's recent crackdown?

Haven't heard of our guest yet? James Palmer is one of our favorite long-form writers on contemporary China, who counts among his China-related books The Death of Mao: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Birth of the New China (short-listed for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 2012). James is also the author of a number of fantastic pieces from AEON magazine on China's post-1980s generation and the deliberate marginalization of the disabled. We hope you enjoy the show as much as we do.

iTunes has been spotty for everyone in China since the New Year. But if you are outside China and would like to use it to keep up-to-date on the Sinica show, you can subscribe using our private RSS feed. We also invite everyone to download this show as a standalone mp3 file to share with your friends. If you have questions or suggested topics, feel free to reach out to us anytime by email at sinica@popupchinese.com.
 said on
February 17, 2015
Is it just me or was this episode heavily edited? In several places Kaiser's voice quality changes drastically and bits seem to be spliced in or truncated. Also, a bit shorter than a typical Sinica episode. Still an interesting episode, but these things were a bit distracting.Just some constructive criticism. Keep up the good work.
 said on
February 17, 2015

Yeah. The original show was around 45 minutes long, but the bits that were cut were largely inaudible, or responses to something that was inaudible, due to problems with Kaiser's microphone.

Unfortunately, but it felt better running the show in its edited form than cutting it completely.

 said on
February 17, 2015
I see. In the past, when technical problems like that arose, I recall hearing Kaiser make a note of it when introducing the show, as well as a note on the page for that episode. That would have been nice. Thanks.
 said on
February 18, 2015
No disrespect, but having already read both the books Palmer cites, "Anxious Wealth" (2013) and "Red Lights" (2009), I struggled to find anything very original about his article "The Bro Code", competently written though it was.

All these annecdotes about KTV girls, massage parlours, hotel call-girls (accompanied by the usual sniggers) now have an embarrassingly shop-worn feel. Not quite sure why this merited a show.
 said on
February 23, 2015
Kaiser, When are we going to get Eric X Li

You mentioned in the past about potentially having him sometime in the future.

There was a new talk of his on Political Systems few weeks back at the Fullerton Lecture.

www.iiss.org/en/iiss voices/blogsections/iiss-voices-2015-dda3/february-04dc/eric-li-0cb6

He does very few talks, articles and even less interviews (if at all). You should be getting him. He is perfect for the show, controversial, unconventional, thought provoking, targeted at the English speaking audience, etc etc
Mark Lesson Studied