Despite losing almost a dollar for every dollar of revenue last year, Chinese Facebook clone 人人网 made a spectacular launch on Wall Street last week, raising $743.4 million in a crazed initial public offering. So it's no surprise that Wall Street is on our agenda again today, along with Chinese reactions to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and a curious foreign investment play by a shady Chinese company. We also touch briefly on China's new Internet regulatory overlords and the long-gone May 4th movement.

With Kaiser away in New York, Sinica is chaired this week by Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei fame, who is joined in our studio by the ever-stalwart Gady Epstein and China public relations expert Will Moss. We're also privileged to be joined by Charles Custer of the China Geeks translation blog, as well as Jeremiah Jenne, Dean of Chinese Studies at the IES program in Beijing. So listen up and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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 said on
May 7, 2011
Interesting podcast..though its hard not to cock an eyebrow at a white South African bleeting breezily about American Imperialism. Im not sure history is that old yet.
 said on
May 8, 2011
Picks were Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, Ghost Wars by Steve Coll. New Henry Kissinger book on China (not out yet). Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War and other writing by Andrew J. Bacevich. Non-book related the DiTan Park Folk Festival in Beijing got a shout out. Jeremy recused himself from suggesting something to spare us the drab and depressing shit he recently read.
 said on
May 9, 2011
user20395: That is precisely my point: Even white South Africans feel they can, as you put it, bleet breezily about American imperialism. It's not just Chinese who reacted to Bin Laden's death with less than joy. I am not saying this attitude is right. - Jeremy
 said on
May 9, 2011
Jeremy and team,

Given that the US and China both cast a long shadow over international affairs, it isn't surprising that people disenfranchised from either country might have mixed emotional reactions.

That said, what I find disturbing about China's reaction personally is that Western opposition to the execution is centered is discussions of morality, as with the Archbishop of Canterbury's "no man is an island" stance, or Noam Chomsky's short post reminding us that the Taliban had offered to give Bin Laden up back in 2001. People are questioning both the means and the end.

But I don't hear the same thing from Chinese people at all. And I've *never* once heard a Chinese person invoke abstract morality or a preference for promoting international law in this case. People take realpolitik for granted, and I suspect this is one of the most striking things about the way media controls in China play out: forceful intelligent commentary that challenges the state is quickly purged from public discourse, leaving only the patriotic fenqing rabble it is considered safe to ignore.

 said on
May 11, 2011
Wait... what? Did he just say that he felt a little flutter of joy, or at least grim satisfaction at 9/11? That's pretty vile, and I'm not sure a half-hearted 'but it was just for a moment' kind of qualification really makes it better. You can't disown an opinion and then immediately tell us you'd felt the same way.
 said on
May 16, 2011
I think it might not be so unnatural for non-American observers of 911 to have had brief reactions like Jeremy's.

I'm from the US, and even I can see how airplanes crashing into two huge towers would seem symbolic of the US getting its comeuppance. Even if the world really does need dicks like America to fuck the assholes of the world (as of course posited in the treatise on international relations, Team America), then it’s still kinda funny when the US’s dick burns when it pees or gets an oozing peenogash.

Have you never felt one of those little joy-flutters back in the day when you thought your high school might have caught fire...? A little fuck-the-man, Armageddon's-coming euphoria?

I felt it for a few seconds when I first heard the then-vague news that there were riots in Western China, even though I live in China, and, on the whole, I like the place/country/people. Anyone else feel a surge of a smile coming on that you were just barely able to mask when you first heard the news? "Oh snap, shit hit the fan."

I'll bet there are tons of people who have the same feeling toward the US that I do toward China. I'm not from here, so I'm not tangled up in patriotism on a deep emotional level, but I generally like most things about it. I also, however, have promised myself to burn shit down when I’ve had visa issues or China was being a dick about some issue I cared about.

So, did the abstract idea of riots in the west get my panties wet? Yeah, a little. But was I happy at the thought of actual people dying/getting beaten up? ‘Course not. That said, Jeremy’s probably more of a sicko than me – I can hear it in his voice.

Great podcast as always.

 said on
May 16, 2011
I really respect Jeremy for his willingness to say what he thinks even when it isn't politically correct. Another case I can think of was his pointing out - quite truthfully I think - that throughout most of the world no-one really gives a damn if Iran has nuclear weapons.

It seems to me that the alternative to this sort of honesty is self-censorship, which makes it somewhat ironic to get this sort of thing in a podcast coming out of China.
 said on
May 17, 2011
Schadenfreude is a despicable reaction to events like 911, but if you ignore it, you cannot understand reactions to the event by many Chinese people and people from many other countries. -- Jeremy
 said on
May 18, 2011
It seems these Schadenfreude reactions to disasters in China or the U.S. by one towards the other are pretty evenly distributed. Sharon Stone, of course, expressed her proverbial "thats- what- you -get" after the earth quake in 四川。 We can trade examples like these forever, but I think progress will never be made (whatever that entails) if we always play the hypocrisy card. I found myself playing it when talking to my Chinese friends and even my Chinese fiancée when discussing relations between the two countries. Eventually we get stuck in a moral word association game: Tibet: Iraq ; Tiananmen: Watts; Uyghur: African Americans, and so it goes. The only conclusion we come to is everyone is a piece of shit so don't bother me.
 said on
May 23, 2011

Interesting, I wonder if you could have a policy of putting links to blogs or writers that you mentioned in the podcast. You mentioned a blog - something like chinageek (?) It would be good not to have to go through the recording again just to find out what the blog was called...

Keep up the good work!!!
 said on
May 24, 2011

The link is It's actually linked up in the intro, but we'll try to be better about linking to stuff in the comments as well.


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