Updated frequently, China Hush is a comprehensive blog about greater China issues that appeal to a wide audience including a lot of Chinese high quality content translated into English.
The site’s original intent was to create a community with a common interest in China and is a good resource for connecting with expats and Chinese across the country. Many of the posts are selected from Chinese websites, blogs and BBS sites and translated into English so that users who cannot read Chinese can also access the best of the PRC online.
Some of the selected stories are current news items; some are shocking, sad or inspiring; and others cover controversial issues or show cultural differences. Some are also just humourous and purely for entertainment and amusement. China Hush shows a different perspective, enabling foreigners to learn about Chinese cultures, lifestyles, trends, what Chinese people are talking about, and the latest memes in China.
A few of China Hush’s most popular articles include:
Since its inception in 2006, Lost Laowai has been providing no-nonsense information and commentary on China through articles, news and discussion posts. The website has been made for and is maintained by a group of expats in the PRC with a deep interest in their new home and as such promotes the idea of sharing thoughts and experiences to learn more about China.
Articles are organized by several categories: arts & entertainment, which includes items like fashion, food, health, film, photos, fiction; Chinese culture, politics, business, and law; a “learning Chinese” section which details some useful apps; and noteworthy, interesting news.
Of particular interest is the Expat Stuff section. This details advice (everything from visa issues and using squat toilets to getting an abortion and “China life hacks”), expat rants, warnings for what to do/not to do as a foreigner in the Middle Kingdom, interviews with foreigners working in different industries, and information on teaching English as a second language.
The “Bad Laowai” section provides some humorous news items on what hijinks foreigners have been involved in and how Chinese have responded. Find stories like “foreigner deafens doctor, trashes hospital and slaughters innocent fish” and “Canadian loses it in a train ticket office” and learn how to completely disrespect a different culture.
Irreverent, sometimes shocking, and always entertaining, chinaSMACK is one of my favourite resources for finding Chinese news and information online.
One of chinaSMACK’s best features is its translations of comments and debate occurring on China’s largest message boards/forums/social networking sites. This is a great way to find out what Chinese are feeling and thinking about what is happening in their country. It also allows foreigners to weigh in with their opinions and encourages discussion and commentary on news they would not have otherwise read about.
Stories range from corruption with officials, price hikes, strange deaths, rioting, sex scandals, government criticism, overseas Chinese, land-use rights, and so much more. There are also frequent posts of the most popular songs in China along with lyrics posted in Chinese, English, and pinyin. Popular photos being passed around by Chinese netizens are also posted along with explanations.
Often shut down or censored by the Chinese government due to its at times controversial posts, chinaSMACK is a good way to understand the culture, social issues, and growing pains of the PRC.
A glossary of Chinese internet language and slang is an interesting read and provides insight into the minds of China’s online generation.
China Elevator Stories
In China, it’s the little things that will make your day. It could be a conversation with a stranger in an elevator. Or in a cab. Or on a bus. On the metro. On a train. In a street side restaurant. In the supermarket. On the street. In public toilets. Or in other words, just anywhere you can imagine. China Elevator Stories captures these snippets of life in China and helps to communicate some of the culture and lives of everyday people.
The author of the site is an Austrian woman living in Shenzhen, married to a Chinese man, and publishes her stories of chats with locals three times a week. These conversations are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always well-written and indicative of what living in China is truly like. This is social and cultural commentary in its purest form.
“Daye [uncle] is still waiting for me to raise my glass. If it was only raising a glass! While you raise your glass, you also have to say a line that goes something like that: “Daye, I show you my respect (大爷, 我敬你).” I really don’t know how to do this.
When daye sees that I’m still not moving, he tells his sister-in-law: “I’m in a bad mood.”
She: “Just drop it. She doesn’t understand how this works.”
One of the premier resources for expats moving to China, eChinacities has it all: city-specific write-ups, major events, directories, and a massive database of articles on every possible topic related to living in China.
Article topics range widely: find useful articles on updated visa regulations and finding the correct visa application category to suit your circumstances; info on buying good air purifiers; making sense of rumours for travel during Golden Week; sex education in Chinese schools; Western recipes utilizing the limited resources in Chinese kitchens and supermarkets; street food and food safety; Chinese film; travel advice, and so forth.
Compiled by a number of locals and expats from across the country, the city guides are also useful introductions to the major metropolitan centers in China, providing details on the main tourist attractions, events, and news.
The Weird China News section is an interesting read and as the name suggests gives some pretty funny accounts of what is happening in the PRC.
The Answers section is a good place to have any questions answered in a variety of categories, including visas, law, safety, online censorship, money/banking, transportation, family, business, travel, and culture. The forums are also very active and have job postings from around the country as well as lots of Sino-centric debate and discussion.
CNNGo’s China section is unique from other PRC-related sites as it is completely made up of articles, be it news, entertainment, or informational. The website contains some interesting lists, for example:
Other articles are in-depth and well-written, providing interesting glimpses of China that may not have been otherwise discovered. Learn the top eight dishes to try when visiting Nanjing, read about how to ride a mountain steam train near Chengdu, check out ‘mini-guides’ on some tier 2 cities, find out the location of Beijing’s alleged most haunted spots, and learn all you need to know about every variant of dumpling.
News articles are insightful and current, too: Justin Beiber’s Great Wall escapade, issues with drunk and disrespectful expats in Shanghai, Beijing’s micro-brewery boom, and other pieces.
What I have found very special about CNNGo’s articles is that they have some measure of credibility and journalistic quality to them. Pictures are high quality and information is accurate and current. This is great site to explore, read, and learn from, and is highly recommended for an overview on China.