Why US trash ends up in China (not because labor is cheaper!)

From Susan Jake’s LARB review of Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter:

The reason most US trash flows to China is not, as is popularly believed, because of China’s low cost of labor and weak environmental protection (or, at least, not primarily). If it were, Minter says, we’d send our trash to Sudan, and Sudan wouldn’t be sending its…

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Dispatch from Shenzhen: selfie sticks, karaoke mics and Shenzhen-speed urbanization

Editor’s note: As part of her ongoing research, An Xiao Mina was recently in Shenzhen, visiting makers, manufacturers and the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture. Below are some highlights from her recent Instagram posts, and stay tuned for the follow up post.

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Announcing the 88 Bot! (aka Group Retweet Bot)

Over here at 88 Bar, a number of us are tweeting about China, Chinese-related things, and just interesting topics in general.  And while we recognize the value of maintaining a strong social media presence, our @88_bartenders Twitter account admittedly hasn’t received as much attention as it should.  After a bit of brainstorming, we realized we needed a new member to our team —…

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Four Thoughts on Ai Weiwei’s Gangnam Style: Meme-ing as Activism

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Until recently, I hadn’t seen Ai Weiwei’s Gangnam Style remix, but I definitely heard about it.  Everyone on my social media feeds has been talking about, and people have emailed it to me.  I’ve seen hilarious-looking pictures and read the commentary. But I’ve just not been able to sit down and watch it.

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Hong Kong Citizens’ Online, Memetic Protest

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Like pretty much anyone else paying attention to the story, I was stunned to see the images of protests in Hong Kong, with people of all ages donning black to rail against Beijing’s plan to enact national education.  Hong Kongers deemed it brainwashing, a paternalistic move from Beijing to inculcate the special territory into its ways.  The sheer scale of…

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China’s “Fat Police Officer” Terrorizes Everything [TLN]

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Today we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Tea Leaf Nation, a new web site dedicated to pulling insights from China’s lively microblogsphere.  Their team, scattered around the world, have shared some amazing insights, offering translations, context and images, all with a touch of quirky humor.  I had the pleasure of working with TLN’s founder,…

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Chinese Weibos: The Meme Behind the Titanic 3D Censorship Hoax

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Titanic 3D is out.  Yes, we all know this, the world over.  The film is expected to make hundreds of millions in China alone.

But it will be missing the nudity scene.  I remember watching the Colbert Report and seeing James Cameron report that the reason it was cut was because censors feared…

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