Xi Jinping: Digital 'little red book' tops App Store in China

  • 15 February 2019
China's President Xi Jinping applauds during a celebration meeting Image copyright Getty Images

China's most popular app over the last few days has been one that's red in face and at heart.

With a scarlet logo reading "study" in Chinese, or "study Xi" as an ingenious pun, the app aims at shaping the nation's minds under Xi Jinping's presidency.

Launched on the first day of the year by the central propaganda department, members of the ruling Communist Party have been required to download and use it on a daily basis.

So have civil servants, state-owned company employees and public school teachers, even those who aren't Party members.

The app, "Study (Xi) Strong Country," started to climb up the rankings in late January and became the most downloaded free app on China's App Store on Tuesday, surpassing some phenomenally big hitters like WeChat and TikTok, known as Weixin and Douyin in the local market, according to mobile analytics firm App Annie.

Image copyright Study Xi Strong Country

Read full article Xi Jinping: Digital 'little red book' tops App Store in China

Huawei confident in uncomfortable times

  • 25 January 2019
A hostess waits as journalists arrive for a press conference and launch of new 5G Huawei products at the Huawei Beijing Executive Briefing Centre Image copyright AFP
Image caption The company launched its 5G network technology at a special event in Beijing

Huawei has a public relations problem - to put it mildly.

Last week, Oxford University said it had decided to decline new research grants from the giant Chinese telecoms company.

Read full article Huawei confident in uncomfortable times

Peppa Pig: China falls for an unlikely UK brand ambassador

  • 22 January 2019
Undated handout photo supplied by Peppa Pig World of a poster for Peppa Pig celebrating Chinese New Year Image copyright PA

She's unlikely to feature on many lists of the all-time top British cultural icons.

But Peppa Pig - the UK-made children's cartoon character - is right up there with the best of them, at least in China.

Read full article Peppa Pig: China falls for an unlikely UK brand ambassador

Zhao Ziyang: A reformer China's Communist Party wants to forget

  • 17 January 2019
Picture dated 17 October 1980 in Beijing of Zhao Ziyang, Image copyright Getty Images

In a small, central Beijing courtyard, family and friends are gathering to pay tribute to Zhao Ziyang - the most powerful man in China to oppose the decision to send tanks into Tiananmen Square nearly 30 years ago.

He was subsequently erased from Chinese history for what party officials deemed his "serious mistakes" that day.

Read full article Zhao Ziyang: A reformer China's Communist Party wants to forget

Xi Jinping game show: How well do you know China's leader?

  • 4 October 2018
Xi Jinping game show Image copyright Hunan TV

It's dinnertime in China, the evening news has just aired, and primetime TV-watchers are settling down for the real entertainment of the night.

"Let's listen to President Xi's speeches and comprehend his thought," enthusiastically declares the host of a game show called, yes, "Studying Xi in the New Era".

Read full article Xi Jinping game show: How well do you know China's leader?

Movie madness: Why Chinese cinemas are empty but full

  • 31 August 2018
A newly installed cinema seating at Beijing's Daguanlou movie theatre Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chinese movie theatres may appear to be sold out online, but in reality could be completely empty

For a country which will soon assume the mantle of the world's largest cinema audience, China comes out with a surprising number of big budget B-grade flops.

Some blame this on censorship, others on a lack of creativity but there are also those who see a more sinister force at work, which has nothing to do with film-making.

Read full article Movie madness: Why Chinese cinemas are empty but full

Beijing Olympics 2008: A hope lost or fulfilled?

  • 8 August 2018
Fireworks light up the sky as paramilitary policemen stand guard outside the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Bird's Nest stadium where the Olympics were held is one of Beijing's most famous buildings

Ten years ago this week, the Beijing Olympic Games drummed themselves onto television screens across the globe.

It brought waves of hype in China that the country was preparing to celebrate not only a festival of sport but the return of the "Middle Kingdom" to the centre of the universe.

Read full article Beijing Olympics 2008: A hope lost or fulfilled?

Trump-Kim Summit: Three questions about China's role

  • 11 June 2018
China"s President Xi Jinping reviews honour guards during a welcome ceremony with Kyrgyzstan"s President Sooronbai Jeenbekov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 6, 2018. Image copyright AFP
Image caption China is Pyongyang's only ally, and Washington's most powerful rival

As the US and North Korea prepare for their historic summit, China is the elephant in the room.

Beijing is Pyongyang's only significant, long-standing ally, as well as Washington's most powerful, long-term strategic rival.

Read full article Trump-Kim Summit: Three questions about China's role

Looking for Rohmer challenges China's cinematic gay taboo

  • 10 May 2018
A still from Looking for Rohmer, picture taken from the film's official official account on Weibo Image copyright Weibo
Image caption Looking for Rohmer tells the story of love and friendship between two men

A low-budget film has made headlines in China, not for its glowing success at the box office or critical acclaim, but simply because it made it into cinemas at all.

Looking for Rohmer, adapted from a novel, is a story of love and friendship between two men, one Chinese the other French. A co-production between China and France, the film was shot in Tibet, Provence, Paris and Beijing.

Read full article Looking for Rohmer challenges China's cinematic gay taboo

Will China beat the world to nuclear fusion and clean energy?

  • 18 April 2018
Image caption China says it's ahead in the global race for nuclear fusion

In a world with an ever-increasing demand for electricity and a deteriorating environment, Chinese scientists are leading the charge to develop what some see as the holy grail of energy.

The BBC's Stephen McDonell was given rare access to their facility in Anhui province.

Read full article Will China beat the world to nuclear fusion and clean energy?