What to Read to Stay Up on China

Our China lawyers are constantly asked what to read to stay up on China and our responses truly vary.

A couple of our lawyers read almost exclusively Chinese language media and social media, believing anything else is at least somewhat filtered. Another of our lawyers insists everyone should start their day reading the South China Morning Post, the Economist, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, many of which require a subscription, but some of which do not, especially if you do not read all that much of them. One of our international trade lawyers (a true policy wonk) seems to read just about everything.

In other words, we didn’t really have a great answer. Until now.

A client sent me a list of SupChina “sources” and asked me what I think of it. I think it is fantastic and not just because our blog is on there and not just because I (and just about everyone else think SupChina and its Sinica podcast are fantastic). SupChina says it reads 150+ sites a day to help determine what it should write and it lists the following as its “top seven” English language sites for their ability “to sift through the noise to present a clear, coherent, concise picture of a complex China.”

These are all great sites and all of them have been in my feed for many years. But if you want to just focus on business (and not China’s tech or cultural scene, I would cut out all but the SCMP (Okay, so I’m the lawyer mentioned above who is always pushing the SCMP, I admit it).

SupChina then lists the following “really good sources….you should look at, listed alphabetically:

I have to confess that I only know about half of these sites and regularly read maybe 20 percent of those. Far too many of these are too narrow or too focused on Chinese culture for my taste. Fortunately, SupChina describes each of the above sufficient to allow you to determine which of these sites are likely to suit your China interests.

SupChina also lists out its recommended Twitter Accounts, China Podcasts, China Newsletters, State and Mainstream Chinese Media, Chinese Video Reporting, Chinese Social Media, and Media from Around the World.

Next time I get asked what someone should read to keep up on China, I will direct them to the SupChina China Sources List and tell them to pick their favorites from that. Note that this list comes from 2017, but I did not see any publications on it that are no more nor could I think of any worthy publications not on it.

But hey, if you think there is something on there that should be removed either because it no longer exists or just isn’t that good, please let us know with a comment. Similarly, if you think there is anything that belongs on this list that is not on it, please let us know that too.