Trump-mania is all the rage these days among Chinese liberal intellectuals. The important question is — why?

Trump rally in Newtown, Bucks County, PA. By Michael Candelori. CC BY 2.0

Trump-mania is all the rage these days among Chinese liberal intellectuals. They gossip about him at dinner tables, read his tweets at @Trump_Chinese (which has almost 250 thousand followers), some even go as far as proclaiming him as the “savior of China,” a perplexing statement given Trump’s vitriolic anti-China stance.

This puzzling phenomenon can best be explained by beaconism, a concept formulated by Lin Yao, a Yale University scholar. …

Droughts, floods, famines, refugees, and rebellions

The Emperor’s Approach, painted on a silk scroll, Xuande reign period (1425–1435 AD). National Palace Museum. Public Domain

Almost a century before Christopher Columbus sailed for the Americas, the Chinese admiral Zheng He traveled southward along the maritime silk road and established tributary relations with more than thirty countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. His treasure ships — enormous behemoths loaded to the brim with silk and fine porcelain, became the stuff of legends in Sri Lanka, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond.

Behind Zheng He stood the Ming Dynasty, the largest economy of the world at the time. As Zheng He sailed the seven seas, the Ming Emperor ordered the construction of the Great Wall and the…

How China is winning with America wrecking the stage

Shenzhen Civic Center at Night. By Sparktour via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0

While Trump is jamming his fat fingers into TikTok and WeChat, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is busy hopping into various virtual conferences, reassuring international business leaders that China will continue to be a haven of capitalism for international corporations.

What a strange world we live in.

It is as if the two nations’ roles have been reversed — China, the new shining beacon of free market capitalism, and America — a pandemic ridden economy dominated by interventionist ideologues. …

Because Twitter just isn’t good enough

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

Socially generated data is all the rage these days. In the fields of marketing and political analysis, data from Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and even Reddit, has been employed for models aiming for deconstruction and predictions. However, data generated via social media is inherently biased, and often lacking in scope for modeling the behavior of large segments of the population.

Recently, I got in touch with my friend Yosef (pseudonym, he values his privacy), who is studying for his Master’s degree in Data Science at Oxford. He introduced me to a paper by Dr. Taha Yasseri, who employs traffic data…

On automation and flame wars between nations

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

I I have stopped writing for the past two months on Medium, because I needed time to think, and process. The world has been in a state of information overload, with news of depression, unemployment, and human tragedies dominating the headlines. Still, I believe we have entered a stage where one can attempt to speculate on a post-pandemic world, and the ramifications of COVID-19 in the long run.

In this essay, I’ve approached the question from two perspectives — one of automation (more specifically, Industry 4.0), and one of international relations, or rather the deterioration thereof. …

Recommendations from the Beijing Sci-Fi Club

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As a proud member of the Beijing Sci-Fi club - now meeting online due to COVID-19, I’ve read my share of eclectic science fiction short stories recommended by my peers.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite stories from the club, perfect for you quarantine reading list. If you wish to learn more about the club, click here.

1. Byzantium Empathy by Ken Liu

A tale of modern social impact, synthesizing blockchain and virtual reality.

2. Sort by Controversial by Scott Alexander

A deep-learning algorithm that spits out controversial statements destroys Reddit — then the world.

3. Utopia, LOL? by Jamie Wahls

In the future, post-Singularity humanity now exists entirely as uploaded consciousnesses in distributed Matryoshka brains. …

We need to prepare for the mental fallout of the coronavirus pandemic

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1–800–273–8255, or the NAMI helpline at (800) 950–6264.

Many of my fellow doctors are planning to quit after this pandemic. Our worlds have been turned upside down. As a doctor, I’ve witnessed helpless patients and dying colleagues. I feel desperate.

Dr. Jie Liu, Central Hospital of Wuhan

The fight against COVID-19 is not only physical, but mental as well. As hospitals operate with a critical shortage of protective equipment, as doctors make life and death decisions on which patients to save, as nurses pull insane shifts

Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

How the pandemic will shutter small businesses and force people onto the streets

My friend Sarah is an IT specialist. Meaning she repairs computers, set up networks, and works for a small business on the outskirts of Atlanta.

Sarah lives paycheck to paycheck. She drives a dingy red Toyota Yaris with an exposed gearshift that reeks of mold, hustles on the side as a warehouse worker, and pole-dances on Saturdays for fun.

Sarah messaged me at late last night. She told me her wages has been slashed, and she is incredibly stressed. …

Short answer: yes and no.

In the interest of brevity in this time of public panic, below are a few key findings from my research. If you wish to read more, then carry on:

  • Surgical mask is only nominally effective against COVID-19. It is most effective when used by infected individuals as it contains the spread of droplets emitted via coughing & sneezing.
  • Surgical masks are only effective when combined with regular hand washing / sanitizing.
  • N95 masks are NOT more effective than surgical masks against COVID-19 in a general public setting.
  • Social distancing, hand washing, and avoidance of face touching are still the best…

On ethical marketing & voting with your money

TikTok Logo. Public Domain

TikTok is all the rage these days, as marketers bang their heads together, looking for ways to capture the Gen Z market on this emerging platform.

But should we really pump money into a platform that censors and distorts on behalf of the Chinese regime, and is owned by a Chinese tech-giant known for its shady business practices?

As ethical practitioners of digital marketing, is it not our responsibility to cut the cash flow from the source, and stop feeding the beast?

Bingjiefu He

PR Consultant, Writer, China Expert. Currently job hunting. Visit my personal website at

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