George Chen is Managing Editor for International Edition. He muses about the interplay between the two financial centres, Shanghai and Hong Kong, in his Mr. Shangkong columns online and in print. George, a 2014 Yale World Fellow, is the author of two books about China and Hong Kong. Follow George on Twitter: @george_chen

Beijing risks losing an entire generation

In the short term, both the Occupy Central protesters and the Hong Kong government are losers.

I guess very few people, even the Occupy Central co-founders and student leaders, ever expected the pro-democracy movement could be so big and last so long.

Monday, 3 November, 2014, 1:15pm 16 comments

Time for C.Y. Leung to take reality check

Tung Chee-hwa has come out in verbal support for Leung Chun-ying.

One hand cannot clap and in a democratic society, no government can succeed without the trust and support of the people.

27 Oct 2014 - 9:17am 42 comments

Sincerity is prerequisite for fruitful talks

Former US president Jimmy Carter said the government should at least "honour the students' spirit". Photo: AP

It has been increasingly clear that negotiation will be the only solution to peacefully end the Occupy Central movement. But what are the chances of the protesters and government reaching an agreement?

20 Oct 2014 - 7:11am 3 comments

What did Premier Li really try to say about Occupy Central?

If Li’s latest message is well received among Hongkongers and inside the government, the next step must be negotiations between the protesters and the government.

For the first time since the outbreak of the Occupy Central movement last month,  Premier Li Keqiang has offered some clues on how Beijing wants to see the pro-democracy protests brought to an end.

13 Oct 2014 - 6:21am 10 comments

Generalist or specialist?

The Main Building of University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Arts. Photo: SCMP

If you want to be a journalist, do you really need to study journalism for your first bachelor degree at university?

8 Oct 2014 - 4:13pm 1 comment

It's never too late to start talking

Demonstrators argue with each other outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg

I'm struggling to imagine what could happen next in Hong Kong and what the worst case scenario could be over the next few days.

6 Oct 2014 - 10:22am 2 comments

Beijing's closed door meeting with Hong Kong tycoons erodes trust

Tycoons meet Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. In the front row are K Wah Group's Lui Che-woo; Wharf's Peter Woo; Kerry Group's Robert Kuok; Henderson Land's Lee Shau-kee; Cheung Kong's Li Ka-shing; and former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa. Photo: Joyce Ng

We all know how busy Chinese president Xi Jinping can be, so when he calls for a meeting, it must be top priority. For the richest Hong Kong tycoons, it is unusual to meet Xi in a group meeting, particularly to discuss politics rather than business.

29 Sep 2014 - 4:17am 15 comments

The tale of Alibaba and GSK a sign of China's rise on world stage

Many mainland media claimed the listing of Alibaba signalled a new era in which Chinese enterprises will challenge their American peers.

Alibaba celebrated its landmark US$21.8 billion listing in New York on Friday - the largest IPO in American history - on the same day that GlaxoSmithKline was hit by a record fine of US$500 million imposed by the central government.

22 Sep 2014 - 11:24am 2 comments

What’s so special about ‘Yale kids’?

File photo of the Branford College courtyard at Yale University. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Since I began my life and studies at Yale University, one question I have frequently been asked by friends in China is:  what’s so special about Yale?

25 Sep 2014 - 7:13pm 36 comments

No 1 risk for investing in Alibaba is Chinese politics

Beijing's support is a key factor in Alibaba's success.

What is the biggest risk for investors in China's e-commerce giant Alibaba? In one word: politics.

15 Sep 2014 - 4:47am

Beijing to Hong Kong: you can vote, but we select the candidates

The skyline of Hong Kong is seen through a fence at the Peak in Hong Kong September 10, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Seventeen years after taking control of Hong Kong, pledging universal suffrage for the territory, Beijing has made one-person one-vote meaningless by giving itself sole prerogative over choosing the candidates. As Hong Kong reels from the shock of this reversal of democratisation trend, the international community wonders about Hong Kong’s future and its standing in the eyes of the world. 

12 Sep 2014 - 12:40pm 4 comments

A 'correct' understanding of education in China

Fudan University noted it would soon change its internal evaluation system to make sure professors would have a "correct understanding" of China's social and economic problems.

What is the purpose of education? Why are parents so keen to send children to top universities? What can our students really achieve with the help of education?

8 Sep 2014 - 9:42am 4 comments

Rumbling PLA carriers in Hong Kong set minds rolling

About 20 armoured vehicles are seen at PLA Gun Club Hill Barracks. Photo: Dickson Lee

If there is one issue sure to make the business community nervous about the future of Hong Kong, it is the prospect of the leaders in Beijing miscalculating the political situation in the city.

30 Sep 2014 - 4:22pm 28 comments

Which one fits: Hongkonger or Chinese?

In Hong Kong, many people are facing a so-called "identity crisis".

Have you ever found yourself pausing for a second when people ask you where you come from? If you are like me, born in one place before moving to another to make a living, you may understand what I am saying.

25 Aug 2014 - 7:08am 14 comments

Spoilt child or not, Hong Kong merits attention

Li Ka-shing said earlier this year that Hong Kong is behaving like "a spoilt child".

Li Ka-shing drew criticism from many when he warned in an interview earlier this year that Hong Kong is behaving like "a spoilt child".

18 Aug 2014 - 6:35am 7 comments