Crystal Tai

Crystal Tai

Crystal covers business trends and cultural criticism, with a special focus on Northeast Asia, for the Asia desk. Before joining the SCMP, she contributed to Quartz, i-D Magazine, Monocle, Wallpaper, Lonely Planet and other publications. Her broadcast commentary has been featured on BBC Radio, CGTN and other media.

Latest from Crystal Tai

Japan’s #KuToo movement says a high-heels dress code is workplace harassment

Activists want the government to revise laws on power harassment, or ‘pawa hara’, to include companies that force female employees to wear heels.

8 Dec 2019 - 9:50PM

Activists want the government to revise laws on power harassment, or ‘pawa hara’, to include companies that force female employees to wear heels.

Japan’s #KuToo movement says a high-heels dress code is workplace harassment
Poor, disabled, old: the forgotten voices of the Hong Kong protests

While many Hongkongers have been affected by six months of chaos, some of those hit the hardest – the poor, disabled and elderly – struggle in silence, as hard lives get even harder.

6 Dec 2019 - 2:54PM

While many Hongkongers have been affected by six months of chaos, some of those hit the hardest – the poor, disabled and elderly – struggle in silence, as hard lives get even harder.

Poor, disabled, old: the forgotten voices of the Hong Kong protests
In South Korea, Chinese and Korean students are clashing over Hong Kong protests

Korean students have found themselves at the centre of a political storm, in conflict with Chinese students over differing views on Hong Kong’s unrest.

22 Nov 2019 - 1:15PM

Korean students have found themselves at the centre of a political storm, in conflict with Chinese students over differing views on Hong Kong’s unrest.

In South Korea, Chinese and Korean students are clashing over Hong Kong protests
Fiery Hong Kong student protests evoke memory of South Korea’s own 1987 June Struggle

Images of tear gas-filled protests at Chinese University going viral alongside photos of the 1987 movement against strongman Chun Doo-hwan.

16 Nov 2019 - 4:31PM

Images of tear gas-filled protests at Chinese University going viral alongside photos of the 1987 movement against strongman Chun Doo-hwan.

Fiery Hong Kong student protests evoke memory of South Korea’s own 1987 June Struggle
From nirvana to starvation: the story of the Canadians who defended wartime Hong Kong

Alfred Babin was among a little known group of soldiers who fought for Hong Kong and spent years in a Japanese prisoner camp. His son says these 1,975 Canadians deserve greater recognition.

14 Nov 2019 - 10:23AM

Alfred Babin was among a little known group of soldiers who fought for Hong Kong and spent years in a Japanese prisoner camp. His son says these 1,975 Canadians deserve greater recognition.

From nirvana to starvation: the story of the Canadians who defended wartime Hong Kong
South Korean couples are breaking up over feminist film Kim Ji-young, Born 1982. Why?

The movie has shed light on the struggles of women in the country’s deeply patriarchal and conservative society. It has also exposed a chasm in perspectives between the genders that is proving too much for some romances to bear.

7 Nov 2019 - 11:24PM

The movie has shed light on the struggles of women in the country’s deeply patriarchal and conservative society. It has also exposed a chasm in perspectives between the genders that is proving too much for some romances to bear.

South Korean couples are breaking up over feminist film Kim Ji-young, Born 1982. Why?
What the ‘death by text’ of an Asian-American college student and Sulli’s K-pop tragedy say about toxic social media

The death of Alexander Urtula, whose South Korean girlfriend sent him thousands of abusive text messages, should force a rethink of laws and attitudes to social media and gender-based bullying, experts say.

18 Nov 2019 - 9:30AM

The death of Alexander Urtula, whose South Korean girlfriend sent him thousands of abusive text messages, should force a rethink of laws and attitudes to social media and gender-based bullying, experts say.

What the ‘death by text’ of an Asian-American college student and Sulli’s K-pop tragedy say about toxic social media
Campaigners urge Canada’s Trudeau to adopt US-style Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

The Canadian leader has kept relatively quiet regarding the Hong Kong protests, but campaigners hope that will change now the election is behind him. Others say he is unlikely to risk jeopardising trade with Beijing.

29 Oct 2019 - 12:45PM

The Canadian leader has kept relatively quiet regarding the Hong Kong protests, but campaigners hope that will change now the election is behind him. Others say he is unlikely to risk jeopardising trade with Beijing.

Campaigners urge Canada’s Trudeau to adopt US-style Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act
Forget Tinder, DNA matchmaking claims to have love down to a science

A growing number of lonely hearts are tapping into genetic testing in their search for a soulmate. Some governments see it as a fix for low birth rates, but experts warn that the science is far from conclusive.

18 Nov 2019 - 9:29AM

A growing number of lonely hearts are tapping into genetic testing in their search for a soulmate. Some governments see it as a fix for low birth rates, but experts warn that the science is far from conclusive.

Forget Tinder, DNA matchmaking claims to have love down to a science
Canada elections: Justin Trudeau hangs on to power after fighting for political survival

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will need to partner with smaller parties to govern after he won a second term in national elections that resulted in his government reduced to a minority.

22 Oct 2019 - 10:56PM

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will need to partner with smaller parties to govern after he won a second term in national elections that resulted in his government reduced to a minority.

Canada elections: Justin Trudeau hangs on to power after fighting for political survival
Why are Prince William and Kate Middleton praised for Pakistani outfits, when Trudeau’s turban was mocked in India?

Kate Middleton stayed the right side of respectful with her shalwar kameez in Pakistan, while Trudeau crossed the boundaries of taste with his turban in India.

17 Oct 2019 - 4:13PM

Kate Middleton stayed the right side of respectful with her shalwar kameez in Pakistan, while Trudeau crossed the boundaries of taste with his turban in India.

Why are Prince William and Kate Middleton praised for Pakistani outfits, when Trudeau’s turban was mocked in India?
The rise of ‘Shy Japan’ shoppers: how Koreans skirt boycott of firms like Uniqlo and Muji

A boycott of Japanese goods poses a dilemma for Korean fans of brands like Uniqlo and Muji. Some pretend to support the boycott while getting their fix another way – even if it means flying to Tokyo for a T-shirt.

16 Oct 2019 - 10:16AM

A boycott of Japanese goods poses a dilemma for Korean fans of brands like Uniqlo and Muji. Some pretend to support the boycott while getting their fix another way – even if it means flying to Tokyo for a T-shirt.

The rise of ‘Shy Japan’ shoppers: how Koreans skirt boycott of firms like Uniqlo and Muji
Could Hong Kong protests sway the Canadian election?

With the main parties neck and neck, the Conservative leader raises the issue in an appeal to both expats and the Chinese diaspora. It is a high-stakes gamble that risks alienating as many voters as it attracts

14 Oct 2019 - 12:05PM

With the main parties neck and neck, the Conservative leader raises the issue in an appeal to both expats and the Chinese diaspora. It is a high-stakes gamble that risks alienating as many voters as it attracts

Could Hong Kong protests sway the Canadian election?
Japan, Thailand and Singapore benefit as Chinese tourists skip Hong Kong over golden week

The likes of Saudi Arabia also saw an upswing in travellers from the mainland – but overall fewer Chinese tourists went abroad this year, with a 15 per cent drop from 2018 attributed to more opting to visit local historical sites.

14 Oct 2019 - 12:48PM

The likes of Saudi Arabia also saw an upswing in travellers from the mainland – but overall fewer Chinese tourists went abroad this year, with a 15 per cent drop from 2018 attributed to more opting to visit local historical sites.

Japan, Thailand and Singapore benefit as Chinese tourists skip Hong Kong over golden week
Why are Japan’s universities lagging so far behind their international peers?

Despite Prime Minister Abe’s plan to see 10 Japanese universities in the world’s top 100, rankings have slipped since 2013 – as a result, experts say, of a lack of English-language innovation, university funding and internationalisation

2 Oct 2019 - 8:40PM

Despite Prime Minister Abe’s plan to see 10 Japanese universities in the world’s top 100, rankings have slipped since 2013 – as a result, experts say, of a lack of English-language innovation, university funding and internationalisation

Why are Japan’s universities lagging so far behind their international peers?
Thinking big, living small: how people across Asia cope with tiny homes

Tight accommodation is a harsh reality for many residents of Asian cities where population density is high. Four tiny home dwellers offer their thoughts on living small.

25 Nov 2019 - 3:33AM

Tight accommodation is a harsh reality for many residents of Asian cities where population density is high. Four tiny home dwellers offer their thoughts on living small.

Thinking big, living small: how people across Asia cope with tiny homes
Muji, Marie Kondo, and Asia’s tiny house movement

If you thought your Hong Kong flat was small, would you live in a 100 sq ft hut in a forest? Believe it or not, a growing number of millennials are choosing to do so as part of the ‘tiny house movement’.

25 Nov 2019 - 3:33AM

If you thought your Hong Kong flat was small, would you live in a 100 sq ft hut in a forest? Believe it or not, a growing number of millennials are choosing to do so as part of the ‘tiny house movement’.

Muji, Marie Kondo, and Asia’s tiny house movement
K-pop’s top awards show MAMA to skip protest-hit Hong Kong for Japan’s Nagoya

Observers said the decision to move the Mnet Asian Music Awards away from Hong Kong showed the costs from potential disruptions and safety issues were more concerning than the bilateral row between Seoul and Tokyo.

25 Sep 2019 - 4:40PM

Observers said the decision to move the Mnet Asian Music Awards away from Hong Kong showed the costs from potential disruptions and safety issues were more concerning than the bilateral row between Seoul and Tokyo.

K-pop’s top awards show MAMA to skip protest-hit Hong Kong for Japan’s Nagoya
For some firms, Hong Kong’s unrest has brought an uptick in business

A handful of local and foreign companies are seeing opportunities in catering to increased demand from Hongkongers for overseas property and migration services.

23 Sep 2019 - 7:25AM

A handful of local and foreign companies are seeing opportunities in catering to increased demand from Hongkongers for overseas property and migration services.

For some firms, Hong Kong’s unrest has brought an uptick in business
Fallen K-pop star Park Yoo-chun ordered to pay woman in sex assault case

Park, popularly known as Micky, has been told to pay the woman more than US$80,000. She is one of four women to have made sexual assault claims against the troubled star.

17 Sep 2019 - 2:05PM

Park, popularly known as Micky, has been told to pay the woman more than US$80,000. She is one of four women to have made sexual assault claims against the troubled star.

Fallen K-pop star Park Yoo-chun ordered to pay woman in sex assault case
North Korean-themed restaurant in Seoul removes Kim portraits after social media outcry

Eatery that decorated its walls with a North Korean flag and propaganda-style messages such as ‘more alcohol for the comrades!’ is being probed by local police on suspicion of breaching the national security act.

16 Sep 2019 - 11:18PM

Eatery that decorated its walls with a North Korean flag and propaganda-style messages such as ‘more alcohol for the comrades!’ is being probed by local police on suspicion of breaching the national security act.

North Korean-themed restaurant in Seoul removes Kim portraits after social media outcry
How Hong Kong-set ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ became the Philippines’ top-grossing film of all time

Experts and fans say it captures the lives of overseas Filipino workers, who finally feel seen after often being regarded as invisible in their daily jobs.

8 Sep 2019 - 11:07PM

Experts and fans say it captures the lives of overseas Filipino workers, who finally feel seen after often being regarded as invisible in their daily jobs.

How Hong Kong-set ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’ became the Philippines’ top-grossing film of all time
As Germany debates calling its panda twins Hong and Kong, just how do pandas get named?

Panda twins born in Berlin’s zoo have sparked a national debate on China and panda diplomacy in Germany, with calls to name them Hong and Kong in recognition of the ongoing protests in the city.

6 Sep 2019 - 4:54PM

Panda twins born in Berlin’s zoo have sparked a national debate on China and panda diplomacy in Germany, with calls to name them Hong and Kong in recognition of the ongoing protests in the city.

As Germany debates calling its panda twins Hong and Kong, just how do pandas get named?
How Asia sees Carrie Lam’s withdrawal of Hong Kong extradition bill: ‘It’s welcome, but …’

Protesters in Hong Kong may have been scathing about the chief executive’s attempt to appease the public, but regional leaders have been a little more supportive

6 Sep 2019 - 12:06PM

Protesters in Hong Kong may have been scathing about the chief executive’s attempt to appease the public, but regional leaders have been a little more supportive

How Asia sees Carrie Lam’s withdrawal of Hong Kong extradition bill: ‘It’s welcome, but …’
6 events where Chinese students were involved in on-campus conflicts

From brawls over the Hong Kong protests to division over Tibet and Xinjiang’s Uygurs, political debate among Chinese students at Western universities has made headlines over the years. Here are six examples.

10 Aug 2019 - 11:46PM

From brawls over the Hong Kong protests to division over Tibet and Xinjiang’s Uygurs, political debate among Chinese students at Western universities has made headlines over the years. Here are six examples.

6 events where Chinese students were involved in on-campus conflicts
Hong Kong protests to Uygur camps: how Chinese students became a subject of scorn

Campus confrontations have erupted from Canada to New Zealand as mainland Chinese students react, sometimes violently, to public scrutiny of Beijing’s policies.

11 Aug 2019 - 12:48AM

Campus confrontations have erupted from Canada to New Zealand as mainland Chinese students react, sometimes violently, to public scrutiny of Beijing’s policies.

Hong Kong protests to Uygur camps: how Chinese students became a subject of scorn
South Korean fans call for ‘No Ronaldo’ ban after Juventus star sits out Seoul match

In Japan, though, Ronaldo may have gained some new fans who welcomed his decision to remain on the bench as an act of support for their country.

1 Aug 2019 - 4:30PM

In Japan, though, Ronaldo may have gained some new fans who welcomed his decision to remain on the bench as an act of support for their country.

South Korean fans call for ‘No Ronaldo’ ban after Juventus star sits out Seoul match
Toyota, Lexus, Honda and Nissan cars ‘kimchi slapped’ in South Korea amid rising trade tensions

As calls for Koreans to boycott Japanese goods continue over Tokyo’s export curbs, the country’s car owners have found their vehicles being subject to so-called kimchi terrorism, as angry passers-by hurl the fermented foodstuff.

28 Jul 2019 - 11:59AM

As calls for Koreans to boycott Japanese goods continue over Tokyo’s export curbs, the country’s car owners have found their vehicles being subject to so-called kimchi terrorism, as angry passers-by hurl the fermented foodstuff.

Toyota, Lexus, Honda and Nissan cars ‘kimchi slapped’ in South Korea amid rising trade tensions
Anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea brews as ‘trade war’ escalates

Some Japanese in South Korea are wary of discrimination but Zainichi or ethnic Koreans in Japan say xenophobia is an everyday reality.

24 Jul 2019 - 11:20PM

Some Japanese in South Korea are wary of discrimination but Zainichi or ethnic Koreans in Japan say xenophobia is an everyday reality.

Anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea brews as ‘trade war’ escalates
South Koreans want to avoid Muji, Daiso and Nintendo, but brand confusion could undermine any boycott of Japanese goods

Many South Koreans have vowed to boycott Japanese products – but in a globalised world, pinning down where something comes from can be easier said than done.

21 Jul 2019 - 6:52PM

Many South Koreans have vowed to boycott Japanese products – but in a globalised world, pinning down where something comes from can be easier said than done.

South Koreans want to avoid Muji, Daiso and Nintendo, but brand confusion could undermine any boycott of Japanese goods