Elaine Yau

Elaine Yau

Based in Beijing, Elaine is a senior reporter on the culture desk. She covers food, fashion, travel, health and fitness, music, film and TV, arts, lifestyle, as well as insider tips on the best of Beijing. She studied translation in Hong Kong and taught secondary English before joining the South China Morning Post.

Latest from Elaine Yau

China’s cancer patients hit by new law on experimental drug treatments not approved by government

The law, which came into effect on December 1, forbids pharmaceutical firms giving patients drugs from unapproved clinical trials, but cancer sufferers benefiting from the drug courses want their treatment to continue.

12 Dec 2019 - 10:19AM

The law, which came into effect on December 1, forbids pharmaceutical firms giving patients drugs from unapproved clinical trials, but cancer sufferers benefiting from the drug courses want their treatment to continue.

China’s cancer patients hit by new law on experimental drug treatments not approved by government
Asian TV bosses prioritise original content to challenge Netflix, from nature and history documentaries to reality-TV shows

To defend their home markets against the challenge of global streaming platforms and grow audiences overseas, Asian media firms are making more original content, including co-productions.

9 Dec 2019 - 7:47PM

To defend their home markets against the challenge of global streaming platforms and grow audiences overseas, Asian media firms are making more original content, including co-productions.

Asian TV bosses prioritise original content to challenge Netflix, from nature and history documentaries to reality-TV shows
A Chinese Netflix? Bilibili makes a play for Gen Z viewers in China with documentaries and reality shows co-produced by overseas partners such as the BBC

Video-sharing website Bilibili is partnering with overseas content producers on documentaries and reality shows geared to the youthful end of the Chinese market.

3 Dec 2019 - 8:04PM

Video-sharing website Bilibili is partnering with overseas content producers on documentaries and reality shows geared to the youthful end of the Chinese market.

A Chinese Netflix? Bilibili makes a play for Gen Z viewers in China with documentaries and reality shows co-produced by overseas partners such as the BBC
Chemical in home renovations linked to child leukaemia, lymphoma cases in China; more than 70 per cent come from homes recently renovated, doctor says

Formaldehyde, widely used in building materials and furniture, suspected by doctor as cause of rising admissions of children with blood cancers at top hospital in southwest China.

1 Dec 2019 - 7:49PM

Formaldehyde, widely used in building materials and furniture, suspected by doctor as cause of rising admissions of children with blood cancers at top hospital in southwest China.

Chemical in home renovations linked to child leukaemia, lymphoma cases in China; more than 70 per cent come from homes recently renovated, doctor says
Michelin Guide Beijing gives three stars to Xin Rong Ji in inaugural list of city’s best restaurants

Xin Rong Ji was the only restaurant to be awarded three stars by the prestigious guide in its first edition for Beijing. Vegetarian restaurant King’s Joy and Wulixiang Shanghai Cuisine each received two stars, while 20 restaurants were awarded one star.

29 Nov 2019 - 12:24AM

Xin Rong Ji was the only restaurant to be awarded three stars by the prestigious guide in its first edition for Beijing. Vegetarian restaurant King’s Joy and Wulixiang Shanghai Cuisine each received two stars, while 20 restaurants were awarded one star.

Michelin Guide Beijing gives three stars to Xin Rong Ji in inaugural list of city’s best restaurants
Hong Kong film stars choose Golden Roosters over Golden Horse Awards on a night when who was where mattered nearly as much as who won what

Andy Lau, Chow Yun-fat and both Tony Leungs among the Hong Kong stars who, forced to choose between awards in mainland China and Taiwan, picked the former; Hong Kong’s Dante Lam wins Golden Rooster for best director.

24 Nov 2019 - 6:48PM

Andy Lau, Chow Yun-fat and both Tony Leungs among the Hong Kong stars who, forced to choose between awards in mainland China and Taiwan, picked the former; Hong Kong’s Dante Lam wins Golden Rooster for best director.

Hong Kong film stars choose Golden Roosters over Golden Horse Awards on a night when who was where mattered nearly as much as who won what
Remember Xu Jiao? Stephen Chow’s CJ7 co-star is all grown up and making her way in the Chinese film business

Xu Jiao played a boy in her first film role opposite the Hong Kong comedy superstar, and says it is still the toughest part she’s played despite her zest for challenging roles. She also talks about the making of romance Miss Forever, opening soon.

2 Dec 2019 - 9:27AM

Xu Jiao played a boy in her first film role opposite the Hong Kong comedy superstar, and says it is still the toughest part she’s played despite her zest for challenging roles. She also talks about the making of romance Miss Forever, opening soon.

Remember Xu Jiao? Stephen Chow’s CJ7 co-star is all grown up and making her way in the Chinese film business
Golden Rooster vs Golden Horse: how top film awards in China and Taiwan could be in direct competition

The Chinese film industry’s Golden Rooster Awards are to become an annual affair, and will be held in Xiamen, opposite Taiwan – a possible challenge to the island’s Golden Horse Awards, which China is boycotting this year.

22 Nov 2019 - 6:38PM

The Chinese film industry’s Golden Rooster Awards are to become an annual affair, and will be held in Xiamen, opposite Taiwan – a possible challenge to the island’s Golden Horse Awards, which China is boycotting this year.

Golden Rooster vs Golden Horse: how top film awards in China and Taiwan could be in direct competition
Themed restaurants in Beijing: schoolroom, river boat, Mongolian yurt, Chinese royal garden among the options for a meal out

There are plenty of Instagram-worthy places to eat in China’s capital city. Here are five where the dining experience is as much about the ambience as it is about the food.

21 Nov 2019 - 7:17PM

There are plenty of Instagram-worthy places to eat in China’s capital city. Here are five where the dining experience is as much about the ambience as it is about the food.

Themed restaurants in Beijing: schoolroom, river boat, Mongolian yurt, Chinese royal garden among the options for a meal out
India’s wrestling prodigy Ritu Phogat now its great MMA hope after slick One Championship debut

After turning her back on 2020 Olympics, Ritu Phogat signals her intentions for One Championship strawweight title bid after demolition job at Age of Dragons.

20 Nov 2019 - 11:58AM

After turning her back on 2020 Olympics, Ritu Phogat signals her intentions for One Championship strawweight title bid after demolition job at Age of Dragons.

India’s wrestling prodigy Ritu Phogat now its great MMA hope after slick One Championship debut
Frozen 2: Lang Lang’s wife Gina Alice Redlinger sings Chinese song promoting sequel

The sequel to the Disney animated hit Frozen opens in China on November 22. The song, River of Remembrance, which Gina Alice Redlinger sings was released to promote the film ahead of its launch in cinemas there.

19 Nov 2019 - 5:29PM

The sequel to the Disney animated hit Frozen opens in China on November 22. The song, River of Remembrance, which Gina Alice Redlinger sings was released to promote the film ahead of its launch in cinemas there.

Frozen 2: Lang Lang’s wife Gina Alice Redlinger sings Chinese song promoting sequel
Artist Anish Kapoor plays with reality in his debut solo show in China, which brings his mirror sculptures indoors for the first time

Concave and made of stainless steel, his artworks create warped impressions of former imperial temple’s columns and beams. They ‘kind of play a game with the viewer’, says Indian-born British sculptor known for his public art such as Cloud Gate in Chicago.

16 Nov 2019 - 8:27PM

Concave and made of stainless steel, his artworks create warped impressions of former imperial temple’s columns and beams. They ‘kind of play a game with the viewer’, says Indian-born British sculptor known for his public art such as Cloud Gate in Chicago.

Artist Anish Kapoor plays with reality in his debut solo show in China, which brings his mirror sculptures indoors for the first time
Collected by actors Louis Koo and Huang Xiaoming, action figures based on Chinese movies and anime are hot property

China’s film merchandise industry is in its infancy, but one growth area is the making of action figures based on characters from animated films such as Nezha; actors Louis Koo and Huang Xiaoming are among collectors of the figures.

13 Nov 2019 - 4:02PM

China’s film merchandise industry is in its infancy, but one growth area is the making of action figures based on characters from animated films such as Nezha; actors Louis Koo and Huang Xiaoming are among collectors of the figures.

Collected by actors Louis Koo and Huang Xiaoming, action figures based on Chinese movies and anime are hot property
UFC in China on the rise, with the most MMA fighters in Asia and a world champion in Zhang Weili

Of the 23 fighters from Asia competing in UFC events today, 10 are from China, and the country could eclipse the US as the sport’s No 1 market. Former Hong Kong Olympic swimmer Matthew Kwok hopes to promote MMA in China with his Legend Fighting Championship.

13 Nov 2019 - 6:02AM

Of the 23 fighters from Asia competing in UFC events today, 10 are from China, and the country could eclipse the US as the sport’s No 1 market. Former Hong Kong Olympic swimmer Matthew Kwok hopes to promote MMA in China with his Legend Fighting Championship.

UFC in China on the rise, with the most MMA fighters in Asia and a world champion in Zhang Weili
The Bookworm, a centre of literary life in Beijing, to close, unable to renew its lease amid crackdown on ‘illegal structures’

A cafe, a community centre, a place for lively discussion and for authors to meet their readers, The Bookworm has been unable to renew its lease amid a crackdown on ‘illegal structures’, leaving supporters saddened.

5 Nov 2019 - 7:55PM

A cafe, a community centre, a place for lively discussion and for authors to meet their readers, The Bookworm has been unable to renew its lease amid a crackdown on ‘illegal structures’, leaving supporters saddened.

The Bookworm, a centre of literary life in Beijing, to close, unable to renew its lease amid crackdown on ‘illegal structures’
How China’s traditional villages are falling victim to its global ambitions

Photojournalist Wang Xiaoyan’s pictures of a tiny settlement nestled in Shanxi’s Taihang mountains reflect the fate of thousands of similar intangible cultural heritage assets that are being lost in the relentless pursuit of economic growth.

3 Nov 2019 - 2:54PM

Photojournalist Wang Xiaoyan’s pictures of a tiny settlement nestled in Shanxi’s Taihang mountains reflect the fate of thousands of similar intangible cultural heritage assets that are being lost in the relentless pursuit of economic growth.

How China’s traditional villages are falling victim to its global ambitions
Treasures of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace restored in painstaking fashion, the work like piecing together a giant Chinese jigsaw puzzle

Artefacts shattered into hundreds of pieces by pillaging French and British soldiers 150 years ago are being painstakingly put back together by heritage restorers in Beijing.

31 Oct 2019 - 12:45PM

Artefacts shattered into hundreds of pieces by pillaging French and British soldiers 150 years ago are being painstakingly put back together by heritage restorers in Beijing.

Treasures of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace restored in painstaking fashion, the work like piecing together a giant Chinese jigsaw puzzle
Jackie Chan drama, celebrity reality show: Chinese streaming giant iQiyi reveals plans for 2020

iQiyi announced its plans for the upcoming year at the annual two-day meeting. It has earmarked more than 20 billion yuan for content development in 2020.

22 Oct 2019 - 8:00PM

iQiyi announced its plans for the upcoming year at the annual two-day meeting. It has earmarked more than 20 billion yuan for content development in 2020.

Jackie Chan drama, celebrity reality show: Chinese streaming giant iQiyi reveals plans for 2020
Jeremy Lin relishing life in China with Beijing Ducks – ‘I got the chance to lead a team’

Former NBA champion is fully fit and firing in preseason as the Beijing Ducks look to him to deliver a fourth CBA title.

19 Oct 2019 - 11:40AM

Former NBA champion is fully fit and firing in preseason as the Beijing Ducks look to him to deliver a fourth CBA title.

Jeremy Lin relishing life in China with Beijing Ducks – ‘I got the chance to lead a team’
China bans exports of black clothing to Hong Kong amid protests; all mailings to city ‘severely investigated’, courier firm worker says

Courier companies in China have issued notices of a ban on the export to Hong Kong of items including black clothing, and a courier firm worker affirms the ban. Protesters have adopted as their uniform black T-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

17 Oct 2019 - 12:27PM

Courier companies in China have issued notices of a ban on the export to Hong Kong of items including black clothing, and a courier firm worker affirms the ban. Protesters have adopted as their uniform black T-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

China bans exports of black clothing to Hong Kong amid protests; all mailings to city ‘severely investigated’, courier firm worker says
Chinese underwater filmmaker turns her lens on China to show what lives, and lies buried, in the depths of its lakes and seas

Globetrotting underwater filmmaker Zhou Fang realised the rest of the world knows more about Chinese marine life than its own people do. She puts that right with documentary Underwater China, screening on iQiyi.

14 Oct 2019 - 4:03PM

Globetrotting underwater filmmaker Zhou Fang realised the rest of the world knows more about Chinese marine life than its own people do. She puts that right with documentary Underwater China, screening on iQiyi.

Chinese underwater filmmaker turns her lens on China to show what lives, and lies buried, in the depths of its lakes and seas
David Hockney in the house: Beijing temple’s revival starts with art museum – Shanghai Xintiandi restorer talks us through the project

Longfu Temple, near the Forbidden City is being turned into a new cultural destination under a project overseen by Tony Wong; M Woods Museum recently opened there with an inaugural show by British artist David Hockney.

10 Oct 2019 - 8:28PM

Longfu Temple, near the Forbidden City is being turned into a new cultural destination under a project overseen by Tony Wong; M Woods Museum recently opened there with an inaugural show by British artist David Hockney.

David Hockney in the house: Beijing temple’s revival starts with art museum – Shanghai Xintiandi restorer talks us through the project
How brands like Patagonia are using regenerative agriculture in China to lessen fashion’s damage

Patagonia’s push for clothing made from hemp and Chinese brand Bombyx’s US$140 million eco-friendly silk farm show that fashion doesn’t have to be so destructive by embracing the idea of ‘regenerative agriculture’.

3 Oct 2019 - 9:03PM

Patagonia’s push for clothing made from hemp and Chinese brand Bombyx’s US$140 million eco-friendly silk farm show that fashion doesn’t have to be so destructive by embracing the idea of ‘regenerative agriculture’.

How brands like Patagonia are using regenerative agriculture in China to lessen fashion’s damage
Chinese national day holiday box office winners and losers: from My People, My Country to The Captain, patriotism rules

China’s national day holiday box office takings rose to US$224 million, led by omnibus historical film My People, My Country and true-life aviation drama The Captain. Among other big earners was mountaineering drama The Climbers.

2 Oct 2019 - 8:58PM

China’s national day holiday box office takings rose to US$224 million, led by omnibus historical film My People, My Country and true-life aviation drama The Captain. Among other big earners was mountaineering drama The Climbers.

Chinese national day holiday box office winners and losers: from My People, My Country to The Captain, patriotism rules
Move over, Barbie: Chinese toymakers set sights on cracking global market with local designs

An increasing number of Chinese toys are poised to crack the fiercely competitive global toy market now dominated by giant US and Japanese manufacturers.

16 Sep 2019 - 8:15AM

An increasing number of Chinese toys are poised to crack the fiercely competitive global toy market now dominated by giant US and Japanese manufacturers.

Move over, Barbie: Chinese toymakers set sights on cracking global market with local designs
Golden Horse Awards boycott: why it will be business as usual between China, Taiwan film industries

Relationship between film industries on island and in mainland China will survive the latter’s absence from ‘Chinese Oscars’, say industry insiders; Beijing sees cultural exchanges as furthering its goal of reunification, says one.

12 Sep 2019 - 7:56PM

Relationship between film industries on island and in mainland China will survive the latter’s absence from ‘Chinese Oscars’, say industry insiders; Beijing sees cultural exchanges as furthering its goal of reunification, says one.

Golden Horse Awards boycott: why it will be business as usual between China, Taiwan film industries
Plant-based alternative meats for Chinese food – dim sum, hotpot, mooncakes and more – set for launch

You won’t get Western offerings like Impossible Foods’ meatless burgers from Chinese firm Zhenmeat, with its plant-based products targeting local cuisine including dim sum, hotpot, mooncakes and regional dishes.

5 Sep 2019 - 9:01PM

You won’t get Western offerings like Impossible Foods’ meatless burgers from Chinese firm Zhenmeat, with its plant-based products targeting local cuisine including dim sum, hotpot, mooncakes and regional dishes.

Plant-based alternative meats for Chinese food – dim sum, hotpot, mooncakes and more – set for launch
Ai Weiwei says Hong Kong protests part of global freedom struggle, which he’ll reflect in opera production

Chinese dissident artist says the protests, which his team are filming for a documentary, are part of ‘the global youth revolution’, and that he’s still working out how to reflect the struggles in his upcoming production of the opera Turandot.

4 Sep 2019 - 7:20PM

Chinese dissident artist says the protests, which his team are filming for a documentary, are part of ‘the global youth revolution’, and that he’s still working out how to reflect the struggles in his upcoming production of the opera Turandot.

Ai Weiwei says Hong Kong protests part of global freedom struggle, which he’ll reflect in opera production
China landmarks in Lego: Great Wall, Forbidden City, terracotta warriors and more on display in Beijing

From the Great Wall to terracotta warriors to traditional Fujian earth roundhouses, an exhibition of miniature Chinese landmarks is now running at a Beijing shopping mall until mid-October.

3 Sep 2019 - 8:04PM

From the Great Wall to terracotta warriors to traditional Fujian earth roundhouses, an exhibition of miniature Chinese landmarks is now running at a Beijing shopping mall until mid-October.

China landmarks in Lego: Great Wall, Forbidden City, terracotta warriors and more on display in Beijing
Which mooncake is your favourite, red or white, sweet or savoury? We talk to an expert about the famous snack

A Chinese tradition with a legendary backstory, mooncakes come in many different styles. We talk to a renowned Beijing pastry chef about the origins and variations of the festive treat.

29 Aug 2019 - 8:46PM

A Chinese tradition with a legendary backstory, mooncakes come in many different styles. We talk to a renowned Beijing pastry chef about the origins and variations of the festive treat.

Which mooncake is your favourite, red or white, sweet or savoury? We talk to an expert about the famous snack