Sian Powell

A newspaper journalist for many years, Sian Powell has lived and worked in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong, covering everything from presidential elections to polio outbreaks.

Latest from Sian Powell

Becky Li, Chinese KOL who sold 100 cars online in four minutes, on brands’ new tool to gauge influence: ‘They are cruel’

In 2017 Becky Li sold 100 Mini Cooper cars online in four minutes. Today, her brand, Becky’s Fantasy, influences the purchases of millions of young women, giving her huge power in the Chinese marketplace.

In 2017 Becky Li sold 100 Mini Cooper cars online in four minutes. Today, her brand, Becky’s Fantasy, influences the purchases of millions of young women, giving her huge power in the Chinese marketplace.

Becky Li, Chinese KOL who sold 100 cars online in four minutes, on brands’ new tool to gauge influence: ‘They are cruel’
24 Feb 2021 - 11:31AM
Rolex winners, Swatch losers after Swiss luxury watch industry’s devastating year

More expensive Swiss luxury watch brands have coped with the pandemic better than cheaper counterparts, a report says, with strong Chinese demand for mid-price brands driving the market.

More expensive Swiss luxury watch brands have coped with the pandemic better than cheaper counterparts, a report says, with strong Chinese demand for mid-price brands driving the market.

Rolex winners, Swatch losers after  Swiss luxury watch industry’s devastating year
10 Feb 2021 - 6:45PM
Air conditioning adds to global warming, making us use it more. How to break the vicious cycle

In the heat and humidity of places like Singapore and Hong Kong, we rely on air cons to stay comfortable. They use a lot of electricity, and generating it adds to global warming, so we use them more. We need alternatives, say ecologists.

In the heat and humidity of places like Singapore and Hong Kong, we rely on air cons to stay comfortable. They use a lot of electricity, and generating it adds to global warming, so we use them more. We need alternatives, say ecologists.

Air conditioning adds to global warming, making us use it more. How to break the vicious cycle
3 Feb 2021 - 10:41AM
Western museums pressed to return stolen treasures to Asia and Africa, so why are some dragging their feet?

Museums in Europe and the US are filled with ancient artefacts from around the world, many plundered from Asia and Africa. Nations have called for the return of their heritage, with mixed results.

Museums in Europe and the US are filled with ancient artefacts from around the world, many plundered from Asia and Africa. Nations have called for the return of their heritage, with mixed results.

Western museums pressed to return stolen treasures to Asia and Africa, so why are some dragging their feet?
21 Nov 2020 - 6:13PM
The history of rhubarb: medicinal uses, recipes and why owning it in Russia once meant a warrant for your death

Considered an important medicine in China for thousands of years, rhubarb is now more commonly known as a tasty pie ingredient, but there was a time when owning it was punishable by death in Russia.

Considered an important medicine in China for thousands of years, rhubarb is now more commonly known as a tasty pie ingredient, but there was a time when owning it was punishable by death in Russia.

The history of rhubarb: medicinal uses, recipes and why owning it in Russia once meant a warrant for your death
1 Oct 2020 - 12:56PM
Quong Tart, the Chinese man who played a key role in Australia’s fight for women’s suffrage, and how he wasn’t just a successful entrepreneur

Quong Tart’s elegantly appointed tea rooms in Sydney were important venues for Australian women’s early discussions on the battle for universal suffrage.

Quong Tart’s elegantly appointed tea rooms in Sydney were important venues for Australian women’s early discussions on the battle for universal suffrage.

Quong Tart, the Chinese man who played a key role in Australia’s fight for women’s suffrage, and how he wasn’t just a successful entrepreneur
21 Aug 2020 - 6:13PM
History of chickens: how the bird became world’s primary protein source and a food favourite

Cross-breeding and domestication of the red jungle fowl over the centuries has given the world hundreds of types of domestic chicken with a worldwide population today of about 24 billion. Here’s a look at back at the bird’s history.

Cross-breeding and domestication of the red jungle fowl over the centuries has given the world hundreds of types of domestic chicken with a worldwide population today of about 24 billion. Here’s a look at back at the bird’s history.

History of chickens: how the bird became world’s primary protein source and a food favourite
16 Jul 2020 - 7:58AM
Dior’s dolls in couture inspired by miniatures from another time of global crisis in World War II’s aftermath

French fashion house made a splash this week by presenting its autumn/winter couture collection on miniature mannequins. It echoed a similar show by French couturiers soon after the end of World War II.

French fashion house made a splash this week by presenting its autumn/winter couture collection on miniature mannequins. It echoed a similar show by French couturiers soon after the end of World War II.

Dior’s dolls in couture inspired by miniatures from another time of global crisis in World War II’s aftermath
9 Jul 2020 - 9:05PM
How cruise ship industry plans to get passengers back on board after coronavirus crisis

When ocean cruises resume after a shutdown due to Covid-19, holidaymakers can expect a very different experience, including shorter trips, pre-embarkation health screenings and social distancing measures.

When ocean cruises resume after a shutdown due to Covid-19, holidaymakers can expect a very different experience, including shorter trips, pre-embarkation health screenings and social distancing measures.

How cruise ship industry plans to get passengers back on board after coronavirus crisis
29 Jun 2020 - 3:14PM
Why Hong Kong needs more trees and what’s preventing it

Trees decrease stress, provide much-needed shade and reduce pollution, but don’t seem to be a priority in Hong Kong’s urban developments. Groups have long called for more, but come up against a number of barriers.

Trees decrease stress, provide much-needed shade and reduce pollution, but don’t seem to be a priority in Hong Kong’s urban developments. Groups have long called for more, but come up against a number of barriers.

Why Hong Kong needs more trees and what’s preventing it
14 Jun 2020 - 10:16AM
The Raffles, Penang’s E&O, the Metropole in Hanoi – famous writers’ favourite Asian hotels, and how they celebrate their literary legacy

Rudyard Kipling praised the food, but not the rooms at The Raffles in Singapore; Noel Coward grew fonder of the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok with every visit. Historic hotels advertise their literary associations to a new generation of guests.

Rudyard Kipling praised the food, but not the rooms at The Raffles in Singapore; Noel Coward grew fonder of the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok with every visit. Historic hotels advertise their literary associations to a new generation of guests.

The Raffles, Penang’s E&O, the Metropole in Hanoi – famous writers’ favourite Asian hotels, and how they celebrate their literary legacy
8 Oct 2019 - 7:18PM
Should children diet? App may help them lose weight, but won’t keep them healthy, experts say

WW International (formerly known as Weight Watchers) released dieting app Kurbo for children aged eight to 17. It labels food like traffic lights – green, yellow or red – depending on healthiness. Some nutrition experts say it promotes ‘intense body dissatisfaction’.

WW International (formerly known as Weight Watchers) released dieting app Kurbo for children aged eight to 17. It labels food like traffic lights – green, yellow or red – depending on healthiness. Some nutrition experts say it promotes ‘intense body dissatisfaction’.

Should children diet? App may help them lose weight, but won’t keep them healthy, experts say
5 Sep 2019 - 9:02PM
Dengue fever: progress made in fight to halt deadly outbreak sweeping Asia

The mosquito-borne disease has claimed the lives of hundreds in the region, overwhelming health services. Colonies of dengue-free mosquitoes are being introduced in high-risk areas, with promising results.

The mosquito-borne disease has claimed the lives of hundreds in the region, overwhelming health services. Colonies of dengue-free mosquitoes are being introduced in high-risk areas, with promising results.

Dengue fever: progress made in fight to halt deadly outbreak sweeping Asia
1 Sep 2019 - 9:38AM
Hot spots: The Bruce Chalet, Lijiang
26 Oct 2013 - 10:52PM
The truth hurts

Arguably, WikiLeaks has helped changed the course of history, leaving diplomatic embarrassment and a journalistic goldmine in its wake. Sian Powell looks at the legacy of the whistle blowing website.

Arguably, WikiLeaks has helped changed the course of history, leaving diplomatic embarrassment and a journalistic goldmine in its wake. Sian Powell looks at the legacy of the whistle blowing website.

The truth hurts
2 Sep 2012 - 12:50PM
Hot spots: Muntri Mews, Penang
14 Oct 2012 - 2:01PM
Painting the town
6 Mar 2011 - 12:00AM
In character

Whether they want to take the pulse of the nation or merely shore up a dwindling fanbase, foreign celebrities are jumping on the mainland microblogging bandwagon. Sian Powell and Jie Chen look at the weibo effect.

Whether they want to take the pulse of the nation or merely shore up a dwindling fanbase, foreign celebrities are jumping on the mainland microblogging bandwagon. Sian Powell and Jie Chen look at the weibo effect.

In character
10 Nov 2012 - 11:31PM
United colours of Beijing

The capital's graffiti artists have come out of the shadows and are finding the city surprisingly welcoming, writes Laura Fitch.

The capital's graffiti artists have come out of the shadows and are finding the city surprisingly welcoming, writes Laura Fitch.

United colours of Beijing
27 Oct 2012 - 11:21PM