Inside China


Take a deep-dive into issues and stories for a deeper understanding of contemporary China. In this series you'll get independent reportage and exclusive interviews to bring you unique insights.

Go beyond the headlines and discover more about the culture, life and people of China.

Subscribe to the podcast

China’s recycling revolution 04: confronting the global plastic crisis

30 Sep 2019

A new modern phenomenon is causing a massive increase in single-use plastic packaging, overwhelming any positive effect of bans on plastic straws - but new technology might be able to join the dots between food disposal and food production


China’s recycling revolution 03: Hong Kong and Taiwan - one trash can, two systems

30 Sep 2019

One city used an old English folk song to create a culture of recycling and domestic waste separation, while the other finds itself on the wrong side of China’s National Sword policy


China's recycling revolution 02: Shanghai asks ‘What trash are you?’

30 Sep 2019

Inside the new waste disposal system brought in for tens of millions of residents one of China’s biggest cities, and finding the truth in the hype over hi-tech trash cans, RFID chips and the social credit system


China's recycling revolution 01: How the National Sword policy caused global disruption

30 Sep 2019

How China’s National Sword policy caused a global disruption to domestic recycling programmes, encouraged Southeast Asian nations to reject Western waste, and inspired a massive Chinese investment in American recycling facilities


Behind the Tariffs 07: Epilogue, analysis and what next

11 Jul 2019

A special epilogue podcast episode reveals how world trade changed in a year of tariffs and trade war between the US and China, and asks: will things ever be the same again? Vietnam has been revealed as a key beneficiary of the trade war, but how are other nations changing, and what will be the impact on the 2020 US election?


Behind the Tariffs 06: Salad spinners, tariff exemptions and supply chains

25 Jun 2019

How a kitchen tool can teach you about tariff exemptions, innovation, patents and explain how China’s supply chains are unique in the world


Behind the Tariffs 05: Handbags, game controllers and the IP battle

25 Jun 2019

Why would an American entrepreneur choose to manufacture handbags in China? Why are shipments of gaming hardware from Hong Kong to New York being locked up?


Behind the Tariffs 04: Trucks, trade and Hong Kong’s conundrum

25 Jun 2019

How Hong Kong’s logistics and service economy is being battered by the effects of the US-China trade war


Behind the tariffs 03: Solar cells and the exodus of Chinese companies

25 Jun 2019

The march of manufacturing out of China continues, and it’s causing a labour shortage and an overheated real estate market in neighbouring Vietnam


Behind the Tariffs 02: How bicycles link China and the US

25 Jun 2019

How tariffs are unravelling supply chains that stretch from Shanghai to North Carolina, forcing American and Chinese manufacturers to change, cancel or make new plans


Behind the Tariffs 01: Washing machines and the roots of the trade war

25 Jun 2019

Investigating the roots of the US-China trade war, and how washing machines – plus a policy aimed at returning manufacturing jobs to the US – impacts consumers and the people selling them new appliances


Is this the golden age of Chinese science fiction?

31 Mar 2019

The new generation of Chinese science fiction authors talk of their inspirations, their insights, and what makes science fiction in China special.


Migrant workers and the Alliance of Beijing Drifters

27 Feb 2019

Millions of rural people have come to Beijing in search of better jobs and the middle class dream but find themselves homeless and hunted by authorities determined to clear out the ‘low end population’. Meet the man secretly housing them and giving them support.


Scientists with borders

30 Jan 2019

Long before today’s US-China rivalry over technology, there was a time of US-China co-operation to educate a new generation of scientists and engineers: this is the story of two victims of the Cultural Revolution who became giants of Chinese science, thanks to a US education.


40 years of China's economic reform and 'opening up'

16 Nov 2018

Upon the 40th anniversary of China’s economic transformation, hear from workers, cultural figures and industrialists who participated in the ‘opening’ of China.


Strange tales from a Chinese studio

16 Nov 2018

A Halloween special, bringing to life a spooky Chinese literary classic.


In search of the Yeren, the Chinese Bigfoot

20 Oct 2018

Take a journey deep into the mysterious Shennongjia forest and join eyewitnesses and scientists on the hunt for the Yeren.


The disease killing the men who built Shenzhen

20 Oct 2018

Hundreds of workers who helped transform a fishing village into China's tech capital are petitioning for justice as they face a slow and painful death.


Welcome to Guanniu, the art of Chinese bullfighting

20 Oct 2018

Meet the man who wants to turn the centuries-old art of Chinese bull wrestling into a spectator sport.


The Sichuan earthquake, 10 years on

18 Oct 2018

A decade on, we return to the scene of one of China's worst natural disasters.


Farming snakes for medicine, meals and money

18 Oct 2018

The commerce, culture, cuisine and cure-alls that fuel China's snake economy.


The story of dumplings

18 Oct 2018

From Beijing to Shanghai, Hong Kong and down the ancient Silk Road, find out how a traditional Chinese medicine cure evolved into a meal enjoyed around the world.