Nicola Davison is a British freelance writer and editor based in London.
Posts tagged "Shanghai"
Where to buy in Shanghai, the global city with old-world charm

Where to buy in Shanghai, the global city with old-world charm

Between 1843 and 1935, when Shanghai was ceded to the British following the first opium war, the city’s population grew from about 500,000 to 4m. The city was transformed into a bustling international port and as trade thrived westerners poured in. The city was carved into foreign “concessions” — districts of imported architectural styles —...
China struggles to loosen one-child policy as couples urged to apply for second child

China struggles to loosen one-child policy as couples urged to apply for second child

Shanghai’s government has urged couples to have more children after far fewer than expected applied to have a second child following the relaxation of China’s one-child policy, state media reported on Tuesday. Some 90 per cent of women of childbearing age in the city are eligible to have a second baby, but only five per...
It's only rock 'n roll (but they like it)

It’s only rock ‘n roll (but they like it)

WHEN the Rolling Stones wrote the song “Street Fighting Man” in 1968 few in China had the means to hear it. Maoist revolutionary music was the acceptable genre and foreign songs were prohibited (with the exception of Soviet songs). Chinese youth was preoccupied anyway. Fearful of the Red Guards’ accruing power, Mao Zedong rolled out...
Interview: Tilda Swinton

Interview: Tilda Swinton

  On the deck of a yacht on the Huangpu River, Tilda Swinton moves her arms as if practicing slow motion tai chi. Dressed in a nautical striped tunic and voluminous white pantaloons, the actress contorts her body into striking angles against the backdrop of Pudong’s skyscrapers. Her peroxide hair is cropped and spiked, her...
Interview: Jessica Chastain

Interview: Jessica Chastain

Half-dressed in an emerald green chemise lined with ivory lace, Jessica Chastain perches on the edge of a Shanghai hotel bed. She is the subject of a short film being shot in a suite of the Astor House Hotel, a 1920s playground for the rich since fallen under sloppy management. Somehow though, the room’s sun...
China bird flu scare: 'My family and I don't dare to eat anything these days'

China bird flu scare: ‘My family and I don’t dare to eat anything these days’

Among the bustle of morning trade at Yanqing food market, one corner remains quiet. Wedged between the beef and fish counters, where traders in galoshes cheerily hack the heads off wriggling carp, the poultry stalls are boarded, their freezers taped shut. A handwritten notice from the management offers: “All chicken products have stopped being sold, sorry for...
A Bay of Pigs moment

A Bay of Pigs moment

The dozens of dead swine were all too visible amid the flotsam bobbing on the Henglaojing creek. Blotched and bloated, their carcasses were rocking in the wake of a recovery barge on March 10th, as workers moved hastily to rake them up a ramp and into the hull. So far nearly 6,000 pigs (updated, March...
Gay marriage gone wrong

Gay marriage gone wrong

SHANGHAI — Zhen Ai used a conventional method to uncover the truth about her husband’s “business trips”. She logged on to his computer. But what Ms Zhen, who was three months pregnant at the time, found was beyond her imaginings. She saw photos of her husband in some of China’s most exotic settings—Tibet, Hangzhou and...
Testing times

Testing times

SHANGHAI — At the gates of Shanghai Beijiao Middle School on the morning of the gaokao, students thumb their textbooks frantically. The number sitting China’s notoriously tough university-entrance exam each year is falling (6,000 fewer students took the exam in Shanghai this year; an effect of the one-child policy). But the atmosphere is as panicked as ever....
Looking for love

Looking for love

SHANGHAI — Although 40,000 people gathered on May 26th and 27th for Shanghai’s Matchmaking Expo, Yu Bin doesn’t expect to find a wife among them. Mr Yu, a 26-year-old policeman, describes himself as conservative and is looking for a woman with “traditional virtues”. His attendance at the expo, the city’s largest yet, is a long...
Nip and tuck

Nip and tuck

SHANGHAI — China performs more cosmetic surgery than any country except America and Brazil. Almost 1.3m licensed procedures were carried out in 2010, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (as well as many more unlicensed ones). The market, which barely existed 15 years ago, is now worth some $2.4 billion. China’s growing...
Gay Marriage With Chinese Characteristics

Gay Marriage With Chinese Characteristics

SHANGHAI, China—”I’m here to find a lesbian, to be with me and to build a home,” No. 11 says to the crowd clustered on floor cushions at a sunlit yoga studio in Shanghai. No. 11 is a muscular man in a flannel shirt and cargo pants, and he easily commands the attention of the crowd...