SupChina’s guide to the best of China Twitter in English.
Twitter, at its worst, is messy and toxic, a place of snark, mistruth, vitriol, half-formed punditry, and hair-trigger replies to @RealDonaldTrump. But it’s not all garbage: The community of people on Twitter who discuss China make up one of the more constructive and informed groups on the platform, with journalists willing to break news, academics and researchers who overcome character limits to provide nuance, and activists who believe in the power of amplifying stories.
But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself:
We’ve selected 100 of the top China-focused accounts on Twitter.
These 100 accounts are all run by individual people and meet these four criteria:
- They are active on Twitter, and their tweets often focus on China news.
- They have spent lots of time in China, either working, reporting, studying, or just living. Many are currently based there.
- They have a unique voice on Twitter, and use their account to promote timely and useful information about Chinese politics, business, or culture, or write original commentary on these subjects in a way that facilitates a nuanced understanding of the country.
- They tweet primarily in English.
We apologize in advance for leaving anyone out — let us know about glaring omissions and we’ll update this post as necessary.
What about Chinese-language Twitter?
This top-100 list is limited to only English-language tweeters, though a quick guide to Chinese-language Twitter can be found at the bottom of this article.
The China 100 list
We have attempted to balance the list to highlight a diversity of voices and perspectives as much as possible. It is not a list of the “100 most popular,” nor is it an exhaustive list of knowledgeable people tweeting about Chinese business, politics, and/or culture. Some accounts of reputable scholars have been excluded because they are not active enough on the platform, and some reliable commentators have been left off because they only occasionally tweet about China.
Think of this as a high-quality selection of Twitter users that we think, when taken together, gives a balanced and smart view of many different facets of China and the world today.
Our list includes excellent accounts focused on women and gender issues in China, such as @halfthesky49 and that of author Leta Hong Fincher (@LetaHong) and leading Chinese feminist Lü Pin (@pinerpiner). Three of the accounts are those of scholars — Adrian Zenz (@adrianzenz), Rian Thum (@RianThum), and Darren Byler (@dtbyler) — who have led research on and raised awareness about the atrocities the PRC government is committing against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang. The account of Shawn Zhang (@shawnwzhang), the university student who identified and documented satellite photos of dozens of re-education camps in Xinjiang, also made the list.
Several of our selected accounts have a specialty in Chinese foreign relations, such as Africa-China relations (Eric Olander @eolander), India-China relations (Ananth Krishnan @ananthkrishnan), and Russia-China relations (Alexander Gabuev @AlexGabuev). Many more have meticulously tracked the nosedive of U.S.-China relations in the past year. The scholar Bonnie Glaser (@BonnieGlaser) and writer Chris Horton (@heguisen) are two of the sharpest observers on Twitter of Taiwan and its relations with the P.R.C. Taipei-based journalist William Yang (@WilliamYang120) is also on our list.
Many of the accounts focus on China’s growing technological prowess, while others dissect cultural trends in China and in the Chinese diaspora.
Disclosure: Six out of the top 100 accounts either work at SupChina or produce content in partnership with SupChina. These include @goldkorn, the account of our editor-in-chief, Jeremy Goldkorn; @kaiserkuo, the account of Sinica Podcast co-host Kaiser Kuo; and @anthonytao, the account of our managing editor, Anthony Tao. Three more people on the list produce content on our Sinica Podcast Network: Rui Ma at Pandaily (@ruima), Joanna Chiu at NüVoices (@joannachiu), and Tanner Brown at Caixin (@luoshanji).
A dozen others on the list have either written articles for SupChina or are contributing columnists: Darren Byler (@dtbyler), Yangyang Cheng (@yangyang_cheng), Mark Dreyer (@DreyerChina), Tianyu Fang (@tianyuf), Eric Fish (@ericfish85), Chris Horton (@heguisen), Frankie Huang (@ourobororoboruo), Shen Lu (@shenlulushen), Paul Triolo (@pstAsiatech), Graham Webster (@gwbstr), Sophia Yan (@sophia_yan), and Elliott Zaagman (@ElliottZaagman).
The list is organized by follower count (as of May 2019, and rounded down to the nearest 1,000), in descending order. As it happens — and he himself is mystified by this — our editor-in-chief has the highest follower count.
A Twitter list of these accounts that you can browse and subscribe to can be found here.
1. Jeremy Goldkorn | 178K | @goldkorn
SupChina editor-in-chief. Bearded agitator.
When the Global Times says “understand China” they simply mean “see China the same way the Communist Party does.” https://t.co/hdxAubva7Y
— Jeremy Goldkorn (@goldkorn) February 27, 2019
So many of the people we interviewed at the china Blogger Con in 2008 and 2009 have been silenced, imprisoned, or exiled.https://t.co/9vT8BMB1P8 https://t.co/rYibJFyD21
— Jeremy Goldkorn (@goldkorn) January 23, 2019
2. Mike Forsythe | 156K | @PekingMike
A New York Times reporter, now in New York after many years in Beijing, who has broken some of the biggest stories about wealth and power in China.
Amnesty International Denied Lease at New York Tower Owned by China, Group Says – with @matthewhaag – The building at 88 Pine St. is owned by Cosco Shipping, one of China’s most important state-owned companies https://t.co/Xl2YCROH3W
— Mike Forsythe 傅才德 (@PekingMike) May 13, 2019
McKinsey consultants dined al fresco in Kashgar, treated to a light show that projected two-humped camels onto the city’s crenelated wall. 4.19 miles away, a sprawling detention center had been built to house thousands of Muslims.https://t.co/ESEJIg4SYH
— Mike Forsythe 傅才德 (@PekingMike) December 15, 2018
3. Bill Bishop | 124K | @niubi
A longtime China-watcher and the proprietor of the Sinocism China Newsletter. Also the owner of the very cute dog TashiB.
global times compares canada to a whore over the meng case…classy https://t.co/L4gyDKyi2f “As a Chinese folk saying goes, “You cannot live the life of a whore and expect a monument to your chastity.””
— Bill Bishop (@niubi) January 28, 2019
Why this expert says Trump was right to call China’s bluff in the trade talks https://t.co/5sYz6SB24P my comments this morning on @squawkcnbc this morning
— Bill Bishop (@niubi) May 9, 2019
4. Chris Buckley | 120K | @ChuBailiang
The New York Times’ star correspondent in Beijing, whose Twitter game is widely acknowledged as nonpareil. Owner of Tiny, the original Twitter-famous China-watcher dog.
What to do on May 4, the centenary of China’s historic student protest? Why not try the China International Tattoo Comvention? pic.twitter.com/kBmqCLJ91E
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) May 4, 2019
Who could say no to a Cantonese opera about Donald Trump? Especially one where he apparently wears a blonde toupee and squares off with Mao Zedong in table tennis. pic.twitter.com/m36BnSXHeK
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) January 20, 2019
On this the last day of the Year of the Dog, best wishes to all friends, colleagues, and readers. 狗年最后一天，祝大家新年快乐，新的一年诸事顺利! pic.twitter.com/JMCVjbgkhz
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) February 4, 2019
5. Anna Fifield | 120K | @annafifield
The Beijing bureau chief for the Washington Post, previously based in Seoul.
The U.S.- China trade talks end in DC with no sign of a deal and this lands in my Wechat pic.twitter.com/I8WEr7PqAK
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) May 10, 2019
6. Kaiser Kuo | 80K | @KaiserKuo
Polymath. Truth seeker. Confabulator. Probable Satanist. Host of the Sinica Podcast and overseer of the Sinica Podcast Network.
Nine years ago today @goldkorn and I sat down with @niubi and recorded the very first @SinicaPodcast in Beijing. 400+ shows later we’re still at it. Here’s the very first show. https://t.co/4ODdHz0sTP
— Kaiser Kuo (@KaiserKuo) April 1, 2019
Chas W. Freeman, Jr., in a recent speech, described Trump as a “quantum president”: “An American leader whose positions and values are inherently indeterminate and undeterminable.” Brillant.
— Kaiser Kuo (@KaiserKuo) December 15, 2018
7. Austin Ramzy | 80K | @austinramzy
A New York Times reporter based in Hong Kong.
30 years ago today, hundreds of thousands marched in Hong Kong to support the Tiananmen protesters. “What happens in Beijing now will happen in Hong Kong later,” read one sign. pic.twitter.com/QPGzLD6wqL
— Austin Ramzy (@austinramzy) May 21, 2019
8. Josh Chin | 79K | @joshchin
A Wall Street Journal reporter based in China.
New Zealand foreign affairs minister says he’s aware of China’s comments on Christchurch but the meaning of them is “another matter of interpretation and we’re working on that.” https://t.co/VhkbG8a2eq https://t.co/wFu8aNWa5n
— Josh Chin (@joshchin) April 11, 2019
9. Sui-Lee Wee | 59K | @suilee
A New York Times reporter based in Beijing, with excellent coverage of healthcare in China.
The comments on this tweet. 😂 https://t.co/slPAaQLWHo
— Sui-Lee Wee 黄瑞黎 (@suilee) May 22, 2019
10. Louisa Lim | 50K | @limlouisa
The author of The People’s Republic of Amnesia and a journalist, formerly with NPR and the BBC in China.
This beautiful wax feather is made by @kaceywong out of the stubs of candles used in June 4 vigils in Victoria Park. He wanted to put them to good use, and will give them to those who visit the June 4 Museum. Borrowing his words, the lightness and heav… https://t.co/cf8Uw0JqN8 pic.twitter.com/ahlvETIjka
— Louisa Lim (@limlouisa) May 22, 2019
11. Patrick Chovanec | 44K | @prchovanec
The managing director of Silvercrest Asset Management, a former business professor at Tsinghua University, and a longtime China-watcher.
What you think your trade war will be like vs what it’s actually like. pic.twitter.com/1BVZRdurSE
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) May 13, 2019
Here’s part of my appearance on @cnbc today alongside @TonyFratto talking about US-China trade tensions. https://t.co/cOteUQesnF
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) May 21, 2019
12. Joanna Chiu | 40K | @joannachiu
The bureau chief at the Star Vancouver, formerly with AFP in Beijing. Also the chair of NüVoices, which partners with SupChina to publish the NüVoices Podcast.
THREAD: On how I got the exclusive interview yesterday with Canadian ambassador to China #JohnMcCallum at a dim sum restaurant. He resigned today at the request of the prime minister. https://t.co/V7KwUvCpwZ
— Joanna Chiu 趙淇欣 (@joannachiu) January 26, 2019
13. Ian Johnson | 36K | @iandenisjohnson
A scholar of religion in China (his most recent book is The Souls of China) and a writer focused on civil society. Also a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist whose stories appear in the New York Review of Books and the New York Times.
ICYMI: How the case of a Tsinghua professor highlights that this year, the 100th anniversary of the May 4th Movement, Chinese are still searching for a key demand of that momentous uprising: “Mr. Democracy.” https://t.co/SixI7cUwoW
— Ian Johnson (@iandenisjohnson) April 28, 2019
If you need to get up to date on the Xinjiang reeducation camps, read this piece in @nybooks by @JimMillward. These camps will go down as this government’s worst decision, with blowback for decades to come.https://t.co/b2TGTUbENP
— Ian Johnson (@iandenisjohnson) January 17, 2019
14. Emily Rauhala | 35K | @emilyrauhala
A foreign affairs correspondent for the Washington Post, now in D.C. after years in Beijing.
NEWS: Trump and Trudeau talk, discuss Canadians detained in China, as well as USMCA/tariffs. 1/ pic.twitter.com/lpACsqrspG
— Emily Rauhala (@emilyrauhala) May 9, 2019
15. Bonnie Glaser | 29K | @BonnieGlaser
An expert on military issues in the Asia-Pacific, based at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
I would welcome stronger India-Taiwan ties, but using Taiwan as leverage or as a bargaining chip to get what Delhi wants is not a good idea. https://t.co/c7ZPDWxMCB
— Bonnie Glaser / 葛來儀 (@BonnieGlaser) January 23, 2019
16. Ananth Krishnan | 29K | @ananthkrishnan
A former China correspondent for India Today and The Hindu, and one of the best people to follow to learn about India-China relations.
China at a crossroads: I look back on the momentous year that was for China in 2018 in @the_hindu’s year-ender, and ask what it all might mean for India: https://t.co/LooFBmPqdS
— Ananth Krishnan (@ananthkrishnan) December 31, 2018
17. Jeff Wasserstrom | 28K | @jwassers
A history professor at UC Irvine, the co-author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, and an editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel.
My take on an engagingly written popular history based on extensive interviews that brings to life a remarkable city at a tense time & presents participants in a mass migration as differentiated individuals/Helen Zia’s “Last Boat Out of Shanghai” https://t.co/XKe7WxOXA3 via @WSJ
— Jeff Wasserstrom (@jwassers) January 19, 2019
18. Leta Hong Fincher | 27K | @LetaHong
The author of Leftover Women and Betraying Big Brother, focusing on feminist activism in China.
Recent detentions of students in China – including a kidnapping at Peking University – are connected to a women’s rights movement that has become increasingly cross-class in nature, advocating for gender equality and workers’ rights. #BetrayingBigBrother https://t.co/EDXA6J260Z
— Leta Hong Fincher洪理达, PhD (@LetaHong) January 15, 2019
19. Simon Rabinovitch | 26K | @S_Rabinovitch
A Shanghai-based journalist at The Economist, focusing on China’s economy.
Few place much faith in Chinese data. But look at this: its nominal growth rate in USD terms, as a proxy for foreign firms’ revenues. Lines up pretty damn well with their reports of a sharp slowdown last year. pic.twitter.com/maalfnoKPH
— Simon Rabinovitch (@S_Rabinovitch) January 22, 2019
20. Keith Bradsher | 25K | @KeithBradsher
The Shanghai bureau chief for the New York Times, focusing on China’s economy.
To the dismay of Democrats in crucial Upper Midwest states, Trump’s China trade policies and stance on illegal immigrants are drawing a lot of support among swing voters. https://t.co/7WNMj9Uf8u
— Keith Bradsher (@KeithBradsher) May 20, 2019
21. Jiayang Fan | 24K | @JiayangFan
A staff writer at The New Yorker. Proud of her Chongqing roots. She has made two appearances on the Sinica Podcast and one on NüVoices.
War-mongering State Department once again taking my breath away. Confirming China’s worst fears about western racism is not diplomacy but dangerous & idiotic. https://t.co/kmWosvv6fp
— Jiayang Fan (@JiayangFan) May 9, 2019
22. Megha Rajagopalan | 23K | @meghara
An international correspondent for BuzzFeed News. Was based in Beijing and broke several important stories about the crisis in Xinjiang, until her visa was rejected in August 2018. She continues to report on Xinjiang and Chinese surveillance from abroad.
New: At least half a dozen Turkish nationals have gone missing in Xinjiang. Their families believe they’ve been sent to internment camps— or in the case of a pair of children, to a state-run orphanage. From me & @kmyildiz https://t.co/m2bxJla3jK
— Megha Rajagopalan (@meghara) March 27, 2019
23. Paul Mozur | 23K | @paulmozur
A tech reporter for the New York Times, based in Shanghai.
Automating Racism: Police in China are using A.I. to mark/track ethnic minority Uighurs across the country. It’s the first known example of facial recognition being used intentionally by a government to racially profile and a massive ethical leap for A.I. https://t.co/QWvbPIj84z
— Paul Mozur (@paulmozur) April 14, 2019
24. Isaac Stone Fish | 23K | @isaacstonefish
A Senior Fellow at the Asia Society in New York.
Fascinating resource. Here’s a May 9th letter Meng Wanzhou sent to her “188,000 sons and daughters” at Huawei that I haven’t seen elsewhere. https://t.co/jXlfrVyghL https://t.co/CRnxD9fUot
— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) May 20, 2019
25. Jorge Guajardo | 21K | @jorge_guajardo
A former Mexican Ambassador to China.
My guess is that China saved the announcement of retaliatory tariffs for maximum market impact, and succeeded.
— Jorge Guajardo (@jorge_guajardo) May 13, 2019
26. Tom Hancock | 21K | @hancocktom
Witty Financial Times reporter based in Shanghai.
Jail apparently preferable to running the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives https://t.co/P3xMAGYXKB
— Tom Hancock🦕 (@hancocktom) May 19, 2019
27. Alan Wong | 21K | @alanwongw
The deputy editor of Inkstone News, based in Hong Kong.
Tsinghua professor Xu Zhangrun has been virtually erased online in China since he published stinging essays rebuking Xi Jinping.
Searches for his name return no result on Weibo. Any mention of him in the past year has been scrubbed from Baidu. https://t.co/gLKIGASdjs
— Alan Wong (@alanwongw) April 30, 2019
28. M. Taylor Fravel | 21K | @fravel
An international relations professor at MIT, and the author of the new book Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy since 1949.
China is upgrading its participation the Shangri-La Dialogue. The first time a defense minister has led the delegation in eight years. https://t.co/8s4J4OZKk2
— M. Taylor Fravel (@fravel) May 20, 2019
29. Shawn Zhang | 20K | @shawnwzhang
A law student at the University of British Columbia, who undertook a remarkable project to identify and document dozens of re-education camps in Xinjiang.
I put all re-education camps I found in this list. I will keep updating it. 新疆再教育集中营列表 https://t.co/QGJfhcpfVQ
— Shawn Zhang (@shawnwzhang) May 20, 2018
30. Haidi Lun Stroud-Watts | 19K | @HaidiLun
A Bloomberg TV anchor based in Australia, and previously in Hong Kong. Queen of panda GIFs.
Whoa China industrial production
1Q GDP 6.4% (est 6.3%)
Industrial output 8.5% (est 5.9%)
Retail sales 8.7% (est 8.4%)
Jan-March fixed asset investment 6.3% (est 6.3%) #softlanding pic.twitter.com/sXEtCfasmg
— Haidi Lun Stroud-Watts 伦海迪 (@HaidiLun) April 17, 2019
31. Yuan Yang | 19K | @YuanfenYang
A tech correspondent for the Financial Times, based in Beijing. Has published multiple exclusive stories on Huawei in recent months.
Who ultimately owns Huawei? After spending five hours at their headquarters looking at their internal company registry & talking to the board secretary I can say: the corporate filings bear little relation to reality https://t.co/NHFRS04WzA
— Yuan Yang (@YuanfenYang) April 25, 2019
32. Eric Fish | 19K | @ericfish85
A writer focused on Chinese students in China and abroad. Has contributed long-read essays on those topics for SupChina.
Study finds Chinese employers are now 18% less likely to call back job applicants who went to a US college compared to a Chinese one. Even those from MOST selective US universities were 7% less likely to get callback than those from LEAST selective CN ones https://t.co/81jmrgH130
— Eric Fish (@ericfish85) April 11, 2019
33. Eunice Yoon | 19K | @onlyyoontv
The Beijing bureau chief at CNBC.
On primetime TV in #China tonight— “Frontline Train”! (Chinese slip past American enemies in Korean War to deliver supplies to frontline.) 7th anti-U.S. film in 8 days swapped into programming on state TV. @SullyCNBC pic.twitter.com/C3YNMsUwE0
— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) May 23, 2019
34. James Palmer | 18K | @BeijingPalmer
The Asia Editor of Foreign Policy and the author of Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes. Recently left Beijing after a long stint there. Has experience working as a copy editor for Chinese state media.
The truth is that a lot of China watchers should have caught up to the nature of Xi-ism years ago – and CCP goals even before that. But the end of term limits, the Xinjiang concentration camps, and the Kovrig kidnapping have pulled a lot of folk to where they should be.
— James Palmer (@BeijingPalmer) January 22, 2019
When I was at Global Times, they would roll over and retroactively change quotes if the interviewee complained. Totally spineless when dealing with power. https://t.co/z9fGVHAJd0
— James Palmer (@BeijingPalmer) January 27, 2019
35. Lulu Yilun Chen | 17K | @luluyilun
A tech reporter at Bloomberg, based in Hong Kong.
“No insurance company would service a customer base of this size,’’ Yin Ming, a vice president for Ant Financial who oversees Xiang Hu Bao, said in an interview. “They wouldn’t attempt it.’’ https://t.co/mx3DGcPFG9
— Lulu Yilun Chen (@luluyilun) May 21, 2019
36. Li Yuan | 17K | @LiYuan6
An Asia tech columnist at the New York Times.
Huawei has been deeply influenced by its western competitors.Yet from its organizational structure to the way it builds employee loyalty, the company closely resembles the Chinese Communist Party itself. https://t.co/LYJ2Uoeciz The origin of Huawei’s identity crisis, from me
— Li Yuan (@LiYuan6) May 1, 2019
37. Jeremiah Jenne | 16K | @JeremiahJenne
A historian and writer based in Beijing.
Yep. Yue Fei/Huawei mashups seems to just about sum up the times in which we live. https://t.co/v95D1Em3et
— Jeremiah Jenne (@JeremiahJenne) May 20, 2019
38. David Rennie | 16K | @DSORennie
The Beijing bureau chief for The Economist.
America and China really could stumble into a new cold war. Trade ties alone cannot save them. My special report for @TheEconomist. It has been a sobering few months of research, from Chinese factory floors to the corridors of Washington power. https://t.co/oavTW0yce7
— David Rennie 任大伟 (@DSORennie) May 16, 2019
39. Elizabeth Economy | 15K | @LizEconomy
The director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future.
To be successful and compete smartly w China, the Trump admin must move beyond its reactive and defensive strategy to adopt policies that reflect a more sustainable path to effective competition with China. My testimony before @HouseForeign: https://t.co/wwFLpHEKIV
— Elizabeth Economy (@LizEconomy) May 14, 2019
40. Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian | 15K | @BethanyAllenEbr
A journalist focused on Beijing’s overseas influence operations.
Remember the huge pro-China protests in California during the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay? Chinese intelligence officers wearing earpieces were covertly directing them. Time to re-assess our understanding of “grassroots” Chinese nationalism abroad: https://t.co/HdJLpXXnUq
— B. Allen-Ebrahimian (@BethanyAllenEbr) May 14, 2019
41. Gerry Shih | 14K | @gerryshih
A China correspondent for the Washington Post. Previously at the Associated Press, where he contributed to an award-winning series of reports on Xinjiang and Uyghurs. He talked about that reporting here on the Sinica Podcast.
Happy to have contributed to the @AP coverage of China and Xinjiang, recognized by those who know Asia and its urgent issues best @AsiaSociety https://t.co/jnuTWbkmlQ
— Gerry Shih (@gerryshih) May 9, 2019
42. Damien Ma | 14K | @damienics
The director of the Paulson Institute and the co-creator of MacroPolo.
This is a must-read study. Only glanced at the results. But basically on Twitter “China sucks” > “China is okay” by 20% retweet rate https://t.co/bQfyEtmlZv
— Damien Ma (@damienics) May 9, 2019
43. Amy Qin | 14K | @amyyqin
A China correspondent for the New York Times, focused on culture and society.
I wrote about the fast-growing Chinese storytelling podcast STORY FM 故事FM. I’ve always thought China would be the perfect place for a TAL-style podcast – there are 👏so 👏many 👏crazy 👏stories here that don’t fit neatly into any particular mold. https://t.co/zsXG4BagmW
— Amy Qin (@amyyqin) May 13, 2019
44. Rob Schmitz | 14K | @rob_schmitz
An NPR Shanghai correspondent.
This thread on @globaltimesnews’s erroneous reporting: https://t.co/EmQbZzXkWe
— Rob Schmitz 史明智 (@rob_schmitz) May 22, 2019
45. Eva Dou | 13K | @evadou
A China politics reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
At a Xinjiang factory making gray yarn for H&M T-shirts, a Uighur worker says she had extremist thoughts but now they are all gone. Adidas and Esprit say they are investigating the factory. Our study of Xinjiang supply chains w/ @Chao_Deng https://t.co/TsqwSMB3RY
— Eva Dou (@evadou) May 16, 2019
46. Lingling Wei | 12K | @Lingling_Wei
A journalist for the Wall Street Journal, recently focusing on the U.S.-China trade war. Also follow her common co-byline colleague Bob Davis.
Chinese diplomats and state media publicly played down Trump’s new tariff threat to calm markets. Behind the scenes, the threat is putting Beijing in a bind about how to proceed with talks without appearing weak https://t.co/rB1mmKwmt5
— Lingling Wei (@Lingling_Wei) May 6, 2019
47. Jonathan Sullivan | 12K | @jonlsullivan
The director of China Programs at the University of Nottingham’s Asia Research Institute.
What should Taiwan, the only “Chinese heritage” democracy, do instead? Erase Tiananmen from history? Pretend it didn’t happen? In any case, Taiwan pisses China off simply by existing in it’s current “un-unified” form https://t.co/5HoqhmLanv
— Jonathan Sullivan (@jonlsullivan) May 21, 2019
48. Lily Kuo | 12K | @lilkuo
The Beijing bureau chief for The Guardian, formerly based in Nairobi for Quartz.
China says Muslims in Xinjiang are free to practice their religion and that claims of mosque demolitions are false. Using satellite imagery, @N_Waters89 and I checked 100 religious sites and found 31 mosques and two major shrines have been razed since 2016.https://t.co/rmbKzPDqwG
— Lily Kuo (@lilkuo) May 7, 2019
49. Rui Ma | 11K | @ruima
A tech investor and the co-host of the TechBuzz China podcast, part of the Sinica Podcast Network.
— Rui Ma (@ruima) May 10, 2019
I still think the greatest misconception ppl have re: China tech & Chinese govt is that the CEOs are mouthpieces for the govt when it’s more of a parent-child relationship. The kid is always messing around & pushing boundaries, the parent steps in when things get out of hand.
— Rui Ma (@ruima) April 16, 2019
50. Richard McGregor | 11K | @mcgregorrichard
A veteran journalist and Senior Fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia. The author of The Party and Asia’s Reckoning. Not James McGregor.
Quite amazing how this drags on and on. Is there any explanation apart from the obvious – local protectionism. Or are they worried about access to Chinese data? https://t.co/2aQ9gzgY0W
— Richard McGregor (@mcgregorrichard) January 14, 2019
51. Emily Feng | 11K | @EmilyZFeng
An NPR Beijing correspondent. Formerly at the Financial Times.
Chinese students have anonymously reached out to me saying their student visas have not been renewed. Chinese scholars are also seeing heightened restrictions on travel to US. This can’t be good for academic research. https://t.co/AMkzsFxtEY
— Emily Feng (@EmilyZFeng) April 15, 2019
52. Peter Martin | 11K | @PeterMartin_PCM
A political reporter for Bloomberg, based in Beijing.
In Xi’s China, practicing the wrong kind of macroeconomics can be a thought [email protected] and I on a Beijing think tank’s struggle to survive https://t.co/XICjzA1q6c
— Peter Martin (@PeterMartin_PCM) May 11, 2019
53. Nathan VanderKlippe | 11K | @nvanderklippe
A Beijing correspondent for Canada’s Globe and Mail.
Amb. Lu: to get along with China, employ three r’s: respect, reciprocity, regulation.
— Nathan VanderKlippe (@nvanderklippe) May 23, 2019
54. Adam Segal | 9K | @adschina
An expert on Chinese cyberspace at the Council on Foreign Relations. Has appeared on the Sinica Podcast twice, once to discuss his book, The Hacked World Order, and again to talk about the implications of China’s 2017 Cybersecurity Law.
Looking for comprehensive database of major state-sponsored cyber ops? @CFR_org Cyber operations tracker live today https://t.co/Ug1SIEh0I9
— Adam Segal (@adschina) November 6, 2017
55. James McGregor | 9K | @jamesLmcgregor
A veteran businessman in China and the author of One Billion Customers and No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers. Not Richard McGregor.
This Frontline documentary, first aired last night, is an excellent overview of the US-China trade battle, and accessible for a broad audience. Very well done by NPR’s Laura Sullivan and her Frontline crew. #china, #npr, #frontlinepbs, #madeinchina2025 https://t.co/MWdkKqe2D3
— James L. McGregor (@jamesLmcgregor) May 8, 2019
56. Dexter Roberts | 9K | @dtiffroberts
A journalist who recently returned to the U.S. after spending 20 years in China, formerly writing for Bloomberg Businessweek.
“The fixity of a single, unified, 5000-year-old China is a twentieth-century fiction” https://t.co/Y3z9QvsIc2
— Dexter Roberts (@dtiffroberts) May 22, 2019
57. Shai Oster | 9K | @beijingscribe
The Asia bureau chief for The Information.
THIS IS HUGE: Overseas investors now drive a record 10% of turnover onshore
China’s stocks are at the mercy of foreigners like never before https://t.co/K4J9rDRkzK via @markets
— Shai Oster (@beijingscribe) May 23, 2019
58. John Garnaut | 8K | @jgarnaut
An Australian government adviser and journalist focused on Chinese elite politics.
The world is watching how Australia is reframing it’s engagement with China and pushing back against covert interference. My essay on what it means and where we go from here @TheMonthly https://t.co/PAmEauKyON pic.twitter.com/EZ7n4BrkKi
— John Garnaut (@jgarnaut) August 9, 2018
59. Sophia Yan | 8K | @sophia_yan
A China correspondent for The Telegraph. Before joining The Telegraph, she was an occasional contributor to SupChina.
“One minute felt like one year” – life inside #China’s #Xinjiang internment camps. Spoke w 8 former detainees – many released late last yr and fled to #Kazakhstan in Jan – giving us most updated picture of conditions and treatment inside https://t.co/tG017BTL0g @TelegraphWorld
— Sophia Yan (@sophia_yan) March 27, 2019
60. Elsa B. Kania | 8K | @EBKania
A researcher at the Center for a New American Security focused on Chinese military innovation in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.
The Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power has just been released. I may share a few random reactions and observations as I read through it this evening. https://t.co/D4mBAFqCa0
— Elsa B. Kania (@EBKania) May 3, 2019
61. Matt Schrader
THIS PERSON WAS REMOVED FROM OUR LIST BECAUSE OF RECENT UNSCRUPULOUS INTERNET BEHAVIOR, INCLUDING MISOGYNISTIC, RACIST, AND AD HOMINEM ONLINE ATTACKS.
Any questions about this decision? Please write to [email protected]
62. Manya Koetse | 8K | @manyapan
The editor-in-chief of What’s on Weibo, a site explaining Chinese social media and internet trends.
This boy walks to school alone in the freezing cold for 4.5 km on a mountainous track, while his parents are away from home working in the city. The trending photo of this Yunnan “ice boy” helps raise awareness on the conditions of China’s rural “left-behind children.” https://t.co/bIwuLPASzt
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) January 10, 2018
We’ve seen blacklisted defaulters on buildings, on LED screens, now also hitting the big screen? 🙄 https://t.co/nSKEoDtvHj
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) May 3, 2019
63. Bill Birtles | 7K | @billbirtles
A China correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei’s domestic tone a tad different to what he was saying in all those recent international media interviews https://t.co/mLArLnMmIu
— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) May 21, 2019
64. Eric Olander | 7K | @eolander
The managing editor of the China Africa Project, and host of the China in Africa podcast.
[#PODCAST] @theubong joins us to explain why he thinks critics of #China’s “debt trap diplomacy” are all wrong. He says all these loans aren’t tied to some grand geopolitical plan but instead fueled by greed & incompetence. Listen here: https://t.co/KLB4XZBoKX pic.twitter.com/YPjeX3MEaM
— Eric Olander 欧瑞克 (@eolander) May 10, 2019
65. Gabriel Wildau | 7K | @gabewildau
A former Shanghai correspondent for the Financial Times, now a China analyst at Teneo.
“Old Town Road” is the first ever #1Billboard song to build its popularity in the West through a Chinese media platform, #tiktok. ByteDance has succeeded where so many other Chinese tech groups failed.https://t.co/7UdEKLvpAM
— gabriel wildau (@gabewildau) April 30, 2019
66. Evan Feigenbaum | 7K | @EvanFeigenbaum
An experienced former diplomat and Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment.
“Reluctant Stakeholder” – A long piece from me on what kind of power China is and isn’t, some anecdotes about dealing with China as it burst onto the global stage in the decade of the 2000s, and a plea for Washington to whine less and compete more. https://t.co/xmiAg0dEML pic.twitter.com/BaES3Oy4h0
— Evan Feigenbaum (@EvanFeigenbaum) April 28, 2018
67. Alexander Gabuev | 7K | @AlexGabuev
A Senior Fellow and chair of the Russia in Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
THREAD Looking for some unlikely winners of recent breakdown in U.S.-China trade talks? They include Vladimir Putin and @Gazprom. Here is how it works 👇1/ pic.twitter.com/pNa3xdV26f
— Alexander Gabuev (@AlexGabuev) May 10, 2019
68. Anne-Marie Brady | 7K | @Anne_MarieBrady
A New Zealand–based China scholar, globally recognized (and harassed by Beijing) for her work on the Communist Party’s United Front.
China is pressuring #NZ to sign up to the Belt Road Initiative in order to get the FTA Upgrade NZ wants (same terms as Australian FTA). NZ would be the only #5Eyes to sign. China is picking off small states in Europe & the Pacific to sign. #NZpol is being forced to choose sides.
— Professor Anne-Marie Brady (@Anne_MarieBrady) April 30, 2019
69. Wei Du | 7K | @WeiDuCNA
A Northeast Asia correspondent based in Hong Kong for Channel NewsAsia.
Ren: We made promises when we joined the WTO, we should make good on them after reaping the benefits. The earlier we do this, the more contribution we make, the more friends we can have. https://t.co/c4cSX3kkJ2
— Wei Du 杜唯 (@WeiDuCNA) May 22, 2019
70. China Law Translate | 6K | @ChinaLawTransl8
Though this is ostensibly the Twitter handle for the excellent chinalawtranslate.com, it functions as the personal account for the site’s proprietor, Jeremy Daum. It’s often seen calling out inaccurate reporting on China’s social credit system.
Oh, man… is my rage showing? Only about Social Credit coverage though, right? I mean, there’s SO MUCH RAGE…. but I didn’t think…. Is it still there? https://t.co/TiVDuWABTF
— China Law Translate (@ChinaLawTransl8) November 9, 2018
71. Scott Kennedy | 6K | @KennedyCSIS
A Senior Adviser and the Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Latest AmCham China-AmCham Shanghai survey shows almost 40% of surveyed companies have moved or are planning to move some of their production out of China, up from 11% when the question was first asked in 2013. Still, only small minority moving to US. https://t.co/IRlJIIxcPp pic.twitter.com/15ZZoXSxJM
— Scott Kennedy (@KennedyCSIS) May 23, 2019
72. Wang Feng | 6K | @ulywang
The editor-in-chief of FTChinese.
By the way, I gave a special shootout to @CNStorytellers in my spiel at #TwitterForMarketers #Beijing asking Chinese companies going global to pay attention to the work of these talented journalists telling the China story to a global audience in these turbulent times. https://t.co/HBJssCTLYP
— Wang Feng (@ulywang) May 24, 2019
73. Rian Thum | 5K | @RianThum
A historian of Islam in China and the author of The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History.
China’s propaganda push on its mass internment program for Uyghurs and other minorities has been remarkably successful. Thread 1/x
— Rian Thum (@RianThum) January 21, 2019
China’s mass internment of Turkic minorities is a plot point in the CBS drama @theGoodFight, in which a woman testifies in court that her family has been sent to the “internment camps in Xinjiang.” Strikes me as important for a few reasons. A short thread… https://t.co/BNWCSaDXsY
— Rian Thum (@RianThum) May 4, 2019
74. Chris Horton | 5K | @heguisen
A Taiwan-based journalist who regularly contributes to the New York Times. He has also contributed to SupChina.
Taiwan is about to make history as the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriages. It also happens to be a beautiful day. pic.twitter.com/YMTsuhwU8k
— Chris Horton 何貴森 (@heguisen) May 24, 2019
75. Andrew Chubb | 5K | @zhubochubo
An expert on the South China Sea and a postdoctoral fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program.
Duterte to China re: Spratly Islands situation: “I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you [China] lay off the Pagasa because I have soldiers there. If you touch it, that’s a different story. I will tell the soldiers ‘prepare for suicide mission’” https://t.co/bKBr9RAV4x
— Andrew Chubb 朱波 (@zhubochubo) April 5, 2019
76. Graham Webster | 5K | @gwbstr
The coordinating editor of the DigiChina project at New America. Wrote an article for SupChina on how to interpret Chinese state media and the Global Times in particular.
Iain Johnston has published a highly professional dismantling of “100-Year Marathon” by Michael Pillsbury, who Trump has called “the leading authority on China.” Care to read with me? https://t.co/Ol8lplX7Uq
— Graham Webster (@gwbstr) March 20, 2019
77. Julian Ku | 5K | @julianku
An expert in international law at Hofstra University. Appeared on the Sinica Podcast early this year to discuss the extradition case of Huawei CFO Mèng Wǎnzhōu 孟晚舟.
My latest: Forcing China to Accept that International Law Restricts Cyber Warfare May Not Actually Benefit the U.S. https://t.co/rwoqBu0E3U
— Julian Ku 古舉倫 (@julianku) August 25, 2017
78. WAGIC | 5K | @halfthesky49
WAGIC stands for Women and Gender in China. The must-follow feminism-focused account is run by Séagh Kehoe, a teaching fellow at the University of Leicester.
it’s too much. i’m going back to bed for the week.
— WAGIC (@halfthesky49) May 18, 2019
79. Lauri Myllyvirta | 4K | @laurimyllyvirta
A Senior Global Campaigner, Greenpeace, tracking carbon emissions in China.
Oh wow wow wow. UN General Secretary will “summon world leaders to UN”, says acting on climate means no new coal plants after 2020 & net zero emissions by 2050.
China just starting energy planning beyond 2020 w industry calling for 100s new coal plants. https://t.co/3Oj43EKQfp
— Lauri Myllyvirta (@laurimyllyvirta) May 10, 2019
80. Adrian Zenz | 4K | @adrianzenz
A researcher at the European School of Culture and Theology in Korntal, Germany. Has played a pivotal role in documenting the massive expansion of detention facilities in Xinjiang, and in March estimated that 1.5 million Muslims have been detained in the camp system.
US defense department says that China runs ‘concentration camps’ in Xinjiang that may contain up to 3 million! To be honest, without citing specific new evidence, I find such statements to be overly sensationalist and speculative. https://t.co/1BZtcbb48S
— Adrian Zenz (@adrianzenz) May 4, 2019
81. Christian Shepherd | 4K | @cdcshepherd
Beijing correspondent for the Financial Times, previously with Reuters.
Reminder patriotism can be a complicated, sometimes unpredictable, force. These are pictures of regular Chinese people helping the Allied forces ransack Beijing in 1900. Loving your country can mean hating its leaders more than the hostile foreign forces. https://t.co/LQxrSKIgPq
— Christian 马思潭 (@cdcshepherd) May 19, 2019
82. Frankie Huang | 4K | @ourobororoboruo
Writer based in Shanghai. Has contributed to SupChina.
It’s been close to half a year since I started doing #PutongWords everyday, I’d just like to get some simple numbers. Thank you to everyone who has enjoyed it this far ☺️
— Frankie Huang (@ourobororoboruo) May 23, 2019
83. William Yang | 4K | @WilliamYang120
East Asia Correspondent for Deutsche Welle, based in Taipei.
Thread- 700 days ago, thousands of gay marriage supporters cheered when the Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutiinal in #Taiwan. In 30 minutes, hundreds of same-sex couples will be legally married across the island. It’s going to be a good day. pic.twitter.com/hdtcihZ9C7
— William Yang (@WilliamYang120) May 23, 2019
84. Nectar Gan | 4K | @Nectar_Gan
South China Morning Post reporter focused on Chinese politics.
Making Islam invisible on the streets of China: Hui Muslims the latest victim of Communist Party campaign to “Sinicise” religion – an extension of deepening crackdown on Uygurs in Xinjiang
My report from Ningxia, official heartland of China’s Hui minorityhttps://t.co/XICfr7J1V2 pic.twitter.com/ZXNb2J8LIp
— Nectar Gan (@Nectar_Gan) May 14, 2018
85. David Paulk | 4K | @davidpaulk
Head of news at Sixth Tone.
What happens to American athletes who get detained in China without a loudmouthed father or a loudmouthed president to bail them out? My first feature-length story for @SixthTone. https://t.co/eAXdvv0Y52
— David Paulk 波大卫 (@davidpaulk) December 9, 2017
86. Elliott Zaagman | 4K | @ElliottZaagman
Writes about Chinese technology; enjoys polling people on Twitter. Has contributed to SupChina.
In light of gay marriage becoming legal in Taiwan:
For the PRC, why not legalize gay marriage? It would help with soft power and influence among the educated global elite, wouldn’t challenge party control, and could boost baby-making.
— Elliott Zaagman (@ElliottZaagman) May 17, 2019
A Chinese friend of mine made this analogy on WeChat:
The US is like Daenerys, and China is like Cersei. Daenerys was high-minded, and Cersei took advantage of it. So then Daenerys lost patience, snapped, and burned down the city.
The Huawei ban was “Dracarys.”
— Elliott Zaagman (@ElliottZaagman) May 22, 2019
87. Mark Dreyer | 3K | @dreyerchina
Writer of the China Sports Column at SupChina.
It’s taken global sports media folk a while to realize this, but they’ve finally figured out that mentioning the band EXO in just about any context can make their social media numbers go through the roof. #EXO_Olympics pic.twitter.com/JKVBNj008l
— Mark Dreyer (@DreyerChina) February 25, 2018
88. Yangyang Cheng | 3K | @yangyang_cheng
Particle physicist and postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University. Writes the Science and China column on SupChina.
For my April Science&China column @supchinanews, I write about the legacy of the May Fourth Movement in China. 100 years after the rallying cry for Mr. Science & Mr. Democracy to save a nation, can the pursuit of scientific truth bring political freedom? https://t.co/AcQw5Sm4BF
— Yangyang Cheng (@yangyang_cheng) April 24, 2019
89. Ryan Hass | 3K | @ryanl_hass
Career American diplomat now based at Brookings. Formerly on director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia at the National Security Council during the Obama administration.
Watch this space. Once the nationalism spigot is turned on, it’s not always easy to turn off.
China’s Propaganda Machine Takes Aim at U.S. Over Trade War https://t.co/mw9fxhnhEI
— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) May 15, 2019
90. Darren Byler | 3K | @dtbyler
Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. Tireless advocate for dignity for Uyghurs. Writes the Xinjiang column on SupChina.
An iconic image of the decimation of Uyghur sacred landscapes. pic.twitter.com/zpDfCjv9Wi
— Darren Byler (@dtbyler) April 22, 2019
A heart breaking thread on the way the Chinese state is manipulating family relationships in attempt to silence stories of Uyghur mass internment. @nytimes @paulmozur & @mikiebarb https://t.co/1XWPAecsJ0 definitely caught attention of XJ security, but hasn’t been enough yet. 👇🏻 https://t.co/X83SvexcpV
— Darren Byler (@dtbyler) May 22, 2019
91. Samm Sacks | 3K | @SammSacks
Cybersecurity Policy and China Digital Economy Fellow, New America. Has appeared on Sinica twice this year, once with Paul Triolo to talk about Huawei, and again to discuss U.S.-China technology integration and competition.
We are translating the new draft of China’s Cybersecurity Review Measures now @gwbstr @NewAmCyber A change: “strengthening fairness and transparency and protection of intellectual property rights.” This is a major regulation tied to National Security Law and Cybersecurity Law https://t.co/R4zMAQQqII
— Samm Sacks (@SammSacks) May 23, 2019
92. Paul Triolo | 3K | @pstAsiatech
Geotechnology Practice Head at the Eurasia Group. Contributes to SupChina with commentary on U.S.-China relations and technology.
“The folks pushing this in the US government don’t care about the consequences for Huawei or those it does business with because they think Huawei is such a national security risk that the damage done to businesses is worth it,” @KennedyCSIS
— Paul Triolo (@pstAsiatech) May 23, 2019
93. Tianyu M. Fang | 2K | @tianyuf
Boston-based freelance writer on Chinese tech and culture. Contributor to SupChina.
I now regret not watching #GameOfThrones because I feel like almost every IR article I read this past week had a GOT reference somewhere.
— Tianyu M. Fang (@tianyuf) May 23, 2019
94. Lü Pin | 2K | @pinerpiner
A leading Chinese feminist activist, and one of the only ones to be active on Twitter writing in English.
It appears international media are not interested in the story of #liuqiangdong and #HereForJingyao, perhaps because it is not about direct resistance against state power. Actually this case typically reflects how conflicting forces shape our unsettling society. @shenlulushen
— 吕频Lü Pin (@pinerpiner) April 29, 2019
95. Tanner Brown | 2K | @luoshanji
Head of breaking news at Caixin. Works with SupChina to produce the Caixin-Sinica Business Brief.
My unpublished book ‘How to Be Happy on $3 a Day’ is just one page containing a picture of this meal. pic.twitter.com/FqOL1Nwjhk
— Tanner Brown (@luoshanji) April 5, 2018
96. Karoline Kan | 2K | @KarolineCQKan
Editor at Chinadialogue, and author of the memoir Under Red Skies.
Some photos from Thursday’s event at @BeijingBookworm . I talked about my book and did a signing session. Thanks everyone! I heard my book was sold out at The Bookworm, but there are more copies on the way. If you are in Beijing and want me to sign, I am happy to do that anytime! pic.twitter.com/lZD319ihZu
— Karoline Kan 阚超群 (@KarolineCQKan) March 23, 2019
97. Anthony Tao | 2K | @anthonytao
Managing Editor of SupChina. You might also know his work on @BeijingCream (15.3K followers), a popular but short-lived (of three years) blog from a few years back.
Two Sessions, the rap song released yesterday by Xinhua, was composed by Su Han. The lyrics are by Su Han, Wang Zhongyi, and Chen Ying. It was produced by Tian Shubin, and directed by Ma Yiqun.
I do not have any more answers.
(But I have lyrics: https://t.co/iWIWQjWfPF) pic.twitter.com/T4Cz9c7T93
— Anthony Tao (@anthonytao) March 4, 2019
98. Ma Tianjie | 1K | @TJMa_beijing
Founded two blogs: Chublic Opinion, about public opinion in China, and Panda Paw Dragon Claw, about the Belt and Road initiative.
What was the US Embassy thinking when posting such a chart on Weibo giving Chinese #BeltandRoad projects big red crosses and one project by its allies a full score? You really need to make an effort, some effort, to appear impartial… pic.twitter.com/dh3tn9FGbt
— TJMa (@TJMa_beijing) April 10, 2019
99. Shen Lu | 1K | @shenlulushen
Writer focusing on Chinese diaspora and culture in New York City. Founding member of Chinese Storytellers. Has contributed to SupChina.
Very hard to report on this story as someone who also went through visa purgatory. Some Chinese students can’t get visa renewals. Others got denied work visas. Politics upends individual lives & may impact Chinese student enrollment in US:https://t.co/DmNp03UsTZ via @scmpnews
— Shen Lu 沈璐 (@shenlulushen) May 23, 2019
100. Afra Wang | 1K | @afrazhaowang
Writer focused on Chinese culture and U.S.-China relations. A host of the Loud Murmurs podcast that discusses pop culture in Chinese.
Have you read this 20k-word long interview with Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei? At least in my friend circle, many believe Huawei’s PR failed to catch up with Ren’s eloquence and openness; and many more start to “圈粉” (become a fan) of him: https://t.co/HnLfwfMN4w
— Afra Wang (@afrazhaowang) May 23, 2019
A quick guide to Chinese-language Twitter
If you read Chinese, there is a large but disparate community of Chinese-language tweeters that you can follow.
The most prominent Chinese-language accounts on Twitter are generally based outside of China, and include many dissident lawyers and activists as well as diaspora Chinese.
Unfortunately, there are extremely few prominent Chinese people living in China who are currently active on Twitter, after a mass campaign of harassment and interrogation of hundreds, possibly thousands of account holders was initiated by the government last year. This campaign is ongoing, and has even included punishing China-based accounts that “like” content that is critical of the Communist Party, or even for “having an account” at all. One anonymous data-science-based account that attracted a lot of attention from China-watchers, @AirMovingDevice, deleted all its tweets in early March and issued what was effectively a forced confession. The proprietor of that account has since returned to tweet about less political topics, such as the average distance to a hotpot restaurant in Beijing.
Beijing’s ban on Chinese citizens owning politically active Twitter accounts does not extend to state media propaganda workers. Xinhua, the People’s Daily, China Daily, CGTN, and the Global Times all maintain active accounts. The China Daily’s Chen Weihua (@chenweihua) can be found defending China in most reply sections of many popular tweets criticizing China. Hú Xījìn 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT), the editor of nationalist rag Global Times, joined in the fun and has kept up a steady stream of impressively trollish commentary since January 2018. (Hu can be an interesting person to follow, as he is a savvy interpreter of the nationalistic side of Chinese elite opinion, but he should not be regarded as an authoritative messenger of the Chinese government.)
Meanwhile, across the Taiwan Strait, politicians on the self-governing island of Taiwan freely use Twitter. For example, both President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文 Cài Yīngwén) (@iingwen) and the mayor of Taipei, Ko Wen-Je (柯文哲 Kē Wénzhé) (@KP_Taipei), have very active and popular multilingual accounts. At least for now, Hong Kong also has unhindered access to Twitter, and anti-Beijing activists such as Joshua Wong (黃之鋒 Huáng Zhīfēng) maintain active accounts (@joshuawongcf).
Notable Chinese-language Twitter accounts
Ex-Chinese internet activist Wen Yunchao (@wenyunchao) has a list of about 200 Chinese-language accounts, and Bill Bishop has a Twitter list of 26 “opinionated Chinese” also worth checking out. For Chinese-language commentary on news, we would like to highlight, in no particular order, the following accounts:
- Zhāng Lìfán 章立凡, a respected Beijing-based historian and commentator. (@zhanglifan)
- Dèng Yùwén 邓聿文, a former deputy editor of the Central Party School’s journal, Study Times. (@dyw1968316)
- Michael Anti (安替 Ān Tì), founder of Caixin Globus and a longtime bilingual journalist and internet blogger. (@mranti)
- Ho Pin (何频 Hé Pín), editor of overseas Chinese website Mingjing and writer of a bilingual political commentary newsletter. (@MJTVHoPin)
- Fāng Kěchéng 方可成, veteran political journalist and a Ph.D. candidate at UPenn. (@fangkc)
- Qiáo Mù 乔木, a former professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, now based in the U.S. and an advocate for human rights. (@QiaoMoo)
- Téng Biāo 滕彪, an exiled human rights lawyer now based at Princeton University. (@tengbiao)
- Ài Wèiwèi 艾未未, the famous artist and political activist. (@aiww)
- Fāng Zhōuzǐ 方舟子, the pen name of Fāng Shìmín 方是民, a science writer based in Beijing. (@fangshimin)
- KurikuC, a grad student at MIT. (@kuriko_c)
- Wáng Dān 王丹, one of the leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, now exiled overseas. (@wangdan1989)
- Wú’ěr Kāixī 吾尔开希, another leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, now exiled in Taiwan. (@wuerkaixi)
- Lǐ Tíngtíng 李婷婷 (also known as Lǐ Màizi 李麦子), a queer feminist activist. (@LiMaizi)
- Hú Jiā 胡佳, a Chinese civil rights activist. (@hu_jia)
Remember to follow our Twitter list. Think there’s someone we missed? Get in touch: [email protected]
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