When we started this blog in 2006, readers constantly asked us what they should read “to keep up to date with China”. With media coverage of China having improved dramatically since then, we are asked that way less often these days, but this morning I received an email from a friend who recently left China after nearly two decades, wondering what he should “read for a really good analysis of China?”
I responded and suggested the following three newsletters, all of which are excellent. Full disclosure: I’ve known, loved, and respected these three writers for a long time, but none of them knew I’d be writing on their newsletters. I chose these newsletters solely on the basis of their quality. If I missed any other great China news reports, please let us know with a comment below.
1. Bill Bishop’s Sinocism
Bill has been covering China since the 1990s and Sinocism is probably the most cited Chinese newsletter on the planet. Bill describes Sinocism as follows:
Nearly 100,000 investors, policymakers, executives, analysts, diplomats, journalists, academics and others read Bill Bishop’s newsletters for valuable insights on China.
The newsletter provides analysis, commentary and selected links to the main English and Chinese news of the day.
2. Dexter Roberts’ trade war
Dexter was Bloomberg Businessweek’s Beijing bureau chief for many years and has spent more than two decades living and reporting from China. He also wrote a great book on China, titled The Myth of Chinese Capitalism. Trade War primarily provides political and economic analysis. Dexter describes the trade war as follows:
Trade War is a weekly publication that focuses on the Chinese economy and China’s trade and political relations with the world.
Dexter Tiff Roberts previously worked as a Beijing-based journalist for over two decades and is the author of The myth of Chinese capitalismchosen by The Economist as one of the best books of 2020.
3. Shannon Brandao’s Chinese boss
Shannon is an American lawyer who helps companies analyze China-related risks and conduct thorough due diligence. China Boss is published at least once a week and focuses on Chinese events that increase or (much less often) improve Chinese risks for businesses and individuals. Shannon describes China Boss as follows:
Welcome to China Boss News where I summarize the most important news of the week from my LinkedIn feed of over 80 weekly posts – that’s over 4000 news articles a year! – with reports on China in the fields of business, law and geopolitics.
I’m an American lawyer living near Brussels, Belgium with my wonderful husband and a feisty West Highland Terrier. I am also a long-time observer of China, having studied Chinese language, politics and economics for over two decades. My LinkedIn posts are a collection of my research on the COVID-19 recovery, China-related business and geopolitical trends, and new ways of understanding China.
I created China Boss News to track major trends that can be used to draw conclusions about where things will go.
4. The three Chinese newsletters are excellent
What makes these three newsletters so valuable is their in-depth analysis of China. The news behind the news, if you will. Almost certainly, one or more of the articles in these newsletters will influence my views on China or become a topic of discussion with a client or with another of my firm’s international lawyers.
I am going to anticipate the question of which newsletter I would choose if I had to choose just one, by encouraging you all to read the free writings of these three newsletters for a few weeks and then decide which of them (all three maybe !) make the most sense for you.