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Tracy Wen Liu

Austin, United States of America
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About Tracy
A former auditor turned into an investigative journalist. Writes about China technology, the US-China relationship, and China's propaganda system for the New York Times, Foreign Policy, WIRED, ChinaFile, and other publications.
Contributing US-Correspondent for Deutsche Welle Chinese.
My Chinese articles are published in the New York Times Chinese, VOA, Intium Media, Pengpai News (thePaper.cn), Phoenix New Media, and many more.
Author of five books
Translator of "Everything is F*cked, a Book about Hope", published in China in July 2022.
Winner of Hong Kong Youth Literary Awards
Languages
English French Chinese (Mandarin)
Services
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
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Skills
Business Finance Politics
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Portfolio

Inside the ‘Revolt’ When Yale Law Left the Most Important Rankings

27 Dec 2023  |  www.voanews.com
Yale Law School, traditionally ranked No. 1 by US News & World Report, announced it would no longer participate in the rankings, prompting other law schools to decide whether to follow suit or benefit from Yale's absence. Jack Stripling of The Washington Post delves into the covert struggles among these institutions regarding the rankings.

Temu Is Burning Cash to Challenge Shein and Amazon on Black Friday

21 Nov 2023  |  wired.com
Temu, an e-commerce app owned by PDD Holdings, has seen rapid growth in the US and globally, offering deep discounts and heavy advertising to compete with Shein and Amazon. Despite its success, Temu faces significant financial losses, with a projected net loss of 23 billion renminbi for 2023. The company is also dealing with logistical challenges, such as warehouse capacity issues. Temu's aggressive expansion and spending have raised concerns about its long-term profitability. The company is also navigating legal disputes with Shein and addressing potential data security and forced labor criticisms from US government bodies. As the holiday season approaches, Temu is preparing for intense competition, particularly with the entry of TikTok shop into the US market.

Chinese Students, Universities Struggle to Understand Impact of New Florida Law

Temu Sellers Are Cloning Amazon Storefronts

04 Oct 2023  |  www.wired.com
Amazon sellers, particularly from China, are finding their product listings, including images and descriptions, cloned on the Temu platform, leading to significant sales drops. Temu, owned by Chinese tech giant PDD, has been accused of intellectual property violations, with sellers struggling to get the infringing content removed. Amazon has condemned such activities and encouraged affected sellers to contact its Counterfeit Crimes Unit. Legal actions have been initiated by some larger sellers, but smaller sellers find it challenging due to resource constraints. Temu is also embroiled in a legal dispute with Shein over marketing practices.

Temu Sellers Are Cloning Amazon Storefronts

04 Oct 2023  |  www.wired.com
Amazon sellers, particularly from China, are finding their product listings, including images and descriptions, duplicated on the Temu platform, leading to significant sales declines. Temu, owned by Chinese tech giant PDD, has not addressed these complaints effectively. Sellers are struggling with the high costs and complexities of legal action, hoping Amazon will intervene. Several lawsuits have been filed against Temu for intellectual property violations, highlighting the broader issue of e-commerce competition and copyright infringement.

China Faces Record High Unmarried Rate Among Young People

01 Oct 2023  |  khmer.voanews.com
China is facing significant demographic challenges as its population ages and workforce declines. Over half of Chinese individuals aged 25 to 29 remain unmarried in 2023, a sharp decline from a decade ago. Economic concerns, high unemployment rates, and changing social attitudes contribute to this trend. Local governments have introduced policies to encourage marriage, but with limited success. The Chinese government and experts from institutions like California University, Berkeley, highlight the interconnectedness of economic conditions and marriage rates.

TikTok and Amazon Bet on China’s Ecommerce Model. It’s a Dud

01 Oct 2023  |  www.wired.com
Companies like Amazon, TikTok, and Shopify are investing heavily in livestream ecommerce, inspired by its success in China. However, they face significant challenges in the US market due to differences in consumer behavior and market conditions. While Chinese consumers engage with livestreams for entertainment and deals, American consumers prioritize time efficiency and are less inclined to watch long streams. Influencers in the US also prefer independent content creation over agency contracts. Despite some efforts and minor successes, the livestream ecommerce model has yet to gain substantial traction in the US.

Chinese VCs Lived the Silicon Valley High Life. Now the Party’s Over

03 May 2023  |  wired.com
Chinese venture capitalists, once living a lavish lifestyle in Silicon Valley, are facing a new reality as the US-China relationship deteriorates. The late 2010s saw a surge in Chinese investment in US startups, facilitated by state-linked funds and a welcoming environment. However, the Trump administration's tariffs, investment restrictions, and the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 marked the beginning of a shift. The pandemic and further regulations under the Biden administration have led to a significant drop in Chinese VC investment in the US. Academic collaborations have also been scrutinized, and Chinese tech companies are facing delisting or postponing US market plans. Despite these challenges, some Chinese investors continue to seek opportunities in the US, albeit with a different focus, such as transferring money out of China due to fears of government crackdowns.

HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies elicited in humans by a prefusion-stabilized envelope trimer form a reproducible class targeting fusion peptide

14 Mar 2023  |  www.cell.com
The study investigates the elicitation of HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies in humans, analyzing B cells from a phase I clinical trial of the 'DS-SOSIP'-stabilized envelope trimer from strain BG505. Two antibodies, N751-2C06.01 and N751-2C09.01, were identified that neutralize the autologous tier-2 strain, BG505. Derived from distinct lineages, these antibodies target the HIV-1 fusion peptide and are highly strain specific due to partial recognition of a BG505-specific glycan hole and binding requirements for BG505-specific residues. The prefusion-stabilized envelope trimers can elicit autologous tier-2 neutralizing antibodies in humans, with the initially identified neutralizing antibodies recognizing the fusion-peptide site of vulnerability.

COVID-Ravaged Chinese Public Is Desperate for Paxlovid

12 Jan 2023  |  Foreign Policy
Since December 2022, China has faced a severe COVID-19 outbreak, overwhelming its zero-COVID policy and leading to critical shortages of medical supplies, including the antiviral drug Paxlovid. Chinese Americans are attempting to send medicine to China, with Paxlovid being highly sought after despite its high cost and limited availability. The Chinese government has been criticized for its handling of the situation, including its decision not to include Paxlovid in the national insurance plan. The disparity in health resources between urban and rural areas has also been highlighted, with rural regions facing significant shortages and underfunding.

The Chinese Public Doesn’t Know Who to Trust Anymore

30 Dec 2022  |  Foreign Policy
The article discusses the growing distrust among the Chinese public towards the government and medical experts in the wake of the country's abrupt shift from strict zero-COVID policies to a more relaxed approach. Personal stories highlight the chaos and suffering in overwhelmed hospitals, with many questioning the reliability of government data and assurances. The narrative underscores the broader issue of eroding public trust in various aspects of Chinese life, exacerbated by inconsistent messaging and perceived mishandling of the pandemic response.

Young Chinese Are Despairing of a Zero-COVID Future

24 Oct 2022  |  Foreign Policy
The article discusses the despair and frustration among young Chinese people due to the country's strict zero-COVID policies. It highlights the impact of these policies on daily life, employment, and mental health. The article also addresses the economic downturn, high youth unemployment rates, and the reluctance to have children. It reflects on the growing desire among young Chinese to leave the country and the increasing difficulty of living under stringent government regulations.

Covid Death of Li Wenliang, the Doctor China Tried to Silence

06 Oct 2022  |  www.nytimes.com
In early 2020, Dr. Li Wenliang, a Wuhan-based doctor who tried to warn about the emerging Covid-19 virus, succumbed to the disease. His death, following government reprimands and isolation, sparked widespread grief and anger in China. The New York Times's investigation, including interviews and medical record reviews, revealed new details about his illness and treatment, showing no evidence of compromised care but highlighting the government's attempts to censor him. Dr. Li's story remains a powerful symbol of frustration with governmental suppression of independent voices.

China Owned My Mother’s Womb. Texas Owns Mine.

28 Jun 2022  |  Foreign Policy
The article juxtaposes the author's experiences with reproductive rights in China and Texas, highlighting the oppressive policies in both regions. It discusses the one-child policy in China, forced sterilizations, and the recent assault on women's rights in Texas following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The author expresses disappointment in the United States, once seen as a beacon of democracy, and emphasizes the ongoing fight for women's rights. The narrative underscores the global struggle for bodily autonomy and gender equality, drawing parallels between state control and societal misogyny in both countries.

Older Chinese Are Demanding Money to Get Vaccinated

11 May 2022  |  Foreign Policy
China's initial decision to prioritize younger populations for COVID-19 vaccination has led to significant challenges as the omicron variant spreads. With a large portion of the elderly still unvaccinated, the government has resorted to mandatory quotas and incentives, including monetary compensation, to increase vaccination rates. However, distrust in vaccines and logistical barriers persist. The Sinovac vaccine, widely used in China, is less effective than Western mRNA vaccines, but political factors prevent the import of these more effective alternatives. The situation underscores the complexities and consequences of China's vaccination strategy.

Shanghai’s Food Shortages Spur Voluntarism and Cynicism

03 May 2022  |  Foreign Policy
Shanghai's COVID-19 lockdown has led to severe food shortages, causing desperation among residents. Social media is filled with accounts of people struggling to find food, with some resorting to eating wild plants. The lockdown, initially less strict, became comprehensive by April 1, trapping residents with limited supplies. Community workers and volunteers are overwhelmed, and grocery delivery apps are unable to meet demand. The Shanghai government and local authorities are criticized for poor planning and distribution, leading to widespread public dissatisfaction and cynicism.

China's Generation Z Has a Lot of Nationalist, Pro

14 Apr 2022  |  Foreign Policy
China's Generation Z, shaped by the country's increasing nationalism and internet censorship, differs significantly from previous generations. While Chinese millennials once viewed the internet as a gateway to the world, today's youth are more insular and nationalistic, largely due to government policies that have restricted free speech and promoted patriotism. This generation is less interested in Western platforms and more comfortable with China's authoritarian system, which they believe has contributed to the country's economic success. Despite some resistance and self-critical discussions on social issues, open dissent is rare and often punished. The phenomenon of 'lying flat'—a passive resistance to relentless work—has also emerged, reflecting a subtle rejection of the system.

China’s Propaganda Over Ukraine Is Shifting and Uncertain

01 Mar 2022  |  Foreign Policy
China's media initially portrayed the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a pro-Russian light, influenced by longstanding anti-U.S. propaganda. However, as the conflict progressed, Chinese media guidelines shifted towards a more neutral stance, though inconsistencies and confusion among reporters persisted. The Chinese government prioritizes domestic stability, avoiding any coverage that could relate Russian events to domestic issues like Taiwan. Despite efforts to appear neutral, Chinese media often disseminates pro-Russian content, influenced by Russian state media. Public sentiment in China remains largely pro-Russian, with significant censorship of anti-war and pro-Ukraine voices.

China’s Growing Censorship Is Training the Public to Be Online Snitches

08 Aug 2021  |  Foreign Policy
China's increasing censorship under Xi Jinping's rule is fostering a culture of online informers who report posts and individuals for unapproved patriotic behavior. This growing censorship affects not only aspiring nationalists but also professionals, marginalized groups, and celebrities. The Chinese state encourages nationalist rhetoric but punishes unapproved actions, leading to a climate of fear and self-censorship. The article highlights various instances of censorship, including the banning of feminist and LGBTQ accounts, and the use of censorship by superfans to protect their favorite celebrities. The overall sentiment towards the Chinese government's actions is negative, with criticism directed at the increasing control over freedom of speech and the impact on various groups and individuals.

Chinese Media Calls Capitol Riot ‘World Masterpiece’

08 Jan 2021  |  Foreign Policy
Chinese state-affiliated media and government organizations used the Capitol riot to criticize US democracy and promote their governance model. The Global Times and the Communist Youth League drew parallels between the Capitol riot and Hong Kong protests, while Chinese netizens celebrated the perceived failure of US democracy. Chinese media guidelines focused on highlighting the damage to the US's global reputation and questioning the viability of democracy. The Chinese government's narrative was bolstered by the Capitol violence, justifying censorship and control of speech as superior governance.
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