College Hopefuls from the Countryside Face Hurdles

Liu Xiaome, 33, came to Beijing nine years ago from Anhui province. Today she works as a maid cleaning homes for 10 yuan, or about $1.50, per hour. Liu’s son is back home in the care of her mother and older sister.

A Tale of Two Muslims

Walking down a major Beijing thoroughfare in search of a subway station, I passed a mustached man of olive-colored skin on a flatbed tricycle loaded with che, a sweet snack made of peanuts and fruit. He asked if I wanted to buy some, and offered a free sample. The man spoke Chinese with a heavy accent, and I realized he was not an ethnic Chinese, but a Uighur, one of China’s ethnic and religious minorities.

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Photo by Patrick Michels

Tian Fei, a programmer in Beijing, says Chinese managers' focus on the bottom line is stifling homegrown innovation.

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Photo by Patrick Michels

Zhongguancun's giant electronics markets add to the neighborhood's high-tech atmosphere.

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Photo by Patrick Michels

Makepolo.com founder Morgan Su hopes to grow his product search site into a global hit.

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Photo by Patrick Michels

China's state-controlled newspapers are one key influence on local opinions on America and the world.

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Photo by L.A. Reno

Breakers and hip-hop fans meet at monthly jam sessions hosted by local DJs and break dance crews.

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Photo by L.A. Reno

DJ Wordy spins records at a jam session he cohosts with the Foot Style Rockers.

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