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The Straits Times’ book on post-Beijing Olympics China available as e-book

Singapore, 3 September 2014 – When the book “When the Party Ends: China’s leaps and stumbles after the Beijing Olympics” was launched in November 2013, it was a best-seller which received favourable reviews from China watchers, and made it to the must-read list of the Los Angeles Review of Books and Japan Times.

Published by The Straits Times Press, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the 320-page book by The Straits Times journalist Peh Shing Huei vividly captured the surge of a "steroid superpower", accompanied by an upswing in social unrest, political intrigue and insecurity. It is a compelling account of China after it stunned the world with the memorable opening of the Olympic Games, an exciting period which coincided with the author’s posting to the country. 

Mr Peh was based in Beijing as The Straits Times’ China Bureau Chief from 2008 to 2012, where he reported on the massive Sichuan earthquake three months before the Games in 2008, the dramatic fall of Chongqing chief Bo Xilai and the once-in-a-decade leadership handover in 2012.

The author also uncovered the simmering tension behind China’s meteoric progress, which has seen the communist country launching high-speed rail networks at a breakneck pace and conquering space in the midst of a growing income divide. Even as China grew stronger and more assertive, it also became more fragile. This is evident in the many insightful interviews with scholars, dissidents, civil servants, politicians, and the ordinary Chinese citizens whose stories are intricately weaved into the eight chapters. 

Besides a paperback edition, it is now available as an e-book on Kindle at and at US$9.90 from 4 September.

This is the second book written by Mr Peh.  He was the co-author of “Struck By Lightning”, a collection of essays on Singapore politics, published in 2006.

Now the news editor of The Straits Times, Mr Peh, who is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and the National University of Singapore, said of his latest e-book: “There has been strong interest overseas since the book was launched but many have been unable to get a copy of it. Now that it is available on Kindle at, I hope the book can be enjoyed by more people."

Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times, said: "Peh's book has been well received in Singapore, and among those who watch China closely.  By making the book available for download online, we hope to bring his insightful analysis of the country and vivid story-telling to a global audience."

Historian and China watcher Jeffrey Wasserstrom writes on LA Review of Books blog that Mr Peh’s book is one of 12 China books to buy. He wrote: “Peh Shing Huei’s “When the Party Ends: China’s Leaps and Stumbles After the Olympics”… should appeal to readers fascinated by elite politics and its author, who did good reporting from Beijing for the Singapore Straits Times before moving back to Southeast Asia, knows when and how to enliven top-down views of China with human interest stories and engaging personal touches.”

Professor Jeff Kingston of Temple University in Tokyo placed the book on a New Year Asian reading list to savour and inspire. The book, he says in The Japan Times, has "colourful, fast-paced analysis" of steroid superpower China. The author, he adds, “raises important questions about the sustainability of what he dubs “market Leninism” and the Communist Party’s capacity to take China to the next stage.”

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About The Straits Times

The Straits Times is the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings and the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It was launched on July 15, 1845, and provides comprehensive coverage of local, regional and international news. It has 20 bureaus in major cities worldwide, with its correspondents providing a Singapore perspective on what is happening around the world. Complementing the main title are weekly lifestyle supplements Digital Life, Urban and Mind Your Body, as well as IN and Little Red Dot for students. 

The Straits Times is also on digital platforms with its website at  It also has ioS and Android apps, and a menu of e-books housed in a separate Straits Times Star app.

The Straits Times has won multiple international awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa) and Society of News Design. It was named Singapore Newspaper of the Year 2014 and 2013 by Marketing magazine and voted Singapore’s favourite newspaper 2013 by Superbrands

Its website won gold in “Best In Online Media” at the 2012 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards. Its Communities microsites platform was named 2014 Digital Innovation of the Year award  by Panpa, and got Gold in the Best in Social Media category at the 2013 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards.  

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing
SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages. On an average day, 3.05 million individuals or 76 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, SPH's suite of digital products includes online editions of newspapers and magazines, as well as mobile applications. Our online products enjoy 360 million page views with 23 million unique browsers every month. Apart from AsiaOne, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include ST701, the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds); Stomp, and SPH Razor. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times’ iPhone application. SPH’s Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital editions which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions. The Malay language-daily Berita Harian has apps for both iPhones and Android smartphones and iPads, offering both native and PDF formats, and an online version.

In the radio business, SPH Radio Pte Ltd operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English. SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today.

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising
SPH’s events arm Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO.

SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established principally to invest, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing real estate which is used primarily for retail purposes in Asia-Pacific, as well as real estate-related assets. SPH REIT is managed by SPH REIT Management Pte. Ltd., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Limited.

The initial portfolio of SPH REIT comprises the following two high quality and well located commercial properties in Singapore:

· Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property, well known for its upscale mall housing many luxury brands, located in the heart of Orchard Road; and
· The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall located in the centre of Clementi town, an established residential estate in the west of Singapore.

The Seletar Mall is SPH's latest retail development and is expected to open at the end of 2014. This property is a potential asset to be injected into SPH REIT. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

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