Lily Kuo

Lily Kuo is a reporter at Quartz covering emerging markets. She previously reported general news for Reuters. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and the China Post in Taiwan. She holds a dual master’s degree in international affairs from Peking University and the London School of Economics. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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In Libya, You Can Buy an Anti-Aircraft Gun on Facebook

April 7, 2016 An online marketplace for illicit weapons is thriving in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a study released today that found sales of heavy machine guns, rocket and grenade launchers, and anti-aircraft guns on private Facebook groups in Libya. During his 40-year reign, colonel Muammar Gaddafi stockpiled an...

After Guantanamo, Two Detainees Try To Put Their Lives Back Together in Ghana

January 13, 2016 Two Yemenis who were held for over a decade at the controversial US naval base in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay have arrived in Ghana to restart their lives. The two men, Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, are among 17 detainees who were to be released this...

African States Hop on the Network Surveillance Bandwagon

October 16, 2015 Uganda has been using a surveillance program, codenamed Fungua Macho, or “open eyes” in Swahili, to spy on opposition politicians and anyone “deemed dangerous to state security,” according to an investigation by Privacy International and BBC Newsnight. Policy documents dating back to 2012 detail the use of the security software...

Burkina Faso's Elite Troops Just Took Control of the Country

September 17, 2015 Burkina Faso is in the throes of a military coup led by a shadowy presidential guard that operates above the law and threatens to derail the fledgling democracy’s progress. Members of the Regiment of Presidential Security (RSP), allied with former president Blaise Compaoré, stormed a cabinet meeting yesterday (Sept. 16)...

China Warns of 'Inevitable' War with US Over South China Sea

May 26, 2015 After Chinese state media warned that war with the United States may be “inevitable,” Beijing has published a policy paper detailing how the military will shift its focus from land and coastlines to the open seas. China’s State Council released a white paper today that criticizes “external countries…busy meddling in...

China Says North Korea Has More Nukes Than the US Thought

April 23, 2015 China’s top nuclear experts believe North Korea may be a much larger and immediate nuclear threat than previously believed. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), Chinese uranium enrichment experts estimate Pyongyang has 20 nuclear warheads and enough weapons-grade uranium to double that arsenal within a year. The comments, made...

China Is Building a $46B Railroad Through Pakistan's Insurgency

April 20, 2015 Chinese president Xi Jinping visits Islamabad this week, where he will sign agreements to spend almost $46 billion on energy and infrastructure projects to be built along an “economic corridor” between Kashgar in China’s western province of Xinjiang and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, soon to be operated by a Chinese state-owned...

Kenji Goto's Death Is Forcing Japan To Rethink Fighting Terrorism

February 2, 2015 Japanese citizens awoke Sunday to a harrowing video purporting to show the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto at the hands of terror group Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL). While members of the group vowed that the “nightmare for Japan” had just begun, Japanese prime minister Shinzo...

China’s Sketchy App Stores Now Serve up iPhone Malware

November 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A US security company has raised the alarm about a new breed of malware that has infiltrated hundreds of thousands of Apple devices, including Macs and iPhones. But unless you’re downloading pirated software from Chinese app stores, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. The “Wirelurker” malware was flagged...

How a Simple Note-Taking App Became the New Anti-Censorship Tool in China

October 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow HONG KONG—Mainland Chinese readers may have found one way around China’s tight grip over news and information about the pro-democracy protests that have swept Hong Kong for the last three weeks— a California-based app best known for its personal to-do lists, clipping web-pages, and sharing notes between coworkers. Words including...

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