Chinese internet culture

Chinese internet culture

Useless Edison apologizes for making an “invention” that replicates an ancient torture device
His millions of internet fans call him the ‘Useless Edison’ for his eccentric inventions but this time, he’s gone too far. The Chinese internet star has apologized after a video of his latest invention – a wooden donkey that appeared to be modeled after a torture device that originated in China’s Song dynasty (960-1279) - was attacked online.  The original torture device, called the "wooden horse" is regarded as one of the most cruel torture devices ever invented, and it was mostly used on women that were deemed to be disobedient against men.  Victims, mostly women, were strapped to the device, and then paraded around the streets to receive a public shaming, as wood – or metal – nails embed
Kimchi wars: Korean live-streamer faces Chinese web users’ wrath
A South Korean internet star who live-streams herself binge-eating various foods – a phenomenon known as mukbang – is in hot water amid an online dispute over whether kimchi is Korean or Chinese. The YouTuber, who goes by the name Hamzy, found herself caught in the crossfire of this cultural clash when she added a thumbs-up emoji to comments online about China claiming Korean kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish, as its own. Chinese internet users said she had insulted China by showing her approval for what were seen as anti-China comments. Shanghai-based company Suxian Advertising, which run Hamzy's video accounts and online shop in China, was quoted as saying it planned to terminate its contr
Uncle Roger tells critics to ‘unfollow’ him if they’re not happy
Nigel Ng’s dumpling drama shows no signs of going cold with the Malaysian-born ‘Uncle Roger’ star telling his online detractors that he made “zero dollars from Chinese social media” and “just wanted to make people laugh.” The British-based comedian made the comments after receiving major backlash from followers for taking down a video from his YouTube channel that featured another internet star, Mike Chen, from the Strictly Dumpling channel. Chen has been vocal in his repeated criticism of the Chinese government, a fact Ng claimed to be unaware of. Ng was then accused of bowing to pressure from China for removing the video, although no anti-China sentiments had been made in it. In a new vid
Hot Tibetan herdsman and Xinjiang horseback riding beauty are leading a regional tourism push
Local provinces in China are trying to cash in on attractive online influencers as a new way to boost local tourism. They hope to replicate the experience of Zhaxi Dingzhen, a 20-year-old Tibetan herdsman from Sichuan who became an internet sensation over a viral video showcasing what fans described as his “pure smile” and rugged appearance.  Regional governments are now scouring their populations for local ambassadors to help promote more remote areas of China to the rest of the country.  It is similar to a previous phenomenon of farmers in China earning acclaim by live-streaming their rural lifestyles. The most famous example is Li Ziqi, who presents an idyllic rural lifestyle to her milli
Virtual idols are the next internet trend in China
During a marathon live-stream on popular Chinese video platform Bilibili last month, Hiseki Erio performed for nine hours straight to 90,000 online viewers, of whom more than 3,000 were premium subscribers to her channel.  What makes the Japanese-speaking Erio stand out from other stars is that she is also a virtual idol. Unlike Vocaloids (digital avatars manipulated and run by computer programs), virtual idols are something of a digital-analog hybrid: avatars in the form of an animation or hologram but with real human voices, and with movements and facial expressions based on those of a real person. Virtual idols first appeared in Japan in the 1990s. They have, in recent years, caught the
Tibetan heartthrob charms millions with ‘pure smile’
A young Tibetan man has become a national heartthrob in China after millions of people became fans of his “clean eyes and pure smile.”   In a video released November 11, Zhaxi Dingzhen, a 20-year-old native of Litang, a remote county in Sichuan province, smiles as he walks toward the camera with his swarthy skin, big eyes, long eyelashes and thick but messy hair. He was walking in front of his home on the Tibetan plateau and smiling toward the camera a bit shyly. The video quickly went viral, receiving over 2.7 million likes and 135,000 comments, most of which complimented the man.  “He is so handsome! I’ve seen this video dozens of times,” wrote one user on Douyin, the Chinese version of T
Online shopping is exploding in China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 710 million: the number of online shoppers in China.  The number of people in China who shop online reached 710 million in March 2020, according to the state-run China Internet Network Information Center.  The number has grown by 100 million from the end of 2018. Currently, more than half of China’s 1.4 billion population are buying things online. E-commerce has become a massive industry because of the growing spending power of China’s middle class. Also, the proliferation of online payment methods, as well as the low cost and efficient delivery infrastructure, has helped co
Digital gap between China’s cities and the countryside is shrinking
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 3.6 percentage points: the gap between the ability for rural and urban Chinese youth to access the internet. Young people in rural China are catching up with their city counterparts when it comes to going online. About 94% of urban Chinese youth have access to the internet, compared to 90.3% of rural youth, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, a government agency. The difference of 3.6 percentage points shrank from last year’s number of 5.4 percentage points, the center said in a report on internet access for people between the age of 6 and 18. China s
China has blocked one of the world’s biggest fanfiction sites
Archive of Our Own (AO3), one of the world’s biggest fanfiction sites, appeared to be blocked in China on Saturday as regulators further tightened internet controls. Some users furiously blamed fans of a popular actor for the government’s action. “Unfortunately, the Archive of Our Own is currently inaccessible in China,” the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), a US non-profit group that operates AO3, said on its Twitter account. It added that it could not resolve the problem since the disconnection is not caused by AO3’s servers. OTW did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday. Calls to the country’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) a
Chinese internet rejects Communist virtual idols named after Mao poems
Two new “virtual idols” representing the youth wing of China’s Communist Party failed spectacularly, in large part because they were released as China still struggles to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.  The Communist Youth League posted on the Twitter-like Weibo on Monday that it would release two new animated cartoon characters.  “Let’s meet two new friends, the league’s virtual idols Hongqiman and Jiangshanjiao,” the Communist Youth League said to its 12 million followers.  The two characters’ names, which mean “abundant red flags” and “lovely land,” were both derived from poems by late Chairman Mao Zedong.  The project is the party’s latest attempt to win the hearts of China’s you