Smash-hit mobile game

Source: Tech Node (9/14/17)
China’s smash-hit mobile game Honour of Kings is coming to Nintendo Switch
By Emma Lee

Chinese tech giant Tencent is bringing its blockbuster game Honour of Kings to Nintendo Switch platform. The free-to-play MOBA game will receive a beta test this winter. Instead of the original game that features Chinese characters and stories, the game landing on Nintendo Switch platform will be the global edition that’s been rebranded under the new title of “Arena of Valor”.

To cater to the appetites of global users, Tencent reinvented most of the game’s characters for the global edition. The 60-plus characters coming from Chinese history and myth have been replaced by American-style heroes such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Continue reading

The great hive of propaganda

Source: China Media Project
THE GREAT HIVE OF PROPAGANDA
by  | Sep 16, 2017

The Great Hive of Propaganda

In December 2012, just weeks after Xi Jinping took the reins of the Chinese Communist Party, the official People’s Daily ran a front-page editorial called, “The Internet is Not a Land Outside the Law.” While it is “unrealistic,” the piece said, to demand that “everyone say the correct thing in the correct way,” all Chinese “must have consciousness of the law, being responsible for their words and actions.”

The People’s Daily article came months ahead of a crackdown on influential “Big V” users on Weibo. It predated by more than a year the creation of Xi Jinping’s Central Leading Group on Cyberspace Affairs, and its powerful new Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). Looking back, however, the editorial appears to have presaged an era of obsessive law-making on the internet — until these days, it seems, there is no end to the regulations governing the hills and valleys of Chinese cyberspace. Continue reading

Spending on music in China

Source: Sup China (9/14/17)
China’s per capita spending on music is $0.15, only 0.7 percent that of Japan’s
By Jiayun Feng

“We didn’t pay for music, but we watched ads. I think it’s quite fair.”

“I am appalled by those comments questioning why we should pay for the music we listen to. I know most Chinese have a low level of intellectual property consciousness, but it’s still sad to see that many people have zero respect for musicians and their works. They are not obliged to provide free music for you. Today, you enjoy pirated music and generations after us will have no good Chinese songs to listen to as a result.”

Music tastes of Chinese individuals are very alike — primarily cheesy and insubstantial love songs with hook-laden melodies. Yet as the two comments above indicate, opinions are significantly divided (in Chinese) as to whether music listeners should pay for the products they consume, a poignant question raised by a recent report (in Chinese) from the Communication University of China in Beijing, which reveals the alarming status of China’s digital music industry. Continue reading

Popular talkshow suddenly cancelled

Source: What’s on Weibo (9/13/17)
One of China’s Longest-Running and Most Popular Talkshows Suddenly Cancelled
By Manya Koetse and Diandian Guo

The popular Chinese talk show “Behind the Headlines” (锵锵三人行), that was broadcasted by Phoenix TV since 1998, has been suddenly terminated. The name of the show itself has become a ‘sensitive’ and censored term on Weibo since September 12.

One of China’s most successful and long-lasting talk shows has suddenly been canceled after nearly 20 years.

Without further official statements, the TV show announced its termination on its Weibo channel on September 12: Continue reading

The people behind state media videos

Source: Sixth Tone (9/5/17)
The People Behind Chinese State Media’s Viral Videos
The recent BRICS summit has given government mouthpiece Xinhua a chance to launch its latest charm offensive.
By Lu Hongyong

A screenshot from the video ‘Light of BRICS’ produced by Studio One of Xinhua.

Another day, another viral video. Zheng Xiaoyi and key members of Studio One, an arm of China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency, finally call it a day well after midnight. Today, Zheng is the co-director of an animated short video by the often straitlaced newswire to mark the opening of the 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian province, eastern China.

“Featuring the voyage of a five-masted vessel codenamed BRICS, the video was viewed more than 100 million times in the first 12 hours after it went online Saturday,” Zheng says from the conference’s 8,000-square-meter media center. Reporting on the event are more than 300 of Xinhua’s journalists out of a total media corps of 3,000 people. Continue reading

Beijing International Book Fair 2017 overview

Source: China Daily (9/5/17)
Far beyond printed words
By Mei Jia | China Daily

Far beyond printed words

Chinese Nobel laureate Mo Yan meets some sinologists at the book fair. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Publishers at the 24th Beijing International Book Fair say cooperation and integration are the two words which describe the event that wrapped up on Aug 27.

At the event, 5,262 deals were struck, an increase of 4.9 percent compared with the figures in 2016. The deals covered 3,244 Chinese titles that were sold or will be co-published overseas, says the fair’s organizer. The ratio of titles sold compared with titles bought was 1.6:1, meaning that China is now selling rights to more titles than it is buying.

The organizer also says that the rights relate to books on China’s development, children’s books, literature, education, economics and philosophy. Continue reading

Chinese Poetry Festival 2017

Source: China Daily (9/5/17)
Poetry for all ages
By Chen Nan | China Daily

More than 30 Chinese artists, including renowned TV host Chen Duo and actor Han Tongsheng, will gather in Yichang city of Central China’s Hubei province on Sept 12 to mark one of the country’s key contributions to humanity--Chinese poetry.

The artists will recite poems in an opening gala for the fifth Chinese Poetry Festival, billed as the biggest poetry event in the country.

The event also opens with singing, dancing and instrumental performances.

The festival, which runs through Sept 17, is organized by the Ministry of Culture and the China Writers Association. It aims to celebrate the power of poetry in all its forms and will treat the public to traditional and contemporary works, along with forums and other related activities. Continue reading

Hunan TV slammed for chasing ratings

Source: Sup China (9/1/17)
Hunan TV slammed for chasing ratings
By Jiayun Feng

“Too many Korean pop stars are featured in shows produced by Hunan TV. It’s time for it to make some changes!”

“Since when did ‘mouthpiece of the Party’ (党的喉舌 dǎngdehóushé) become a good word?”

These two comments demonstrate how public opinion differed (in Chinese) on the rectification notice (in Chinese) released by the Communist Party’s Hunan provincial committee after an inspection of Hunan Television from February to April this year. In the notice, Hunan TV, the provincial satellite TV station, is criticized for lacking a sense of political responsibility, an excessive focus on high ratings, and spending too little effort on Party construction.

“For a long time, some leaders in Hunan TV deeply believed that ‘Entertainment is the foundation of a television station’ [娱乐立台 yúlèlìtái], and that ‘High ratings are the only criteria on whether a television station is successful or not’ [以收视率论英雄 yǐ shōushìlǜ lùn yīngxióng],” the notice says. “Some channels have been swinging between social benefits and economic benefits. They have failed to fulfill the mission of being a mouthpiece of the Party.” The notice also asserts that on the surface, the problem with Hunan TV seems to be its loose control of several channels and shows, but in fact it reflects the lack of political sensitivity among the TV Party committee. Continue reading

Rural life live-stream

Source: SCMP (8/30/17)
Rural life live-stream an online hit for young Chinese farmer
Liu Jinyin’s broadcasts of everyday life – including feeding chickens and working in the fields – have helped him attract nearly 100,000 followers, paper reports
By Wendy Wu

Liu preparing for a broadcast on the farm in Luzhou in Sichuan province. Photo: Handout 

A young farmer in a poor area of southwest China has attracted nearly 100,000 followers on the internet by live-streaming parts of his daily life, including feeding the chickens and doing the cooking, according to a newspaper report.

The web broadcasts have also earned Liu Jinyin more than 80,000 yuan (US$12,000) in donations from viewers in six months, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported. He formerly made 4,000 yuan a month as a migrant worker, according to the article. Continue reading

China to ban anonymous online comments

Source: Sup China (8/25/17)
China to ban anonymous online comments
By Jiayun Feng

“I don’t know if it’s good or bad for the government to ban people from commenting.”
“You are still allowed to write comments, but you have to be responsible for what you say. If you are a well-behaved internet user, there is nothing to fear.”

These are two of the reactions (in Chinese) to news that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s top internet regulator, announced (in Chinese) that, starting October 1, it will require internet users to identify themselves with their real names to use comments sections on news and social media websites. The users do not have to display their real names when commenting and can continue to use nicknames, but therules require internet companies to verify the real identities of all users of commenting functions. This is known as “real name in the back end, voluntary use of real name on the front end” (后台实名,前台自愿 hòutáishímíng, qiántáizìyuàn). Continue reading

publishers admit to self-censorship

Source: SCMP (8/24/17)
At Beijing book fair, publishers admit to self-censorship to keep texts on Chinese market
Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan are off limits for companies wanting to sell their books in China, publisher says
By Agence France-Presse

Just days after the world’s oldest publisher briefly caved in to Chinese censorship demands, international publishing houses are courting importers at a Beijing book fair, with some admitting they keep sensitive topics off their pages.

The censorship controversy that hit Cambridge University Press (CUP) sent a chill along the stands staffed by publishers from nearly 90 countries at the Beijing International Book Fair, which opened on Wednesday.

But some acknowledged their companies had already resorted to self-censorship to ensure that their books did not offend and were published in China. Continue reading

Chinese rocker’s thermos

Source: Sixth Tone (8/24/17)
Chinese Rocker’s Thermos Becomes Viral Symbol of Aging
Commentary in Party paper People’s Daily reminds readers to always look on the bright side of life.
By Kendrick Davis

Left: Zhao Mingyi plays the drums during a concert in 2003. Cheng Gong/IC; right: The viral photo of Zhao holding his thermos at a recording studio in 2017. From his Weibo account

Left: Zhao Mingyi plays the drums during a concert in 2003. Cheng Gong/IC; right: The viral photo of Zhao holding his thermos at a recording studio in 2017. From his Weibo account

The humble thermos — a must-have item for tea-sipping middle-aged Chinese — may seem an unlikely viral sensation, but a photo of an aging rock star holding such a bottle recently sparked wide discussion on social media about aging, midlife crises, and fear of the future.

In the widely circulated photo sits Zhao Mingyi, the 50-year-old drummer for the iconic ’90s rock band Black Panther. Once a muscular man, Zhao’s hair is now graying, he has a slight paunch, and — to complete the picture of middle age in its most distilled form — he holds a silver thermos. In his heyday during the early 1990s, however, Zhao was part of the generation of rockers who gave an energetic voice to China’s economic revival. Continue reading

Guo Jingming accused of sexual harassment

Source: Sup China (8/22/17)
Employee alleges popular author Guo Jingming sexually harassed him
By Jiayun Feng

“I don’t care if Guo is gay or not. It’s a private matter and it doesn’t change the fact that his works are crap.”

“I stay neutral with no evidence provided. But what upsets me the most is that Guo is no longer a writer, he is a pure businessman who only wants money.”

These were two reactions to allegations about one of China’s richest writers, the young-adult fiction author and publisher Guo Jingming 郭敬明. He found himself subjected to a barrage of criticism (in Chinese) online, after Li Feng 李枫, a male author who signed up with Guo’s publishing company, accused Guo of sexual harassment on August 21. Continue reading

10 museums in 10 days

Source: NYT (8/23/17)
10 Museums in 10 Days? A Chinese Start-Up (Virtually) Gives Children a Tour
By MIKE IVES

A guide from the Aha School in Shanghai introducing viewers in China to the works of French Impressionists at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Credit Aha School

HONG KONG — Last weekend: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. By Wednesday: the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, the Museum of Modern Artin New York and the German Historical Museum in Berlin.

And that’s just the half of it.

Children from more than 180,000 Chinese households are on a virtual tour this week of 10 famous museums. The two-hour daily broadcasts combine slick animations, clips from Chinese presenters’ recent trips to the museums and live-streamed commentary from Chinese academics in a Shanghai studio. Continue reading

What it’s really like to be a journalist

Posted by: Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>
Source: DW.com (8/14/17)
What it’s really like to be a journalist in China
Audrey Jiajia Li was a prominent TV journalist in China, but she quit before getting fired for complying with the official line. Now seeks freedom of speech on social media – but still lives with fear.

Audrey Jiajia Li (IWMF)

Audrey Jiajia Li, also known as Li Jiajia, is a journalist and independent filmmaker based in both Singapore and Guangzhou, China.

A long-time TV journalist, she says press freedom in China has been getting worse every day. In response, she went freelance last year and began writing columns on politics and culture for publications outside of China, including the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and Lianhe Zaobao, the largest Chinese-language newspaper in Singapore, in order to gain greater expressive freedom.

As a filmmaker, she created the documentary “LA, Say Goodbye to Smog,” which was banned in China. She has also written the book “Zhege Shidai, Zhexie Ren,” (These Times, These People) about people and situations in mainland China. Continue reading

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