Opinion / From the Press

Use Net to promote China

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-11 07:46

The news of the extra-marital affair of actor Wen Zhang, who hardly qualifies as an A-lister in China, was surprisingly covered by some major international media outlets such as BBC. The development reveals some interesting points in regard to the significance of the Internet and social media, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

The Internet and social media are playing vital roles in promoting China and highlighting China-related news. The Internet appears to have become the prime reference point for many foreigners to understand China, while Chinese social media such as Sina Weibo have added thrust to many debates on important topics and eventually drawn global attention.

In the Wen scandal, millions of reposts and comments on his apology to his wife via micro blog not only attracted an unprecedented number of hits, but also aroused the interest of the international media. The same rules could be applied to the global appeal of the Republic of Korea's Gangnam Style that went viral across the world in 2012.

Another fact worth noting is the lack of symmetry in the interaction of Chinese and foreigners in cyberspace. Chinese Net users report and discuss far more news and developments from the West than what their Western counterparts do with news emerging from China. For instance, subtitle translation groups in China compete with each other to complete multilingual subtitles of the latest episodes of popular American TV series.

In contrast, according to a Google search, Diaoyu Islands - The Truth, a documentary made in the US, was deliberately ignored by some English mainstream media outlets for acknowledging that the Diaoyu Islands are an undisputable part of China.

Thus to help the rest of the world to better and objectively understand China, we should make better use of the international media and the Internet.

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