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CCTV News Features Story About What’s on Weibo

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Since 2003, China Central Television (CCTV) has been broadcasting its weekly news show ‘World Weekly’ (世界周刊) on 22.15 every Sunday night. The programme is presented by journalist Shui Junyi (水均益).

On China’s National Day, October 1st, the story of What’s on Weibo and how it was founded was featured in a special about ‘China and the World.’

See the segment here and turn subtitles on for English. For the entire show (no subtitles) see the CCTV broadcasting website.

For a behind-the-scenes peek of CCTV visiting the What’s on Weibo headquarters in Amsterdam, check out the video below.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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Why Chinese Filmgoers Won’t Be Seeing Christopher Robin (BBC World Update)

Chinese filmgoers won’t be seeing Christopher Robin – What’s on Weibo talking to BBC World Update.

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Disney’s latest film Christopher Robin will not be released in Chinese cinemas. Many English-language media claim it is for the fact that the movie’s main star, Winnie the Pooh, is regarded too politically sensitive in the country. But these reports are clouded by misconceptions: Winnie is not banned in China, and it is common for Western films not to be released in the PRC.

What’s on Weibo editor-in-chief Manya Koetse speaks to Paul Henley at BBC World Update (see video by What’s on Weibo here):

For more on this topic, read our latest feature here.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Arts & Entertainment

Taipei-Born Actress Vivian Sung Causes Social Media Storm for Calling Taiwan Her “Favorite Country”

When celebrities speak out about Taiwan, drama ensues.

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Taipei-born actress Vivian Sung (宋芸樺) has attracted thousands of comments on Weibo this week for a comment she made about Taiwan being her “favorite country” in an older interview that has resurfaced on social media.

The actress Vivian Sung, who stars in China’s hit movie Hello Mr. Billionaire (西虹市首富), has caused quite the social media storm this week for saying Taiwan is her “favorite country” in a short interview clip that resurfaced on Chinese social media.

In the short clip, the young actress (b. 1992), is asked several short questions, one being: “What is your favorite country?” The actress then cheerfully answers: “My favorite country is Taiwan!”

According to Chinese publication The Observer (Guancha/观察者), the clip comes from 2015 and was made by Taiwanse entertainment channel MING WEEKLY, which often features quick fire question interview clips with celebrities – the interviewer asks short simple questions which the celebrities have to answer immediately.

Chinese media reporting on the issue said that by her answer, the actress was “casting doubts over a ‘Taiwanese independence'” (“台独”质疑); in other words, saying she was openly refuting the principle of “one country, two systems,” which, as Hong Kong, also defines Taiwan as part of China.

“What a low level mistake,” some commenters wrote: “How can you answer ‘Taiwan’ when you’re being asked about your favorite ‘country’?” Some crude comments called Sung a ‘sl*t’ who needs to “go back to where she came from.”

Despite much backlash, there were also many people on social media who said: “I bet if you ask most people from Taiwan what country they like most, they’ll answer Taiwan. In case they strongly identify with China, they’ll just say “the Republic of China.” (Taiwan is officially also called the Republic of China (ROC), whereas mainland China is the People’s Republic of China (PRC).)

“How can you blame her for loving the place where she comes from?”, others said.

Vivian Sung became popular after starring in Taiwanese movies such as Our Times (我的少女时代, 2015) and Café·Waiting·Love (等一个人咖啡, 2014). The recent Hello Mr. Billionaire, which has been dominating the Chinese box offices, was produced in mainland China.

 

“I love my native place, I love my motherland – the Cross-Straits will be one family forever.”

 

On August 2nd, the actress responded to the controversy on her Weibo account with self-critique and an emphasis on Taiwan and China being one country. She wrote:

Recently I’ve received a lot of attention and it has really shaken me up. I am Chinese, a post-90s Chinese girl. I come from Taiwan, and China is my home country. I am deeply sorry for [what I said during] that fast question interview before. Over recent years, it is because of your support that I’ve been able to work in mainland China. The variety of cultures and customs in different cities and regions [in China] deeply interest me and I have come to realize my love and respect for this rich country. Taiwan is where I was born, and mainland China is where my dreams came true. It is because of the favor-granting policies issued by the country this year that I’ve been given more room for development and learning opportunities. I still have a lot to learn, and I am open-minded in doing so. I feel proud as a Chinese in receiving your criticism and guidance. I love my native place, I love my motherland – the Cross-Straits will be one family forever.”

Sung’s post, which was shared nearly 14,000 times in the hours following its publication, also became a topic of debate.

“I just hope you’re not saying this to earn [more] money,” a typical comment said.

“She’s always been taught about Taiwanese independence, so it’s not a problem when she says she loves Taiwan,” one popular comment said: “We’ve always been taught that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China, so it’s also okay [for us] to resist.”

Sung is not the first celebrity causing a social media storm over Cross-Straits relations. In 2016, popular Taiwanese model ‘Stella’ (史黛拉) stirred controversy for calling mainlanders ‘426’, a Taiwanese term for scolding people from the PRC. (The pronunciation of ‘426’ [死阿陆] sounds similar to ‘damned mainlanders‘ [死大陆人] in Taiwan’s Hokkien dialect.)

In that same year, two other celebrities from Taiwan also became the victim of ongoing political tensions between mainland China and Taiwan.

Pop star Chou Tzuyu (周子瑜) angered netizens from mainland China by waving a Taiwanese national flag on a Korean reality show, and actor Show Luo (罗志祥) angered netizens from Taiwan by saying that Taiwanese and mainland actors “are all Chinese.”

In this latest controversy, there are also many people who refuse to take a side.

“Just be yourself, then you’ll always be better,” one popular comment said. Other comment sections had been closed for viewing by Thursday night.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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What’s on Weibo provides social, cultural & historical insights into an ever-changing China. What’s on Weibo sheds light on China’s digital media landscape and brings the story behind the hashtag. This independent news site is managed by sinologist Manya Koetse. Contact info@whatsonweibo.com. ©2014-2018

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