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Hong Kong media : Soft Power, China can teach the West a lesson

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Hong Kong “Asia Times” online November 7th article, original title: What can China and Asia’s soft power teach the West   When the content of Japan and South Korea, the power of Asian pop culture, sweeps the region and the world, the performance of China as a population, industry and technology giant But it does not match the status of a major country. Why is this hard power country lacking in soft power? 

Traditional Chinese culture, such as food, literature, design, martial arts, etc., is widely accepted by the world, while the influence of contemporary Chinese cultural products is far less than the scale of the economy shows (grand). Although this has been the case for decades, this is not necessarily due to the insufficient level of entertainment products in China.

Globally, the climax of Chinese contemporary movies was the emergence of works by some famous art directors in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Today, the market has changed. 

The expansion of China’s middle class has led to the development of leisure service industries such as movie cities. Japanese-American producer Hagihara Bang said: “Now that there are more movie theaters in China, and there are so many Chinese people, even an ordinary movie can make money.” This is one reason why there is no “Chinese trend” sweeping the world. 

Bang said: “They do have content, but the Chinese don’t care much about the outside world. Because the local market is large enough, they don’t need the rest of the world.”

However, China has some creative, technological and commercial innovations that have been ignored and underestimated (outside)-creating its own extraordinary application and digital participation culture. 

There are many things that are worth learning from the West. In the cyberspace, China’s digital payment functions and cultural content bring new income opportunities.

For example, Bang said that in a Chinese food program, a QR code appeared on the screen. As a result, the audience bought almost all the content in the program, even the ingredients on the shelves, “This is participation, this is interaction!” This highly participatory culture is improved on platforms in other parts of the world, such as TikTok. 

Bang said: “We have seen the rise of borderless culture and economy. Young people don’t care about which country they are from. They said, it’s so cool and I like it.”

More and more Asian productions and regional sales are filling an ever-expanding digital space, which was not possible by the previous super power of popular culture, Hollywood. This is also a lesson for Asian cultural players and companies who are well versed in digitalization to teach the West.

Bang said: “This is the Asian whirlwind we learned from China-participating in the economy. The soft power war is ultimately won not by politics or large sums of money, but by the participation of fans in what we make and create. For this, The West does not understand it well.”

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