What is it about?

When lead author Jingyi "Serena" Duan was in a doctoral seminar with Professor Nikhilesh Dholakia, she introduced the seminar group to the fascinating and -- little known to the West -- world of Chinese social media. This paper evolved from this seminar. Later, encouraged by the QMR special editor Dr. Yuri Seo and with comments from his insightful reviewers, Duan and Dholakia developed this paper into a wider interpretation of what fast-growing Chinese social media mean in a world with an expanding footprint of Chinese internet companies.

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Why is it important?

The Chinese social media world, with a potential reach of 1.5 billion people, is almost as large as the English-language social media world. Yet, in the West, the understanding of this social media world is rather limited. Through this cultural interpretive study of the Chinese social media, we offer a sociological insight into: (1) a changing China, in the era of pervasive mobile social media use; (2) portending changes as Chinese tech companies expand their footprint in the West.

Perspectives

Not just China but the Asian, and particularly East Asian (especially also Japanese and Korean), social media worlds need far greater research attention from the West than they have received so far. We hope this paper and similar works will keep improving the understanding that the West has of China, East Asia, and the non-West in general. In the future, among other directions, we want to explore the massive impacts of WeChat; and tech-led social change in China in general.

Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia
University of Rhode Island

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This page is a summary of: The reshaping of Chinese consumer values in the social media era, Qualitative Market Research An International Journal, September 2015, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/qmr-07-2014-0058.
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