MANYA KOETSE: What’s On Weibo?

MANYA KOETSE: What’s On Weibo?

#044 - What’s On Weibo? | Manya Koetse

This week's guest is Manya Koetse. Manya is a sinologist & japanologist and the founder & editor-in-chief of What's on Weibo. What’s on Weibo is, in their words, “...an independent blog that sheds light on trends in China by closely following its social media, the latest digital developments and changing media landscape”, and that says it better than I ever could. Among the major topics trending as we recorded last week are the results of the 19th National Party Congress, especially the end of term limits for the President; the visit of Kim Jong-Un to Beijing, and what the Sino-NK diplomatic thaw means for US-China relations; and the so-called “Halalification” of China, among others.

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Of course, a natural question for anyone who’s not familiar with it, and one that we address in the show, is: what IS Weibo? As Manya says, it’s sort of the China equivalent of Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and more. Now, in many ways Weibo doesn’t seem as relevant as WeChat; anyone who’s dealt with China in the last few years will tell you that WeChat has become an essential piece of daily life here. WeChat is mostly used for paying bills, for chatting, for sending files, and making audio or video calls a la Skype. WeChat’s “Moments” is analogous to the facebook News Feed, but it’s features are limited and it’s much less “sticky”. The biggest difference in the actual “social media" aspect is that WeChat posts are ONLY visible to your friend’s circle, whereas Weibo posts are discoverable and are intended for things you want - or feel you NEED - to share with the world. This is what makes Weibo more similar to the western social apps than to the messaging-oriented apps like WhatsApp or WeChat.

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Before we get to the interview, I want to give a special shoutout to our sponsor, Stackry. Stackry is the global leader in international parcel forwarding from the US to anywhere in the world. The way it works is that you shop at any US retailer, have your packages shipped to your Stackry address, and once everything has arrived, Stackry consolidates your stuff and ships it to you anywhere in the world, even China, saving you up to 80% of the shipping costs versus shipping things directly from the store. Stackry provides free storage, same day consolidation of your packages, and a tax-free US address for you to use. This week’s update on my own Stackry story is that my first Stackry package has landed in HK and is due to arrive in Beijing later this week. Of course local Customs has to do their thing, which takes awhile, and then hopefully all my stuff will be in my hot little hands soon. I’ll update you as my Stackry story continues, and it’s really easy to use their site and get yours started, too. Sign up TODAY via the link below, and use the offer code BIGFISH at the checkout to save 10% off your first shipment. 

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GUEST:
What’s on Weibowww.whatsonweibo.com
Manya Koetse on Twitter: @manyapan

HOST / SHOW:
“Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigFishMiddleKingdom/
Brendan Davis on WeChat: BrendanDavis
Brendan Davis on Twitter: @VeritasInLux
Other links to LISTENhttps://www.crazyinagoodway.com/podcast-links/

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