Dating Shows and Crime Dramas: The Trending effect of Chinese Media Capitals

Chinese Media Capitals are slowly trending on world audiences. From the the Kung-Fu age of Hong Kong to the serial dramas of Shanghai, Chinese television and film has had a strong impact on Western Audiences. And we love it!

Hong Kong, as described by Curtin, is “positioned at the intersection of complex patterns of economic, social and cultural flows”. It is a city that has been immigrated by waves of mainland Chinese, yet heavily influenced by Western culture – especially during the British occupation until 1997. Broadcast Television only became available in Hong Kong in 1967 and at this time early Hong Kong films were not well-received as they “were not expressive of life within the colony” due to Western influence.

However, television was immensely popular following its emergence in Hong Kong. Curtain credits this to local news programming which was reporting on the independent commission to investigate business and government corruption. The news reflected the issues of the period and as such provided a means of discussion former mediums of media had not. Wilkins states that “Hong Kong residents were discouraged from identifying too closely with the nations Britain or China during colonial rule, instead an indigenous culture… was highlighted”.

This was further demonstrated when The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Featuring the suave Yun-Fat Chow

Featuring the suave Yun-Fat Chow

A “serial narrative about the fortunes of a local family that is unexpectedly reunited with a long-lost son from the mainland”. This character was unable to adapt to Hong Kong society and depicted the distinctions between the values and attitudes on either side of the then Chinese/British border.  This TV series was viewed by more than 90% of TV Households and provided discussion on issues of identity, migration and popular values.

So to put that into perspective, that’s twice as popular as the Seinfeld final, three times as much as Friends, 30 times as much as Game of Thrones and over 112 times as much as Gossip Girl.

At the moment, the mainland city Nanjing airs the one of the most popular shows called “Fei Cheng Wu Rao” or “If You Are the One”

The show was based on an English show called Take Me Out. In China, as depicted int he clip above, the show has over 50 million viewers per episode. One of the creators, Wang Peijie claims that “through this show, you can tell what China is thinking about and chasing after”. The show is massively popular internationally as well, including in Australia where it airs at 8:30 every Friday night on SBS 2.

This show is an example of how Chinese media capitals are beginning to have a trending effect on Australian audiences. Already within Australia the show has a relatively large following. However is this the start of an emerging media capital to trend Australia’s media consumption?

Another example is how the Chinese film industry has impacted internationally, and surprisingly Western audiences. Gary Needham states that Asian “films are shown in British multiplex cinemas and not in arthouse cinemas”. So here we can see that international films are slowly breaking the scene, finding larger audiences and cult followings. The movie The Departed directed by Martin Scorsese for which he won an Oscar is actually a remake of the Chinese film series Mou Gaan Dou or Infernal Affairs. Here’s a video to show you the comparison.

The impact of Chinas media capitals is having a large effect on media consumption worldwide. And as Needham states, “the way in which these films are promoted for theatrical consumption and their continued popularity on DVD does demonstrate that there is a loving audience for popular Asian film” and TV.


Needham, G; “The Post-Colonial Hong Kong Cinema”; Asian Cinema:  A Readers Guide; Edinburgh University Press; UK: Edinburgh; 2006

Wong, E; “China TV grows racy, and gets a Chaperon”; The New York Times;; Published: 31/12/2011; Accessed: 25/08/2013

Curtain, M; “Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV“; University of California Press; USA; 2007

Wilkins, K.G.; “Hong Kong Television: Same as it Ever Was?”; TV China: A Reader of New Media; Indiana University Press; Bloomington, IN, USA; 2009


The Problems of Studying in “Ostrya”

International students is big business, Australia’s fourth biggest export  in fact.

But unfortunately it isn’t as easy living and learning in the land down under. The HSBC Bank found that Australia is now the most expensive place for international students with an annual cost of $42,195 (US$38,516).



However, costs aren’t the only issue International students must face when arriving to Australia, as Kell and Vogl’s study confirms, Australia-English isn’t the easiest accent to understand as “they tended mumble and slur words” and “they shortened words… which tended to confuse students who were used to a more formal type of English”. Many international students, prior to studying in Australia study English in their respective countries as “English has assumed an important status as providing  access to economic, educational and immigration opportunities”. Yet Kell and Vogl claim that this ‘laziness’ in Australian-English accent is due to a “hybridisation of Gaelic, Welsh, Scots, London Cockney, Northern English dialects, as well, as some Indigenous, Malay and Polynesian words”.

Another issue that most, if not all of my international friends found was that Australians tend to be very late. Whether this attributes to our somewhat lucrative public transport system, or once again just sheer laziness, it appears we can never get there one time.

Within my time at University, I have made several international friends, most of which can relate to the difficulties studying abroad which include adjustment. As Marginson claims. “Much research suggests the pathway to improvement lies in lifting the interactions between international students and local persons, especially students. These interactions create both educational and welfare benefits”. Through my study of Mandarin, I have found that most of my international friends (which range from China to all over Europe) often make numerous attempts to socialise with local students. Many do this through the clubs on campus, to playing sports and even through religion.

Despite some of the hardships many international students face in studying in Australia, and deterring from my own national pride, Australia is often quoted as “The luckiest country in the world”. Well… umm… maybe second best to those damn Swiss!


Globalisation… What is it?

Globalisation is characterised by O’Shaughnessy & Stadler as the “instantaneity, interconnectedness, interdependence  and a trend towards corporate mergers and conglomeration”. All words to describe a world connected through economic and political ties, yet my Google Chrome browser recognises none of those terms.


Apparently they don’t exist

Globalisation is a highly debated term. Many would assume its origin began with the exponential use of the internet and other communication technology and therefore as recent as the past few decades. If this were true, Globalisation could be argued as the instantaneity of the globe, applied through SMS, social media or other instant means of communication.

However, signs of globalisation are identified, as O’Shaughnessy & Stadler state, through the “introduction of newspapers, the telegraph and cable systems”, but also through the dependency of economic and political relations such as the WTO, media outlets, G20, Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations. This as such demonstrates the interconnectedness and interdependence of global communication. As Appadurai claims, “The world we live in now seems rhizomic even schizophrenic, calling for theories of rootlessness, alienation and psychological distance between individuals and groups on the one hand and fantasies (or nightmares) of electronic propinquity on the other”.

Nevertheless some dispute the idea of Globalisation as a commercial concept, such as Todd Gitlin, claiming that “If there is a global village, it speaks American”. This is depicted through the idea of Americanisation, where various and traditional cultures may homogenise into one, singular and arguably American-dominated culture. This is easily understood as, for example, McDonald’s operates in 119 countries on 6 continents.

World Map according to Mcdonalds

World Map according to Mcdonalds

This, however is argued by Appadurai as “…Indonesianization may be more worrisome than Americanization, as Japanization may be for Koreans, Indianization for Sri Lankans”.

Globalisation is a phenomena that humans have not experienced on such a level before. It is evident that global politics and economics are interdependent, instantaneous and interconnected – whether that is demonstrated through the two World Wars in the last century to the Global Financial Crisis of the current century, or the conflict between cultural homogenisation  and heterogenisation. Globalisation is a concept continually growing and expanding.


O’Shaughnessy & Stadler; Media and Society (Fifth Edition); Oxford University Press: Melbourne, 2012

Appadurai; Modernity at Large: Culture Dimensions of Globalization; University of Minnesota Press

McDonald’s Graph –