U.S. election: the view from China

Chinese mainstream media have been busy analyzing America’s misleading poll results in the aftermath of last week’s U.S. elections. Media here have attributed Donald Trump’s success to white-collar workers’ support from both males and females, and his proactive use of social media, even though Hillary Clinton was endorsed by many American mainstream news organizations.

Some reports here have included analyses and predictions of Trump’s policies, including the U.S. stance on global trade, geopolitics and partnership with American allies. As for Sino-U.S. relations, it is believed that it would be unlikely for Trump to impose a high tax rate on Chinese imports, as he claimed during the campaign, according to Xinhua, China’s national news agency. On the other hand, Xinhua has indicated economic collaboration might go even further given Trump’s background as a businessman.

Other coverage about Trump seems anecdotal. The Beijing Youth Daily, the capital’s metropolitan newspaper, ran a story about Trump registering his last name and its Chinese translations as trademarks in 2006 when he was a businessman. However, “Trump” had been registered by a Chinese whose name is Dong. Trump appealed but in vain. According to reports here, Trump has 78 effectively registered trademarks in China relating to his name and businesses in insurance, finance and education.

In Chinese social media Weibo and Wechat, China’s versions of Twitter and Facebook, Internet users seem to be fascinated by Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. She is portrayed as a supermodel, successful businesswoman and mom with three children, who is going to be the next America’s First Daughter. Social media here report she is endowed with wealth and beauty, though she still works diligently to get a diploma from a prestigious university, and that she rose to the current position in her father’s company while also managing her own business. She is acclaimed by Chinese social media users as a role model for modern women — a success on both professional and familial levels.


Author’s note:  Dr. Fu is assistant professor at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics. She earned her Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University’s College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

G20: The view from Chinese media

BEIJING — The 11th G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, China, now is history. Considered a significant public diplomatic event and an opportunity to showcase China’s leadership in tackling global issues, the Sept. 4-5. Hangzhou summit became a big event for the Chinese media.

China Daily, China’s national English-language newspaper with a global circulation of 900,000, published special editions of the G20 summit Sept. 1-6. Its coverage emphasized developmental issues as an important theme on the agenda, and that China continues to be a key player in global growth.

Other government-sponsored news organizations such as China Central Television, China’s only national TV broadcaster, and Xinhua, a national news agency, prominently placed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s full-text opening remarks on their websites. On Sept. 4 a variety show – Hangzhou is most memorable – directed by Zhang Yimou, a film laureate and director of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was live broadcast by CCTV. The gala dovetailed traditional Chinese arts and modern holographic technology.

Hangzhou is known for its southern-style natural beauty, cultural heritage and silk products. In social media Chinese Internet users chitchatted about summit leaders’ Hangzhou shopping sprees, and Brazilian President Michel Temer was spotted shopping for a pair of $120 leather shoes downtown. First ladies not only went to stores, but watched exhibitions of Chinese calligraphy and paintings, and attended silk clothes shows.

Chinese media covered Xi and Obama’s unofficial talks by West Lake in Hangzhou.

Coverage of Obama’s plane stairs problem after Air Force One landed in Hangzhou was barely found in official Chinese media. On Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog service, there was a video of a Chinese official who said, “This is our country, our airport. OK?” to his U.S counterpart. His remark quickly became a hit and got some positive comments. A Weibo user remarked, “Nice job. No matter where someone is from, he needs to follow our rules while he is here. So does the (U.S.) leader.” Another user commented, “I hope there are more Chinese who have the confidence to say ‘this is our country and this is our airport.’”

However, some other internet users warned it was important to stay calm as there were potential conflicts between China and the U.S. In WeChat, another popular social networking site, some posts proposed journalists should cover more important issues on the Group of 20’s agenda, rather than make a fuss over the stairs.


Author’s note:  Dr. Fu is assistant professor at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics.