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Manufacturing and Commodifying "Chineseness": Micro-Celebrity Li Ziqi’s Construction of an Idyllic Rural China and Her Media Representation on YouTube

Chen, Zhen Troy and Whyke, Thomas William (2022) Manufacturing and Commodifying "Chineseness": Micro-Celebrity Li Ziqi’s Construction of an Idyllic Rural China and Her Media Representation on YouTube. In: China's International Communication and Relationship Building. Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 9781003254157

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Chen, Zhen Troy and Whyke, Thomas William
Description:

With the proliferation of cultural and creative industries in China, the Internet Plus economy has turned millions of young people Chinese into entrepreneurial and digital prosumers. In tandem, multi-channel network has become a new business model to scout, train, package and promote online micro-celebrities into ‘natural and authentic’ spokespersons for self-branded products and services, who also play an important role in shaping national and cultural identities. Amid the emergent convergence of e-commerce and social commerce, Li Ziqi, an influential food-vlogger and YouTube celebrity, has attracted unprecedented fame online, at home and abroad. This chapter focuses on Li’s digital media and discourses to understand how “Chineseness” is manufactured and commodified. Informed by celebrity studies, this chapter critically assesses the stories told and the images created by Li Ziqi on YouTube to an international audience. Using Lévi-Strauss’ concept of ‘mytheme’, this chapter argues that to build a positive image of China overseas, Li’s auto-stereotyping and (self-)orientalist portrayal of rural China has created a myth of Chineseness by (re)constructing a ‘fantasy’ and ‘desirable mythology’ of an idyllic rural China. The findings of this chapter contribute to the ongoing scholarly discussions on how China engages with the globalized world through cultural diplomacy.

Official Website: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003254157
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Routledge
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 1 June 2022
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2022 13:10
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 13:10
Item ID: 18312
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/18312

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