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Why Is China So … Uncool?

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legend166

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ok, i stand corrected then...but then you have to understand why asians like myself ain't particularly thrilled about America's idea of freedom of speech......what with its chaotic nature. We prefer stability than anything else....freedom be damned.

Not just freedom, but dissidents be damned too! Brutal oppression of political opponents is just a happy side effect of all that awesome stability you got going over there.
 

Coriolanus

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Hmm. The article seems a bit misguided. It complains about China's lack of cultural penetration, but given how recently it has once again found itself in a position of global leadership, it comes as no great surprise. To take Japan as an example, it took quite a long while until its products penetrated into western markets, and what penetration occurred in the 80's was quite small indeed. Just the tip of the head, really. These things appear to simply take longer and, yes, require considerably less direct control from the State.

I mean, heck, looking at japanese culture permeation right now in western shores, the aspect that seems to have been most widely accepted is the culinary. Anime and pop products remain firmly niche, and while cinematic output is respected, its reach remains quite limited.

Did find the initiative to send artists to more faraway communities so that they can soak up the local culture somewhat interesting, fwiw, but given that whatever they produce afterwards will most likely be heavily constrained, seems like a futile endeavour.
 

ClosingADoor

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Then why are Korea and Japan doing better, for example?
They are doing better, but it isn't really a comparison. How many Japanese movies or music stars have mainstream appeal around the world? I honestly can't name a single one.

Japan and Korea have profited a bit from the internet now I think, so they can spread their media to interested people around the world, but there is no large mainstream appeal. We don't watch Japanese dramas in Europe, and I doubt there are South Korean movies regularly on Mexican tv and such.

China will probably grow to the same level if they let their artists do their own thing and built the industries around it, but really eating into the American influence in this area seems like an impossible task for the foreseeable future.

Even when the worlds hates America, we still watch their stuff (also helps that those people promoting American media are mostly on the progressive side, so when America does bad things, we always hear how Hollywood is against that for example).
 

Ratrat

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Hmm. The article seems a bit misguided. It complains about China's lack of cultural penetration, but given how recently it has once again found itself in a position of global leadership, it comes as no great surprise. To take Japan as an example, it took quite a long while until its products penetrated into western markets, and what penetration occurred in the 80's was quite small indeed. Just the tip of the head, really. These things appear to simply take longer and, yes, require considerably less direct control from the State.

I mean, heck, looking at japanese culture permeation right now in western shores, the aspect that seems to have been most widely accepted is the culinary. Anime and pop products remain firmly niche, and while cinematic output is respected, its reach remains quite limited.

Did find the initiative to send artists to more faraway communities so that they can soak up the local culture somewhat interesting, fwiw, but given that whatever they produce afterwards will most likely be heavily constrained, seems like a futile endeavour.
Then why is Hollywood on a mad spree to adapt every popular anime? What about videogames? Pokemon Go was one biggest media products of 2016. Nintendo is even getting into theme parks now.
 

mnz

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They are doing better, but it isn't really a comparison. How many Japanese movies or music stars have mainstream appeal around the world? I honestly can't name a single one.

Japan and Korea have profited a bit from the internet now I think, so they can spread their media to interested people around the world, but there is no large mainstream appeal. We don't watch Japanese dramas in Europe, and I doubt there are South Korean movies regularly on Mexican tv and such.

China will probably grow to the same level if they let their artists do their own thing and built the industries around it, but really eating into the American influence in this area seems like an impossible task for the foreseeable future.

Even when the worlds hates America, we still watch their stuff (also helps that those people promoting American media are mostly on the progressive side, so when America does bad things, we always hear how Hollywood is against that for example).
Why are you only looking at actors? Culture is more than that. Anime is popular around the world, so are Mangas. And not just the niche ones: every kid in Europe watched The Kickers when I was little. Japanese video games are culture, might've heard of them.
South Korea is coming in a big way, it's been interesting to see westerners being into K-pop for example. But they are also way more succesful at selling and designing their own products in the west. From cars to electronics, they are completely accepted and even considered superior.

Almost none of that is true for China.
 

TAJ

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American soft power domination, if you want to call it that way, is not even 100 years old. And many Hollywood productions are already influenced by China.

Things can and will change pretty fast in all different directions.

Not influenced by China. Pandering to China. Huge difference.
 

ClosingADoor

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Then why is Hollywood on a mad spree to adapt every popular anime? What about videogames? Pokemon Go was one biggest media products of 2016. Nintendo is even getting into theme parks now.
Well, this says it really. Hollywood takes the ideas and adapts them, because in their original form they lack the appeal to most people (including myself). This also shows the flexibility of American mass media and culture, it absorbs everything it wants and throws it back out again in a way it reaches more people.

There is no doubt Japan influences other media, but they are not a force by themselves.

Why are you only looking at actors? Culture is more than that. Anime is popular around the world, so are Mangas. And not just the niche ones: every kid in Europe watched The Kickers when I was little. Japanese video games are culture, might've heard of them.
South Korea is coming in a big way, it's been interesting to see westerners being into K-pop for example. But they are also way more succesful at selling and designing their own products in the west. From cars to electronics, they are completely accepted and even considered superior.

Almost none of that is true for China.
Yes, like I said, China might get there if they let their people do their own thing also, so there is competition for the best product and artistic freedom. But really, anime and mangas are not on the same level as American media. There are some major brands, but it's not comparable. The Japanese videogame industry has influence, but has been surpassed by American type products a long time ago in appeal to the world (also partly because Japanese companies didn't go with the times).
 

Maxim726X

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wrong....US Freedom of speech is that you can say anything.......unless it's something that somehow doesn't fit the narratives of the mobs..

i.e.

you can't call people fat or ugly now in this day and age because it 'hurt people's feelings' and is 'offensive'.

I mean...ugly is subjective so maybe that's not the best word to use..

but fat people are fat....fat is not even a subjective POV. But apparently in America, you can't call fat people fat regardless of freedom of speech.

Uhh. Perhaps it's time to step away for a little. Your incoherent rambling is only getting worse.

And that's saying a lot.
 

Coriolanus

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Then why is Hollywood on a mad spree to adapt every popular anime? What about videogames? Pokemon Go was one biggest media products of 2016. Nintendo is even getting into theme parks now.

I literally have no idea what you're going on about with the bolded. How's the One piece and Naruto adaptions coming along?
 

Breads

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Governments and their initiatives aren't cool.

The cream that rises to the top of free people are what's cool.

Their fixation on forced identity stifles the real identity of their civilians. People here (us) will have a hard time relating to creative works strained through goverment filters.
 

Chichikov

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I think there are two issues here, the first that China has a general bad image abroad.
I wan't to be careful with my words here since I can't read the mind of billions of people, but I do believe that most people who haven't been to China have a really inaccurate picture of what what China really is.

Now I'm not saying that anyone who get more educated on China or even live there will immediately fall in love with this country, this is demonstrably false, but I do think that as a whole, if people knew and understood China better, it would have a generally more positive view in world. I don't know if it would make the overall opinion of the rest of the world to be OMG we love you China, but I'm fairly certain it would improve, and specifically, I think a lot of the fear (but not all of it of course) would go away.

The 2nd more specific question is why Chinese media is not popular. The short answer is that it's just not that good. I know I'm painting in a broad brush, and yeah it's subjective but honestly, it's mostly shit, let's move on to the important question which why is it mostly shit*.
Indeed, the CPC control and censorship is indeed part of the issue (though once again, I think people have a bit of a inaccurate mental image of how those things work in China, though I'm not sure that this is relevant to this point) but I don't think it can explain everything.
I mean you look at movies that were produced in USSR, a more restrictive regime than China's, and while it could never rival the output or influence of America, it did manage to produce some masterpieces of cinema. Yeah, not everything made in China is awful, but so far China hasn't produced your Andrei Rublev or Idi i smotri. Not even close.
And I think the reason for that gap is that China until pretty recently was mostly closed to the world (more than the USSR ever been) and really didn't have a middle class. We are living with the first generation who was born into the middle class in China. And building a film industry takes time, I honestly don't think this is something you can go from zero to Hollywood in a generation.

And then there is the language.


* I'm talking here about stuff that would be exportable to other part of the world, there is actually a ton of very interesting art being done in China on a smaller lever/for smaller audiences.
 

Ratrat

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I literally have no idea what you're going on about with the bolded. How's the One piece and Naruto adaptions coming along?
Be less literal and consider the point? GITS, Death Note, Battle Angel Alita this year. Naruto and Bleach films are apparently in the works. No one cares about OP.
 

F!ReW!Re

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Now I'm not saying that anyone who get more educated on China or even live there will immediately fall in love with this country, this is demonstrably false, but I do think that as a whole, if people knew and understood China better, it would have a generally more positive view in world. I don't know if it would make the overall opinion of the rest of the world to be OMG we love you China, but I'm fairly certain it would improve, and specifically, I think a lot of the fear (but not all of it of course) would go away.

This is something I definitely agree with.

I've lived in China for about 1,5 years (and before that was able to travel around large parts of it for about 6 months).
It's a beautiful place, with lovely people, amazing food, superb historical heritage (even after a lot of amazing stuff got destroyed during the cultural revolution) and it has a potential for future greatness (I'm gonna leave out the negative stuff for the moment, since I feel a lot of people are already familiar with that part and has been mentioned by other people in this thread before).

Thing is though, when I was living and working there and communicating with my friends and family back home (in the Netherlands), I would often get the idea that most of them have absolutely no idea about what China is about: the vastness of the country, the amazing multi-cultural diversity of it's people, how modern and advanced some (parts) of it's biggest cities are. That stuff is unknown to a lot of people back home.
Mostly due to the only news we get about it, is the stuff we get on the news when China is being portrayed as the communist society that works with Russia to undermine US/Western progress.
And when I talked about it with my best friend in Shanghai; an expat from Chicaco. His reaction was: Most of my family and friends back home think I'm living in some third world country, with it's cold war communist backwardness.

I think that's a major issue; It's got the representation in the Western world that it's like Russia: some backwards, oppressive communist state, where there is no freedom whatsoever and that they are way behind the Western world. (Which is not true for Russia or for China)
 

Coriolanus

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Be less literal and consider the point? GITS, Death Note, Battle Angel Alita this year. Naruto and Bleach films are apparently in the works. No one cares about OP.

And you have no idea how successful those films will be in the market. Consider the previous major anime to hollywood adaption: Dragon Ball Z Evolution. Considerably limited appeal, and that was with Dragon Ball, a brand that is far more well known that either of those three. In 2009.

But ok, let us tackle those
Ghost in the shell is being adapted 22 years after the film and 27 after the book. It had its most proeminent characters changed to western versions and even shit like the major's name got changed. This only happens if the source has limited appeal, otherwise its original characters would be preserved. The movie might become exceedingly popular, but we cannot, in good conscience, say that it has broad appeal at this moment. At best i'd say you're looking at a The Departed/Infernal Affairs scenario. Given it's current RT score...eh.

Death Note...all you have to do is look at the cast. That is being westernized to a fault, something that, again, doesn't happen unless the original media is considered too niche to have broad appeal.

I'd say that Alita has the greatest chance of becoming a major hit simply because Cameron Gon Cameron, but it is being directed by Robert Rodriguez.... still, high hopes! even if it only gets a release next year. (and they've been trying to make that thing come together for more than a decade)

I'll assume the OP comment is an attempt at a joke.

i mean, you're trying to argue that japanese culture isn't niche by... presenting a handful of examples. In order for something not to be niche, it'd have to be a plethora.
 

Ratrat

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What are you one about. This is nothing new. Speed Racer, Blood: The Last Vampire, Astroboy, Dragonball, stuff from the 90's like Guyver, Hokuto no Ken. Stuff like Pacific Rim and Edge of Tomorrow are either inspired or based on manga. The examples will only increase.

Whether people are aware its Japanese or not, Anime has been popular in most countries around the world for decades.

Edit: getting off-topic so I'm gonna stop here.
Never suggested it was comparable to America in influence, no country is.
 

ClosingADoor

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What are you one about. This is nothing new. Speed Racer, Blood: The Last Vampire, Astroboy, Dragonball, stuff from the 90's like Guyver, Hokuto no Ken. Stuff like Pacific Rim and Edge of Tomorrow are either inspired or based on manga. The examples will only increase.

Whether people are aware its Japanese or not, Anime has been popular in most countries around the world for decades.
Most of the examples you list have flopped, or needed a lot of changing to have mainstream appeal. Yes, it has influence, but no, it is not popular on the level of mainstream American culture.
 

OceanBlue

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Hopefully Chinese cinema comes out with a better big budget title than The Great Wall.

I really hope the next big Chinese film that makes it overseas is modern. Maybe people expected Westerners to be uninterested in a story without the typical western Chinese cliches, but I would like to see a projection of a more relatable, modern China even if the foundation is based in Chinese heritage. It would coincide with all of the Chinese location shots that appear in Hollywood movies now too.
 

Ratrat

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Chinese cinema will never be popular in the west. Do Americans even watch foreign films?
They should try to make movies that have wide appeal in Asia.
 

salty_Josh

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In the UK the view is that Americans are stupid. They were our cool cousins but when Obama left and Trump came in American IQ dropped by half and we all suddenly became very aware of the extent of the racism/social injustice that occurs in the US. Not that I agree with them on all of those points or think that there isn't any injustice occurring here but America isn't that great
again
.
Also China is depicted as evil due to the free speech problems, etc.
Disclaimer: This is a Londoner's point of view.
 

OceanBlue

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Chinese cinema will never be popular in the west. Do Americans even watch foreign films?
They should try to make movies that have wide appeal in Asia.
No, Americans don't really watch foreign films. Why do you think Americans don't watch foreign films?
 

Ratrat

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No, not really. Why do you think Americans don't watch foreign films?
They have enough entertainment that also happens to be the most expensive.
+
They cant read subtitles/are too self-absorbed and xenophobic to watch anything different.
Hence the constant need to remake fantastic and still new films.
 

Li Kao

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Pettis told Foreign Policy that exciting happenings in China's music scene go largely unnoticed, because people around the world often can't see past negative Chinese stereotypes: from smart students who eat together and never talk to tourists who defecate on the street.

I'm sorry but what ? Tourists defecating on the street ? Who are these people and where are they visiting ?

Otherwise I read the full fucking article while it is a humongous pile of text. This was interesting and thought provoking.
 

kswiston

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They have enough entertainment that also happens to be the most expensive.
+
They cant read subtitles/are too self-absorbed and xenophobic to watch anything different.

They had no problem watching subtitles when Jesus was involved. Stuff like Inglorious Basterds was also pretty popular even though it included a lot of subtitles.

I think the real answer is closer to why foreign films arent all that big in India. Hollywood media already cover all of the genres that are most popular in the US. Distributors are more likely to push films they own/have a stake in over ones that they simply have a set distribution fee for.
 

AppleSeason

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I'm sorry but what ? Tourists defecating on the street ? Who are these people and where are they visiting ?.

Most probably that refers to the chinese tourists travelling by bus as a group, which can be like a plague of locusts (and the chinese government trying to adress that), from what the legend says (and that video of the buffet in Thailand). I have yet to see one of them in reality, but overall we have more respect for the chinese people living here than chinese tourists.
 

Crayolan

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Considering Japan is *the* soft power giant in East Asia, it's always been kinda weird China doesn't make much of an attempt to compete and just lets them hold that crown. Or maybe they do, but it doesn't reach US/Europe sphere.
 

dramatis

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Considering Japan is *the* soft power giant in East Asia, it's always been kinda weird China doesn't make much of an attempt to compete and just lets them hold that crown. Or maybe they do, but it doesn't reach US/Europe sphere.
Japan hasn't been the soft power giant in East Asia for a while now, it has been replaced by South Korea.
 

Crayolan

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Japan hasn't been the soft power giant in East Asia for a while now, it has been replaced by South Korea.

I guess I'm too influenced by japanese games/anime lol. I know South Korea does pretty well in that department but I didn't know they were doing that well.
 

Ratrat

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They had no problem watching subtitles when Jesus was involved. Stuff like Inglorious Basterds was also pretty popular even though it included a lot of subtitles.

I think the real answer is closer to why foreign films arent all that big in India. Hollywood media already cover all of the genres that are most popular in the US. Distributors are more likely to push films they own/have a stake in over ones that they simply have a set distribution fee for.
Its kind of crazy Passion and Apocalypto got away with that.
Japan has had the 2nd biggest film industry for a while and yet films from America and Korea etc make lots of money. Disney isn't the same as Ghibli.
Personally, I've heard people use language as an excuse to not watch foreign films a lot. They'll watch UK or Australian films but never French.

I guess I'm too influenced by japanese games/anime lol. I know South Korea does pretty well in that department but I didn't know they were doing that well.
There isn't really a way to measure it. Korea isnt making nearly as much in film or music as Japan, but it has way more presence online.
 

Sunster

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I don't know that much about modern China. I don't know how a country can become cool either. I feel like not having censored media is a start. Worrying about what your people will think of you if they see this or that is about as uncool as it gets. Just like, stop being a tryhard.
 

kswiston

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Its kind of crazy Passion and Apocalypto got away with that.
Japan has had the 2nd biggest film industry for a while and yet films from America and Korea etc make lots of money. Disney isn't the same as Ghibli.
Personally, I've heard people use language as an excuse to not watch foreign films a lot. They'll watch UK or Australian films but never French.

I think some of it is laziness in the midst of an overwhelming abundance of media. Why put in the efforts to watch foreign language films when there are more English language releases than anyone could ever watch?

Not counting recent immigrants who still love their home country media, this leaves two audiences watching foreign language films with any regularity: 1) Fans of very specific genres/art forms that are underserved by the domestic market, 2) film buffs who care more about craft than familiarity or budget

I don't know that much about modern China. I don't know how a country can become cool either. I feel like not having censored media is a start. Worrying about what your people will think of you if they see this or that is about as uncool as it gets. Just like, stop being a tryhard.

I think that it's more or less impossible for a communist government to have soft power outside of the area under their direct control. China has been relaxing their restrictions on art in recent decades, but their censorship mandates are still too strict for most genres outside of escapism.

EDIT: Also nationalism is never popular outside of its country of origin. Even the American stuff does poorly overseas if it is nationalist wank.
 

Silver Arrows

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For long term living, the USA might still be better, but for short term living, being in Beijing or Shanghai, while earning enough money, can easily be as much fun or even more than LA or NY. As long as you're not an expat who rather browses on Reddit than goes outside.

Man, I love it when you post.

Just so much obvious shilling for China.
 

Fuchsdh

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Not influenced by China. Pandering to China. Huge difference.

Yep. Hollywood is producing movies for a global audience, but that really hasn't actually changed much in their movies except throwing in a Chinese character or a location and keeping on with the CGI bombastic fests.

Honestly while I think a lot of the theories advanced in the article are true in some combination, I think it also downplays the element that Chinese don't project a good reputation as visitors to other countries. They're seen as yokels with terrible manners who spit indoors, crowd museums trying to look at two famous works of art before leaving, and are more interested in shopping at fashionable western stores than a location's cultural amenities.` They mention it in relation to appreciating China's music, but I think it casts a much larger shadow over everything else as well. The US might have the venal American tourist stereotype as well, but there's simply less of us and we've already got the cultural exports side of things covered, so there's limited damage in comparison.
There is so much stupidity and misconceptions of Chinese art in this thread that I am compelled to dig up my old photos of all the awesome and controversial new art up in Chinese cities. Very critical, occasionally violent, thought provoking, politically non-conforming, memorable, stuff.

Because that stuff is not projected to the wider world and doesn't speak globally. There was a lot of subversive and excellent art made during the Soviet era, doesn't mean it was the majority and it doesn't mean it defined people's expectations of the USSR.
 

dramatis

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I don't know that much about modern China. I don't know how a country can become cool either. I feel like not having censored media is a start. Worrying about what your people will think of you if they see this or that is about as uncool as it gets. Just like, stop being a tryhard.
I think censorship is only a part of the problem. The bigger problem is the attempt to manufacture a specific image that also adheres to the ideals of a political party. Even your own countrymen can tell when you're being disingenuous, which is why that government-sponsored/produced singer never became famous even within China itself. There are a buttload of celebrities in China now, a whole lot of them are famous. But they became famous through entertainment media that appealed to audiences, not through the creation of an ideal celebrity crafted with the intent to promote party ideals.
 

Sunster

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I think censorship is only a part of the problem. The bigger problem is the attempt to manufacture a specific image that also adheres to the ideals of a political party. Even your own countrymen can tell when you're being disingenuous, which is why that government-sponsored/produced singer never became famous even within China itself. There are a buttload of celebrities in China now, a whole lot of them are famous. But they became famous through entertainment media that appealed to audiences, not through the creation of an ideal celebrity crafted with the intent to promote party ideals.

Yea that's the definition of being a tryhard
 

Chococat

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Simple, the West has never thought of China as intellectual and cultural equals. It is in only recent times that China has gained enough power the the West has to respect, that idea of pop culture exchange is even possible.

Pair that with when China final became free of British colonialism, it retreated into cultural isolationism.

Mao Zedong's cultural revolution under Communism added to the schism with West. Under Mao's rule, China suppressed it own history and arts. That only began to lift in 1976 with the death of Mao.

Fast forward to the present day. While the West has made gains in political relations and material trade China, the West has yet to open itself up to accepting Chinese pop culture.

I think a lot of that has to due with the West's continued belief in its own cultural superiority. Simple, they don't like consuming things that haven't been gentrified for Western consumption. That's not China fault.
 

zeshakag

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I think people need to realize that you'll run into a lot of problems when trying to run a country with the largest population in the world. Sometimes you cannot look at it from a western world PoV. No, the government is far from perfect, but China has actually improved a lot compared when compared to like 20 years ago.

Let's not pretend USA is perfect either. You elected a TV celebrity to be president. Not trying to generalize, but somtimes there's a sentiment that America is free to criticize other countries but never the other way around.


This article is examining a specific subject and its potential underlying causes: Why the global culture isn't buying China's cultural exports

I don't see why you are getting defensive. Literally everyone in this thread knows and embraces how shitty the US is in many facets. Half of this forum is always about how bad things are in this country.
 

Hari Seldon

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Lol could you imagine a Chinese equivalent of NWA? State censorship will always squash any cultural output.
 

DadEggs

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because they imitate and not create

i know thats just a close minded naive broad stereotype....
 

BobNewbert31

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Chinese cinema will never be popular in the west. Do Americans even watch foreign films?
They should try to make movies that have wide appeal in Asia.

Do you think no Americans watch foreign films or are you wondering why foreign films aren't very successful over here?
 

vonStirlitz

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Lol could you imagine a Chinese equivalent of NWA? State censorship will always squash any cultural output.
it would be difficult to have a Chinese NWA, as they dont have a history of importing slaves, lynching people of different colour, allowing ghettos to evolve through social and economic segregation, allowing public ownership of guns that give rise to violent street crime, reatricting jobs and opportunities which only allow drug trading as a path to quick riches, and all the other shit that allowed that street savvy rage and lack of opportunities to evolve into killer beats.

its easy to make quick judgments.

just saying.
 

andythinkpad

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Chinese cinema will never be popular in the west. Do Americans even watch foreign films?
They should try to make movies that have wide appeal in Asia.

Yeah I think this very specific goal post is only important to the author who is I think a 2nd generation Chinese American.

Chinese things being cool is very important to him but never a priority to actually Chinese, let along the Americans. Thank about it, Chinese movies are more popular than German movies nowadays, what more do you want.
 

Fuchsdh

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Simple, the West has never thought of China as intellectual and cultural equals. It is in only recent times that China has gained enough power the the West has to respect, that idea of pop culture exchange is even possible.

Huh, weird, I guess I must be imagining all these 19th century buildings with Confucius and Laozi alongside the great western thinkers.
 

zeshakag

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A lot of people are citing anime as an extension of Japan's soft power. Lolno (well maybe just a little). But Japan's economic export of finished goods is an example of real soft power. From a US perspective, Japanese branded cars are the best selling and acknowledged as well made. We use Japanese and Korean phones and TV's with this those companys' brand names on them. We play video games on Japanese consoles (which are definitely an extension of soft/economic power. US buys a shit ton of PS4s and Wiis.)

So a good bit of the soft cultural power that Japan and South Korea hold is the widespread idea that they know how to make good shit well. Concepts that aren't executed abroad can still be exported abroad. Japan's public transit infrastructure is another cultural idea that is looked upon fondly by most. Bullet trains rear their head in casual conversation, and comparisons are inevitable in political decision making regarding public transit. Another positive example of how this "country looks like it really has its shit together".
 

andythinkpad

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Apr 21, 2015
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Considering Japan is *the* soft power giant in East Asia, it's always been kinda weird China doesn't make much of an attempt to compete and just lets them hold that crown. Or maybe they do, but it doesn't reach US/Europe sphere.

I have thought about this particular topic for years. I think it doesn't belonged to this thread but here is my theory on this subject.

Japanese popular culture, doesn't do realism. Japanese entertainment tile heavily heavily toward fantasy. And fantasy translate to other language a lot better.

Japanese culture historically also very good at adapting valuable things from other culture, repackage it into much easier to digest youth entertainment. Manga like Saint Seiya is no an accident. The Japanese has been doing it for a long time. This goes back to the a few hundred years when Japanese painting genre developed more and more toward poster like populism painting.

BTW the lack of realism in popular literature is a double edge sword. I think this is one of the reasons Japan has deep rooted sexism and xenophobia for long time and not able to self correct.
 
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