Author Archives: An Xiao Mina

Announcing the 88 Bot! (aka Group Retweet Bot)

Over here at 88 Bar, a number of us are tweeting about China, Chinese-related things, and just interesting topics in general.  And while we recognize the value of maintaining a strong social media presence, our @88_bartenders Twitter account admittedly hasn’t received as much attention as it should.  After a bit of brainstorming, we realized we […]

Four Thoughts on Ai Weiwei’s Gangnam Style: Meme-ing as Activism

Until recently, I hadn’t seen Ai Weiwei’s Gangnam Style remix, but I definitely heard about it.  Everyone on my social media feeds has been talking about, and people have emailed it to me.  I’ve seen hilarious-looking pictures and read the commentary. But I’ve just not been able to sit down and watch it. Why is […]

Kimchi and G-Nuts, or, a Taste of the Kampala Roll

  88 Bar writer An Xiao Mina is living and working in Uganda this fall and researching the technology community and growing Chinese population in East Africa. I was craving kimchi the other night, as did some of my colleagues. So we headed out to Arirang, a Chinese-owned Korean restaurant here in Kampala. There’s a […]

Hong Kong Citizens’ Online, Memetic Protest

Like pretty much anyone else paying attention to the story, I was stunned to see the images of protests in Hong Kong, with people of all ages donning black to rail against Beijing’s plan to enact national education.  Hong Kongers deemed it brainwashing, a paternalistic move from Beijing to inculcate the special territory into its […]

China’s “Fat Police Officer” Terrorizes Everything [TLN]

Today we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Tea Leaf Nation, a new web site dedicated to pulling insights from China’s lively microblogsphere.  Their team, scattered around the world, have shared some amazing insights, offering translations, context and images, all with a touch of quirky humor.  I had the pleasure of working with TLN’s […]

In Defense of Memes Defending Themselves

My talk at the Personal Democracy Forum at NYU’s Kimmel Center My talk at ROFLCon III at MIT Political memes have been on my mind as of late. It started with ROFLCon at MIT and moved on to more discussions, Skype chats and journal entries. And I’ve just returned from the Personal Democracy Forum at […]

Chinese Weibos: The Meme Behind the Titanic 3D Censorship Hoax

Titanic 3D is out.  Yes, we all know this, the world over.  The film is expected to make hundreds of millions in China alone. But it will be missing the nudity scene.  I remember watching the Colbert Report and seeing James Cameron report that the reason it was cut was because censors feared that Chinese […]

Real Name Registration One Month Later

Real name registration has come and gone.  The article Tricia and I penned for Wired noted some of the dangers behind the requirements to register one’s real name (it’s quite rigorous – you have to include your identification card): In a move to exert greater control on citizen speech online, the government is requiring that […]

How Memes and Infographics Are Driving the Push for Clean Air

Any foreigner who’s visited a Chinese city notices it right away.  It’s one of the most dominant memories of the main cityscapes I’ve witnessed across China, from Hong Kong to Chonqging to Shanghai to Beijing.  Smog.  And lots of smog.  Smog, smog everywhere and all of it coming into our lungs and in our hair […]

How Diverse is China’s Social Media? Three Sites Give a Peek

Chinese memes.  They’re not all serious.  I’m drawn to the way memes are used to effect political and social change, but with over 500 million Chinese online, the majority of Sina Weibo is fun, fun, fun.  Indeed, as Tricia and I discuss in our recent op-ed in Wired, the danger of real name registration extends […]