Debunking Silicon Valley myths about WeChat’s conversational UI & other findings

The Nielsen Norman Group recently wrapped up a great study involving 26 individuals in Beijing and Tangshan about their use of WeChat. Their report, WeChat: China’s Integrated Internet User Experience is well worth a read. But in case you’re pressed for time, we’ve written up our annotated highlights below.

Early on, Cheng and Nielsen (the authors of the article) point out…

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Hong Kong’s Animation-Comic-Games Convention 2016: Mostly a frenzy of shopping with a shrinking presence of local creators

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It was business as usual at this year’s ACG (Animation-Comic-Game) Con in Hong Kong. Big international videogame and toy brands dominated, and attendees diligently lined up to shop for Japanese manga merch, to play test games in VR, or to marvel at finely-crafted toy figurines from Japan or the US. This 90% off gacha booth was, for example, swamped…

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HK Book Fair 2016: 100Most steals the day, homegrown dim sum comics and a wuxia novels exhibit

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The Hong Kong Book Fair 2016 continues the city’s longstanding tradition of hosting consumer-obsessed, discount-supermarket-style book fairs. As with previous years, it was mobbed with students towing suitcases to buy in bulk, 20%+ discounts all around, and bookstore-publishers cross-selling each other’s books (but promoting their own most prominently). The books themselves include both fiction and non-fiction, with a large selection of titles…

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The History of Chinese Typewriters Needs Your $upport

Photo of Chinese Typist
Chinese Typist In 1928
1950s Propaganda Poster Featuring Chinese Typist
1950s Propaganda Poster Featuring Chinese Typist

Tom Mullaney (professor of Chinese history + technology at Stanford) is running a Kickstarter campaign around exhibiting and preserving the fascinating history of the Chinese typewriter. One highlight of his exhibition will be centered around how Chinese engineers cracked the puzzle on creating a typewriter…

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Online translation communities in China, a brief overview

From Chuan Yu’s Online Translation Communities in Chinese Cyberspace [we’ve added screenshots of the sites mentioned for extra context]:

Since the arrival of the Internet about 30 years ago, the practice of translation has also moved online. A number of online translation communities have been established for various purposes. In general, there are two types: audio-visual and text-oriented translation communities.…

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Why US trash ends up in China (not because labor is cheaper!)

From Susan Jake’s LARB review of Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter:

The reason most US trash flows to China is not, as is popularly believed, because of China’s low cost of labor and weak environmental protection (or, at least, not primarily). If it were, Minter says, we’d send our trash to Sudan, and Sudan wouldn’t be sending its…

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A fictionalized tale of 1 upper-class, 1 lower-class woman working in fashion in Shenzhen

Zoe Ho from Seeed has started a great series on Medium: a parable of two women from the extreme ends of the economic spectrum who both work in the fashion industry in Shenzhen:

CoCo… is always talked about, gossiped or admired with jealousy. Sometimes she cannot accept any imperfection, and would like to get…

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The Politics of Pork Industrialization In Modern China

A friend pointed me to this superb paper by Mindi Schneider on “Meat, manure, and the politics of agro-industrialization in contemporary China.” In it, Schneider highlights plenty of interesting facts, figures and findings about the social, economic and environmental impact of the pork industry in modern-day China.

On the historical context of pigs and pork in agricultural China:

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