WeChat and the Chinese Diaspora
Digital Transnationalism in the Era of China's Rise
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WeChat, launched in 2011, has rapidly become the most favoured Chinese social media. Globally available, equally popular both inside and outside China and widely adopted by Chinese migrants, WeChat has fundamentally changed the ways in which Mandarin-speaking migrants conduct personal messaging, engage in group communication and community business activities, produce and distribute news, and access and share information. This book explores a wide range of issues connected to the ways in which WeChat works and is used, across the world among the newest members of the Chinese diaspora. Arguing that digital/social media afford a great degree of individual agency, as well as a collective capacity for sustaining an ‘imagined community’, the book shows how WeChat’s assemblage of infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, technical capabilities, content and sense of community has led to the construction of a particular kind of diasporic Chinese world, at a time marked both by China’s rise, and anxiety about Chinese influence in the West.
Table of Contents
WeChat and Chinese diaspora: introduction Wanning Sun and Haiqing Yu Part 1: Infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, business and industries 1. WeChat as everyday tactics: ride-hailing and place-making in Vancouver Yijia Zhang 2. WeChat as migration infrastructure: the case of Chinese-Russian precarious labour markets Natalia Ryzhova and Iullia Koreshkova 3. From ethnic media to ethno-transnational media: news-focused WeChat subscription accounts in Australia Fan Yang Part 2: Technological tendencies, affordances, and relations 4. WeChat as a digital bridge for the Chinese residents in Italy? A study of the use of social media during the first wave of COVID-19 Gianluigi Negro and Lala Hu 5. Canary in the coal mine: WeChat subscription accounts in the United Arab Emirates Haiqing Yu and Jack Kangjie Liu Part 3: Content, narratives, discourses 6. WeChatting American politics: misinformation and political polarization in the immigrant Chinese media ecosystem Chi Zhang 7. News via WeChat for Chinese speakers in Brazil: towards integration with the PRC information environment Josh Stenberg Part 4: Identity, sentiments, emotions and affect 8. Building a life on the soil of the ultimate other: WeChat and the sense of belonging among Chinese migrants in Japan Xinyu Wang 9. From the politics of motherland to the politics of motherhood: Chinese golden visa migrants in Hungary Fanni Beck 10. WeChat, ‘ethnic grouping’ and ‘class belonging’: the formation of citizen identity among Chinese now living in Paris Simeng Wang 11. Global app, local politics, and Chinese migrants in Africa: a comparative study of Zambia and Angola Hangwei Li Further notes on WeChat and Chinese diaspora: a conclusion Haiqing Yu and Wanning Sun
Wanning Sun is a Professor of Media and Communication at University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
Haiqing Yu is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.