Tag Archives: SCMP

[Media Reports] Chinese-African couple become live-streaming hit in China

Chinese husband says many followers are watching because they are curious about how the couple deals with any cultural differences, newspaper reports

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By Yujing Liu for South China Morning Post

A Chinese and African couple have become a hit online in China, live-streaming parts of their daily life to thousands of followers, according to a newspaper report.

Zou Qianshun, 43, and his wife Sandra, 27, from Cameroon, live in a village near Dandong in northern Liaoning province, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Zou works on fishing boats and met his partner in the coastal African nation three years ago when she was running a hair salon.

The couple fell in love and after marrying in March last year in Cameroon they returned to live in China. They now have a four-month-old baby boy, Daniel.

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As their cross-cultural marriage has attracted much attention from curious villagers, Zou had the idea of live-streaming parts of their daily life.

They have now attracted more than 20,000 followers in just a month since they started broadcasting, according to the report.

“Viewers have so many questions and are even curious about our most private life, which is a bit too much, but we try to satisfy their requests if they are related to cooking, recreation or work,” Zou was quoted as saying.

During the live broadcasts, the couple answer all kinds of questions from internet users, such as whether they are truly in love and how they handle their age and cultural differences.

Zou communicates with Sandra in French and she has adapted to village life, picking up some of the Liaoning dialect.

She has also learned to fuel the stove using corn stalks in the traditional rural Chinese manner, the report said.

Before Sandra left for China, her family worried if she would be treated well by Zou’s family and whether she would get used to living in China.

But Zou’s mother is full of praise for her daughter-in-law, praising her as “smart, pretty, loving and capable”, according to the article.

Zou only plans to live-stream for a short period, thinking people will soon lose interest once their initial curiosity is satisfied.


[Opinion] US media outrage over detergent ad is pot calling the kettle black

“Chinese television commercial was certainly offensive and racist but criticism from America – which was founded on slavery – is a bit rich”

By Alex Lo for SCMP

The Qiaobi detergent TV commercial on the mainland is indeed racist and offensive. Yet, even more interesting, is why it seems to provoke outrage only in the US media and not anywhere else in the world.

US and English-language news media have been quick to report on the commercial, yet few bother to tell their audiences that the long version with the black actor that went viral online was never broadcast; only the shorter version was shown without him.

Americans are quick to condemn.

The popular Vox.com waxed indignant: “This ad is blatantly racist… it’s also a reminder that attitudes over race and skin colour in China can be very bad.”

CNN editorialised along a similar vein.

By now, you have probably seen the viral version. A muscular black man whistles and winks at an attractive young Chinese woman. She calls him over, puts a detergent packet in his mouth, and pushes him headfirst into a washing machine. She then sits on the lid while the man shrieks and the washing machine spins. Moments later a young, Asian-looking man emerges in clean clothes, and the woman grins.

I don’t know about you but I find the Idris Elba-lookalike black actor far sexier and attractive than the effeminate lady boy that came out of the washer.

Still, what’s intriguing is the US news media blasting China for being racist towards blacks, and the commercial is being offered as Exhibit A.

That’s a bit rich coming from a country that was founded on black slavery, whose devastating legacy still haunts the current generation. Thirty-seven per cent of prison inmates in the US are African-Americans, though they make up only 13 per cent of the total population. Blacks on average live five years less than whites. A typical white family has a net worth of US$134,200, while a black one scrapes by with slightly more than US$11,000. US police killed at least 102 unarmed black people last year; unarmed blacks are five times more likely to be killed by police than unarmed whites. Such awful statistics roll on and on.

What you have is a politically correct media that helps to hide the underlying racism running deep in American society and projects it on to other countries.

China has racial problems. But murderous racism against blacks is not one of them.

[Opinion] Barry Sautman & Yan Hairong say #RacistChineseAd doesn’t make China racist #SinoAfrica

By Sautman & Yan for SCMP


By now, there has been a fairly comprehensive discussion of the racist ad produced by the detergent company Qiaobi that depicts the laundering of a “dirty” black man into a “clean” Chinese. Beyond condemning the ad, those of us in China should also call for its perpetrators to be sanctioned under Article 9 of China’s Advertising Law, which forbids ads containing discrimination based on nationality, race, religion or gender.

One key aspect of the discourse has yet to be treated, however – its political uses. One of us has been interviewed about the ad by journalists for several “top” Western news sources. The main question posed was whether it shows that “the Chinese are racist”.

As of 2010, there were 43 million companies in China. Not all advertise, but even if only 2 per cent do, that’s almost one million companies. Many firms have issued a multiplicity of ads. Arguably, no conclusion about racism among the 1.4 billion Chinese can be made based on a single ad. When racist ads or statements appear in the Western media – and there have been plenty – no one claims they show “the Americans”, “the French”, and so on, are racist.

That said, the question of whether a racist world view is more common among Chinese than among other people needs to be answered, if only because Western media foster that impression. The idea of unique Chinese racism has spread to such an extent that “Are the Chinese Racist?” is one issue taken up in the recent, useful book by Marte Kjær Galtung and Stig Stenslie, 49 Myths about China.

A few recent surveys relate to this question. A 2008 World Public Opinion survey done by the University of Maryland among people in 16 countries concluded that the Chinese rank among the top with the greatest support for the importance of equal treatment for different races and ethnicities, second only to Mexicans. China also has the second-largest majority who disagreed that employers have the right to discriminate based on race or ethnicity, and are among the largest majorities that favour their government making efforts to prevent racial and ethnic discrimination.

A 2016 Amnesty International survey about refugees found that among people in 27 countries, Chinese were the most welcoming: almost half said they would welcome refugees to stay in their homes, compared to one in 10 among the whole sample.

In a study a few years back, scholars in Kansas, United States, and those in several Chinese cities applied the standard psychological instrument used to measure ethnocentricity. They found that Kansas university students were much more ethnocentric than their peers at the Chinese universities.

These surveys do not “prove” Chinese on the whole are less racist than other peoples. They do indicate, however, that it is spurious to imply, without substantial evidence, that racist views are more common among Chinese, not to speak of insinuating that Chinese in general are racist.

What much of the discourse in the West about the racist detergent ad has sought to do is most likely for political reasons. If, instead, the issue is being framed in that way to self-aggrandise Westerners, it is ironic. Europe is where African and African-descended people are particularly subject to violent racist victimisation.

According to the newspaper Die Zeit, more than 130 people, some Africans, were killed in racist street violence in Germany from 1990 to 2008. A study by US criminologist Richard Arnold noted that in Russia, in 2012 alone, racist skinheads killed 187 people. Such violence is far from rare in several other European countries as well. Attacks in Europe, as well as against African students in India and Malaysia, contrast with what African students in China have told us; they are generally able to move about in relative safety.

In discussing the racist detergent ad then, not only should generalising be eschewed, but the ad itself and the relationship of Chinese and people of African descent must also be seen in its larger context.

Barry Sautman is a professor in the Division of Social Science at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Yan Hairong is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University