THE ULTIMATE C-POP FAN GUIDE
Wondering how to navigate the Chinese-Pop scene? Need some tips on how to start being a supporter of C-entertainment or how to become a C-pop fan?
Fret not, Daily Cpop has compiled a compact and informative Ultimate C-pop Fan guide just for you. It will brief you on the very basics of how to get yourself acquainted with the C-pop fan culture!
The Basics: An Introduction To Chinese Social Media Platforms.
To start off, the C-pop fandom is extremely unique. No other fandom struggles with having to toggle between two vastly different social media platforms as we do within the C-pop fandom. International fans are all familiar with Twitter, Youtube and Instagram, but the catch here is that not all our beloved Chinese celebrities are on these platforms. For those who are, they may not update very often.
Thus, international fans are left with little choice but to get acquainted with Chinese social media platforms in order to get a closer glimpse of the lives of their idols.
In this guide we will go through three methods in which you can get better access to content featuring your favourite Chinese celebrities.
- A walkthrough of Chinese social media platforms
- A guide on Chinese Music and Content Streaming platforms
- Methods for you to show support for your idol
- A Glimpse into fandom culture in China
For starters, most celebrities in China have social media presence on Weibo, Oasis and Douyin. C-pop fans can follow their idols on these platform to get first hand photos, videos and social media posts by their idols.
Let us now have a closer look of these platforms and what might be the difference between them (if any).
Social Media Platforms
- Weibo （微博）: Weibo is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter where all idols, fans, and idol groups are onboard to post their latest social media updates. This social networking site is a quickest and most reliable source to get the latest updates in C-entertainment, as updates from here are made by the celebrities themselves.
- Oasis（绿洲）: Oasis was only recently launched in 2019. As a subsidiary social media platform under Weibo, the app itself is functionally similar to Instagram. International fans can attempt to download it, though no english version of it exists as of now. But if you are familiar with how Instagram works, navigating it won’t be too tough. On Oasis, you’ll see a lot of fashion and outfit photos too, as Oasis is positioned as a fashion and lifestyle social platform. You can use your Weibo account to log into the platform. Most of the time, Chinese celebrities would post their Oasis updates on Weibo too, so as long as you follow them on Weibo, you will have access to their latest updates.
- Douyin （抖音）: The successful Chinese video-sharing social networking platform owned by ByteDance, has made a name all over the world with the international version of its app, TikTok. You can scroll for hours on Douyin to watch some funny videos made by China’s hottest celebrities. The platform also has special filters every time, and idols would often update their creative videos on Douyin!
— Daily Cpop News (@DailyCpop) July 8, 2020
- RED – XiaoHongShu （小红书）: Xiaohongshu, which literally translates to “Little Red Book”, is a social media app and an e-commerce platform. Based in Shanghai, this innovative app provides a space for users to review beauty, fashion, and health products, as well as share (aesthetic) content that can be saved to their boards. Many have described the app “like Pinterest and Instagram sprinkled with a dose of Taobao“. You can find some of your favourite celebrities sharing their beauty tricks or fashion finds on the platform! Though this platform was traditionally made exclusively for a female audience, many male celebrities have recently made their accounts on RED to journal about their daily lives.
— Daily Cpop News (@DailyCpop) June 30, 2020
Music Streaming Platforms
- QQ Music: This is one of the best free Chinese music streaming and downloading services, owned by Tencent music (a joint venture between Tencent and Spotify). To be able to use this platform, users will need to log in with their QQ account or Wechat account.
- Netease Cloud Music: Just like any music streaming app or website. Users can log in with their Weibo account.
In China, QQ Music and Netease Cloud music are the two main sources that provide music. Migu and Kugou music are also common music streaming platforms. Chinese artists generally do not upload their music onto YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music (as they mainly promote in China). Thus, it is recommended for fans to access these above two apps (or at least one of them) to stream and listen to your idols’ music.
However, to be able to access these two apps outside of China, users will need a VPN service such as Transocks.
Video Streaming Platforms
- Tencent / WeTV: Download the Tencent or WeTv app on your device to stream full episodes of variety shows, drama and tv series, anime, films and more! Not to worry, there’s also subtitles in multiple languages which you can choose based on your preference. Tencent Video also premieres many variety shows and survival programs, such as Produce Camp CHUANG 2020.
- iQiyi: Another leading online movie and video streaming website and app that offers a wide range of content (variety shows, tv drama series, animation…). The video platform also premieres many variety shows and survival programs, such as Youth With You.
- Youku: This Chinese video hosting service and a video-sharing website that allows users to view and share content. You can find fanbased user-generated content about your idols.
What You can do to Support Your Idol / Fandom
- Buy and stream their music.
- Like, comment, and re-post your idol’s Weibo or Oasis posts. Tip: You can also share their Weibo posts on international social media sites like Twitter to widen your idol’s international fanbase!
- Make sure to mention the idols in your posts so they can gain more recognition!
- (Optional) Follow your idols’ supertopics on Weibo, and/or sign in daily.
Super topics are a section where people with the same interests can gather to form a group, usually discussing about celebrities and idols. This is a space where all the latest updates, information, or fansite posts are on, which also allow interaction between fans and idols!
We will be writing an article on how to utilize supertopics, so stay tuned.
Fan culture in C-pop
1. Supporting a band member’s solo career is the norm.
Among netizens in China, it’s normal to support a boy group member’s solo career. This does not indicate any “betrayal” to the full group at all since some members may have already pursued an acting career before being part of a band or group, or may have already debuted as a solo artist before hand. Furthermore, companies usually promote a member’s solo career as well. A good example of this would be Wang Yibo who is from the boyband UNIQ. Although Yibo is still a member of UNIQ, Yue Hua Entertainment dedicate a large amount of resources to supporting his solo career.They have also pumped in considerable support for his band made, Li Wenhan’s solo career as well. But still, they are considered an active band as their weibo page continues to post updates from time to time. It is not unusual to support a member’s solo career over the C-pop group itself.
2. Familiarize yourself with commonly used Chinese phrases in C-pop fan culture.
It is common to use Chinese words to describe certain fan or idol behaviours. A famous C-pop internet slang would be “si sheng” which is the short form for (私生饭), which means “obsessive fans” who engage in stalker behaviours towards their idols.Other common terms also include “jia you (加油)” which means “keep going”, “dai pai (代拍)” which commonly refers to photographers hired by fans to take photos of idols while at work/in their daily lives, often illegally These photographers then resell the photos at a high price to fans or fan clubs who are willing to pay for it. We will make a list of popular C-pop terms for you in a later post, so stay tuned to be updated!
3. Learn to recognise the difference between a rumour or an official news source on Weibo.
Often, Weibo is swarmed with rumours that are well disguised as an “official news” source. News platforms such as toutiao and even Sina Entertainment like to hire opinion or fan writers, who often write about celebrities from a personal (sometimes biased) viewpoint. As much as possible, it would be best not to bring these ungrounded rumours onto Twitter as “Weibo rumours” tend to anger the feelings of international fans especially if it is unfounded.
The pink box with a “notice to right holders” section on weibo usually means the articles are opinions of individual writers and are not official information.Articles with a pink box on Sina Entertainment usually indicate that the article represents only the thoughts of the author and not Sina entertainment. Although some of them may be factual, it is not officially announced by the idol or their management.
4. Always try to access content related to your idol through primary streaming platforms to support them.
While you can easily find some music or drama videos uploaded onto Youtube by a fan of the celebrity, it is always best to support the licensed content released by your idol.Buying an album and streaming a song on an official music platform (such as QQ Music) can help to boost the digital album sales count for your idol, which leads them getting access to digital album awards and such. It will boost the chances of your idols getting nominated for music or drama awards more often then not.So even though its hard, please try to support them on licensed platforms to make a tangible impact.
5. Respect all fandoms and be kind to each other.
As an international fan, you may not be on Weibo but your words and tweets can still be brought over to Weibo to represent the opinions of your fandom. Do always be respectful, as it only takes one unkind act or tweet for anti-fans on Weibo to smear the reputation of your idol whom they associate your behaviour with. Fandom behaviour can affect the reputation of an idol, so do your very best to be kind and courteous for your celebrity!
Here are some threads made by fans on Twitter that we have also found useful when we were creating this guide for you!
We hope that DailyCpop’s Ultimate C-pop Guide can help to better inform international fans on C-pop fan culture!
Our goal is to create an inclusive and meaningful community for all C-pop fans.
If you love what we do and would like to join our team or to contribute a wiki idol biography, feel free to drop us a DM on Twitter! Otherwise if you’re just looking for help getting acquainted with C-pop, you can drop us a DM on Twitter as well.
We hope you found this guide useful, and we wish you a good time C-poppin!
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