China internet guru Matthew Brennan summarizes his bestseller Attention Factory: The Story of Tiktok and China’s Bytedance and explains how Tiktok developed from a successful domestic tool for millennials into a short-video platform that even caught the attention from US President Donald Trump.
Content creation has been key for short-form engagement, writes the Jing Daily. And for Bytedance’s Douyin/Tiktok it has paved the way from its original base of millennials to mainstream engagement, adds Matthew Brennan, author of “Attention Factory: The Story of Tiktok and China’s Bytedance.
Most Chinese tech companies tried to figure out what US consumers wanted before they entered the market, but Bytedance did not care when it launched Tiktok in 2018, says internet veteran Matthew Brennan in his book “Attention Factory: The Story of Tiktok and China’s Bytedance.” The lack of strategy almost backfired, but after some hiccups, the company became a runaway success, Brennan writes in an excerpt in Technode.
A hidden problem in China are the 70 million children in the countryside, left behind by their migrant parents who left to work elsewhere in de big cities, says author Zhang Lijia in an interview with the Borgen Project. Many drop out of school and those who remain face dropping quality of their education. Zhang Lijia is currently working on a book on left-behind children (LBC’s).
Not authoritarian rule but solid support from China’s citizens allowed its government to beat the Covid-19 and effectively deal with the coronavirus crisis, argues Singapore-based journalist Ian Johnson, in the New York Review of Books. He uses the Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, to show the government did not silence critics but did win majority support by its people, helped by indeed heavily manipulated media in China.
An even faster shift to online, domestic tourism and health care related activities. Business analyst Shaun Rein sums up how China is changing faster after the corona crisis is over, in an interview with Ashley Dudarenok. Are international brands even more leverage to domestic brands, both wonder.
Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao interviews author and journalist Yuan Ling after he got into quarantine in his home province Shaanxi. “The virus has already had a deeper impact on the people than even the  Sichuan earthquake [that killed 69,000],” Yuan Ling tells Ian Johnson on the phone, for the New York Review of Books.
Shanghai-based business analyst Shaun Rein was with his family on a well-deserved holiday as the fallout of the corona virus crisis caught up with his trip. Panic is spreading over the world, especially now in the US. Rein is back in Shanghai and feels himself more safe than in some of the countries he has been in over the past few months, he tells at CGTN, although there is a lot room for improvement in China too.
Not only high costs are stopping Chinese women from getting more children, as the government wants them to for offsetting the dramatic aging process of the country, writes journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus, a novel, on prostitution in China, in the South China Morning Post. “The reality is far more complex. One important reason, in my view, is that women have changed. They don’t care to be only the reproductive tool of the family or the state,” she writes.
Foreign media mostly focus on China’s crackdown on religion, but it’s approach has become much more nuanced, says journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at the New York Times. Two truly global religions, Islam and Christianity, cause China’s leadership most trouble.
A limited trade deal might be in the pipeline for the coming weeks, says leading economist Arthur Kroeber, author of China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know® in the Stock Daily Dish. But the trade war is far from over, he warns. “There is a material risk (say 20 to 25%) that we don‘t get a deal.”