Publication Details

Yecies, B., Yang, J., Shim, A., Soh, K. & Berryman, M. J. "The Douban online social media barometer and the Chinese reception of Korean popular culture flows." Participations: journal of audience and reception studies 13 .1 (2016): 114-138.


Since its launch in 2005, the Chinese online social networking site Douban has become a key platform for creating and sharing user-generated content on a rising tide of global popular culture. Such content and its corresponding user data has become so prolific that Western media outlets are now using Douban a key barometer for gauging representative opinions and attitudes towards foreign content in China. However, a full range of tools for harvesting and analyzing Chinese-language datasets has yet to be explored in English. This article attempts to fill this gap by investigating the applicability of an analytical framework that can be used to study Chinese audiences’ response to a range of films through analysing comments on Douban. As a case study, the authors apply this framework to a representative sample of major Korean films made by a group of female writer–directors. Given that Korean cinema is increasingly popular with Chinese movie audiences, this study aims to test a “proof of concept” that can be applied more broadly to Korean and other country’s films. In turn, it is hoped that the framework developed here will be used to investigate much larger datasets across a greater range of popular culture materials originating outside China – materials that are making transnational connections with the world’s largest media audience.