Over the years, chinaSMACK has endeavored to provide a glimpse into what Chinese netizens are looking at and talking about. We do this by translating the original Chinese content and comments into English. We do this to make it accessible to readers both inside and outside of China who are interested in Chinese internet pop culture but don’t read Chinese.
We’ve enjoyed unexpected success with this editorial mission, to the point where chinaSMACK has become one of the most popular English-language sites about China. We’re humbled by this, by the support of our fans, who know what we’re trying to do and appreciate our hard work.
We regularly get complaints from people both in our lively comments section and through email that this or that story we’ve covered isn’t relevant to their interests. For example:
For the most part, we have staunchly stuck to our principle of presenting what Chinese netizens are seemingly interested in rather than what our core audience of expats and foreigners might be interested in.
We’re not going to stop doing that, but we can no longer ignore the demands of our audience.
Over the next month, we’ll be phasing in coverage for the stories, topics, issues, the “news” that expats and foreigners care most about when it comes to modern China and Chinese society. This includes government corruption, state media censorship, and criticisms of the pervasive social norms that mark Chinese society as backwards relative to the rest of the world.
We won’t abandon our beloved format either. A key part of chinaSMACK’s appeal over the years has been our pairing of what netizens are responding to with what they are responding with. In other words, expat and foreign netizen reactions will be part of this coverage. This is because like Chinese netizen comments, how people are responding often helps our readers better understand the story, as well as why the story was popular in the first place.
Also like our coverage of the Chinese internet, we will source our stories and reactions from the most popular websites and internet social media platforms where expats and foreigners congregate to discuss topics involving China. We will present these stories and reactions as they are, with minimal editorializing and commentary, choosing the most popular comments whenever possible with the understanding that doing so doesn’t represent everything, but it still represents something.
As usual, we welcome tips and contributions from our readers. If you notice a viral or trending article, picture, or video relevant to the interests of expats and foreigners, please let us know by sending us an email through our contact form.
chinaSMACK wouldn’t be where it is without its contributors and this remains true as we expand our coverage to cater to what our audience wants.