Chinese Culture on the World Stage

Chinese Culture on the World Stage


School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University

Joint Sponsors

Centre for Media and Communication Research, Hong Kong Baptist University
The School of Journalism, Renmin University
The China Media Centre, University of Westminster


15 – 17 June 2012


Room 104,
Communication and Visual Arts Building
Baptist University Road Campus
Hong Kong Baptist University
5 Hereford Road
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon

China is now the second largest economy in the world, but the international impact of Chinese culture does not reflect that reality. Compared even to much smaller countries, Chinese films, music, television, books and other media have only a small presence in the world. Compared to the USA, still by far the world’s largest economy, China lags behind in exporting its culture to the world.

The Chinese government has made a major effort to change this situation. Cinema films have made some inroads in the global market. There are hundreds of Confucius Institutes around the world teaching Chinese language and culture. Two new international news channels have been launched and China Radio International has expanded its services in an attempt to challenge the hegemony of western views of world events. English-language newspapers are published in Beijing, in the USA and in Europe.

Some other cultural producers, notably publishers and broadcasters, are also trying to find a way into international markets through the commercial route. They are learning the most advanced techniques, forming alliances with international producers and trying to use their undoubted strength inside China as a platform for global success.

This conference will consider the prospects for these routes to international cultural influence. There have been some very positive results, but so far the success of both strategies has been uneven. Some films have found substantial markets but others have been less successful. Confucius Institutes have been established in many countries, but in some the number of people seriously studying Chinese language and culture remains small. The provision of international news, both broadcast and in print, has not so far found a substantial audience in any of the key markets. CNN is still the dominant international news broadcaster and its main challengers are still the BBC and Al Jazeera. International commercial success also remains limited. The main audiences for exported Chinese TV programmes, for example, are still to be found in the Chinese diaspora. Even in East Asia, China lags behind Japan and Korea as a source of popular cultural artefacts.

The reasons for these successes and setbacks are not fully understood, nor are the strategies that might lead to greater influence generally accepted. The organisers invite papers from interested scholars in China and internationally that advance our understanding of these issues. Our interests include, but are not limited to:

• The diffusion of Chinese language and culture through education
• Strategies for winning an audience for Chinese-produced international news
• International perceptions of China’s “Going Out” strategy
• The international audience for Chinese media
• Strengths and weaknesses of Chinese creative industries in the global market

The conference will take place in the School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR. The working language will be English. Some support with accommodation and subsistence is available for paper presenters from the mainland.

Please send abstracts (in English or Chinese) to Dr Kimmy Cheng (; telephone +852-3411-7499) by 1st March 2012. Decisions as to presentations will be sent by 15th March.

The organisers hope to be able to publish a book containing final versions of the best papers presented at the conference.

For details, please click here.