Cosplay Craze



In the realm of innovative strategies to revitalise tourism, China’s local officials have taken an unexpected and whimsical approach: cosplay. A recent article from ThinkChina sheds light on this fascinating trend, highlighting how officials are donning costumes to attract visitors and breathe new life into their regions’ tourism industries.

The article delves into the phenomenon of local officials in China donning elaborate costumes, embodying historical or cultural figures, and participating in themed events to attract tourists. From dressing up as ancient emperors to historical figures and even mythical characters, these officials are leveraging cosplay as a creative tool to promote their regions’ cultural heritage and scenic attractions.

At first glance, the idea of government officials engaging in cosplay might seem unconventional or even frivolous. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that this approach is a strategic response to the challenges facing China’s tourism industry. With the rise of online platforms and changing consumer preferences, traditional marketing methods alone may no longer suffice to capture the attention of potential tourists.

By embracing cosplay, local officials are tapping into the power of storytelling and immersive experiences to captivate audiences and differentiate their destinations in a crowded tourism landscape. Through meticulously crafted costumes and interactive events, they transport visitors to different eras and narratives, offering them a chance to engage with history and culture in a unique and memorable way.

Moreover, cosplay has proven to be a highly effective marketing tool in the age of social media. Images and videos of officials in costume quickly go viral online, generating buzz and attracting attention far beyond traditional marketing channels. This digital word-of-mouth amplifies the reach of these initiatives, drawing curious travellers from across China and beyond to explore these themed destinations.

Beyond its promotional value, cosplay also serves as a form of cultural preservation and celebration. By embodying historical and cultural figures, officials pay homage to the rich heritage of their regions, instilling a sense of pride among local residents and fostering a deeper connection to their roots. In this way, cosplay becomes not just a marketing gimmick but a means of preserving and transmitting cultural heritage to future generations.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the potential challenges and limitations of this approach. While cosplay can undoubtedly generate excitement and attract visitors in the short term, its long-term sustainability depends on the ability of destinations to offer meaningful experiences beyond surface-level entertainment. Ensuring the preservation of historical sites, promoting sustainable tourism practices, and investing in infrastructure are crucial aspects that cannot be overlooked in the pursuit of tourism development.

In conclusion, China’s embrace of cosplay as a tourism promotion strategy reflects a creative and forward-thinking approach to destination marketing. By harnessing the power of imagination and storytelling, local officials are not only attracting visitors but also reinvigorating their regions’ cultural heritage. As the tourism industry continues to evolve, innovations like cosplay serve as a reminder of the endless possibilities for engaging travellers and fostering a deeper appreciation for the world around us.


Zaobao, L. (2023) China’s local officials doing cosplay to jumpstart tourism. Available at: (Accessed: 21 February 2024).

The Fifth Day


In the vibrant tapestry of Chinese culture, the celebration of the Chinese New Year is a dazzling spectacle filled with traditions, customs, and ancient folklore. Amidst the jubilant festivities, one auspicious occasion stands out: the Festival of Po Wu. Not only is the fifth day of the Chinese New Year a time to celebrate the origin and festivities of Po Wu, but it is also the birthday of the God of Fortune. Let’s delve into the enchanting traditions of Po Wu and the blessings bestowed by the God of Fortune.


The Festival of Po Wu: A Time-Honoured Tradition
Po Wu holds a special place in Chinese culture, steeped in centuries-old customs and legends. Occurring on the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, Po Wu is a day of jubilation, marked by colourful festivities and heartfelt reverence. It is believed that many New Year taboos can be broken on this day; in the northern parts of China, people still prefer eating dumplings on the fifth day to commemorate the breaking of taboos. The shape of a dumpling is like a gold ingot; eating dumplings is also a way to celebrate the birthday of the God of Fortune.

Welcoming the God of Fortune: Blessings of Abundance and Prosperity
As the Festival of Po Wu unfolds, another revered figure graces the festivities: the God of Fortune. This auspicious deity embodies the promise of wealth, success, and good fortune. Through vibrant processions, incense offerings, and prayers of gratitude, devotees seek the blessings of the God of Fortune, hoping to usher in a year filled with prosperity and abundance.

Customs and Traditions: A Tapestry of Joy
Po Wu is a mosaic of customs and traditions, each adding depth and colour to the celebration. Families gather to share sumptuous feasts, exchange gifts of goodwill, and adorn their homes with propitious symbols and decorations. Dragon dances and temple fairs further enliven the festivities, creating an atmosphere of happiness, harmony, and communal spirit. Many will also shoot off fireworks in the attempt to get the attention of the God of Fortune, thus ensuring his favour and good fortune for the whole new year.

The Spirit of Po Wu: A Moment for Reflection and Renewal
As we immerse ourselves in the splendour of Po Wu and the blessings of the God of Fortune, let us reflect on the timeless wisdom and values that these traditions embody. Let us cherish the bonds of family, community, and culture that unite us. May the spirit of Po Wu ignite our hearts with hope, optimism, and a renewed sense of purpose as we journey forward into the new year.


In conclusion, the Festival of Po Wu and the blessings of the God of Fortune offer a glimpse into Chinese culture and spirituality. As we come together to celebrate, let us embrace the promise of prosperity, the beauty of tradition, and the boundless potential of the human spirit. May the spirit of Po Wu illuminate our path with joy, abundance, and blessings aplenty in the days and years to come.

Wishing you a Happy Festival of Po Wu and a prosperous year ahead!

Year of the Dragon



As the Lunar New Year approaches, billions of people around the globe prepare to embark on a journey of tradition, symbolism, and jubilation. This year, we welcome the majestic Year of the Dragon, a symbol of power, prosperity, and good fortune in Chinese culture. Join us as we delve into the vibrant tapestry of Chinese New Year traditions and explore the unique celebrations that accompany the arrival of the Dragon year.


The Essence of Tradition: An Overview of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is a time-honoured celebration deeply rooted in Chinese culture and history. Spanning sixteen days of festivities, it marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and symbolises a fresh start filled with hope, prosperity, and joy. At its core, Chinese New Year is a celebration of family, reunion, and renewal, encompassing a myriad of customs and rituals passed down through generations.

Dragon Year: Symbolism and Significance
In the Chinese zodiac, each year is associated with one of twelve animals, each carrying its own unique traits and symbolism. The Year of the Dragon holds a special place in Chinese culture, revered for its auspicious connotations and association with strength, power, and good luck. It is believed that individuals born in the Year of the Dragon are blessed with charisma, vitality, and success, making it a highly anticipated and celebrated time for many.

Dragon Dances and Festive Parades
As the Dragon year unfolds, streets come alive with the rhythmic beats of drums and the mesmerising movements of dragon dancers. Dragon dances, with their intricate choreography and vibrant costumes, are a highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations, symbolising the mythical creature’s favourable presence and blessings of prosperity. From bustling city streets to intimate village squares, these spirited performances captivate audiences and set the stage for a year filled with abundance and good fortune.

Traditions and Customs: Honouring Ancestors and Welcoming Prosperity
Throughout Chinese New Year, families come together to honour age-old traditions and customs that embody the spirit of the festival. From the iconic red decorations adorning homes and streets to the lavish feasts shared during reunion dinners, every aspect of the celebration is steeped in symbolism and meaning. Red envelopes filled with money are exchanged as tokens of good luck and prosperity, while offerings are made to ancestors to seek their blessings for the year ahead.

Modern Celebrations: Blending Tradition with Innovation
While Chinese New Year is rooted in tradition, its celebrations have evolved with the times, embracing modern innovations and technologies. Digital red envelopes, virtual reunions, and online cultural performances have become increasingly popular, enabling individuals to connect and celebrate the festival regardless of geographical barriers. Despite these advancements, the essence of Chinese New Year remains unchanged – a time for reflection, renewal, and cherished moments with loved ones.

Looking Ahead: Embracing the Year of the Dragon
As we usher in the Year of the Dragon, let us embrace the spirit of renewal and prosperity that it brings. May we draw inspiration from the dragon’s resilience, strength, and wisdom as we navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Whether we’re indulging in festive delicacies, marvelling at dragon dances, or simply enjoying the company of family and friends, may the Year of the Dragon be filled with joy, abundance, and endless possibilities for all.


In conclusion, Chinese New Year is a time of celebration, reflection, and unity, where tradition meets innovation and the past converges with the future. As we bid farewell to the old and welcome the new, let us embrace the spirit of the Dragon year with open hearts and hopeful spirits.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Harbin’s Social Media Magic



In the heart of China lies a city that has not only charmed visitors with its winter wonders but has also mastered the art of showcasing its allure through social media. Harbin, known for its spectacular Ice and Snow World and rich cultural heritage, has become a beacon of success in tourism social media. Let’s delve into the captivating journey of how Harbin has transformed its online presence into a global phenomenon.


Strategic Visual Storytelling

Harbin’s social media success begins with its ability to weave captivating visual narratives. From the intricate ice sculptures of the Ice City to the vibrant local traditions, the city’s tourism board has strategically crafted content that not only showcases its beauty but also tells a compelling story that resonates with audiences worldwide.

Engagement Excellence

Beyond static images, Harbin actively engages its audience through various interactive elements. Regular posts featuring behind-the-scenes glimpses, polls, and quizzes keep the audience hooked and encourage participation. This dynamic engagement has fostered a sense of connection between the city and its virtual visitors.

Strategic Collaborations

Harbin understands the power of collaboration in the digital age. By partnering with influencers, travel bloggers, and content creators, the city has exponentially increased its reach. These collaborations bring fresh perspectives and diverse voices, adding layers to Harbin’s online presence and making it a trending destination across various social media platforms.

Multilingual Appeal

Recognising its global appeal, Harbin’s social media strategy includes content in multiple languages. This approach ensures that the city is accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of travellers and tourists. Language is no longer a barrier, and Harbin has successfully welcomed a diverse international audience.

Immersive User Experience

Harbin doesn’t just showcase its attractions; it invites online visitors to experience the city. Virtual tours, interactive maps, and user-generated content have turned the online platform into a portal for exploration. This immersive approach has translated into real-life visits, with travellers already feeling connected to the city before physically setting foot in it.


Harbin’s success in tourism social media is a testament to its innovative and inclusive approach. By mastering the art of visual storytelling, engagement, collaboration, and multilingual outreach, the city has not only attracted global attention but has also become a model for other destinations aspiring to harness the potential of social media in the realm of tourism. As such, due to the snowball effect of social media, Harbin has become the most popular tourist destination in China in a short space of time, overshadowing such subtropical winter resorts, like Sanya in Hainan island.

As we continue to navigate the digital landscape, Harbin stands as a shining example of how a city’s charm can transcend borders through the magic of social media.

Driving Change



In a monumental shift towards sustainable transportation, the United Kingdom is welcoming Chinese electric vehicles to the market. This exciting development not only brings cutting-edge automotive technology to British roads but also promises a significant cost advantage, making EVs more accessible than ever. Let’s explore how the entry of Chinese EV cars is poised to revolutionise affordability in the UK market.


The Rise of Chinese Electric Vehicles:

China has been at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, with its automotive industry making substantial strides in innovation and production. As part of their global expansion strategy, Chinese EV manufacturers are now eyeing the UK market, bringing with them a diverse range of electric vehicles designed to meet the needs of different consumers.

Affordability Redefined:

One of the key reasons behind the buzz surrounding Chinese EVs entering the UK is their compelling affordability. Unlike some of their European counterparts, Chinese automakers have mastered the art of producing high-quality electric vehicles at a fraction of the cost. For example, the GWM ORA 03 is on sale for £31,000 in the UK but just £12,000 in China. This cost advantage is rooted in their efficient manufacturing processes, economies of scale, and government incentives promoting the EV industry.

Diverse Range of Models:

Chinese automakers are not just bringing affordability; they are also introducing a diverse portfolio of electric vehicles catering to different preferences and needs. From compact city cars to spacious SUVs and high-performance models, consumers in the UK will have a broad spectrum of choices, ensuring there’s an option for every lifestyle.

Impact on the UK Market:

The introduction of affordable Chinese EVs is expected to have a transformative impact on the UK market. With cost no longer a major barrier, more consumers will be incentivized to make the switch to electric, accelerating the adoption of sustainable transportation. This, in turn, aligns with the UK’s ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

Environmental Sustainability:

Despite prime minister Rishi Sunak delaying the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030 to 2035, the ZEV mandate prepares customers for a movement towards electric vehicles; as more electric vehicles hit the roads, there will be a positive impact on air quality and a reduction in the overall carbon footprint of transportation. This will support the UK in achieving a greener and more sustainable future.


As Chinese EV cars make their way into the UK this year, the automotive landscape is on the brink of a significant transformation. The arrival of these vehicles is not just a milestone for the motorised industry, but a decisive step towards making electric vehicles an integral part of everyday life in the United Kingdom.

Get ready to drive change – the future is electric, and it’s more affordable than ever!

Dragon Eye



Dragon Eye is a monitoring service with a partnership between New Silk Route Digital in England and East West Agency in Scotland. Their purpose is to meet the growing demand of their clients for tracking and monitoring usage and content on Chinese social medias.

With the Chinese digital market ever-changing, it is more important than ever to be staying on top of trends, monitoring mentions on social platforms, keeping tabs on competitors and providing up-to-date content. Dragon Eye was created to provide this very service.


So, what exactly do Dragon Eye have to offer?

1. Three packages to choose from depending on the size of your business

2. Bespoke services to assist with your social media monitoring and data insight

3. Digital monitoring expertise in a range of sectors to better suit their customers


Dragon Eye’s monitoring process is monitor, analyse and improve – this is the foundation of their work and they follow this method effectively, allowing all their customers to experience services of similar efficiency and personalised assistance.

They cover a range of well-known Chinese social medias, such as Weibo, WeChat, Little Red Book and Baidu; hence forth, providing a vast landscape of expertise for online platforms.

Dragon Eye are also offering a one month free trial to give all customers the opportunity to try out their services with no expense.

With Dragon Eye, you’re in good hands.

Monitor. Analyse. Improve.

Embracing Tradition and Renewal



As the festive season draws to an end, millions around the world are gearing up to celebrate the Chinese New Year on the 10th February. This annual tradition, deeply rooted in ancient customs and cultural significance, is not only a time for joyous celebrations but also an opportunity for brands and businesses to engage with their audience through vibrant and culturally resonant campaigns.

The 2024 Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. This multi-week celebration is a time for family reunions, feasting, and various age-old customs that symbolise good luck, prosperity, and happiness.

In recent years, brands have increasingly recognised the importance of tapping into the rich cultural tapestry of the Chinese New Year. Successful campaigns often strike a balance between honouring tradition and incorporating modern elements that resonate with today’s diverse and dynamic audience.


Key Elements of a Successful Campaign:

Symbolism and Tradition

  • Incorporate traditional Chinese symbols to evoke a sense of cultural authenticity.
  • Emphasise the significance of the colour red, which symbolises good luck and fortune in Chinese culture.

Zodiac Sign Integration

  • Align the campaign with the current zodiac sign. This year is the Year of the Dragon, so incorporate dragon-related imagery or themes.

Digital Engagement

  • Leverage digital platforms to reach a wider audience, especially considering the global diaspora of those celebrating the Chinese New Year.
  • Create interactive online experiences, such as virtual celebrations or social media challenges, to foster community engagement.


  • Offer personalised content or products related to Chinese New Year, allowing consumers to feel a deeper connection to the celebration.


  • Acknowledge the diversity within the Chinese diaspora by highlighting regional customs and traditions. This ensures that the campaign is relatable to a wide range of audiences.


The Chinese New Year campaign is not just an opportunity for businesses to boost sales; it’s a chance to connect with consumers on a deeper level by celebrating shared traditions and values. Brands that approach the campaign with cultural sensitivity, creativity, and a genuine appreciation for the festival’s significance are sure to make a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of their audience. As we usher in the Year of the Dragon, let’s embrace the spirit of tradition and renewal, symbolised by the Chinese New Year, and look forward to a year filled with joy, success, and positive connections.

Above and Beyond



China has emerged as a prominent source of students for higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. In the January to September period, visas issued to Chinese students were increased by 6%. This not only reflects the growing global interconnectedness of education but also brings forth a multitude of benefits for both Chinese students and the UK universities welcoming them.

Let’s explore the numerous advantages of this thriving relationship:


1. Cultural Diversity Enhances Learning

One of the primary benefits of having China as the UK’s top student source is the rich cultural diversity it injects into the academic environment. With students from China contributing significantly to the vibrant tapestry of campus life, UK institutions are fostering an inclusive atmosphere that promotes cross-cultural understanding. This exposure to diverse perspectives prepares students for an increasingly globalised world.

2. Collaborative Learning and Innovation

The exchange of ideas between Chinese and UK students creates a dynamic and collective learning environment. This collaboration not only enriches the academic experience but also sparks innovation; as students from different cultural backgrounds come together, they bring unique insights and approaches to problem-solving, leading to a more holistic and innovative learning atmosphere.

3. Global Networking Opportunities

For both Chinese students and UK universities, the benefits extend beyond the classroom. The relationships formed during these years of study become the foundation for lifelong connections. As China continues to be a major player in the global economy, these networking opportunities serve as a valuable asset for personal and professional growth. Graduates with an international network are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the global job market.

4. Economic Impact

The influx of Chinese students has a positive economic impact on the UK, contributing to the local economy through tuition fees, accommodation, and other living expenses. Additionally, these students often become ambassadors for UK education upon their return to China, promoting a positive image of British institutions and encouraging more Chinese students to pursue studies in the UK.

5. Language Skills and Communication Proficiency

Being immersed in an English-speaking environment is an invaluable opportunity for Chinese students to enhance their language and communication skills. This linguistic competence not only aids in academic success but also provides a competitive advantage in the global job market.


China’s role as the UK’s top student source is a mutually beneficial relationship that goes beyond the confines of academic institutions. It is a collaboration that fosters cultural understanding, promotes innovation, and prepares individuals for success in an increasingly interconnected world.

As a Chinese marketing company that focuses on higher education, we celebrate the positive impact of this partnership and look forward to further facilitating global education opportunities for students and universities alike.


Prest, K. (2023) ‘UK visa statistics show a marked slowdown in student recruitment’, British Council, 29 November. Available at: (Accessed: 13 December 2023).

Paying the Price



With UK Home Secretary James Cleverly announcing the new threshold for overseas workers, UK universities are likely to find themselves massively affected by it. The minimum salary that foreign workers will need to earn in order to remain in the UK has risen from £26,000 to £38,700; this will be effective as of spring 2024. International students fear that, after graduation, they will have to leave the country as it is improbable that they will find a career straight away that reaches this salary.


1. Financial Dynamics: The Tuition Conundrum

International students often pay higher tuition fees compared to their domestic counterparts. As foreign graduates depart, universities may face a financial challenge due to the loss of revenue generated from these tuition fees. This could potentially impact the budgetary considerations of institutions that heavily rely on income from international students.

2. The Alumni Network: A Global Connection

The departure of foreign graduates affects the composition of university alumni networks. These networks are not only valuable for the universities but also for the graduates themselves. If a significant portion of international graduates leaves the UK, maintaining and leveraging this global alumni network for mentorship, collaboration, and fundraising might become more challenging.

3. Research and Innovation: A Talent Drain?

Universities benefit from the diverse perspectives and talents of their international students, who often engage in research activities. The departure of foreign graduates may result in a loss of skilled individuals contributing to research projects, potentially impacting the innovative and collaborative spirit that characterizes academic environments.


Above: Chinese students have taken to social media to express their concern and anger at the new minimum salary policy.


4. Cultural Diversity: The Fabric of Campus Life

The vibrant cultural diversity on university campuses contributes significantly to the overall student experience. If foreign graduates leave in large numbers, there could be a noticeable shift in the cultural dynamics of these institutions, affecting not only student life but also the richness of academic discourse.

5. Employment Opportunities and Industry Impact

Some international graduates choose to stay in the UK for employment, contributing to the local workforce. The departure of foreign graduates may impact the talent pool available to local industries, potentially affecting sectors that benefit from a diverse and skilled labour force.

6. Global Reputation: A Balancing Act

The presence of international graduates contributes to the global reputation of UK universities. A decline in the number of foreign graduates could impact the institutions’ standings in international rankings, influencing perceptions of their global competitiveness and attractiveness.


What can we do to help? Well, with our ability to monitor reactions to news such as this on Chinese social media, we can support UK universities by giving them the chance to respond to their international students appropriately.

Don’t pay the price for the UK government’s mistakes. Listen to the students’ voices.

Contact us for your bespoke report:

Navigating Excellence



The global education landscape has undergone a significant transformation, and for UK universities, tapping into the vast potential of the Chinese market is strategic. As the demand for international education grows among Chinese students, the importance of maintaining a positive reputation cannot be overstated. Let’s delve into why reputation management is essential for UK universities engaging in Chinese marketing.

1. Cultural Sensitivity and Trust Building:

Cultural nuances play a pivotal role in shaping perceptions, and understanding these intricacies is fundamental for UK universities aiming to attract Chinese students. Reputation management involves cultivating an image that resonates positively with the values and expectations of the Chinese audience. By demonstrating cultural sensitivity and respect, universities can build trust, a cornerstone for successful, long-term relationships.

2. Digital Presence on Chinese Platforms:

We conducted a higher education report on UK universities during the entirety of September 2023. Through this, we discovered that Chinese students attending UK universities took to social media to upload both positive and negative experiences at their places of education. Specifically, of the 8532 articles we monitored, 3344 accounts were on Little Red Book; 19.7% were on WeChat, and 10.9% were on Weibo. With this data, it emphasises the importance of maintaining an active and encouraging presence on these platforms. Regular engagement, providing valuable content, and promptly addressing and acknowledging concerns contribute to shaping a university’s digital reputation in the eyes of Chinese students and their families.

3. Quality Education and Graduate Success Stories:

A university’s reputation is often closely tied to the quality of education it provides and the success stories of its alumni. Highlighting academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and the achievements of Chinese graduates can significantly enhance a university’s standing in the Chinese education market. Positive word-of-mouth, especially from those who have experienced the educational journey, is a potent reputation-building tool.

4. Adaptability and Responsiveness:

The Chinese market is dynamic, and its preferences and expectations can evolve rapidly. Reputation management involves staying agile and responsive to these changes. Whether it’s adapting marketing strategies, addressing feedback, or aligning with the latest trends in education, universities that demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness are more likely to be perceived positively by the Chinese audience.

5. Challenges and Crisis Management:

In the age of social media, challenges can arise swiftly. A negative incident, whether real or perceived, can have a lasting impact on a university’s reputation. Reputation management includes having robust crisis communication strategies in place. Transparent communication, sharp resolution of issues, and a commitment to continuous improvement can help mitigate damage and safeguard the long-term reputation of a university. In our higher education report, we found that, of the 8532 pieces of content, 411 were negative. With this, we are able to identify and adapt to the challenges to help both the student and the university.

6. Collaboration and Partnerships:

Building a positive reputation in Chinese marketing for UK universities extends beyond individual efforts. Collaborating with reputable Chinese educational institutions, forming partnerships with influential figures, and participating in industry initiatives can enhance a university’s credibility. Associating with respected entities in the Chinese education sphere adds a layer of trust to the university’s reputation.


In conclusion, the reputation of UK universities in the Chinese market is not merely a by-product of marketing efforts; it’s a strategic asset that can significantly influence enrolment numbers and institutional success. By prioritising cultural sensitivity, maintaining a strong digital presence, emphasising quality education, adapting to changing landscapes, and navigating challenges with resilience, UK universities can not only attract Chinese students but also establish a lasting positive reputation in the competitive global education arena.

Reputation management is not just a strategy; it’s a compass to the success of UK universities in light of Chinese marketing. Navigate excellence.

Contact us for your bespoke report: