Chinese Fans’ Patriotism Creating Quandary in the Digital Media Era


Fan patriotism Individual activism Collective nationalism Chinese cyberspace Chinese TV series

How to Cite

Zheng, S. (2020). Chinese Fans’ Patriotism Creating Quandary in the Digital Media Era. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 2(4), 87-111.


China is considered to be a nation with the largest number of netizens and online fandom throughout the world. The power of netizens cannot be overlooked, particularly with regard to the digital mobilization of nationalism. In a recent event regarding a geographic map controversy spawned by the TV series of “Go Go Squid!” many netizens became fan patriots and activists for territorial integrity. This TV series caused tremendous resistance due to its showing an incomplete Map of China in one of its episodes on 31st July 2019. This research deploys three research methods of netnography (digital scraping of fan expression), a qualitative interview and commentary analysis to examine fans’ engagement upon this sensitive issue in China. The fans of the series and its main character naturally divided into different groups to show their opposing standpoints. With the help of Chinese featured cyberspace, Chinese netizens were hierarchically grouped as either loyal fans of the series, general/ordinary fans of the actress, or fan patriots and fan activists of the nation. Ambivalent attitudes from state media intensified the debates to call for a much more robust mechanism to guide cyber fandom.


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