China remains untamed

HARARE - It has one of the fastest growing economies and is the second biggest world economy after the United States, but China still remains an “untamed” world.

Big as it is in terms of population size and economy, China remains a “closed society”.

It remains “alien” to the world, where various issues are determined according to American standards.

China has defied all odds and is a “conservative” society that determines its own destiny but keeping pace with world changes.

The world has so much been americanised, with the American way, from pop culture to the web buzz. English too has become the international and business language, but in China very few people can speak the language fluently, making it very difficult for foreigners to speak to the locals.

Now a hub of visitors and immigrants, foreign cultures have in a way found their way but Beijing still has managed to maintain standards that identify with them only.

The world has transformed drastically, with changes being noticed in the form of television programmes, improved technology and social networking cites. Of late several developments have taken place on the social networking platform, where Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have become the most popular means of transmitting information globally. Not in China.

 Despite all these social networks being “accepted” and widely used internationally, China has developed its own versions that identify it with it’s own people.

For facebook lovers in China, there are two popular equivalent versions called Renren and Kaixin.

This also applies to twitter which has its own version called Weibo, while Youtube is called Youku.

WhatsApp, an affordable social networking platform has taken the world by storm, but in China they have QQ and Weixin.

These applications can be used both on a computer and a mobile phone.

The same applies to broadcasting and newspapers.

China, as of last year had 1 928 newspapers, 9 849 journals and this year it has 2 594 radio and television stations. Most of these media platforms broadcast in the local language, while the few programmes that are done in English are broadcast with subtitles.

Several people in China are starting to learn English, while they also have television stations and radio stations that are now broadcasting in English, but their local language still takes precedence.

China’s population constitutes 20 percent of the world’s population, with over 1, 3 billion people and their influence on the world platform is felt.

This high-technology country has created “a world of its own”, with a strong sense of collectivism, strong cultural traditions, yet keeping up the pace with world developments. - Tendai Kamhungira recently in CHINA

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