Tag Archives: Eurovision

Analyze: China and Eurovision 2014 – A Dilemma For the State Media

11 May

Transmit or not this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? This is the question. First of all, for a reason known by all, China’s state media CCTV surely doesn’t want an Austrian win, as the travesti (transgender? or something else, but is now called “Ms. Beard” by Chinese fans) has won an edition of Eurovision that was filled with Chinese element, which has never been seen before. So it remains to be seen how will China’s Central Television deal with this year’s contest, here is a humble analysis by me as a inmature blogger without any experience of news reporting:

Why in Eurovision 2014 the hosts keep talking about China?

Well, with absence of any official background, this blog cannot give you an official answer, but some rumours can be told here for you to take as a reference stating that it has something to do with a recent visit of Danish Queen to China and this may be a signal to make Copenhagen closer to Beijing as if they are talking about establishing a twin-cities relation. But some states that China may have been a secret financial sponsor of this year’s Contest, which I tend not to agree without a concrete evidence.

Is Conchita Wurst style accepted by Chinese society?

Not really, we have to say that in China you can really find travesti, and also the people around looking at them as if here comes a man with mental disorder, or a strange man or something just got off from a UFO. Among younger generation travesti and transgender are tolerated to some degrees, but still receive a notable number of discontent (even more than homosexuality, as gays at least knows how to dress “normally”). China is a country with a history of more than 5,000 years and people are proud to hold their (maybe too conservative) traditional values. I’ve stated when Krista’s lesbian kiss was censored in CCTV-15 that such a big society of 1.3 billion people (with more than 0.8 billion of rural population) cannot be changed within a day. Any change may be gradual and slow, especially if it is about people’s view and reflections. Tolerance is bliss, this sentence is being accepted by more and more Chinese population.

What’s the reaction of China’s Music Fans related to Conchita’s Win?

Conchita’s win really rocked China’s music fans, there has been some entries in Sina Weibo (alternative service of twitter in China), claiming that Conchita has taught us to be tolerant and to respect diversity. A tweet that I received says, there are two reasons to make us burst into tears: Valentina’s qualification and Conchita’s win. Large numbers of China’s Eurofans and music fans are sharing with European fans the excitement of the moving moment when Conchita held the trophy of ESC Winner despite that it was about 5 am in Beijing, an hour unfavorable to watch any kind of TV programs.

Will CCTV censure this year’s contest?

If censorship means that we cut, or modify something, sure, because CCTV does not broadcast solely for younger generation, the old people and rural people surely don’t want to see Conchita performing on the stage, and nor do CCTV like to be blamed for its taste and value. But I don’t really think that CCTV will skip this year’s contest as Conchita wins, mainly because of various Chinese elements in this year’s contest, which can be interpreted as our great victory of cultural diplomacy and output, and also an evidence that shows the increase of China’s soft power. China’s diplomacy is quite controversial here as some claim that it is inefficient and useless. This year’s Eurovision Song Contest may offer China’s officials a good proof to say that our exchange with foreign countries work at some extent. So I think CCTV has more reason this year to transmit ESC than last year, and it may not want to give up.

In which way may CCTV censure this year’s contest?

Mainly the way they define Conchita. I guess people will more easily accept if they’re not told that Conchita is a travesti or a transgender, but a man (or a woman) that, according to the necessity of the performance and a stage effect required by the theme of the song, was dressed and made up like this (or maybe a person with genetic defect?), in a word, they may avoid mentioning Conchita’s gender and other personal profiles. Since ESC 2013 was broadcasted without commentators, we don’t need one, so neither do the audience need much imformation about the artists. Anyway, it is impossible to broadcast the competition without a winner. But we can be sure that the proclamation that Conchita made knowing she has won the contest, that contained terms like freedom, future and instoppable, will definitely be cut.

How did state media report Conchita’s victory?

Xinhuanet (the media that stands in line with the government the most) – Austria’s “Travesti Queen” wins the Eurovision: http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2014-05/11/c_126486289.htm  I can’t open the page, and don’t know if it has already been deleted.

Chinadaily.com – Austria’s “Bearded Beauty” wins the Eurovision. Well if you open the page you may only see a title. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hqgj/jryw/2014-05-11/content_11684527.html

But Beijing TV Station posted a report titled: “Beijing Week of Eurovision Song Contest begins, Chinese Culture Shines in Copenhagen”, which is reposted by state-run people.com.cn.

The de-facto state-run Phoenix News reported with a title: “Eurovision: Music Without Boundary, Austrian ‘Bearded Beauty’ Wins”: http://v.ifeng.com/ent/music/2014005/0183efa3-c39e-4ca0-8d77-dab2beff551a.shtml

I think the term “Bearded Beauty” will be used as an official alias for Conchita by Chinese state-run medias, as when you call “beauty”, people will understand that she is a woman, and will not care whether she is travesti or transgender, it may be the best way to avoid controversies among CCTV’s audiences.

So our dear readers, what do you think about the possible solutions? Please let us know! But as a Chinese with limited English skills I would say, don’t demand too much on Chinese audience, let us change little by little. At this time, it will surely be a victory only if ESC 2014 and Conchita appear in the screen of China’s 1.3 billion TV sets, no matter whether censored or not.


ESC 2014 China Vote: Sweden wins by wide margin

5 May
China’s Poll for Eurovision 2014 has ended. We received 60 votes from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, a number much larger than 2012’s 29 and 2013’s 33, thanks to the increasing popularity of Eurovision and our sina weibo (twitter’s Chinese version) account and Baidu Postbar. Sweden wins our poll with 368 points, while Ireland follows with 192. The first 10 places are occupied by:
  1. – Sweden  368
  2. – Ireland 192
  3. – Montenegro 169
  4. – Spain 139
  5. – Norway 138
  6. – Switzerland 135
  7. – Azerbaijan 134
  8. – United Kingdom 133
  9. – Armenia 129
  10. – Denmark 127.
11th to 20th places:
11.- Romania  121
12.- Macedonia 109
13.- Russia 108
14.- Netherlands 105
15.- Ukraine 103
16.- Austria 99
17.- Slovenia 97
18.- Belgium 91
19.- Israel 84
20.- Greece 80
21st to 30th places:
21.- Iceland 79
22.- Poland 73
23.- Belarus 73
24.- Portugal 70
25.- Germany 68
26.- Italy 62
27.- France 61
28.- Estonia 54
29.- Finland 53
30.- San Marino 53
The last places:
31.- Albania 48
32.- Hungary 37
33.- Latvia 30
34.- Malta  25
35.- Lithuania 16
36.- Moldova 13
37.- Georgia  4
That means: Sweden and Spain become the only two countries that have been placed among Top 10 for 3 consecutive years.
This year, voters are allowed to modify their votes before deadline, as some songs may be growers and others may not. The majority of voters did not change their points at all, but some of them did (and one voter modified 4 times his vote). Countries like Austria, Macedonia, San Marino, etc. have had their points decreased. Their final points are lower than the maximum points they got some time during the voting process. Portugal once entered Top 10, but almost didn’t receive anything afterwards.
Chinese ESC Fans also voted for their favorite songs in 2012 and 2013, when Iceland and Denmark won respectively, while the runner-up was Sweden and Switzerland.


China Eurovision Emission: Krista Kiss Censored

6 Oct

Hours earlier, the CCTV-15 aired Eurovision 2013 Semifinal 2, but the moment that Finnish representative Krista Siegfrids kissed one of her vocals after having performed her song “Marry Me” was censored and completely cut. Many active Chinese Eurovision Fans, despite of not being gay or lesbian, protested the censorship in the comment of CCTV-15’s official Sina Weibo (a popular twitter alternative of China).

Despite the fact that the historical records of homosexual activity can date back to some 4,000 years ago, homosexuality still seems to be something new and curious in China’s society due to China’s decades-lasting economic and cultural closure from late Qing Dynasty (19th Century) to the reign of Mao. HIV AIDS is another case of this kind. China discovered the first case of HIV AIDS no earlier than 1980s, and the very case was an Argentinian tourist rather than a fellow Chinese.

In China, homosexuality is never ruled ilegal, but used to be considered as mental problem or persons and activities against morality. Fortunately, as time goes by, a strong sense of tolerance towards homosexuality appeared among young generation, In some major cities of China, open gay/les meeting parks and public places (bars, discos etc.) have appeared without any intervention of police forces and straight persons. According to the recent statistics, the homosexual population in China has reached some 36 to 48 million. At the same time, more and more homosexual sites also appeared, and most importantly, uncensored.

Despite of the increasing tolerance towards homosexuality, China’s Central Television, as state-run TV Channels broadcasting for 1.3 billion viewers, opted to be prudent towards homosexual content of the TV programs. This censorship is not a surprise for us. We believe that, a social tolerance to homosexuality of a society of the most populated country in the world, is a matter of time, but cannot achieve in one night.

China’s Broadcasting of Eurovision 2013: More Details

30 Sep

Days ago, our blog has stated that the Music Channel of China’s Central Television (CCTV-MUSIC or CCTV-15) will be broadcasting the Eurovision semifinals during the first week of October. Today more details have been released.

On 5th October, CCTV-15 will broadcast ESC 2013 1st Semifinal twice at 1435 hours and 2154 hours Beijing Time.

On 6th October, 2nd Semifinal will be broadcast twice at 1435 and 2224 hours Beijing Time

On 7th October, the Grand Final will be on air at 1440 and 2224 hours Beijing Time, the program list inform that the broadcast of Grand Final can last until 0200 hours Beijing Time or so, so it seems that the voting procedure will be shown as well.

Lang Kun, General Supervisor of the CCTV Music Channel afirmed that, China’s television and music industry personnels should learn from the methods of the management and transmission of the Eurovision Song Contest. We can conclude that, while the contents of the programs are important, it is even more important to learn “how to organize them”. Only by improving the quality of a program, increasing its creativity and integrity, can it be gaining good rating and fame. As the only associated member of EBU in China, CCTV-15 will continue the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest, aiming at promoting the popularity and influence of the cultural event masterpiece.

You can watch CCTV-15 live here at http://tv.cntv.cn/live/cctv15


Exclusive: ESC 2013 Rebroadcasting due in China

27 Sep

Accounts of sina weibo (The alternative of Twitter in China) of some internal figures in the radio-television field of China told @escfans_china that the Music Channel of Chinese Central Television (CCTV-MUSIC or CCTV-15) will rebroadcast Eurovision 2013 on 5th and 6th of October at 2200 hours Beijing Time (GMT+8).

Chinese people will enjoy annual National Day holiday from 1 to 7 of October, and moreover, night hours after 20:00 are considered as “Golden Hours” with higher rate of Chinese viewers. After this broadcast, and with the rumour that Emmelie de Forest, ESC 2013 winner, may travel to China sometime in the next six months, we expect a big boost of ESC 2013 popularity here in China.

However, it remains to be seen whether sensitive moments of ESC 2013 performance, for example, Finnish representative Krista Siegfrids’ lesbian-style kiss, will be censored or not, and in which way if it will be.

A Chinese Language Entry for Eurovision?

13 Jan

San Marino has been a focus for Eurovision Fans around the world these days as it has rumoured that Lys Assia, the first ever winner of Eurovision, will probably take part in Eurovision representing San Marino. However, days before Lys denied her participation. The defender of the Sanmarinese flag in Malmo therefore remains unknown.

However, another rumour has come to our knowledge that, according the website http://ilkar.blogspot.fi/2013/01/ex-cookies-stephy-and-theresa-for-san.html, two singers based in Hong Kong may represent San Marino to join the contest. It may be a wild rumour that is not worth considering for the most of our readers as the article stated that apparently the two girls aren’t in such good terms after the band’s (Cookies’) breakup. However, we find that in SMRTV’s Eurovision-theme facebook page, a poll is underway for us to choose a language to represent San Marino, and we see MANDARIN CHINESE among the various options. Does it imply anything anyway?

Certainly, we are glad to see the appearance of the first ever Chinese language entry in the Eurovision stage. According to wikipedia, Chinese language has never been performed in Eurovision. These years we saw the visit of Mika Newton, and recently, Loreen, to China, which boosted significantly the interest to get to know Eurovision Song Contest among Chinese music fans. We will wait to see if San Marino will be the first country to introduce Chinese language entry in Eurovision.

Of course, if you want to hear a Chinese language entry in Sweden in the month of May, please vote for “Mandarin Chinese” here in https://www.facebook.com/EurovisionSMtvSanMarino

FAQs About Chinese ESC Fans

8 Jan

1. Does China broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest?

No, at least no Chinese TV Stations broadcasts it live. However, it is possible that the music channel of some TV stations broadcast it months, even years, after each edition, but in China, the viewer rate of music channels is usually low.

2. How do Chinese learn about Eurovision Song Contest?

Mainly from the Internet. Also, Chinese news Agencies do report each year’s Eurovision Song Contest, even though the reports are really brief.

3. Who are the Chinese Eurovision Fans?

The majority of the Chinese Eurovision Fans are actually:

– Football fans of European teams. They come to know Eurovision because it is famous for being “The European Championship in the music world”. Almost every Eurovision fan in China has its favourite European National Football Team or at least a favourite European football club.

European and US Music Lovers. They come to know Eurovision mainly because some of their favourite singers/bands entered, for example, some fans of Blue (2011 UK Representatives) didn’t learn about Eurovision until 2011 when their favourite enters Eurovision stage.

– European Language Learners. It is a good idea if you find some songs to help you learn a language. For those learning European languages, Eurovision is a good choice. In China there are growing numbers of European language learners such as French, Spanish, Italian, Russian or even Balkan languages. Many people that take Albanian, Bulgarian/Macedonian, Slovenian and Croatian language as its university major fall in love with Eurovision. What they like are native language entries (for example, Korake ti Znam of 2012).

Ethnic Groups: Large numbers of Eurovision Fans are Uyghurs from Xinjiang as they share similar language and music with the Turkish people. With Turkey and Azerbaijan taking part they keep an eye on Eurovision every year.

4. How do Chinese Eurovision Fans get to listen to the entries?

Entries can be available online and can be easily found or even downloaded. But what does trouble us is our Internet censorship with Great Fire Wall system blocking us from logging onto Youtube, Vimeo and some International Video websites.

5. What’s the taste of Chinese Fans?

Most Chinese people are good at singing but extremely bad at dancing. So we do not prefer songs with rapid rhythm but a slow and tranquil ballad (either traditional or powerful ones). Good examples are Cyprus 2004, Serbia & Montenegro 2004, BiH 2012 and something like UK 2010. However, nowadays more and more youngsters come to prefer heavy metal and Indie Rock songs.

6. The most heard ESC entry in China?

Maybe you can’t even imagine. The most heard Eurovision Song Contest entry in China is L’amour est bleu.

7. How many Eurovision Fans are there in China?

We don’t have an exact number, but we have to say, if we do, it will be very low. We can’t really see any desire for Chinese television services to promote the Contest, so Eurovision Song Contest will continue being, at least in a short term, something mostly unknown by Chinese people.

8. How can we try to promote the ESC in China?

We are taking into consideration the following:

– Upload and introduce more materials of the ESC in large Chinese net communities and websites, especially Western Music theme forums.

– Establish our own formal online forum.

– Promote our blog and twitter (@escfans_china), and try to create our facebook page in the future.

– Promote the ESC in universities, especially foreign language institutes by launching ESC-theme activities.

9. And finally, what are you fans doing these days?

We do have our own online community (http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kw=%C5%B7%D6%DE%B8%E8%B3%AA%B4%F3%C8%FC&tp=0) and we are doing the following under this platform:

– Open special thread for each Eurovision song selection for sharing and discussing.

– Open special thread as soon as an Eurovision entry is defined, and rate it while discussing.

– Every April-May, we ask every users to post their 1-8, 10 and 12 votes, to find out who will be the winner in China. In 2012 Iceland won the most points among us (27 voters participated), and Sweden was placed second. This year we will open the poll in April, and we may attract as much as 35 voters for the voting.

10. Recently, are there any Eurovision competitors visited China?

Yes, in 2011 we had Mika Newton in China while recently Loreen visited China and performed in the HBTV New Year Carnaval Gala.



If you have more questions about us, feel free to ask through comments.