A Journey through Digital China

Julien Leyre

Co-presented with the China Studies Centre

The Chinese internet is an incredibly dynamic space, where rich creative work is developed, opinions are exchanged, and new relationships are built every day. Yet for non-Mandarin speakers, it often appears as an opaque, mysterious jungle. This presentation will take its audience on an introductory journey through seven key platforms of the Chinese internet, mixing personal experience with a broader reflection on their business models, contents and user communities:

  • Weibo – Celebrities and political debate on the Chinese Twitter
  • WeChat – Swipe and shake for new connections
  • Douban – Trendsetting among educated urban youth
  • My1510 – Blogging across the sinosphere
  • Zhihu – Building a trust community through virtual Q&A
  • Qidian – Chinese online fiction, a multi-million yuan industry
  • Yeeyan – Bringing foreign ideas to China through crowd-translation.
Julien Leyre

Julien Leyre is a French-Australian writer, educator and social entrepreneur. Julien studied humanities and classics at Ecole Normale Supérieure before teaching linguistics and translation at the Sorbonne. In Paris, he also collaborated with musicians and film-makers, and published a first novel.

Since migrating to Melbourne in 2008, Julien has taught French at La Trobe University and worked in government strategy while pursuing his work as a writer and collaborative artist. In 2011, he founded Marco Polo Project, a non-profit organisation exploring nez collaborative models to develop Chinese and China literacy. In 2014, he’s organising a delegation of Australian social entrepreneurs to Shanghai, and directing the first Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, bringing together readers, writers and translators from China and Australia through a series of interactive online and offline events.