CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (5/7/2020 Thu.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (5/7/2020 Thu.)

People's Daily app

01:02, May 07, 2020



From the People's Daily App.

This is Story in the Story.

For people hunkering down due to the coronavirus epidemic, the tech sector has become their new best friend with an array of lifestyle solutions making "social distancing" easier.

Those wanting to avoid crowds can have meals delivered from restaurants, stream blockbuster films, socialize online with friends, and work remotely.

The latest tech-inspired lifestyle solutions are gaining traction as more people are advised to work from home, and many conferences and gatherings are canceled.

Anyone with an internet connection can use Amazon or e-commerce rivals to deliver provisions from groceries to toilet paper and over-the-counter medicine.

"We can have anything and everything delivered to our homes, including hard and soft goods, doctor visits, laundry services, and even pet services," said an analyst with Moor Insights and Strategy.

"The irony is that many of the items criticized about technology have become a 'safe' place to escape to in the wake of coronavirus."

Today’s Story in the Story looks at how the Chinese are using technology to fulfill their entertainment needs amid the coronavirus outbreak.


A food deliveryman in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province is offered free breakfast for his hard work during the COVID-19 outbreak in China. (Photo: IC)

As the melody of "Do you want to dance?" by Chinese pop-rock band New Pants began, Xu Yuan responded with a whirlwind of body movements in his bedroom.

Xu was one of about 1.34 million participants who tuned in to a recent online music festival that catered to a vast number of stay-at-home fans amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"I had been staying at home for over a month since the onset of the outbreak," said Xu, a music fan from South China's Guangdong province. "I was immediately attracted by the new form of music festival."

"An online music festival lacks the passionate atmosphere of an offline event. But I can dance more freely as no one is watching," he said.

The online music festival, called Strawberry_Z, was launched by Chinese music label Modern Sky. Over the past decade, it sponsored 91 Strawberry Music Festivals across China with a total attendance of over 6 million.

Over the past weeks, nearly all live performances and cultural events in China have been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. For China's cultural and entertainment industry, going online seemed to be the only way out to mitigate its impact.

"Strawberry_Z was launched recently to salvage the business from the fallout of the outbreak," said Shen Yue, vice chairman of Modern Sky. 

The online music festival, which has run for two seasons since February, consisted of three parts: archive videos of Strawberry Music Festivals, homemade video programs by musicians, as well as live streaming performances.

It proved popular with audiences. In the weeklong second season of the event, it attracted 15.8 million total views.


Chinese rock band New Pants performs at Strawberry Music Festival in Xiamen, southeastern China's Fujian Province, October 27, 2019. (Photo: CGTN)

"When it comes to technology, there are different things that make isolation easier, from streaming video to digital books to gaming," said an industry analyst.

"We have also seen how social media has helped to get coverage from areas where press might not have been allowed."

"One would think that in 2020, productivity should be measured in output and not in hours," Milanesi said.

"Ultimately, remote working should be seen as a business asset at any time, not just when we are under the threat of a pandemic."

For Shen, the online music festival offered comfort and companionship for music fans during the trying times of the outbreak.

"At present, people staying at home have a psychological need for companionship, which can be found in music and offered by the musicians," said Shen.

For musicians, the format of an online music festival also provided them with a chance to communicate with fans in a more innovative way. Besides music, some also shared with fans tips on cooking, daily exercises, and even skincare.

"It is a new experience to communicate with fans through online instant messaging," said Pang Kuan, keyboardist of New Pants. "I was often overwhelmed by a flood of comments from the fans."

After experiencing the vibe and novelty of the online music festival, many fans hope it will become a fixture even after the virus outbreak subsides.

"I hope one day in my bedroom, I can dance with the audiences at world-famous music events such as the Glastonbury and Coachella festivals," said Xu.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe and Da Hang. Text from China Daily and Global Times.)

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