Google has recently revealed its annual“Year in Search” 2018 report, looking across nine categories to highlight the world’s most trending items of the year. Thereinto, Chinese period drama Story of Yanxi Palace has claimed the top spot in the category of TV shows after edging out Netflix's Altered Carbonand Thai romance Love Destiny, marking another milstone of China's fruitful cultural export.
The 70-episode dark horse, gaining strong praise in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia, tells of a story of a Chinese “Cinderella” - a quick-witted servant who fights fire with fire and outmaneuvers her opponents in the harem designations of the Qing Dynasty. With exquisite costume design and an accurate portrayal of history, the series set the single-day online viewership record in China of 530 million views, and has attracted over 13 billion views since it was aired in August 2018. Due to its success, there has been increased visits to the Palace Museum in Beijing, which is where l the main characters in the show used to live in.
Meantime, the World Cup tops all searches, followed by the tragic death of Swedish DJ Avicii and American rapper Mac Miller, as well as the loss of Stan Lee, Marvel Comics’ real-life superhero, and the mega-hit Black Panther.
As a grand carnival for soccer fans and the world's most watched sporting event took place in Russia over the summer, the World Cup also dominated the news category, then the Hurricane Florence, the powerful and long-lived tropical storm which caused 55 deaths and over $17.9 billion in damage. One of the largest Mega Millions jackpots ever and Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also attracted global attention, ranking 3rd and 4th, respectively, with Meghan the most Googled person of the year. Almost 30 million people tuned in to the royal wedding, which highlighted black American culture and the UK’s colonial past. Markle’s entry into the monarchy has sparked conversations about race and new beginnings.
Results of the midterm elections rounded out the top five, with most people were found to have searched “How to vote” and “How to register to vote”, according to the Google report. Major elections happened in Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Malaysia, India, and elsewhere. The US midterms also had global consequences, and ended up being a win for female representation.