Research Perspectives on TikTok & Its Legacy Apps| Short Video Platforms and Local Community Building in China

Wei Wang, Jiena Wu


Along with other short video applications, Douyin represents one of the most popular ways to obtain information, socialize with friends, and entertain oneself in China. On Douyin, short videos showcasing local areas at the county level, such as local food, events, and scenery, are very popular. These videos have attracted wide audiences, particularly local residents in the same county or village and migrants who come from the same area. Short video applications have become important sites of local community building. We argue that the platformization of cultural production converges with local connections, local governance practices, and local market demands. This convergence restructures the local society by concentrating the power of representing local areas into indigenous media. This concentration process dovetails with the spectacle-ization of local areas on Douyin, which reinforces the sense of belonging and local pride of residents and migrants.


short video platforms, community building, indigenous media spectacle-ization , platformized cultural production

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