The Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and Xinhuanet, China’s leading online news portal, recently released a joint report evaluating the global communications impact of Chinese cities, analyzing the problems with their communication strategies, and offering suggestions on improving their ability to “go global”.
The study covered the top 100 cities in China as ranked by GDP in 2019, including Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Tianjin, Dalian, and Xiamen .
Based on big data from the Xinhua RIS data bank, which has collated over 10 million items of public information from overseas mainstream media and international social media platforms, the Chinese Cities Global Communications Impact Index (CCGCII) assessed each city’s global communication impact in terms of communication volume, reputation, coverage, dynamism, and responsiveness.
Key findings are as follows:
- China’s top 100 cities disseminated more than 10 million pieces of effective information in 2020, nearly seven times more than in 2019.
- In 2020, the top 10 Chinese cities in terms of global communications impact were in order of ranking: Beijing, Wuhan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Xiamen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenzhen, and Dalian. These 10 cities account for over 90% of the total communications volume measured.
- Social media platforms were the primary channels for global engagement. Chinese cities received the greatest exposure on Instagram and Facebook.
- The leading topics for city communications were culture, education, food, healthcare, economy, festivals, industry, and transport.
To address various communication challenges faced by these cities, the study offered valuable suggestions. First, each city should channel their communications via official accounts and promote interesting and unique topics, such as an introduction to Chinese cuisine, to capture the audience’s attention and drive engagement.
Second, greater use of richer and more diverse multimedia, such as videos and live streaming, should be developed, to generate more impactful and expressive visuals that resonate with global audiences.
Third, popular international events and issues can be used as launchpads for deeper global integration of Chinese cities.
Fourth, opinion makers, media, organizations, individuals and enterprises should contribute to promoting diverse information that articulates a city’s uniqueness.
Finally, Chinese cities should pay attention to the differences in culture, language, and values of different countries.