STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Dutch blogger becomes Chinese social media hit

CNC
Added On October 12, 2017

Manya Koetse, a young blogger from the Netherlands has become an online hit with her take on Chinese culture.
 
Western audiences are flocking to her website "What's on Weibo", to catch up on the latest Chinese social media trends. 
 
Manya Koetse has a degree in China studies from Leiden University and lived in Beijing for two years, 
 
In 2014, she started the English-language website "What's on Weibo."
 
It grew in popularity, and today, the site gets some 200,000 visitors every month.
   
She updates the website almost every day with content ranging from odd news, to business trends, to in-depth analyses of social phenomena found on platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.
 
SOUNDBITE 1 (English)MANYA KOETSE, Founder of "What's on Weibo":
"After three years, people are now noticing that I write a lot and I have really nice contributors. The people that I interview and the sources that I use, I always mention them. I try to be very transparent. So now I noticed that if I have some news out that other English media did not write about before, it is picked up really quickly by BBC, USA Today or Al Jazeera, because they know that the sources are trust-worthy."
 
Branding herself as a "China social trend watcher," Koetse focuses more on the "multidimensional image" of China reflected on social media, adding that "there's no other country in the world where you have such a digital revolution as in China right now, really changing people's lives."
 
For her, social media is a "barometer" and "a finger on the pulse" on what's happening in the Chinese society, hence observing social media is "a very important angle."
 
SOUNDBITE 2 (English)MANYA KOETSE, Founder of "What's on Weibo"
"So what I like to write about is what are people talking about. Maybe we share the same worries. We all have our own concerns. I would like to make it clear that it's the same in China, it's the same in Europe, and the moment we start to understand each other, we become so much closer to each other." 
 
She says the site is also a way to clear up the "big misconception" in the West, that China has only "one dimension."
 
SOUNDBITE 3 (English)MANYA KOETSE, Founder of "What's on Weibo"
"I really like it when I hear my friends who have never been to China say that 'oh you know Manya,I follow your blog, and I actually feel that I understand China a little bit more now than I did a year ago or two years ago,' and that makes me very happy."