China's Generation Z redefines trendy, shows growing confidence in local culture

2021-01-15 Global Times Editor:Li Yan

Twenty years ago, many young people in China who were first exposed to Western culture thought rebelling against traditional Chinese culture and mimicking foreign culture was fashionable and trendy. But this view is outdated for Generation Z today - a generation who grew up with China's rapid development - who now redefines what trendy is by promoting local culture while having an objective view of exotic cultural products.

The new tastes of Generation Z are well represented on Bilibili, a website enjoying enormous popularity among China's youth with an estimated number of more than 100 million users. The website, which was originally the heaven for lovers of ACGN (Anime, Comics, Games and Novels), has now become a gathering place for internet-savvy young people. 

The Nasdaq-traded Bilibili reached more than 190 million active monthly users in the third quarter 2020, according to its most recent financial report.

In the recent New Year's Eve gala presented by Bilibili on December 31, 2020, it attracted more than 100 million views within 48 hours with a colorful set of programs ranging from Peking Opera and classical Chinese animation to foreign songs. 

The gala, for many audiences, showed that China's young people now have strong confidence and appreciation of their own culture.  

"The young people of Generation Z, born after 1995, grew up amid the rapid development of China and under good economic conditions, which promotes their deep cultural confidence and cultural recognition, said Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University.

"Growing up with the development of the Chinese internet industry, they have more access to diverse international information and culture which brings them a much broader vision and makes them more open and confident in analyzing foreign culture," Zhang said.

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