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Digital Subscriptions > China Report > Issue 49 > Larger Markets for Stand-Up

Larger Markets for Stand-Up

Economic Weekly April 21, 2017

Stand-up comedy in China has become popular over the last six years. The format won more fans when online programme Roast, copied from the Comedy Central Celebrity Roast format, allowed comics to test their sharp tongues on each other. China’s comedy pioneers are seeking to rocket to the top by using the Internet – but the industry, according to insiders, is sluggish, and many people are leaving. Low incomes, a lack of clubs where comics can hone their talents, and the limited options available to promote their work are just some of the problems comics face. Censorship is another obstacle; for political safety, Chinese comics rarely talk about politics or the news, but focus on celebrity gossip, leaving their work shallow and anodyne.

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About China Report

The Belt and Road forum held in Beijing in May heralds China's strategy of globalisation 2.0. How much China has invested in the BRI? How can other countries along the routes join in and benefit from the opportunities? (p.20-25) Technologically China has often been perceived as playing the catch-up game. Not in Artificial Intelligence, which the country's tech giants are spearheading with some success. (p. 34-43) A migrant worker has taken the country by storm in her Dickensian essay about her hard life in modern Beijing. (p.52-55)
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