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Ma Ling founded one of the most popular providers of self-help “chicken soup for the soul” accounts, “Miming,” on WeChat, a popular social media platform operated by Tencent. With over 6 million subscribers, most of her articles posted on WeChat get over 100,000 hits, and some even over a million. The rise of fans has attracted investment from advertisers, and her monthly advertising income has grown from 3 million yuan (US$434,400) to 5 million yuan (US$724,000). In 2016, Ma’s articles sparked a series of discussions online. After working as a newspaper editor and columnist for 14 years, Ma knows how to use language to attract more fans, and her articles are full of harsh, caustic expressions and extreme opinions, such as one of her typical works, “Bitches, Why Should I Help You?” Ma shared her experience in writing social media articles that get over one million hits, saying that the theme of content should be related to you and should be useful for you. Words lead to money, but not all adverts should be accepted, said Ma, since she clearly knew she couldn’t go against the interests of fans. In a similar fashion to other writers on social media, Ma also expressed concern over whether she could always produce good content; as Ma said, the content is the best way to evaluate whether the work is good or not, especially in the era of information explosion.

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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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