Click-through: Magpie Digest

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5:04 AM HKT, Fri December 8, 2017 1 mins read

We do our part, but if you’re looking for even more coverage of weird, dark, strange or interesting corners of the Chinese internet, we want to point you to a recently launched project that’ll deliver this to your inbox on a weekly basis: The Magpie Digest. Launched last month by New York-based researcher and writer Christina Xu, the project is a weekly roundup of just such stories, created largely out of Xu’s own desire to subscribe to such a service, but finding none close at hand. Speaking with RADII for our B-side China podcast the other week, she said:

To me, the thing that separates the Chinese internet from the US internet is partially this technical barrier, but a lot of it is actually a cultural barrier, a linguistic barrier, and the time difference… I would really love a service that keeps paying attention to things I want to pay attention to for me, and after it didn’t materialize out of thin air, I decided I have to build this thing.

Xu teamed up with Pheona Chen (“an internet fandom culture genius”) and “global tech ethnographer” Tricia Wang, and the trio has been “taking a look at the Chinese internet every week and picking a topic and writing about it” since mid-November.

From Magpie Digest #1

Their first issue is all about Singles’ Day (a topic we also covered in some depth), issue two is about massive multiplayer online free-for-all PUBG, and their latest issue, released last Thursday, covers Information, Surveillance, and the RYB Incident. Xu plans to keep the flow going on a weekly basis for the time being, so we’re checking our inboxes as we speak for round four of this team’s insightful and incisive commentary on the China-internet happenings of the week.

Subscribe here, and click play on the podcast below to learn more about Christina Xu’s work and net-mediated culture in today’s China:

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