Chinese TV dramas promote cultural exchanges and people-to-people bonds

Chinese TV dramas have been exported to over 200 countries and regions, with the export volume of TV dramas accounting for over 70 percent of all exported TV programs, according to statistics.

As Chinese TV dramas go global, cultural exchanges and people-to-people bonds between China and other countries are being further deepened.

Staff members of Vibration studio in Cairo translate Chinese TV dramas. (People’s Daily/Zhou Zhou)

In Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Chinese TV series are growing increasingly popular. In Thailand, over 100 Chinese TV dramas were aired on TV stations in 2019, with the figure expected to grow with the rise of online video platforms. A costume drama called Romance of the Three Kingdoms has become a household name in its neighboring country Cambodia. Ode to Joy, a contemporary romantic TV drama, has triggered ongoing debates among viewers in Singapore, and Feather Flies to the Sky, another TV drama about contemporary life in China, even had a launching ceremony before it aired in the Philippines.

Dubbing and subtitles in local languages accelerate the pace of Chinese TV series to go global, as they break language barriers, making it easier for local audiences to enjoy.

In the Middle East, Chinese series played by Chinese pop idols with subtitles of local languages are broadcast on online platforms, winning the hearts of young viewers. Many people in Iraq even gather in cafes, watching and discussing Chinese episodes.

Good dubbing is like icing on the cake, which will attract more viewers and help them better understand the Chinese culture.

In Africa, the Beijing-based StarTimes Group, now an influential media company in Africa, has established many professional translation and dubbing teams. It has also organized many contests to select voiceover artists in countries including Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa.

In addition, Vibration studio in Cairo, capital of Egypt, has just finished the translation and dubbing of over 10 Chinese TV dramas, which will be aired on several TV stations in Arab countries.

Experts say that the export of Chinese TV series is a reflection of China’s rapid economic growth and increasing cultural influence.

“We hope to understand progress over the 40 years of reform and opening-up in China. Through these TV dramas, we realize that China is not just about Kungfu, Taichi and pandas, but has rapid development, and a modern and convenient lifestyle,” said a student from the University of Tunis.

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