torsdag 21. oktober 2021

China: The patriotic 'ziganwu' bloggers who attack the West

With her reassuring smile, Chinese blogger Guyanmuchan cuts a friendly figure on Weibo. The young woman commands a devoted following of 6.4 million fans on China's Twitter-like platform, where she posts hot takes and videos on current affairs. But the cute aesthetics of her brand - her page features a dreamy picture of a girl posing in the woods - belie her often acidic tone.

The European Union is "on a dog leash" to America, according to a recent post. Rising Covid rates in the US state of Texas was evidence of "civil war" where "Americans are currently killing one another with biological warfare", said another.

Guyanmuchan is among a new crop of bloggers known as the "ziganwu", whose rise in fame on Chinese social media has been inextricably linked with the ascendancy of Chinese nationalism. Their name refers to the infamous "wumao" army of trolls who are paid to spread state propaganda - but the difference is that the "ziganwu" do it for free. Their scathing posts and videos, shared by tens of thousands of fans, often criticise Western countries and media outlets. Issues like feminism, human rights, multiculturalism, democracy which are deemed as Western influence "corrupting" Chinese society have also been scrutinised.