Zizheng Yu has worked for the Country Garden Real Estate in China as a Senior Brand Manager; as a Journalist in Chinese Southern Daily in Foshan, and UK Chinese Journal in London; as a Research Associate in China Current Network. Now, Zizheng Yu is a PhD Candidate at Cardiff University, JOMEC. Zizheng is the vice-president of UK-China Media and Cultural Studies Association (UCMeCSA), and also a member of IAMCR through the institutional membership of Cardiff University.
MA (full-time 2014-2015): Journalism Media and Communication Studies - Cardiff University
BA (full-time 2010-2014): International Journalism - Hong Kong Baptist University
My research interests mainly focus on short-video-based (SVB) social media, consumer activism/political consumerism, media practices, video activism, social movements, digital activism, and cultural semiotics studies.
An Empirical Research on Consumer Video Activism and the Emergence of the Consumer Sphere in China
Short-video-based social media platforms are becoming a common tool for an increasing number of consumers to safeguard their legitimate interests in China. In July 2018, an increasing number of homebuyers in Chengdu, China uploaded short videos of their offline protests against various housing quality problems of their new-buying houses onto the short video platforms. The clips spread out instantly and attracted massive attention of the public and the media. They successfully urged the Chengdu housing administration to establish a mutual communication platform to solve the problems between homebuyers and real estate companies. Similarly, In April 2019, a Female consumer sat on the hood of a Mercedes car in a dealership in Xi’an and protested against the engine oil leakage problem of her Mercedes car. The video of her tearful protest went viral on multiple short video platforms, received much attention from different parties, and finally got fair reimbursement.
By interviewing 62 interviewees in four groups, and analysing four latest “short video activism” cases that represent how short video platforms are deployed by consumers to make appeals, I argue that the “consumer video activism” practices of consumers work in China, Chinese consumers can effectively use short videos to share injustices they encountered with the general public and the mass media, then urge the government to amend their regulations on a specific area, and demand the company to correct their faults. Moreover, the short video platforms and Chinese consumers are co-constructing a “consumer sphere” model within the “cross-platform short video circle” in today’s Chinese society.