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 Zizheng Yu

Zizheng Yu

Research student

+44 (0) 7410384384
Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS

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 also a committee member of the UK-China Media and Cultural Studies Association (UCMeCSA).  

Does the latest digital technologies in several popular social media apps really empower Chinese consumers’ powers to protect their legitimate consumer rights? My current research is focusing on the connection between the short-video-based social media platforms and consumer activism in China. 

Research interests

My research interests mainly focus on Chinese short-video-based (SVB) social media platforms, digital activism, consumer activism/political consumerism, video activism, social movements, media practices, and cultural semiotics studies. 

Conference Presentations:




Professional Memberships: 


An Empirical Research on Consumer Video Activism and the Emergence of the "Consumer Sphere" in China

The year of 2018 could be regarded as the beginning of the golden age of short-video in China. Many emerging short-video-based (SVB) social media platforms have gradually challenged the monopoly position of traditional social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat in China. Today, these SVB platforms have become one of the most frequently-used ways for Chinese consumers to retrieve their legitimate rights and urge the reformation of governmental regulation on specific markets. The Chengdu housing problem, for instance, homebuyers in Chengdu urged the policymakers to draw up certain policies to discipline the illegal developers, and help them to get compensations from these construction companies, by uploading short videos about their offline protests and housing quality problems on different SVB platforms.

The growing of consumer activism is inseparable from media changes today, especially in China. The latest “consumer video activism”, for instance, it is bred by the latest SVB social media platform. When it comes to the studies on the social media or consumer activism in China, yet less research zooms in to see the interrelationship between them, especially in the context of the rise of SVB platforms. This research aims to study the “consumer video activism” in China. In other words, based on the latest principle characteristics of Chinese SVB landscape, this research aims to answer the following research questions: Do SVB platforms empower Chinese consumers’ powers to protect their legitimate consumer rights, moreover, to what extent the Chinese consumers, media journalists, PR officials, relevant government officials, and SVB platforms jointly foster a “consumer sphere” in China? And based on their perceptions, how does this “consumer sphere” works in China? This research aims to answer these questions by interviewing the Chinese consumers, public relations department officials, government officials and journalists, and analysing four latest consumer video activism cases (Chengdu homeowners protest; PinDuoDuo counterfeit goods; Hygiene scandal at Chinese hotels and Tearful Protest on Mercedes Hood) happened in China.


Dr Emiliano Treré

Senior Lecturer in Media Ecologies and Social Transformation

Stuart Allan

Professor Stuart Allan

Head of School