The Great Shopping Mall: The Market Nationalist Logic of Chinese Social Media

Mina, An Xiao; Wang, Xiaowei

"Some 2,200 years ago, when Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, the historic first emperor of China, ordered construction of the Great Wall of China to keep out nomadic tribes from Central Asia, he could scarcely have imagined what it’s become today. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the physical Great Wall is a major tourist attraction, filled with souvenir tchotchkes, a cable car system, toboggan slides and market hawkers. Visitors can buy tickets for the wall using WeChat or AliPay, and they can post Bytedance and Bilibili videos of their experiences online thanks to free wifi and high-speed cell towers. Rather than keep people out, the contemporary Great Wall is designed to draw people in—to the tune of some 10 million tourists per year—making it one of the top tourist destinations in the world."