Baidu rolled a new feature as of yesterday—a person of the month, which you can see in their logo. They say that they pick the person based on searches done in their engine, so it’s a bit like Google Trends meets Time Person of the Year on a monthly basis. This month it’s Xu Sanduo (许三多), a character from a popular TV series called Soldier Sortie(士兵突击), which has become one of the more popular shows on TV in recent months.
Baidu has a page exclusively devoted to material on the person selected, with various articles, interviews, and features exploring the meaning of this person (whether real or fictitious), because as they say in their introductory blurb, it’s all very zeitgeisty, a record of our times and lives, etc.
If you want to buy Soldier Sortie—either the novel or the TV series—you can find it here on Joyo.com.
And if you don’t give a shit about Chinese TV, please, by all means, go on not giving a shit. There was one thing mentioned that we thought was interesting, namely, the explanation of the show and its main character’s popularity. They say that Chinese viewers are sick of American Idol-esque type shows and were more inclined to identify with the main character, a sort of directionless young man from the countryside who is forced by his father to enter military service. The struggles and hardships of this man and his fellow soldiers seem to resonate with viewers.