… and before you start scoffing, it’s all from a very reliable and authoritative source of course — no, it’s not AC Nielsen and neither is it Taylor Nelson Sofres — it’s a doctoral student from Shanghai University by the name of Ni Lin. Never heard of her? Well neither have we, but if the Shanghai Daily starts quoting her as proof of its popularity among expats in this town, then she must be something right?
According to Ni’s research which she presented to the Media and China Forum held in the Journalism Department of Fudan University last week, 25.2% of expats read Shanghai Daily frequently, while only 11.9% read the next most popular publication (would that be China Daily, That’s Shanghai or City Weekend we wonder?) and 6.3% the third.
Other findings by Ni:
The study also showed that domestic mainstream media has a relatively limited influence on international audiences.
The study indicated expatriates rely more on the Internet than on traditional media after they have spent some time in the city.
“It shows that new media are the best way to address the cultural differences,” said Ni.
According to Ni’s study, expatriates rely on local English media a lot when they first arrive in the city because it is fresh and they are still anxious about the new environment.
Expats view local media as the most important channel to get information when they first arrive and are adjusting to life in a new city.
However, Ni’s study showed they go back to media produced in their home country for information or entertainment from the seventh to the 12th month of their stay.
After about a year when they overcome the culture-shock period, the expats will read local English newspapers and magazines again to get a deeper understanding of China’s culture.
Other similar studies show that cultural background plays an important role in the acceptance of local English media.
Asians, especially Japanese and Koreans, who share a similar cultural background as Chinese, show more general appreciation for local media than Westerners.
Ni’s study also showed 57 percent of expatriates buy pirated and fake cultural products while in Shanghai, but only 14 percent buy pirated goods often in their homelands.
Many expatriates interviewed by the researchers claimed they did not know where to buy genuine products, while pirated products can be found easily.
Wow. An all-in-one expatriate survey which not only covers our reading habits in print and on the web, but also our tendency to buy more counterfeit products here! If any of you are able to lay your hands on a copy of this research, please forward it to us so we can pore through it.