PUBLI : Simeng Wang, « WeChat, ethnic grouping and class belonging. The formation of citizen identity among Chinese living in Paris », in : Wanning Sun and Haiqing Yu (dir.), WeChat and the Chinese Diaspora Digital Transnationalism in the Era of China’s Rise, 2022, 288 p.

Abstract of the book

WeChat (the inter­na­tional version of Weixin), laun­ched in 2012, has rapidly become the most favoured Chinese social media. Globally avai­lable, equally popular both inside and outside China and widely adopted by Chinese migrants, WeChat has funda­men­tally changed the ways in which Mandarin-spea­king migrants conduct personal messa­ging, engage in group commu­ni­ca­tion and commu­nity busi­ness acti­vi­ties, produce and distri­bute news, and access and share infor­ma­tion. This book explores a wide range of issues connected to the ways in which WeChat works and is used, across the world among the newest members of the Chinese diaspora. Arguing that digital/​social media afford a great degree of indi­vi­dual agency, as well as a collec­tive capa­city for sustai­ning an ‘imagined commu­nity’, the book shows how WeChat’s assem­blage of infra­struc­ture and regu­la­tory frame­works, tech­nical capa­bi­li­ties, content and sense of commu­nity has led to the construc­tion of a parti­cular kind of diasporic Chinese world, at a time marked both by China’s rise, and anxiety about Chinese influence in the West.

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