Chinese video firm makes short clips on history, culture

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-10-20 08:09:09

Chinese video firm makes short clips on history, culture

Li Feng. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The office of an internet startup in eastern Beijing's Sihui area feels quieter than many other such buildings, thanks in part to the 43-year-old entrepreneur Li Feng.

While Li's 60-member team, with an average age of 30, may look old-fashioned in an industry in China where many employees tend to be in their early 20s, he values experience.

His company is called Zhonglan Media.

"The industry has too much entertainment," Li says of China's online video space that is full of celebrities, reality shows and soap operas.

In such a scenario, he says it is a challenge to have history as a subject of streaming.

Last November, he started Kan Jian (roughly translates to "look and appraise"), a video series that not only runs on an app but is also present on social media. It has extended to major online broadcasters such as Tencent, Youku and Toutiao since.

More than 600 video clips from three to five minutes introducing episodes on Chinese history and culture have been uploaded.

For example, one episode may explain a traditional Chinese festival, while the other may focus on an emperor's life.

The app has been downloaded 300,000 times, and its WeChat account has attracted 270,000 followers. The most-viewed episode was broadcast some 9 million times on Tencent.

The videos also have humorous storytelling. But Li emphasizes that historical accuracy is the priority.

"They are made to be interesting, but they don't mean to only make people laugh," he says.

A documentary producer with China Central Television for 17 years, Li quit two years ago to "catch the last chance" to do something different. But he still thinks high-quality Chinese documentaries on culture are urgently needed.

"I feel it is a crisis that today's young generations (in China) know little about their own country's history and geography," Li says.

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