Jeremy Lin, CCTV, and the Enduring Soft Power of American Culture and Technology
This story regarding CCTV’s confusion in how to deal with the Jeremy Lin phenomenon says a lot about, on one hand, America, American culture, and American innovation and, on the other, China, the Chinese government desire for soft power, and the similarity of the Chinese and American people, as explained in my post on CCTV’s entree into the United States.
Jeremy Lin — a cross- cultural phenomenon transcending race that could only have arisen in America — is blowing up in China. But CCTV is confused in how to deal with it given the Taiwanese connection — i.e., Lin’s Taiwanese heritage and the flags that show up at the games — as well as his expressions of his Christian faith, and CCTV resorted to not showing the live Knicks-Raptors game which ended with Jeremy Lin’s buzzer-beating three. At the same time, the Chinese people, who know what they want and they want Jeremy Lin, have blown up Weibo, the Chinese Twitter clone, following Jeremy Lin. A few lessons:
- American soft power in the form of its culture, as exemplified by both Jeremy Lin and Twitter, endures, enabling things that cannot happen elsewhere.
- American technology (through its Chinese version) enable the Chinese people to get what they want, which is very much, what us Americans want.
- One and two have something to do with why America has soft power.
- Good luck with that launch of CCTV in the US.