Virtual Reading Room of the Russian State Library

Seminar "Promotion tools for the Russian higher education institutions, museums, libraries and theatres on WeChat and Weibo platforms"

14 April 2023, the Russian State Library hosted the first seminar of the series "Promotion tools for the Russian higher education institutions, museums, libraries and theatres on WeChat and Weibo platforms" organized by the Russian House of International Scientific and Technical Cooperation (RH ISTC) with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The event was held in a hybrid format. The seminar started with the greeting speeches by Yuri M. Babonov, head of the "China" department of the RH ISTC, and Alina A. Ivashchenko, head of the International cultural cooperation division of the Department of museums and external affairs of the Ministry of Culture.

Ms Ivashchenko reported her gratitude to the partners, RH ISTC as the initiator of the meeting and the Russian State Library (RSL) as its co-organizer. Alina Andreevna also emphasized the importance of promoting partnership with China in the sphere of culture which had to be based on the proper positioning of Russian organizations in digital environment.

The theme of proper information concerning Russian culture at the international level was continued by Mr Babonov in his speech. He assumed cooperation in science, education and business was more likely to be achieved through cooperation in the sphere of culture in prospect. Double so, China was interested in such contacts, and looking for them.

The fact of the Chinese people to be interested in Russia and its culture, science and education was supported by Maria Yu.Uliyanova, deputy director of the "China" department of the RH ISTC. Being Candidate of philology, sinologist, an expert with the 10-year experience of work in the field of cultural cooperation of Russia and China, Ms Uliyanova affirmed the lack of authoritative information about cultural life of Russia in Chinese digital environment. Chinese people needed information about universities of culture, musical establishments, museums and theatres, as well as about possibilities to access library collections. Due to tough insufficiency of access of average citizens to the websites on .com и .cn domains, Chinese people would often have to deal with false data posted by dishonest people who benefitted on Russian brands which were not de facto represented in China, and who brought harm to the image of Russian organizations.

One of the possible ways to solve the problem as seen by the speaker was to promote services of the Russian establishments of culture in the Chinese digital environment by creating their official accounts on the WeChat ( 微信) and Weibo ( 微博 )platforms.

Unlike Russia where informatization was still under way, China had already entered the stage of Information Society. Approximately 6 hours a day Chinese people spent on the internet. That would be supported by the statistics of social media and video hostings, trade turnover (76% of users would buy things online, while over 35% of all the retail sales in China were the online sales). It would also be witnessed by the statistics of the educational sphere (the online education market had grown by 50%).

Taking into consideration the Chinese mentality, Russian organizations had to mind appropriate positioning of their companies on authoritative platforms. WeChat(微信) was a universal Chinese application with the combination of the message–exchange services, social network, pay system and shopping platform. Chinese people trusted the WeChat information. The WeChat audiences comprised over 360 million people every day, for the moment of speaking the application was installed on the phones of approximately 94% phone-owners of China.

Unlike WeChat, Weibo was the system for the reading China, for its people of intellect. Over 800 million people read Weibo every day. As for the system itself, it represented a certain micro-blog with the functions of messenger. Frequent posting of short articles would make one attract the attention of the Chinese internet users to their business and tell them about their activities and services.

In conclusion, Ms Uliyanova pointed out that pro tem just one establishment of the sphere of culture, which was Gnesin Russian Academy of Music, was represented for the Chinese people on their Internet. Maria Yuriyevna offered all the participants of the seminar to think it all over and make their first step towards developing Russian establishments of culture to the East. Herewith the Russian House of International Scientific and Technical Cooperation promised its support in creating official accounts of organizations, beginning with consultation and up to providing the services of Chinese translators.

The relevance of the matters reported was proved by the questions to follow, which were both general and those ones dealing with organizational details. Thus it was decided to proceed with seminar work with the aim to cover all the points which could not be embraced by the talk of the first orientation meeting.

You are welcome to watch the broadcast of the seminar over here.

Follow our coming events on the official website of the Russian State Library.