September news trends

Stories about the trade war and Hong Kong protests continued to lead China-focused coverage in September, according to a China Books Review analysis of Google News data.

CNBC remained the most prolific publisher of stories about the country and this month led with the most number of stories in the top three positions of Google News results.

The stories that were featured for the most number of days included a look at how Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland has evolved; reporting on how China justifies its oppressive tactics in Xinjiang to other Chinese; and two stories on China’s economy, one refracted through the lens of US politics.

Introduced last month, news trends takes a quantitative approach to understanding the stories and publications that are driving coverage of China. The data is based on the stories that appear during daily queries on Google News for the term “China.”

Who are the most influential China-focused tweeters?

A sample network graph produced by CBR’s analysis

Twitter, at its best, offers immediate, direct, and transparent conversation on the most important issues of the day. But it can also be a driver of polarization and misinformation. To its credit, global China-watchers maintain one of the Twitter communities that most consistently realizes the platform’s positive potential.

But who are the most influential China-focused tweeters? CBR is introducing an index to find out, weighting equally public and elite influence. The former is measured by the number of followers an account has and the latter by an account’s betweenness centrality, a measure used in network analysis that quantifies how connected an individual is to other prominent accounts. Three rankings were produced for individual accounts predominantly tweeting in English or Chinese and institutional accounts in any language.

Continue reading “Who are the most influential China-focused tweeters?”

Who’s searching about the trade war? Not Trump states.

The trade war took another of its many turns this week as the United States and China agreed to resume talks in October, sending markets higher. The news is presumably a fillip for Trump-leaning states, which have been disproportionately and purposefully targeted by China’s retaliatory tariffs. That is, if they’re paying attention. A new analysis for China Books Review finds that the states that most strongly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election are the least likely to search Google for information about the trade war.

States that voted for Trump in 2016 are least likely to search Google for info about the "trade war"
Continue reading “Who’s searching about the trade war? Not Trump states.”

August news trends

Hong Kong was the most frequent topic of articles aggregated by Google News related to China in August, according to a quantitative news analysis by China Books Review. The analysis, which will be published monthly, uses daily Google News results for stories related to China to identify key trends.

Google News is an important aggregator and, for many publishers, it and the Google search engine account for the plurality of their web traffic. Thus, the stories that Google News elevates plays an important role in shaping popular understanding of China. In August, the data set included 1,575 unique articles from some 200 publications. Article titles mentioning Hong Kong constituted 10% of those aggregated, closely followed by the trade war.

Continue reading “August news trends”