City or Not City :This Foreign Vlogger's Viral Adventure in China



Recently, on short video platforms, Douyin(Chinese version of Tiktok) a foreign vlogger known as "Bao Bao Xiong" has become a sensation by mixing Chinese and English in his content. While traveling in China, he often uses the phrase "city or not city" in his conversations with his sister. With various interpretations, "city" has become an adjective synonymous with urbanization, sophistication, novelty, and even "excitement," turning "city or not city" into an internet meme that many are imitating.


The rapid rise of the "city" vlogger "Bao Bao Xiong" is not an isolated case. Currently, a multitude of foreign internet celebrities are emerging on Chinese social platforms. They delve into the mysterious Eastern giant, experiencing the ancient history, splendid civilization, and magnificent landscapes of the land, recording the true face of China through their videos. Data shows that in the first quarter of this year, the number of foreigners coming to China has increased by more than three times compared to the same period in 2023, with a total of 466,000 foreigner visas and documents issued, a year-on-year increase of 118.8%; visa-free entries for foreigners reached 1.988 million person-times, a year-on-year increase of 266.1%.


The influx of a large number of foreign tourists to China is thanks to the country's visa-free transit policy. Since the implementation of the 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy for Norwegian citizens last November, the scope of this policy has been expanded to 54 countries. Among them, three cities including Changsha, Harbin, and Guilin implement a 72-hour visa-free transit policy; 20 cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jieyang, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi'an, Xiamen, Wuhan, Kunming, etc., implement a 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

As the mysterious Eastern giant unveils its veil, these foreign visitors, who have long been in the "information cocoon" created by Western public opinion, are surprised. The streets here are clean and tidy, pedestrians are enthusiastic and friendly, and the cities at night are lively and safe... The life that we have long been accustomed to has become a novelty in the eyes of foreigners. "Facial recognition payment, OMG, it's so cool!" "High-speed rail travel, Unbelievable, it's so fast!" "The streets at night are very safe, Amazing!"

Recently, Vice Foreign Minister Hua Chunying posted a video on overseas social media. In the video, many foreign tourists are immersed in the joy of "144-hour extreme tour of China," visiting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The Chinese travel Vlog they filmed with the theme of "144-hour visa-free transit" has sparked heated discussions and attention on overseas networks, continuously setting off a "China Travel" boom, making many netizens who do not understand China marvel that China is "quite different" from what Western media describes.

Review: Guides for foreigners to apply for 72/144-hour visa-free transit

Editor: CH

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