Eurovision in China – Our interview with Chinese Eurovision Fans

Chinese Eurovision Fans pictured with their Chinese Eurovision Flag on Jiaozhou Bay Bridge of Qingdao, China. Follow them on Twitter :@escfans_china and website

Chinese Eurovision Fans pictured with their Chinese Eurovision Flag on Jiaozhou Bay Bridge of Qingdao, China. Follow them on Twitter :@escfans_china and website

Yes China has a growing fan base of the Eurovision Song Contest so we wanted to hear their views on Europe’s Favorite TV Show and hear their suggestions on how to grow the contest. Sweden this year celebrated the fact that Australia has followed Eurovision for decades now and have fallen for the charms of contest. Well Australia is not the only non-European country to love the annual contest and we will be speaking to fan clubs from around the world in a regular feature here on Eurovision Ireland. We are starting with our friends in China and then will be going to Australia, the USA, South America and South Africa to name but a few.

We had the pleasure of speaking to the team at “” and firstly a big thank you to Vincente Wang for him and his colleagues/friends for speaking to us here at Eurovision Ireland. We spoke of what is the attraction of the Eurovision to the non-European viewer, the cultural aspects of the contest, broadcasting the show in China and Changes to the voting and rules of the contest. Some wonderful insights into the contest from people outside of the “Eurovision Bubble”

  • What is it that you like about Eurovision?

We like Eurovision because of its variety and diversity. For us, Eurovision is not only a stage where the participants compete for the title of winner, but also an exhibition where we can learn about the culture and music industry of different countries.


  • How did you manage to discover the Eurovision Song Contest?

Most of us started to know Eurovision through China’s western style music forums. At first there was no one specifically following Eurovision, but every year there would be a social media thread about Eurovision entries. Years later, as the technique advanced and made it easier for us to actually watch the Eurovision and visit ESC-themed websites, the real followers of Eurovision appeared from the above mentioned music forum users, we call them “real followers” because they not only watch or download Eurovision entries every year, but also are fond of reading Eurovision news, learning about the participants, their countries and listening to the latest singles of former Eurovision participants. I myself got to know Eurovision through a forum called “UniversalMusic”, and started to watch it from 2008, but there are fans among us that started to follow the ESC since 2004.

  • What makes the Eurovision Song Contest different from other Talent/Singing shows like “X-Factor” and “The Voice”?

It is different for us  because Eurovision is, at least we consider it as,  a competition among countries rather than a talent show or a competition of individuals.


  • Do you have Eurovision Fan Clubs in China? Do You look at the Contest in parties or have night clubs that play Eurovision Music?

There are no ESC Fan Clubs in China that carries out activities out of the Internet. But there are fans like us that discuss everything about Eurovision online and sometimes we do have a small meetings that only three or four of us may participate, as everyone has its own life and lives in different cities all around China, so it is very hard for us to get together. On the 1st of May three of us (very keen fans) managed to get together in the city of Qingdao, China, which is also my hometown. While I showed them around the city, we also talked about our further plans, which includes future establishment of a forum, popularization of the ESC in foreign language colleges/universities, membership of the OGAE Rest of World, etc.


We can’t watch the Contest in parties because the Eurovision Song Contest begins generally at 3 a.m. Beijing Time when everybody is sleeping. And, it is hard for you to get together and find a place that you can both stay there whole night and watch Eurovision comfortably. One option are cybercafes but generally people are required to wear earphones so you can’t really share the atmosphere. Or you can just go to a cafe that runs 24 hours per day, but they are considered to be quiet places, too. As there are no media channels in China that broadcasts Eurovision live, it is impossible for us to find a cafe or disco where we can watch it through TV like the Europeans do.


There are night clubs that play Eurovision Music, but sometimes even the owner of the club and DJ don’t know that the music was once an Eurovision entry. In China you may hear the music in a night club like Lena’s “Satellite”, Ruslana’s “Wild Dances” and even Marija’s “Molitva”, but the staff generally don’t know what Eurovision is.


  • Are there any Eurovision Themed party nights in China? If yes – what are they like?

As far as I know, there are no such nights in China. That’s exactly why we are planning to popularize the ESC in our country.

However, there are lots of Eurofans in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Hong Kong people watched Eurovision a lot when it was under British rule, and most of them maintained its love for ESC after Hong Kong returned to China.

  • Does the media in China talk about the Eurovision Song Contest on Television/Radio or in Magazines/Web Pages?

Of course, China’s state TV and Media report annually about the Eurovision Song Contest, but just as a piece of news. If you search Google to find China’s news report of Eurovision you can find a plenty of websites that carry something about Eurovision. However, what the Chinese reporters care about Eurovision seems not to be its winner, but something curious (like Russia 2012, and controversies about the Israeli 2007 entries, etc.)


  • Have any Eurovision Artists ever come and played in China? If yes who came and what was the reaction from the Chinese people?

Yes, Mika Newton came to China in 2012 and performed in Beijing, and on the very first day of 2013 we saw Celine Dion and Loreen participating in a Carnival activity organized by a provincial TV broadcast channel. They were warmly welcomed by Chinese music lovers, just like other artists. A fan told me that Lara Fabian and Charlotte Perrelli have also been to China, too.


  • Are you familiar with some of the big and popular Eurovision songs from over the years?

Of course, for example, the song “L’amour est bleu” is very famous in China, it is widely played in restaurants, hotel lobbies and radios. But again, no one knows that it was once an Eurovision entry. In my childhood when I knew nothing about the ESC, I also have heard in a certain occasion the songs “Pas Pour Moi” and “Apres toi”. The recent hits we frequently hear in China are something like “Hard Rock Hallelujah” and “Believe” (Dima BIlan). Also there are songs that you can find in a KTV like “Drip Drop” (Safura) and “Fairytale” (Alexander Rybak).


  • Have you been able to see the Previous Eurovision Song Contests since 1956 on-line?

Not really, as YouTube is blocked in Chinese mainland. The only method to watch the older Eurovision editions (especially pre-2004) is that someone of us who can have access to YouTube (when somebody is abroad or with VPN or proxy they can get out of the “Great Firewall” and somehow download the file in YouTube, and then upload it to China’s video sites like youku, tudou etc.


  • What do you think of the voting system that is used at Eurovision now?

We see the reform of the voting system, especially the re-introduction of the jury voting, has not been able to solve the block-voting problem, nor has it made voting procedures more exciting and interesting. We are dreaming about one day we can actually vote in the Eurovision and our vote can be counted. Sometimes we think that it’s better that you have us Asians vote, so that there will be no block-voting or political voting, and as there are few Europeans that migrate into Asian countries, diaspora votes can’t be a problem either.


  • Do you think that current Eurovision Songs would be popular on Chinese Radio and Television? What songs could be a success?

Yes, I think after this edition, “Only Teardrops” can be a success in China.


  • Would you like to be able to see the Eurovision Song Contest live on Chinese Television like they do in places like Australia?

Yes, of course, but anyway it depends on our state television CCTV. This may be the only broadcaster in China that may have interest and enough money to buy the broadcast rights of ESC, as it is now an associate member of the EBU. But until now I haven’t seen a positive sign. We have the hope, as CCTV-2 broadcast every year the Vienna New Year’s Concert on 1 January (but not live), there should be possibility for the CCTV to broadcast Eurovision in the future. I’m not positive about the possibility for broadcast the event live, as I have stated, Eurovision always starts on 3 am Beijing Time and we don’t have a night life culture like the Americans, Europeans and Australians, so if CCTV broadcast it live I think the rating will be very poor, it’s just not worth the money to buy the broadcasting right. So we can just expect a non-live broadcast like the Vienna New Year’s Concert.


  • Would there be a demand for an Asian or a Chinese Regional version of the Eurovision Song Contest?

Yes, there are demands even suggested by some TV producers, but there hasn’t been any Chinese broadcaster that approved such demands. For example we have a fan that works in Dragon TV (Shanghai) and has written a letter to suggest to hold a Chinese version of the ESC among provinces, but to date they have not received a response.


  • How do you think the Eurovision Song Contest could be improved?

I’d rather suggest that each country present their own productions (no foreign composers or lyricists), and the voting system must be reformed again. I also suggest that each year we invite a country’s broadcaster to broadcast live the Eurovision, and vote as a guest country, and make its vote fully counted and announced in the very Contest. While it can make a little difference to the result, it may increase the interest of ESC in other non-European Countries. 


  • Do you think there should be more cultural/ethnic songs at the Eurovision Song Contest?

Yes, that’s exactly what we wish, as non-Europeans, we see Eurovision more as a cultural event than a commercial one. We consider it more as a competition among countries than a competition among broadcasters. So we’re fond of learning about the culture of each country through the Eurovision stage.

  • Do you think it would be good for each country to sing in their own National language?

Yes, I think it would be very happy for us to have listened to Azerbaijani language, for example, and even as non-language learners, we’d like to know the difference between Belarusian and Russian language, but we haven’t got this opportunity as it seems that Azerbaijani and Belarusian have never performed in the ESC in their own language despite that the two countries have been participating for years.

But practically I suggest that we permit English entries under the condition that the performer, composer and lyricist of the entries MUST be of their own countries.

We certainly thank Vincente and the team at for giving us their insight into what makes Eurovision so unique and how the contest could be grown further. Some very good suggestions that we will be passing on to the EBU for consideration. If you would like to join the Chinese Eurovision Fan Club or contact them, then here are their details



Thanks again Vincente and Team. We noticed that this year your Chinese Fans voted for their favorite Song at Eurovision 2013 and despite Denmark winning your public vote, we see that you embraced the Eurovision Logo of “We Are One” and second came “You and Me” from Switzerland. So as a thanks for your time speaking to Eurovision Ireland we give you this small treat

Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall

Source – Eurovision Ireland

7 replies »

  1. Ireland thank you so much for your interview! I just joined their forum in last year, but I’ve heard a lot about their effort to organize the Chinese ESC fan club. It’s really a reward for their working!

    • Hi Minghui

      You are very welcome. It is great to see the Chinese ESC Fan club starting to grow and if there is anything we can help with here at Eurovision Ireland – with ideas etc – you just have to ask for our help and we will be willing to do all we can.

      Greetings from Ireland

  2. Well, I can see their views are not very different from the European fans’ basis itself actually. I do want a return to national or minority languages, with some obbligation to sing in Maltese or in a Celtic language for the originally English speaking countries one out of three times (it would not kill you, as English does not do any good to you at Eurovision anymore), as the contest would get back more cultural aspects. So id do agree with them on the cultural aspect that should be stronger than the will for winning.
    And personally, I would only let the qualifiers vote in the final, with an overall unique vote for the others: it would make less impact on the voting as with so many voters the gap beetween the winner and its contenders is too big and would be resolved, creating more suspense. We could this way have the spoke persons announcing their votes fully, and not only from 8 to 12: it is so boring now !
    The only really fresh idea they have introduced is the possibility to invite a out of Europe country to have a vote in: it won’t change the results overall, but it would be greatly interesting ! I would welcome this idea personally, with the country changing every year.
    I am all the more sensible to these Chinese fans ‘arguments that I live myself in Asia, and face the same problems regarding the following of the contest, except that in the country I’m living in, there is no censorship and Youtube is fully available. But the event live broadcast (on the internet) is also in the morning and requires you to wake up in the middle of the night. And there is no fan club as far as I know where I live.

    Thank you for giving an opportunity for us out of Europe to give an opinion about the contest !

    • You are very Welcome Franck – Would you like to do a piece on your thoughts and experiences?

      Like you I think the points they made about the music and lyrics being composed by native of the country – like Estonia does

      I lobe the Idea of a rotating non Eiropeam putting in their Eurovision votes – Like Australia, China and Khaz – all have affiliated membership so it would be very interesting to see their votes and again grow the viewership of the contest – with the televote money from that country going to an ESC selected charity in that country

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