1.14 billion views. That’s the milestone Love Matters China has reached five years after launching in April 2014. Starting with just 2 staff based at RNW Media’s office in the Netherlands, the team has grown to 9 people, all based in China. It’s a young team (average age 26) who work with passion, creativity and courage in sometimes difficult circumstances to enable young people in China to understand and claim their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Using innovative digital media approaches, LM China provides easy to understand content with a pleasure positive approach that effectively engages young people on SRHR issues. The sexual health resource developed by the project team, including 8 chapters and over 100.000 words, is the most comprehensive online database on SRHR in China.
Campaigning for change
Recent campaigns included the highly successful #LOVEISLOVE. This was in response to the announcement by Sina Weibo (one of China’s most popular social media channels) of a “clean – up’ action, removing violent, pornographic and ‘homosexual’ content in order to create a ‘clear and harmonious community’ in accordance with China’s new cyber security law. LM China decided to protest the decision, launching ‘#LOVEISLOVE’. The campaign rapidly generated 4.36 million views and after a weekend of massive online protest, Sina Weibo backtracked saying it would no longer target ‘homosexual content’.
“5 years of LM China is 5 years of promotion and progress of comprehensive sex education. LM China has been discussing sex-related issues boldly, honestly and openly, and most importantly scientifically and respectfully. We can see the free discussion about sex and love consistently and constantly on LM’s platforms, and the information provided by LM China is in-depth, has an excellent gender perspective and is easy-to-understand, which is highly valuable and precious in China. LM china has promoted and enlarged the space of discussion SRHR topics on Chinese internet in China.”
-Well-known Chinese writer and sexologist Mr. Fang Gang comments on the 5th anniversary of LM China:
LM China is always willing to explore new ways of connecting with its young audience. “Let’s talk about love” was a rap song, commissioned by LM China and performed at the 5th Greater China Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Conference in November 2017, organised by Love Matters China together with the China Family Planning Association. The interactive, multi-platform conference brought together some 300 people from various sectors from across China. An additional 700,000 people joined the event online and more than 120 Chinese mainstream media organisations covered the event
Video is an important tool in the LM China arsenal with more than 46 million views on Chinese social media channels in 2018 alone. The team made a special video to mark their 5th anniversary.
Living with restrictive government policies is a fact of life for LM China. The team has developed creative strategies to ensure online content is not censored and the team has worked hard to build partnerships with established organisations, thus increasing its credibility and lessening the risks of activities being banned. LM China partners with 118 in-country organisations including China Family Planning Assocation, UNAids, UNFPA, UNESCO, Marie Stopes, Net ease and technology giant Tencent.
What next for Love Matters China?
In the coming years the team want to strengthen the platform’s leading position as a high-quality SRHR information provider with a focus on more visual multi-media content and improved engagement and moderation strategies to even more effectively reach young people. LM China will also develop advocacy strategies to bring youth SRHR needs to the attention of China’s policy makers. In order to strengthen advocacy, LM China has launched a SRHR ‘big data’ research project together with China Family Planning Association and Tsinghua University. The research will include a needs analysis of Chinese young people on popular social media platforms, an analysis of media discourse analysis on SRHR issues and an analysis of court cases relating to GBV.
“Based on the comprehensive network of social media platforms, the information on comprehensive sex-education provided by LM China is scientific, professional, attractive and fascinating. The existence of LM China has filled in the gap of sex education for young people in China.”
-Pei Yuxin, well-known Chinese sexologist and associate professor of Sun Yat-sen University
Visit Love Matters China