342.4 million

content views in 2018

Two chinese young lovers

Popular platforms

Launched in 2014, Love Matters China aims to empower Chinese young people especially college students and young professionals in big cities to claim their sexual health and rights and enjoy good sexual and reproductive health. With innovative state of art media approaches, Love Matters China develops multiple digital platforms to facilitate young people’s engagement, creates easy-to-access content on love, sex and relationship, and builds communities of scale. The sexual health resource developed by the project, including 8 chapters and over 100,000 words, is the most comprehensive online database on SRHR in China.

Love Matters China

meeting a massive demand

Social taboos, conservative morality, legal restraints and misleading information plague the field of sex education in China today. There is a massive demand for reliable, evidence– and rights-based and sex-friendly information in China.

Almost half of Chinese people between ages 18 and 30 are not given sex education at school, according to research carried out by Love Matters China and Beijing Forestry University in 2014. Another study, conducted by Love Matters China via online survey in 2017, shows that 95% of Chinese young people recognise the importance of sex education in school but 65% of them are not satisfied with the current situation.

Love Matters China was established to serve these people – and to address the 78% of young people who recognise the internet as their primary source of information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

1.52 million

followers

A hybrid approach

Taking into consideration the cultural values of the target audience and Chinese media landscape, Love Matters China uses a hybrid approach, combining a responsive site with a great number of popular Chinese social media platforms, such as WeChat and Weibo, where young Chinese interact.

Love Matters China is one of the most popular online spaces to discuss SRHR issues in Mandarin. In 2018, the team focused on increasing their visual and multi-media content and Love Matters China’s videos were viewed more than 46 million times on various channels.

© LOVE MATTERS | Rita Lino

Awareness change

In order to challenge social norms on sexual rights issues, Love Matters China has a strategic focus on the topics of gender-based violence (GBV), rights of LGBTQ+ persons and gender equality. Love Matters China aims to raise young people’s awareness and knowledge on these key issues and empower them to make informed and respectful decisions.

A successful social media campaign on LGBTQ+ issues in 2018 pushed Chinese internet gate keepers to change their policy. Sina Weibo, one of China’s most popular channels announced a clean-up action, removing violent, pornographic and ‘homosexual’ content.  Love Matters China decided to protest the decision, launching ‘#LOVEISLOVE’. The hashtag rapidly generated 4.36 million page views and 27,000 engagements. And after a weekend of massive online protest, Sina Weibo backtracked saying it would no longer target ‘homosexual content’.

A favourable environment

Working together with a variety of media and advocacy partners, Love Matters China supports media to convey an inclusive discourse on young people’s SRHR, provides trainings to mainstream media professionals on how to use evidence-based SRHR information and collects data to build evidence to foster a more favourable social and policy environment for young people.

In 2017, Love Matters China conducted an online survey on comprehensive sex education in Chinese schools together with China Family Planning Association (CFPA). The research report was shared with the Chinese authorities with a call to actively use the internet and new media to engage with young people and fulfill their SRHR needs.

In 2018, Love Matters China launched the first SRHR big data research project together with China Family Planning Association and Tsinghua University. The draft research report has been formulated and will be finalised and shared with external stakeholders for advocacy in 2019.

Peng Xiaohui, professor of China Huazhong University and director of the Sex Education Committee of China Sexology Association comments on the project and its event:

‘This is the best event I’ve ever seen which is filled with advanced theories and best practices from all China, and I am so impressed by the liveness and vitality of the young people participating in this event. I have seen the success of the Love Matters China project and your project team member are rigorous, highly professional, and meticulous and full of vigor.’

Partners

Love Matters China has established partnership with approximately 118 different organisations, including INGOs, grassroots NGOs, media organisations and universities and research institutions. Representatives of the Love Matters project are also regularly invited to conferences and seminars – organised by bodies such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Discussions are currently underway about continuing cooperation with these UN agencies.

Love Matters China was invited to give a speech at the TEDxNYUShanghai in 2018. The speech ‘The story of a sex educator’, was delivered by web editor Yue Wang. Yue discussed the struggles and pains she had when she was a teenager wanting sexual pleasure, given that sex and women’s pleasure are still taboo in Chinese society, and how working for Love Matters changed her professionally and personally.

An introduction to Love Matters (Chinese channel)

Explore the possibilities on love, sex and relationships

Would you like to join us in creating safe spaces for young people to make informed choices to have safer, healthier and happier sex and relationships? Please contact us to explore the possibilities.