What’s behind the Barbie mania in China?

A promotion for the movie "Barbie" is pictured on a giant screen outside a shopping mall in Beijing.
A promotion for the movie Barbie on a giant screen outside a shopping mall in Beijing on July 20, 2023 [Greg Baker/AFP]

The Barbie movie has dominated the box office in China, in a year when many other United States movies have not performed well in the world’s second-largest film market. Barbie outperformed movies like Mission Impossible and the films from the Marvel franchise. It has been eagerly received for its message, raising a question of whether it flew under the radar of the country’s media censors.

So, what’s behind Barbie’s success in China?

In this episode: 

  • Yifan Yu (@YifanYuNews), tech reporter for Nikkei Asia
  • Marrian Zhou (@ZhouMarrian), US-China relations reporter for Nikkei Asia

Episode credits:

This episode was produced by Chloe K. Li and our host Malika Bilal. Khaled Soltan fact-checked this episode.

Our sound designer is Alex Roldan. Our lead of audience development and engagement is Aya Elmileik. Munera AlDosari and Adam Abou-Gad are our engagement producers.

Alexandra Locke is The Take’s executive producer and Ney Alvarez is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.

Special thanks to Ben Li.

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Source: Al Jazeera