Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 309–323 | Cite as

A new China: Media portrayal of Chinese mega-cities

  • Efe Sevin
  • Emma Björner
Original Article


During the last two decades, China has started to leave its closed-door policies in the international arena behind, and has shown signs of participating in the global economy. Politically and economically, China has been developing further relations with the rest of the world. The country points to its mega-cities in its official 5-year plans to facilitate and execute the outreach attempts. In this article, we analyze the media representations of two of these mega-cities – Beijing and Shenzhen – with the objective of understanding how their brand images are portrayed and whether these portrayals are in line with the Chinese objectives. We focus on the media representations by arguing that international print media is a crucial platform that has the potential to influence the brand reception of audiences. Consequently, we analyze the volume and subject of Beijing and Shenzhen in English language Chinese and international print media outlets. We evaluate the coverage through a place branding framework. The findings of this research suggest the low-level and narrow coverage of the print media hinders the potential of these cities to become world-renowned centers and help facilitate Chinese interaction with the rest of the world.


ncity branding China Beijing Shenzhen mega-city combined place categories 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Relations and InformationCibali / IstanbulTurkey

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