From Internet Memes to Emoticon Engineering: Insights from the Baozou Comic Phenomenon in China

  • Xiaojuan MaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9733)


Baozou comic, a.k.a. rage comic internationally, has been widely used as a form of visual communication of emotions in social media, advertisement, entertainment, and many other domains in China. In particular, Chinese netizens have converted this type of Internet memes into emoticons and use them extensively in Instant Messaging applications. This paper discusses the potential socio-economic context of the Baozou comic phenomenon in China. Baozou comic is a unique combination of cuteness and parody, and can serve as a vehicle to convey out-of-control, subtle, complicated, or hidden emotions. Its ugly aesthetics reflects the self-perception of a new generation of Chinese Internet users. The grassroots emoticon engineering process, including easy production, replication, and customization, also contributes to the growing popularity of Baozou comic in China. Analysis on miscommunication over Baozou emoticons reveal some related issues such as the need to balance ambiguity and emotional depth in expressions.


Internet memes Baozou comic Rage comic Emoticon Stickers 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong

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