‘Go online’ strategy

Having spent around a year to develop an online digital project that exhibits legacies in the “Sutra Cave” of China’s Mogao Caves, it has recently launched its international version, allowing users mainly in Europe to virtually experience the rise and fall spanning more than a millennium of the cave that is also known as the Dunhuang Library Cave. 

A screen shot of a 3D image depicts a

A screen shot of a 3D image depicts a “wine ledger” relic discovered in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

Due to its cultural importance and extreme fragile nature, the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, Northwest China’s Gansu Province, already underwent digital restorations early back to the 1990s. Led by the Dunhuang Academy, the site’s “go-online” strategy, however, is always updating along with rapidly progressing China’s digital technology.

‘Dunhuang Library Cave’ 

The “Sutra Cave” is one of the Mogao Caves that is more commonly known as “Grotto No.17.” The Dunhuang culture boasts 45,000 square meters of mural arts and more than 2,000 painted sculptures, yet Grotto No.17 that is also dubbed as the “Dunhuang Library Cave” still seems to be an “unfamiliar gem” to most people, Zhao Xiaoxing,  director of the Literature Research Institute of the Dunhuang Academy said. 

“It has witnessed Dunhuang’s history during the 4th to 11th centuries. If other grottoes have depicted Dunhuang’s culture through images, then the ‘Sutra Cave’ tells Dunhuang’s story with words and texts,” Zhao remarked. 

Since April 2024, overseas users are now able to get access to the “unfamiliar gem” by clicking on the website of “Digital Dunhuang.” 

Including the introductions to relics, all information on the website have been translated into English and French. 

Prior to it going international, in March 2022, the Dunhuang Academy partnered with Chinese technology giant Tencent to develop the online digital cave program through a “cloud gaming” technology. 

Compared to traditional digital projects that mainly allow people to browse relics online, the gaming approach allows viewers to be at the virtual Mogao sutra cave. It is like the script play themed on “Dunhuang,” and viewers have six roles to choose from, and they can also interact with eight non-player characters in the game.  

The project was carried out under the instruction of China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA). It was entirely technology-oriented to have adopted other methods like high-definition digital scanning and AI technologies starting from its first step of collecting organic site’s data. 

Recalling scenes of Mogao Caves’ digital journey from the 1990s to the present, Su Boming,  director of the Dunhuang Academy said that it has progressed from “collecting and restoring digital data” to “seeking creative data applications.” 

According to Yu Tianxiu, deputy director of the academy’s cultural relics digitalization institute, the academy has completed the digital photographing of around 278 caves and 3D reconstruction of 145 painted sculptures until 2022. 

Such a change is commended by cultural heritage management expert Dou Siming as the “2.0 version of relic digitalization” in China. 

“The fact that such projects can be achieved in China is inseparable to the country’s digital innovative industry and non-cultural Chinese company’s growing sense of cultural responsibility,” Dou emphasized. 

In April 2023, the program debuted to domestic Chinese users. Around 1.4 million users were seen tapped into the project’s online mini program, within which more than 400,000 of users have experienced the digital Dunhuang Library Cave online. 

“Through such digital creative projects, we discovered that the popularization of Dunhuang culture increased massively, far more than what we had imagined,” Su emphasized. He also revealed that the academy is willing to cooperate with digital companies to continue other projects like the “cloud tour at Dunhuang.” 

Cultural creative industry expert Yao Yu told the Global Times that such a new academy-corporation collaboration mode can shed light on sectors of “public cultural education, and help the industrial upgrading of technological companies.” He emphasized that more and more Chinese technological companies are starting to realize the “importance of cultures.” 

“We help in not only bringing the country’s non-renewable cultural resources to life, but also by promoting Chinese culture globally,” said Guo Kaitian, senior vice president of Tencent. 

“We are taking an exploratory step in exchanging the Chinese civilizations with the world, and also dedicate to promoting mutual learning between different cultures,” Guo remarked.  

Zhao Xiaoxing (left) shows and introduces the replicas of documents unearthed from the Dunhuang Library Cave to a journalist at the Dunhuang Art Gallery in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu Province. Photo: VCG

Zhao Xiaoxing (left) shows and introduces the replicas of documents unearthed from the Dunhuang Library Cave to a journalist at the Dunhuang Art Gallery in Lanzhou, Northwest China’s Gansu Province. Photo: VCG

Nationwide efforts 

Adopted by not only the Mogao Caves, the Yungang Grottoes in North China’s Shanxi Province has also experimented on the “digitalization + relics” programs marked by a milestone that in 2012, a digital research department was officially established as part of the heritage site. 

Over years of developments, the site has made achievements like successfully collecting data of the grottoes’ façades, and also completed a sensational digital project in 2023, to which the site’s statue of Amitabha from the Cave No.3 has been 1:1 3D printed and made into a replica to be displayed at Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province. 

“Around 10,000 photos of the original cave were taken in order to create a digital model,” Wang Shanshan, an insider with the project told the Global Times. 

“Cultural relics are like doors closed, and the technology is the key to opening these doors,” Hang Kan,  director of the Yungang Research Institute told media.

Tourists gravitate to color floral seas throughout China

Visitors enjoy peony flowers at the Jingshan Park in Beijing on April 22, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

Tourists are drawn to the colorful floral scenery across China as spring is in full bloom. Peony blossoms of different colors adorn parks in Beijing and Henan province. Purple bluebonnets in Kunming, Yunnan province, and pink cherry blossoms in Changchun, Jilin province, also attract many visitors.

‘She-economy’ unleashes market potential at consumer expo

Visitors experience makeup products at the China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, capital of South China’s Hainan province, on April 15, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

As previous consumer expos, “She-economy” has always been one of the hottest topics and a driving force to unleash consumption potential.

The “She economy” elements include a dazzling array of jewelry, different kinds of beauty care products and fashion week shows at this year’s China International Consumer Products Expo or CICPE, in South China’s Hainan province. Let’s take a look together.

Growing international events call for more sports presenters

Li Zichao (right) conducts an on-court interview with US tennis player Sofia Kenin during the WTA Guangzhou Open in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Photo: Courtesy of Li Zichao

Li Zichao (right) conducts an on-court interview with US tennis player Sofia Kenin during the WTA Guangzhou Open in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Photo: Courtesy of Li Zichao

As a major sports powerhouse, China has witnessed a growing number of international sporting events across the country in recent years, attracting more and more foreign athletes and sports enthusiasts to the country.

Outside of the dazzling athletes and their record-breaking performances is a world that exists alongside the world of athletic performance but is often overlooked – sports presenting. 

Beyond merely announcing names and scores, a sports presenter shoulders the responsibility of managing the ambiance within the arena, transforming mere spectators into fervent supporters and elevating the overall sporting experience. 

When sports presenting is involved, the atmosphere becomes electric and dynamic. Be it the thrilling anticipation before the start of an event, the captivating analysis during the event, or the jubilant celebrations after the event, good sports presenting adds layers of excitement and engagement to the experience. 

As the industry has emerged from obscurity, it has been propelled into the limelight by individuals like Li Zichao, whose life journey illustrates the multifaceted nature of this evolving profession.

Li was among the crew of sports presenters at the Hangzhou Asian Games held in 2023, who often made headlines on social media for the engaging content they provided to audiences. But his career in sports started in a sport far removed from indoor competitions like table tennis. 

Golf challenge 

Having majored in grassland science at the Beijing Forestry University, Li had an early connection to golf, a sport in which lawns and greens are essential. 

“I started my career as a golf commentator in 2008, and since then, I have developed broadcasting skills and knowledge in the sport,” Li told the Global Times. 

Sports presenters often need to research and compile information about upcoming games, teams, players and relevant statistics as Li underscored. Strong research skills are important for providing accurate and insightful commentary.

“A deep understanding and passion for sports are essential. You should be knowledgeable about various sports, teams, players and events. This includes understanding the rules of different sports and being able to analyze and commentate on games effectively,” Li said. 

Fans cheer for the Chinese national table tennis team during the Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in September 2023. Photo: VCG

Fans cheer for the Chinese national table tennis team during the Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in September 2023. Photo: VCG

Different from many other sports with a double-digit number of athletes, in golf, Li often has to prepare the background information of 144 athletes, which calls for a huge volume of home work on every athlete. 

“The presentation isn’t just about relaying information; it’s about weaving together stories, stats, and emotions to transport viewers into the game,” Li noted.

Golf is a game that requires a lot of focus and concentration. Any noise or distraction can disrupt a player’s mental state and affect their performance, thus giving presenters very limited time to conduct their jobs.

“Unlike more fast-paced sports like soccer, basketball, or any other indoor sports, the action in golf can be subtle and spread out across the outdoor course,” said Li, who is now preparing his presentation content for the Volvo China Open golf event from May 2 to 5 in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province. 

“Presenters must be mindful of the timing to avoid disrupting players or spectators while still providing engaging commentary and analyses.”

Engaging with audiences

Similar to Li’s story, Dou Yujia also excels in sports presentation. 

After years of news coverage on the development of Chinese athletics, Dou now takes on sports presenting at large events, like the World Athletic Diamond League race in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian Province. 

In athletics, sports presentation often involves audio-visual effects, including music, videos, commentary, and lighting, thus making it easier to engage with audiences in the stadium. 

“Chinese athletics boasts impressive competitive achievements and China has a plethora of world-class athletes,” Dou said. 

“If we can develop a sporting culture through sports presenting that audiences could enjoy, especially with the presence of many children nowadays, they can enjoy top-notch athletics culture from a young age and learn about spectator etiquette, which bodes well for the future development of Chinese athletics.”

Li also seeks to inspire and mentor the next generation of sports presenters, nurturing a cadre of young enthusiasts eager to explore the intricacies of this burgeoning field.

Yet, the journey from novice to seasoned sports presenter is fraught with challenges and demands diverse skill sets. 

It requires not only a profound knowledge of sports but also an innate ability to captivate audiences and infuse each moment with excitement and anticipation. 

“Proficiency in both Chinese and English is essential, enabling seamless communication with a global audience as the audiences are often exclusively from China,” Li said. 

Sports presenters also serve as ambassadors of Chinese culture, incorporating elements of tradition to captivate foreign participants and spectators alike.

To better achieve that goal, Li opts to consult with local experts on how to share particular elements with an international audience.

“For many foreign athletes and spectators, watching a sporting event is also a chance to learn the local culture, thus making our job a perfect channel to disseminate the rich culture of China,” Li said.

With the forthcoming 2025 Asian Winter Games set to unfold in his hometown of Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Li, who was included as an ice hockey presenter for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, also aspires to contribute his expertise to the local event. 

“Witnessing spectators express their satisfaction with the sports presentation I’ve given truly validates the significance of my work,” Li said. “I just hope to have more opportunities to offer the audience quality content through sports presenting.”

Semiconductor industry booms in E China’s Shandong province

A staff member works on the production line of a semiconductor production company in Yangxin county, Binzhou city, East China’s Shandong province on April 1, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

The semiconductor industry booms with increasing number of orders from home and abroad in Binzhou city, East China’s Shandong province.

Staff members of a local semiconductor company are geared up to manufacture products in order to meet the market demand.

Since the beginning of this year, Binzhou city of Shandong province has been focusing on strengthening industrial chains, filling gaps and extending chains to accelerate the cultivation and development of new quality productive forces.

The city is striving to build a semiconductor industry ecosystem and enhance the cluster of advanced manufacturing industries by providing precise services through policy support, resource integration and talent attraction.

Currently, the annual production capacity of automotive components in the city exceeds 6 billion units, with a product failure rate reaching part per hundred million level.

The products of the company are exported to more than 30 countries and regions including the European Union, the United States and Japan.

Encountering Phayre’s leaf monkeys in Yunnan

Well-known for its rich biodiversity, Southwest China’s Yunnan province serves as an important genetic reservoir for both animal and plant species. The province is currently home to 542 species of wild plants and 386 species of wildlife that are under first-class state protection.

In the lush forests of Mangshi, a county-level city in Yunnan, lives a troupe of Phayre’s leaf monkeys, totaling around 320. This is currently the largest known population of Phayre’s leaf monkeys in a single region within the country.

Phayre’s leaf monkeys, characterized by their petite size and gentle nature, are under first-class state protection. An array of protection measures have been taken since their discovery, creating a favorable living environment for the monkeys.

Watch the video to find out more about these cute creatures.