How China’s Buzzwords Influenced Young People in Taiwan?

Country/area: Taiwan

Organisation: READr

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 12/04/2021

Credit: Liao Yuan-Ling, Wu Man-Ru, Hsiung Kai-Wen, Lee Yu-Ju, Chen Wen-Yen, Syu Siang-Yun, Chien Hsin-chan


READr is not just a data newsroom, it is also a digital innovation team. The development of information news in Taiwan media is still not perfect at present. Although the READr is only a small information newsroom, we still try hard to have an indicative impact on the development of data journalism in Taiwan.

We always hope to make breakthroughs in every topic.Without the framework of traditional thinking, the team can make the report more creative and also keep the news professional by presenting stories in a true and complete way.

Project description:

China is special to Taiwan, both politically and culturally. As China’s apps (such as Tiktok, Xiaohongshu) ,movies and drama become more powerful, more and more people in Taiwan use the terms that people in China often used, especially young people. Some young people don’t even understand why the use of these languages will be corrected. We want to quantify and trying to find out its way. We tried to use the 3.91 million articles on Dcard, a popular web forum for college students, to find out the popularity of Chinese buzzwords used by young people over the years. 

Impact reached:

In the beginning of the article, we create a quiz to allow users to test whether they can successfully identify the buzzwords are from China or Taiwan. The design of quiz echoing the silent cultural influence, this test has also caused a huge response on social media.

More than 240,000 people viewed or took this test. Some social critics wrote comments based on this phenomenon. There was also a media from China Global Times cited this report.

Techniques/technologies used:

We use Python to crawl the data of the Dcard web forum and use the R language to analyze it. We refer to the list provided by Dailyview, a big data company that has been doing research on buzzwords from China for a long time. We found out which topics these words appear in the discussion forums, and then did further analysis.

This project has two main features, a quiz, and an article. Technologies used by the quiz feature need to be considered more than the article feature. We need to record the process when the user answers the quiz, and calculate the score of the quiz. By showing the scoreboard of the user records we mentioned above, we receive massive positive feedbacks on how interesting a user can compare the score to others.

What was the hardest part of this project?

This topic has existed for a long time.Although both China and Taiwan use “Chinese”, there are differences in the writing of the text (China uses simplified and Taiwan uses traditional) and some special words. People who are particularly concerned about Taiwan’s local culture have realized this problem very early. There are even sayings such as “Policeman of China (language)” on the Internet, they often corrected the use of Chinese vocabulary and pointed out that this was wrong and should use local Taiwanese vocabulary.


In addition to data analysis, we spent a lot of time in how to quantify and how to make everyone feel its importance. Through the form of web design, it successfully presented China’s silent invasion.

What can others learn from this project?

There are two points worth learning. First, we tried to quantify the intangible influence. Next, we let readers directly experience the impact of this issue on them through an interactive way.

Project links: