As the world ground to a halt this year due to the COVID pandemic, have you wondered what it would have been like to get through this without the internet? No working from home. No late night Zoom calls. No livestreamed church services. No online learning. No “contactless” meal or grocery deliveries. The list goes on. If you’re anything like me, you are probably getting tired of all of the above while at the same time marveling at and being grateful for the technology that allows us to do all of the above.
China set the precedent for “locking down” society, so people there are no strangers to online living. There was already a robust online delivery system in place before the coronavirus. Churches, schools, and other activities also migrated online.
A mainland Chinese friend of ChinaSource recently shared with us a list of online Chinese and foreign platforms that are commonly used in China for streaming, learning, and convening.
With one exception, we at ChinaSource do not have personal knowledge of these platforms, nor is their inclusion here either a recommendation or an endorsement. Each individual or organization seeking to host or participate in online events with friends and colleagues in China will need to do further research to determine which platform is most suitable.
This platform allows for up to 1000 participants, with three speakers for a per-event fee. Charges are based on the number of participants and the length of time. There is also a yearly contract with unlimited participants. The English interface is “not ideal.”
This platform allows for up to 20,000 participants and four speakers. Yearly contracts are available, with different price ranges for different numbers of participants. There is no English interface.
This platform charges per participant, with no limit on the number. Up to 12 speakers are allowed. There is an English interface.
This platform has a limit of 500 participants, with fees based on the number of participants. It allows for seven presenters. There is no English interface.
This platform has no limit for participants, and allows for 16 presenters. Fees are based on the number of participants. There is an English interface.
This streaming platform has no limit for participants, and allows for up to nine presenters. Fees are based on the number of participants. There is no English interface.
This is one of China’s most popular video sharing sites. It is free for both “streamers” and viewers. There is no English interface.
This platform is designed for online work collaboration and meetings. It is free, with a limit of 302 participants. There is an English interface.
This has become one of the most popular online meeting and conferencing platforms during the global health crisis. Even though there have been some glitches in China and there are security concerns, it remains popular in China. There are different fee structures depending on the number of participants.
This is a Verizon platform designed for mobile working and video conferencing. There are different fee structures depending on the number of participants. Their events function allows for up to 50,000 attendees.
This is a platform designed for mobile working and video conferencing. There are different fee structures depending on the number of participants. They also have a specific webinar function.
If you’re looking for a platform to conduct your events or meetings, or stay connected with friends and colleagues in China, hopefully this list will give you a place to start.
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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