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The Impact of the Olympics: Jay Wang

March 27, 2009

Jay Wang

Jian "Jay" Wang studies international corporate communication and public diplomacy and teaches public relations at USC Annenberg's School of Journalism. He previously taught at Purdue University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has published extensively on corporate social responsibility practices in emerging economies, Chinese corporate communication, health care branding, and corporate public diplomacy initiatives. He wrote Foreign Advertising in China: Becoming Global, Becoming Local and co-authored China's Window on the World: TV News, Social Knowledge and International Spectacles. He is a member of the USC U.S.-China Institute executive committee.


This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Click on the play button above for Jay Wang's presentation on the Beijing Olympics.

There’s no doubt that the 2008 Beijing Games affected international perceptions of China. The image projected and responses to it were also the subject of satire, as can be seen in this South Park clip:

The Games might be seen as offering the following plotline:
            prelude and exposition (Beijing wins the games and begins preparations)
            complications build suspense (challenges for the organizers include air pollution, protests and threatened boycotts, controversies involving competitors)
            climax (the successful games)
            anticlimax and flashback (the milk powder scandal)
What did the Games mean to China? Successfully hosting the games was a statement of “Yes, we also can!” It boosted national self-confidence and produced a remarkable level of civic engagement. It brought ethnic tensions to the fore and was part of a nationalist response to human rights/Tibet-related demonstrations outside of China. The Games may have also raised the expectations Chinese have of their government to solve China’s many pressing problems, including the massive economic downturn. 

Click here to return to the USC Beijing Olympics conference page.