Chinese Migration to Russia as Revealed by Narratives in Chinese Cyberspace

Artem Rabogoshvili


The article provides a seminal analysis of the electronic resources in the Chinese cyberspace devoted to the labour migration of Chinese people to Russia. The author focuses on the online narratives and media stories published on three types of electronic resources – government websites of the northeast provinces of the PRC, online reports by the Chinese news agencies, and postings on bulletin board systems (BBSs) in order to find answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the role of Chinese migrants’ narratives circulated via different electronic resources on the Internet in the reproduction of the state-regulated imagination of Russia? 2. To what extent have different types of electronic resources (government websites, news agency websites, BBSs) been used to renegotiate this imagination? The research has revealed that the websites of PRC government bodies tend to convey a rather consolidated understanding of Russia as a destination country, frequently publishing the narratives of successful migrants online. The mass media reports tend to provide regular coverage of a broader range of themes related to migration, including those related to the legal and economic vulnerability of Chinese labour migrants in Russia. The semi-anonymous and non-official character of the bulletin board system in turn has allowed its participants to make enquiries about or engage in the discussions of aspects of migration that would never be covered or described in detail by official sources such as government websites.

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