China.org.cn: Survey Reveals Overseas Opinion of Beijing Winter Olympics
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics came to a successful conclusion on the evening of February 20, when the Olympic flame was extinguished during a closing song. Over the course of the games, China.org.cn commissioned a specialist agency to conduct an overseas public opinion survey related to the Beijing Winter Olympics. This poll was conducted among individuals aged 20-69 in the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany(Nyheter), Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Korea. According to the data, 73.2% of overseas respondents followed the Winter Olympics to varying degrees; respondents largely viewed the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as being professional, exciting and friendly. It was also found that young people are among the most willing to come to China and learn more about the country.
Over 70% of overseas respondents followed the Beijing Winter Olympics
Those in their 20s and 30s watched most closely
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics garnered worldwide attention, especially from among young people overseas. According to the data, 73.2% of respondents said they had followed the Beijing Winter Olympics to varying degrees. The younger the respondents, the higher the proportion of people who were “very interested” in the Beijing Winter Olympics, with 75% of respondents in their 20s and 30s following the Winter Olympics.
Among those following the Beijing Winter Olympics, 81.4% followed the event on TV, far ahead of other mediums for following the games. The global viewership of the Beijing Winter Olympics reached an all-time high, setting new records in terms of broadcast duration, technology and content production, according to a press conference held for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Based on the data, respondents paid the most attention to “live competitions” as well as “medal tallies and competition results”, 53.9% and 50.9%, respectively. Star athletes, the opening and closing ceremonies in addition to life at the Olympic Village were popular aspects of the games.
High praise from overseas: Professional, exciting and friendly were the top key terms
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said in his speech at the Closing Ceremony for the Beijing Winter Olympics that “these were truly exceptional games.” In the survey, overseas respondents also said they were deeply impressed with the Beijing Winter Olympics, with the top words associated with the event being professional, exciting and friendly.
According to the data, respondents believe that China’s successful hosting of the Olympic Winter Games in the face of COVID-19 has had a positive impact mainly in the areas of “carrying forward the Olympic spirit and promoting unity and solidarity among countries” (32.1%) and “promoting sports and cultural exchanges among countries around the world” (31.7%).
Over 70% of the respondents agreed with the slogan, “Together for a Shared Future”
“We all yearn for love. So let’s go hand in hand. Together for a shared future, you and I, we can touch the sky.” As the promotional song for the Beijing Winter Olympics slogan, “Together for a Shared Future” was widely sung during the event. Statistics show that “Together for a Shared Future”, the slogan for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games, was widely accepted by the international community, with 71.6% of overseas respondents agreeing with the slogan.
“Together for a Shared Future” is China’s sincere invitation to the world, conveying the positive expectations of 1.4 billion Chinese people. Sun Weijia, Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchange of Counselors’ Office of the State Council (COSC), said in an interview with China.org.cn that the slogan reflects the harmony between Olympic values and the vision for a community with a shared future for mankind. The song is a substantial development on Olympic values by this shared community. It also stands as the best interpretation of the vision for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Yan Jiarong, Spokeswoman of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, previously said that the slogan “Together for a Shared Future” is the Chinese interpretation of the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”. “Together for a Shared Future” is about enabling every sports lover to realize their dreams.
With impressive scientific and technological innovation, the “green Olympics” became a highlight
The high-tech elements of the Beijing Winter Olympics can be seen everywhere. The science and technology along with the green and sustainable concept of environmental protection that made this Olympics possible have received extensive attention and recognition from the international community. The “High-tech Olympics” highlighted the new image of a smart China, with 35.7% of respondents believing that China is a country distinguished by rapid technological development.
Data shows that 54% and 30% of respondents reported positive changes in their impression of China’s scientific and technological innovation and ecological protection efforts. 21% of respondents said the Beijing Winter Olympics eased their concerns that China would struggle to meet its environmental commitments, such as carbon emission reduction.
Among those watching the tech highlights of the Beijing Winter Olympics, 56.3% expressed interest in China’s green power supply and 45.3% in service robots. In addition to these two items, autonomous vehicles, VR guide system, 5G+8K ultra-HD cloud broadcast, natural CO2 refrigeration systems with nearly zero carbon emissions, and hydrogen-powered vehicles accounted for over 30% of respondents.
Young people are the most willing demographic to come to China and learn more about the country
Respondents from Russia, Italy and the UK have the most favorable opinion of China
Russia (88%), Italy (78%) and the United Kingdom (67%) were the top three countries for respondents with favorable views of China during the Beijing Winter Olympics, followed by the United States and Canada (over 50%). Young people were more likely to have a favorable view of China, with 56% of respondents in their 20s and 61% of those in their 30s.
In addition, the results of the survey show that Russia, Italy and the UK account for 72%, 71% and 49% of respondents who want to come to China and learn more about it after watching the Beijing Winter Olympics. The younger the respondent, the greater willingness they expressed to visit China and learn more about China, with 53% of respondents aged 20-29 willing to visit China in person. From high-tech facilities, safe epidemic prevention measures, diverse cultural experiences, rich food experiences and friendly volunteer services, the Beijing Winter Olympics visually projected an image of China as a whole. Several international respondents expressed their willingness to learn more about China.
Beijing Winter Olympics has boosted China’s image
The bias against human rights and democracy in China has been reduced to some extent
The Beijing Winter Olympics has been the first global sporting event held as scheduled since the outbreak of COVID-19. Holding such a grand event on schedule is a landmark achievement and plays a positive role in enhancing China’s international image. Among respondents from 10 countries watching the Beijing Winter Olympics, 20% clearly expressed that their impression of China had changed positively.
By watching the Beijing Winter Olympics, respondents were found to have the highest percentage of positive changes in their impression of China’s scientific and technological innovation as well as its cultural industry, at 54% and 52%, respectively. In addition, over 40% of respondents reported a positive change in their opinion of China in the areas of economic and financial development, strength of winter sports, achievement of fighting against COVID-19 and epidemic prevention, transportation and travel, etc.
Additionally, the Winter Olympics helped dispel misconceptions about China. Shi Anbin, a professor from the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University, argued that the Beijing Winter Olympics broke the “mudslinging” common to certain Western media outlets by taking advantage of participatory and immersive means of “third party communication”. This included individuals, such as Eileen Gu, Su Yiming and Yuzuru Hanyu, the adorable Beijing Winter Olympics mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, the “robot bartender” as well as videos showing players enjoying meals and interactions with grassroots volunteers.
In this survey, when asked, “From your point of view, which misunderstanding about China could be eliminated through Beijing Winter Olympics?”, the highest percentage of respondents answered, “worries about the human rights situation in China” and “the lack of democracy in China“. In addition, overseas respondents’ misconceptions of “China struggling to meet its environmental commitment to reduce carbon emissions” and the “China threat theory” have decreased to some extent, thanks to the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Sports diplomacy, people-to-people diplomacy and cultural exchanges have played a positive role in promoting China’s international image. The Beijing Winter Olympics served as a window to understand China and allowed the world to know more about the real and lovely China.
The survey was conducted by China.org.cn and ePanel. Allowing for the number of medals each country won at the last Winter Olympics, as well as the country’s population, economic influence, intercontinental distribution and other factors, overseas citizens aged 20-69 from 10 countries were randomly sampled from the international professional survey sample database. The questionnaire design, sampling, survey and analysis were conducted in accordance with the international market research standards and ethics of the ESOMAR. The survey results reflect objectively overseas respondents’ feelings and views on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.