Why do millenials in China love Peppa Pig?
If you’re a parent, the words ‘Peppa Pig’ will probably ring a bell for you. Maybe you even have the familiar theme tune running through your head right now! Peppa’s puddle-jumping adventures as a kids’ TV cartoon have won her fame with children around the world – not least in China, where she has been watched billions of times online.
But surprisingly, it’s not just kids in China who are paying attention to Peppa. In the few years since the UK-made cartoon character made it to the Middle Kingdom, many young adults there have outed themselves as Peppa fans. Her face has appeared on t-shirts, Peppa watches have sold out online, and many a Peppa emoji has been used as a reaction message on Chinese social app WeChat.
We were intrigued by this story at Panda Radio and decided to talk to two people who have some personal experience of the Peppa phenomenon: Beijing-based writers Biyi and Yan, editors of the website Elephant Room, which aims to make China more relatable to a broader audience. “Until last year, Peppa Pig was just a genuinely good kids’ cartoon to us,” they explained. “But at the end of last year, we started to realise there might be a ‘Peppa for adults’ forming in China.”
So just how did Peppa get big in China? Why are some adults so obsessed with her? And what does that say about being a twenty-something in China today? Listen again to Catherine’s interview with Yan and Biyi on East Meets West to find out.