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Chinese-Language Media

The emergence and development of Chinese-language media is another important indicator of the maturity of the Chinese community.

The ZCBA launched the first Chinese-language magazine, Qiao Sheng, in 2005. Its aims were to “serve Chinese in Zimbabwe, exchange information among Chinese community and build bridges between Chinese and Zimbabweans”. It carried news of the ZCBA, the Chinese community and Zimbabwe. It was short of funds, articles, and professional designers and editors, so it published only two issues before closing. In 2011, ZCBA launched another magazine, Gei Li, which suffered the same fate.10

Chinese-language media made a breakthrough in 2014. On March 30 of that year, Zimbabwe Chinese Web was established by the ZCBA. This aims to “serve all Chinese in Zimbabwe, provide news and information to them and create a spiritual home for them,” and it carries “Zimbabwean news, ZCBA’s news, policies and regulations, Chinese literature, and commercial information. ” It has become the most important source of news for new Chinese immigrants in Zimbabwe.11 On December 1, 2014, the Zim-times Wechat Offical Account (Zim-times) was launched by Zhao Ke, the acting vice chairman of the CFZ. On December 13, 2014, another Wechat Offical Account, Zimbabwe Chinese Web, was launched by the ZCBA.12 The main contents of these two are very similar: Zimbabwe’s political, economic and social news; news of the Chinese community; and information concerning business and daily life. Up to now, both have more than 1000 subscribers and have become the most convenient way for new immigrants to get news.

Quite a few online chat groups have also been established by Chinese associations, which play a more and more important role in the lives of new Chinese immigrants.

So with residence and economic activities concentrated in certain areas and the establishment of Chinese associations and Chinese-language media, the Chinese community in Zimbabwe is taking off. The community offers new Chinese immigrants greater support and new opportunities to integrate with Zimbabweans. For example, in November 2014, the Chinese living in the Mount Pleasant district established a Chinese Joint Defense Group (CJDG) with the help of the ZCBA. The CJDG went on patrol at night with the district’s police, not only to protect their own interests but to make a contribution to the neighborhood. As a result they have been praised by the police, and their images in the community have improved. The Chinese- language media also help new immigrants, especially those who cannot read English, to learn more about Zimbabwe’s politics, economics and society. This helps newcomers to respond better to changes in Zimbabwe and avoid misunderstanding or conflicts.

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