The premiere of ‘Panda Wandering’ received praise, and ‘Panda Anchor’ sparked a ‘Panda Wind’ craze

SICHUAN, CHENGDU, CHINA, July 4, 2023/ — On the night of June 30th, the inaugural program of Panda Wandering, a groundbreaking bilingual show intertwining reality and virtual reality, simultaneously premiered on Sichuan TV, Sichuan Observer, and was propagated across major platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. It is the first of its kind to hail from China.

China’s first digital Panda Virtual Anchor, affectionately known as “Bei Bei”, officially joined the cast, rapidly captivating a multitude of audiences both domestically and internationally. The fascinating segments such as the “Global Personalities” section, summer freshmen welcome at Sanxingdui, foreign journalists visiting Sichuan, and notably the British internet sensation, Toby, touring the Ma’an Road Zongzi Street, and the love story of Burak, the foreign son-in-law in China, have all contributed to stirring up a wave of cultural fascination characterized as “Guo Feng”, “Shu Feng”, and “Pandamonium”.

Enthusiastic netizens from across the globe have lauded the show for its “novel format, high-quality production, and profound cultural resonance, which leaves one utterly spellbound”. One Sichuan expat studying abroad remarked, “Seeing a show from my hometown gain international popularity is a surprising and proud moment.”

Panda Wandering employs a novel format featuring a bilingual broadcast led by an English-speaking female anchor, along with an AR panda co-host. The show innovatively blends thought-provoking content with artistic expression, and intertwines virtual and real-world scenes. The program spotlights the vibrant lifestyle, rich culture, and international exchanges of Sichuan, offering a glimpse into an open, internationally-minded Sichuan, and a diverse, multifaceted China.

On the content front, Panda Wandering astutely divides the show into two key segments: “Panda Pursues the Hotspots” and “Panda Observes”. The former segment goes beyond typical news coverage, delving deeper into the highlights and splendid moments of international activities related to Sichuan. It uncovers lesser-known backstage stories, while employing a variety of visual techniques such as documentary-style tracking, aerial filming, time-lapse photography, and animation synthesis. This segment uncovers the fresh vitality, charm, and fun of an open-minded Sichuan, inviting the audience to experience a diverse and vibrant region.

The latter segment, “Panda Observes”, alternates between an AR host and an international perspective to present a comprehensive, vivid, three-dimensional, and authentic view of Sichuan. This segment is further divided into three units: “Savoring Sichuan”, “Story Collection”, and “Screening Room”. Not only does it keep the audience informed about current hot events and significant incidents occurring in Sichuan, but it also showcases the natural geographical features, historical cultural landscapes, and local gastronomic customs of Sichuan. Through mini documentaries and narrative storytelling, the show presents the dynamism and charm, openness, and inclusivity of China from an international perspective. Additionally, it uses video compilations to explore the extensive historical culture and present-day life, conveying a sense of tranquility and longevity.

Each 35-minute episode of Panda Wandering might seem small and exquisite, but it carries a large capacity and strong sentiment. The show insists on opening up broader horizons through narrow entrances, telling big themes through small stories, and delving deep into the heart of the people’s lives and emotions. It paints a touching panorama of the Chinese people and people from around the world getting to know each other, showing mutual trust and respect on the vast land of Bashu. This effectively conveys today’s China, which with an increasingly inclusive attitude, faces the world, embraces it with a more open posture, and contributes to the world with its vibrant cultural achievements. As for the future performance of this “Digital Panda”, let’s continue to observe.

Abigail McLeary
Beijing Hi La Ni Hao Culture Media Co., Ltd.
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