5 min read

The “Cult” of Duffy in China, Explained

The “Cult” of Duffy in China, Explained

Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

China’s Obsessive ‘Duffy the Disney Bear’ Fandom Explained

Who are you a stan of? Regardless of who you just thought of, they are likely a real person. But for many in China, the answer would be none other than Duffy the Disney Bear and his cuddly companions — wholesome idols that are certainly an improvement upon many of the country’s poorly behaved celebs.

Interestingly, Disney’s Duffy and Friends franchise has performed better in China than in many other parts of the world, even without any movies or TV features to support the IP. The characters regularly draw massive crowds to Shanghai Disneyland, especially after the global debut of their latest character LinaBell in September 2021.

From queueing as early as 3 AM to purchase Duffy and Friends plush toys to christening LinaBell as the country’s ‘national daughter,’ hardcore fans in China have adopted a near-fanatical obsession with the admittedly adorable characters.

Some fans have also developed connections with the characters, by frequently visiting the theme park and sharing their life stories to the costumed performers. A handful of park visitors have even burst into tears after being overwhelmed by emotions in the presence of their furry idols while visiting Shanghai Disneyland.

In an attempt to unpack the remarkable popularity of these characters and their unquestionably passionate fans, RADII spoke with several Duffy stans and a designer who helped create the lovable characters.

There is something genuinely fascinating about abandoned places, where the chatter, laughter, and angst of everyday life has vanished (or, in some cases, never materialized), casting a shadow of solitude over a location and opening the door for nature to reclaim it.

In the social media age, accounts dedicated to abandoned settings have found a curious and passionate audience, from the famous urban exploration (urbex) community on Instagram @itsabandoned to the remarkable success of ghost town-focused social media accounts such as Ghost Town Living, a YouTube account with more than 1.4 million followers that showcases the adventures of a man living alone in an abandoned California mining town.

Beijing-based ‘Greg Abandoned’ is our favorite of the myriad modern-day explorers visiting and documenting our planet’s forgotten places. His popular Instagram account @gregabandoned boasts an incredible selection of photographs documenting deserted spots across China and Asia, from derelict shopping malls, hotels, and Starbucks to abandoned spacecraft, airplanes, military hardware, and facilities of heavy industry.

Tap here for an exclusive interview with 'Greg Abandoned.'

Episode 2 of MMA Documentary ‘Way of the Warrior’ Is Now Online!

RADII STUDIOS has officially released the second and final part of Way of the Warrior, a two-part documentary exploring Chinese MMA fighters’ struggles, challenges, and triumphs.

While Episode 1, released on April 13, profiled both established and up-and-coming female MMA athletes, Episode 2 zooms in on two male fighters on a journey for glory in the world’s premier fight promotion — the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Way of the Warrior’s second part follows Northeast China native Song Yadong (宋亚东), a top-ranked bantamweight fighter, as he moves to the United States to train with UFC Hall of Fame honoree Urijah Faber. The film also explores the evolving journey of Tibetan fighter Qiu Lun (求伦) as he prepares for his debut on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Like Episode 1, part two of Way of the Warrior is hosted by Nicolas Atkin, a Hong Kong-based sports journalist and editor, and takes place across China and the U.S.

  • You read it here first: You can now earn dough while getting rid of your doughy middle (no thanks, Covid). Impakt is a fitness platform that aims to inspire more active lifestyles through an incentivized approach — dangling cryptocurrency before its users.
  • From ‘R&B All Night’ to ‘Mr. Bentley,’ KnowKnow belted out some of his top tracks while audience  ‘mingled’ in the virtual world.
  • Rap and K-pop fans in China have romanticized the drop, calling it a ‘gift’ from Jay Park.

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

Find us on our main site, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and WeChat (@radiichina)