Week #1 The People’s Republic of YY

Luke Brown

I’m sorry just give me one more year… please just one more year.

A defeated Big Li pleads to a faceless audience (The People’s Republic of Desire, 2018)

Hao Wu’s 2018 documentary The People’s Republic of Desire paints a grim picture of a new digital reality. Following a glimpse into the lives of those at the very top and bottom of the YY social scape. Wu shows us an increasingly isolated society that upon closer inspection begins to resemble its very own kind of corporate dystopia.

YY is a leading real-time video-based social network in China. During a stream users can join the audience, participate in a shared chat room, and purchase virtual tokens to gift to the host. These hosts can, in turn trade these virtual tokens for real money. As streamers become more popular, they attract greater numbers of followers, receive more gifts thus increasing the money they…

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