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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 19, 2020

Chinese Corporate Microblogging on Overseas SNS

Exploring the rhetoric of corporate discourse

Ying Hua
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

Contextualized in the “Going Global” strategy of Chinese corporations under the Belt and Road Initiative and drawing upon the attitudinal and engagement systems of appraisal, this study aims to provide semiotic and rhetorical insights into the discursive strategies of Chinese corporations in microblogging on overseas social networking sites (SNS). The posts, made over a 15-day period by the five giant Chinese companies on the US-based SNS Facebook, are analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The results reveal that, in terms of attitudinal appeals, judgment resources are most preferred by Chinese corporations while affect resources are least deployed; in terms of engagement patterns, dialogic engagement patterns proliferate. It is explained that Chinese corporations strongly appeal to ethos and low power distance, demonstrating Western achievement-based cultural orientations, despite the existing discursive manifestations of the high-context, power-distanced, collectivistic characteristics of Chinese culture. This pragmatic and rhetorical shift elicits transculturality in a global cyber space informed by digital globalization and economic glocalization.

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Published Online: 2020-08-19
Published in Print: 2020-08-26

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