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The latest Chinese “god song” (an Internet term to describe pop songs that spread virally through Internet) is still stirring fierce debate between those who viewit as a milestone for Chinese pop music going global and those who regard it as bad for China’s image.
On Sunday, Little Apple, written and performed by the Chopsticks Brothers, won the AMA International Song Award and the duo performed the song at the 2014 AmericanMusic Awards in Los Angeles. Another Chinese pop singer, Zhang Jie, won the International Artist Award.
But while fans of these singers are hailing the awards and the performance by the Chopsticks Brothers at the AMA gala as significant, there are others who are less enthused. They have questioned the value of the awards and what effect it will have on Chinese culture’s “going abroad”, claiming it may leave foreign audiences with a poor impression of Chinese pop music, and even Chinese contemporary culture.
The Little Apple phenomenon, both domestically and internationally, can be more easily understood and judged if we look at it from a business perspective rather than a cultural perspective.
The professional promoters behind the duo have developed a clear strategy to promote the duo and their work, not just this particular song. Little Apple was originally released to promote the duo’s film Old Boys: TheWay of the Dragon.
From the very beginning a viral marketing strategy was used to promote the song, which immediately went viral on the Internet due to its repetitive rhythm, easy-to-remember lyrics, simple and funny dance and, most importantly, grassroots nature. The video accumulated more than 1 billion hits on China’s major video website.
Although, the song was generally dismissed by music professionals who criticized it as musical “junk food”, Little Apple’s domestic popularity paved the way for promoting the duo internationally.
Besides performing at the AMA gala, the duo has also cooperated with the popular South Korean girl group Tara on a Korean version of the song.
Also the AMA’s awards are generally decided by public votes, which means they