A contrastive study on the representation of “Made in China” in Chinese and U.S. newspapers

Yingjie Wang*, Matt Coler, Gisela Redeker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The label “Made in China” (MIC) is an essential communication tool in the economic rise of China, marking its increasing prominence in international markets with labor-intensive products and also some knowledge-intensive products. This contrastive study adopts a corpus-based critical discourse analysis approach to illustrate how the major English-language newspapers in China and the United States represented MIC between 2006 and 2018. By categorizing the high-frequency noun lemmas in the two corpora of articles on MIC, we identify seven main topics that are shared by Chinese and U.S. newspapers, but differ in frequency and in trends across time. Through examining the collocates and concordances, we find that the overall attitude regarding MIC in U.S. newspapers is more negative than that in Chinese newspapers, where the dominant attitude shifts from negativity to positivity in 2013, while negativity dominates throughout in U.S. newspapers. We argue that the ideological differences evidenced in language patterns reflect the two countries' conflicting economic interests. This study makes a contribution to the existing literature on MIC by aligning with the prior findings of a negative portray of MIC around 2007, primarily due to product safety issues, and addresses a gap by examining the repidly evolving representation of MIC in the 2010s, which is characterized by the intensified trade relations between the two countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1129376
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Communication
Publication statusPublished - 16-Mar-2023


  • Made in China
  • corpus-based critical discourse analysis
  • Chinese newspaper
  • U.S. newspaper
  • ideology


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