‘Property talk’ among Chinese Australians: WeChat and the production of diasporic space

Ge Zhang, Wilfred Yang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the ways the Australian property market is addressed among Chinese migrants in Australia on and off WeChat, one of the most popular instant messenger apps installed on Smartphones. Specifically, we focus on how migrant media and real estate professionals’ narratives on real estate properties constitute and reproduce a transnational Chinese diasporic space between China and Australia. Although the latest wave of ‘property talk’ is relatively a new concept to the mainstream Australian societies due to the housing price boom since 2012, talking about land and property ownerships has always been integral part of Chinese diasporic culture. Yet, with the advent of digital media technologies, this cultural conversation is increasingly being delivered, processed and experienced through digital platforms such as that of WeChat. Drawing on observations on WeChat and interviews with Chinese media and real estate practitioners in Australia, we conceive that WeChat plays a vital role in forging and reproducing Chinese diasporic spaces in Australia by articulating the intersection of diasporic spatiality and mediasphere. We contend that WeChat’s affordances of the informational, interpersonal and instrumental have aided Chinese migrants and those Chinese real estate practitioners to co-constitute a social space of property talk that enables new social relations to be negotiated and social networks to be established and reinforced across China and Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53–65
Number of pages13
JournalMedia International Australia
Volume173
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chinese diaspora
  • migrant media
  • migration studies
  • real estate
  • WeChat

Cite this