China is currently ranking second in the overall Olympic medal tally, so how are their fellow countrymen cheering them on at home?

This year, China’s state broadcaster CCTV resold the airing right to Chinese internet giants Tencent and AliSports, the online sports arm of Alibaba. Under the deal, Chinese people now have access to live streaming games on Alibaba-backed Youku or Tencent Video.

China is a highly mobile country, and true to form, most young people we came across completely avoided the television this Olympics. We hit up a local co-working space on Shanghai’s Nanjing road to find out exactly how China’s tech-savvy young people are watching the games.


Kangying Dong (27): a designer from Anhui

I watch the Olympic games everyday, either through the CCTV app on my phone or through the CCTV website on my laptop. CCTV5 is all about the Olympics games. It’s all free. I prefer watching the games through the computer, because the screen is bigger. I only watch when there is a Chinese teams’ match. Line 1~9 on the Shanghai metro offers free WI-FI called “Huasheng Ditie (花生地铁)”, so I use it to watch the live-streaming games on the metro. If I missed the match, I will watch the rebroadcasting on the app.


Han Lin (25): UI designer

I read Olympic highlights on my phone and watch the games on TV. My phone is a Meizu MX5 and it has an in-app called information (资讯), where I can follow up with the Olympic news. When I want to watch the game, I only watch through the TV.


Judy Feng: a Shanghainese working in eCommerce

I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics through Tencent Video on my iPad. It was rather comfortable. I haven’t watched TV for a long time.


Bon Zhengkon (26): programmer

I just read the Olympics highlight news and don’t watch videos, since I’ m very busy. I read mostly Tencent news on my laptop. I still can watch the GIF clips of the game highlights.


Ken Z (26): works at an architectural visualization company

I watch the Olympic games in real-time, through BBC live and CCTV on my laptop. I need a VPN to watch the BBC though. I watch the games even when Chinese players are not playing. I don’t use my phone to watch videos.


Jane Zhang (37): a teacher from Shanghai.

I search the Olympics games on Baidu using my laptop, and watch any video that comes out in the search results. I watch the games that Chinese teams play in. In previous years, Chinese people used to watch the games through the TV, now more people watch them through the internet.


Zhang Xin (32): working in medical industry

I watch the Olympic games through the CCTV5 app on my phone. I don’t have time in the daytime, so I watch the live broadcast at around 8p.m. and 9 p.m. I have a TV at home, but I almost never watch it. Watching TV gives me the feeling of being passive. I like watching what I like through the phone.

Yeshou Shuai (40): entrepreneur

I watched the rebroadcasting of the opening ceremony through CCTV5 and Youku app on iPad. I have no time to watch the live streaming, so I watch it at night. TV resolution is much better, of course, but it cannot beat the convenience of an iPad.

Dena Cheng (26): a secretary from Shanghai

When I’m at home, I watch the Olympic games through the TV, and when I’m outside I watch the games on my phone through Youku. I don’t watch them often, so I didn’t download the app, and I just search Youku on Safari.


Zan Peng (28): mechanical engineer from Wuhan.

I watch the Olympic games via the Aiyuke (爱羽客) app, about 10-20 minutes a day. It’s a specialized app for watching Olympic games and they have both live streaming videos and recorded videos. I have internet TV, namely Skyworks TV at home and sometimes watch the games using that.

Thea Pan (21): a student from Guangzhou

I’m a student and I live in the dorms, so we don’t have a TV. I read the Olympic news through news publications on WeChat public accounts and I watch the videos on Youku through my laptop. I don’t watch live streaming. Just when I’m interested in the game, I will watch it afterwards.

Image Credit: TechNode

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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