What do fighting robots and hip hop have in common? According to the CEO of media company The Makers (创客星球), Archie Ru, they’re both niche interests with the potential to gain big audiences among China’s youth.

Ru’s referring, of course, to how hip hop fever swept the nation after streaming platform iQiyi released its surprise hit show Rap of China last year. The series kickstarted previously unknown artists’ careers while introducing new fashions and phrases to Chinese audiences.

This past April, Ru’s company partnered with streaming site Youku to launch a tech-centered reality TV show, This Is Fighting Robots (这!是铁甲). With over 1.8 billion hits and favorable online ratings, it may not be as viral as Kris Wu’s face but it could make robot combat cool again.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.