Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan, known for unconventional, semi-fantastic novels set in China’s countryside, made an appearance on Thursday at the 2019 iQiyi World Conference in Beijing.

On stage, the 64-year-old writer spoke in sweeping terms about the progress of technology and entertainment over time. “Things that could only happen in mythology now happen in reality,” Mo said. The author, who has faced censorship in the past, also spoke of potentially transforming his words into new forms of media.

Somewhat whimsically, he concluded by imagining a multi-sensory experience where an audience member, viewing a roast chicken on the screen, could also get a whiff of its savory smell. While less ambitious, iQiyi CEO Gong Yu stated earlier in the day that the platform saw potential in pursuing AR and VR technology for the platform.

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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.