Manya Koetse

In short

I am a China social trend watcher and the founder and editor-in-chief of What’s on Weibo, an independent news site that sheds light on trends in China by closely following its social media, the latest digital developments & changing media landscape. I am a writer and public speaker (Sinologist&Japanologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on online media and digital trends, popular culture, and gender issues. Check out my short showreel below, or see some of my featured media work here.


The unceasing interest for languages and cultures of East Asia has been the motor driving me throughout my studies. I have lived in Beijing, Kyoto, and Singapore, and graduated in China & Japanese Studies (Leiden University, Peking University), Literary Studies (University of Amsterdam, NUS), and completed my Research Master in Asian Studies (Chinese track, with a focus on Sino-Japanese relations), before founding What’s on Weibo. On my way to pursue a PhD at Leiden University focused on the representation of the Second Sino-Japanese War in Chinese popular culture, I have now halted my PhD project as What’s on Weibo is growing into a bigger platform that requires all of my attention.

My experiences in China have resulted in an ongoing strong connection with this country, its language, people and culture. My academic interests are in social media and digital culture in China, Chinese popular culture & nationalism, along with modern Japan and Sino-Japanese relations. I am also interested in women’s & gender issues, and  like to concentrate on what is happening at the margins of (international) society.

Hotpot Ambassador

China has a great sharing culture through food, and since living in Beijing, I’ve turned into a true hotpot fanatic. Food brings people together, and this holds especially true for the dining style of hotpot. I’ve recently set up the Hotpot Ambassador blog, aiming to promote China’s ‘hotpot culture’ and share my love for hot pot, China’s rich food culture, and everything that comes with it.

Public Speaker

Besides my activities as editor-in-chief and writer, I provide my services as a consultant, researcher, and public speaker on (consumer) behavior, social trends, digital developments & new media in China. Click here for some of my featured media work. Please ask permission if you would like to use my essays, pictures or journal content for anything other than personal purposes.