ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
The ReelShort app lets users watch minidrama episodes, usually no longer than two minutes each and delivered in a vertical format for easy viewing on smartphones. (Nikkei montage/Source photos by screenshot from App Store and ReelShort's website) 
Business Spotlight

China's minidrama producers set their sights on challenging Netflix

Ultra-short episodes and wacky plots help series flourish on social media

CISSY ZHOU and MARRIAN ZHOU, Nikkei staff writers | China

HONG KONG/NEW YORK -- A college student from the present time wakes up to find herself transported back to 1980s China, where she meets a pig farmer with two children and relatives plotting to take advantage of his wealth. Instantly attracted to the farmer, she not only wins his heart but uses her modern-day thinking to teach the scheming relatives a lesson. The two end up happily married.

This is the plot of one of the hottest minidramas in China during the recent Lunar New Year holiday. With each episode lasting just one or two minutes and each series generally covering 80 to 100 episodes, minidramas started to take off last year, winning viewers largely through social media platforms like WeChat and Douyin.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more