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From the Pub: China Today

Geraldine Laybourne ’69, AAVC president and co-founder of Oxygen Media, and Huang Hung ’84, often called “China’s Oprah,” recently met in Vassar’s famed Alumnae House Pub to discuss politics, the media, and design trends in China today. In this video, Hung shares her insights on the cultural consequences of China’s rapid economic ascent.

This conversation between two of the most influential women in media is the second in a series of “From the Pub” offerings organized by the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development (OAAD) in collaboration with the Office of Communications.

View the conversation with Huang Hung ’84.

Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, Hung is the CEO of China Interactive Media Group, a company that publishes iLook, China’s foremost lifestyle magazine, and the creator of Brand New China (BNC), a high-end boutique that showcases the talents of Chinese designers. Also an author, blogger (with 4 million followers), actress, and talk show host, Hung is often called “China’s Oprah.”

When asked by Laybourne what Americans need to know about China, Hung said, “I think one of the biggest misunderstandings by Americans about China is that China is communist. It’s not. It’s Chinese. China has been an authoritarian society for the past two thousand years. … We’re taught, ever since we’re little, to respect authority, to bow to authority, to submit ourselves to authority—and it’s not a communistic thing. Nobody ever said, ‘Because Marx told you so.’ It’s more, ‘My dad told me so, and my mom told me so.’” But with China’s economic prosperity and the rise of the middle class, she says, those values are beginning to change.  

Find out what else Hung has to say in this fascinating and provocative discussion.

—Julia Van Develder

Photo © Vassar College-Evan Abramson ’00