Glossary of Terms in Chinese Fandom Culture

Let’s go through popular terms in Chinese fandom culture that might be helpful for you. 

This article will be regularly updated.

Last updated: 20 May 2021


Fandom Culture

We’re in the same fan circle.
  • Fan circle (粉圈): fandom.
  • Friend circle (朋友圈): when a C-citizen mentions his/her friend circle, he/she is most likely talking about his/her Weixin (Wechat)’s feed.
  • Team (团队): a team that manages and supports a celebrity’s activities. A team usually includes a manager, a personal assistant, a stylist, a makeup artist, a bodyguard, a driver, etc.
  • Studio (工作室): a studio could be considered an independent company with all team members dedicated to a specific celebrity. It can be established by the celebrity’s management company or the celebrity him/herself. Celebrities with their own studios usually have more freedom and power in the decision-making process related to their careers.
  • Chase stars (追星): the act of fangirling/ idolizing a celebrity including following and supporting them in all activities. Starchaser (追星族) has a similar meaning to “fans.”
  • Super Topic / Chaohua (超话): a feature launched by Sina Weibo, where people with the same interests gather together to form their own circles. In this chaohua, fans can discuss and communicate with one another, or even with celebrities.
  • Comment control (控评): fans occupying all top comments (which could take even several pages) on posts or articles related to their idols, flooding with all the praises and idols’ achievements in order to suppress negative or unfavorable comments to the bottom and drive the public opinions to more positive views of their idols. 
  • Comment-control station (控评站): a central station that initiates the comment directions and compiles all the relevant posts on time so that fans can quickly control the comments. 
  • Anti-black (反黑): fans’ attempts to correct or report malicious news, rumors, comments, etc. about their idols.
  • Anti-black station (反黑站): a central station that compiles all the relevant links on time so that fans can quickly correct or report malicious news, rumors, comments, etc. about their idols. 
  • Public square (广场): refers to Weibo’s “public square” which is a search result page where you can see all original posts related to a celebrity after searching the celebrity’s name (in many variants) on Weibo’s search bar.
  • Wash public square (洗广场): refers to fans posting a large number of original posts with their idols’ names (in many variants) to push negative posts down to the bottom of the search results. Washing public square is fans’ attempts to prevent negative posts from affecting the image of the celebrity in the eyes of passers-by.
  • Tear / Sibi (撕逼): “tear” as in “tearing each other apart” which describes two sides attacking each other and exposing each other’s shortcomings. It usually refers to fan wars.
  • Climb a wall (爬墙): refers to a fan who already has an idol but starts to like another celebrity (or other celebrities), and eventually gives up on his/her original idol. 
  • Nue fen / abuse fans (虐粉): deliberately showing unfavorable situations of celebrities to make fans feel distressed, win their sympathy, and trigger them to support. The most common stories are: the company mistreats and takes advantage of our idol; his/her colleagues are trying to hurt him/her; our idol is injured while working hard; our idol is exhausted physically and mentally; etc. This tactic doesn’t only urge fans to contribute more to their idols, but also stabilizes the fan base and prevents fans from unstanning.

Fan Types

Bp has no human rights.
  • Bp / Baipiao (白嫖): literally means “white prostitute” referring to people who don’t spend money and don’t work hard to chase stars. It is often said in the fan circles that “bp has no human rights” or “bp is not qualified to speak,” because, in some people’s perspectives, fans who say that they like the idols without doing anything substantially beneficial to their idols are not considered fans.
  • Professional fans (职业粉丝): refers to those who take being fans as their profession and source of income. There are several levels of professional fans: the most common is level 1 – people holding up posters and shouting names of celebrities to build momentum; level 2 professional fans’ tasks are creating posts about celebrities on popular websites or personal blogs; the highest level professional fans can even have the celebrity teams’ contacts in order to connect and guide fans, organize donations, and produce promotional materials following the teams’ directions.
  • Dashen (大神) / Dada (大大) / taitai (太太): addresses online authors, artists or active users who have expertise in their topics and are respected by many people. Dashen (literally means deity) is basically an Internet slang for guru or expert. Dada is often used to address any gender while taitai is used to refer to women. Taitai is also an honorific to address married women.
  • Big fans (大粉): fans who have many followers on their (mostly Weibo) accounts and thus, have a big impact on many events of the fandom. In order to earn the fandom’s trust, they must be very active and involved in many events, spend a lot of money, and produce high-quality posts. 
  • Official Fanclub / Hyh (后援会 – Hou yuan hui): a leading organization representing a fandom which is usually established by a group of fans gathering together and recruiting new people to support and promote a celebrity. They have certain decision-making and economic power in the fandom. Official Fanclubs are more professional nowadays as they establish contacts with celebrity teams in order to manage the fandoms’ operation following the teams’ directions.
  • Stalker fans / Sisheng (私生): similar to Korean sasaeng, sisheng are obsessive fans with extreme and crazy manners. In order to satisfy their selfish desires, they follow, peek and secretly photograph idols’ personal lives as well as non-public schedules. 
  • Fansite masters / Zhanzi / Zhanjie (站子 / 站姐): they’re dedicated fans who follow their idols to take stunning photos and share them online. They’re also the organizers of many fan support projects. Fansite masters and stalker fans both have the celebrities’ itineraries through various sources, but fansite masters only follow public work schedules which allow fans or the general public to attend including public airport schedules.

More fan types in Types of C-biz Fans You Should Know


Shipping Culture

Is that you when people talk about Danmei?
  • Danmei (耽美): Chinese BL (Boys’ Love)
  • Baihe (百合): Chinese GL (Girls’ Love) 
  • Yanqing (言情): Chinese BG (Boy & Girl’s Love)
  • CP: couple
  • CPF (CP粉): shipper
  • Funu / Funan (腐女 / 腐男): refers to women/men (respectively) who like danmei or male-male love in general.
  • 1 / Gong (攻): the top/seme
  • 0 / Shou (受): the bottom/uke
  • Sugar (糖): couple’s hints/moments
  • Ke CP / Ke sugar (嗑CP / 嗑糖): savoring the sweetness of sugar that the CP exudes when interacting with each other.
  • kswl (嗑死我了- Ke si wo le): a fangirling expression which can be interpreted as “they’re too sweet, I’m dead.”
  • Blood sugar (血糖): a CP sugar made up of an unfavorable condition of one party in a CP. For example, one person is seriously injured but is ignored because of the CP interaction; there is a big gap between the popularity of the two parties so the less popular will be benefited from the more popular; etc. Since these are considered blood-sucking, “ke blood sugar” is ke-ing sugar while sucking blood.
  • Locked (锁了): refers to the close relationship between two people. “A is locked with B” or “this CP is locked” means that the two people have such a close relationship, they’re locked together and can’t be separated.
  • Szd (是真的 – shi zhen de): literally means “is real”- “AB szd” means that “AB is real.” 
  • YY (意淫 – yiyin): initially refers to sexual fantasies, but now it mainly refers to fantasizing about good things that are almost impossible to achieve, such as seeing your CP getting married. 
  • Eat vinegar (吃醋): feel jealous.
  • Meat (肉) / Car (车) / H: sexual scenes (usually in fanfiction).
  • Evil cult CP (邪教CP): generally refers to the unpopular/unofficial couples, which correspond to the official/popular couples. It also refers to couples formed of two people or characters who have nothing to do with each other.
  • Single dog (单身狗): a self-mockery of the singles on the Internet.
  • Dog food (狗粮): couple’s public display of affection.
  • Feed dog food (撒狗粮): a couple publicly showing affection in front of singles.

Related Post: Glossary of Terms in Chinese Showbiz


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