Mikkola does not want to lick his audience by glowing China, but describes ordinary Finnish everyday life. In the videos, he visits the blueberry, cottages and talks about family life.
Rebekka Mikkolan the daughter proposed betting in March. The daughter was bored because the schools had just been put on a crown latch.
The mother and daughter would both make a video on social media. Getting more likes would cost another 20 euros. The daughter would put her video in a video app for Tiktok, the mother for its Chinese counterpart Douyin.
The daughter won, of course. She had posted videos before, the hustle and bustle was new to the 46-year-old mother.
However, Mom continued to make videos. The pandemic had taken jobs from a Chinese interpreter and consultant, so there was time.
Mikkola’s fourth video flew wildly. To his surprise, it garnered eight million views.
“I told you that Finland Lockdown [sulkeminen] was just the beginning and I was already walking along the walls. I asked how you Chinese endure after being at home for so long. ” Mikkola talks about the content of the video.
Now, six months later, Mikkola – or the nickname Ka Jie – has more than half a million followers, exactly 569,000. Almost all are Chinese, as Douyin in China can only be reached by downloading an app from the Chinese app store.
A civilian The number of Mikkola’s followers sounds staggering in Finnish. On the Tiktok side, at least the Ostrobothnian has beaten through ordinary Finnish people Jennifer Käld, with about five million followers, but he has been creating his some visibility for some time.
Mikkola estimates that he would have the same number of followers in Douyin if he had started someura a couple of years ago. At the time, a Westerner fluent in Chinese was more exotic.
“Now the competition has intensified.”
In Chinese, Mikkola’s follower count is good but not rare. About Chinese celebrities most followers Douyin has an actor Chen Hella, about 70 million. Some foreigners may also have more than ten million followers, Mikkola says.
Douyin is one of the most popular applications in Chinese social media and is growing rapidly. It said in August, reaching 600 million day visitors, an increase of 50 percent from January.
Mikkolan The most popular video, viewed 12 million times, is filmed in a car on a highway.
“It had three interesting things for the Chinese. I was talking about China, in the background my elderly mother was driving at a speed of 120 kilometers an hour, and it was bright outside even at 8.30pm. ”
Mikkola shows this ordinary Finnish life in his videos. He is in a blueberry and with his family at the cottage.
“I want to promote Finnish tourism and the image of Finland.”
This is natural for Mikkola, as he was a young Chinese guide in Finland for a long time.
Finnish family China connections flicker with videos. The family speaks fluent Chinese as early as the fourth generation. The language has been learned in Taiwan and mainland China.
Mikkola’s grandparents once established pharmacies in Taiwan sent by the Finnish Mission Society. Their son, Mikkola’s father, returned there to work with his wife and children for ten years. Mikkola himself lived in southern China for a dozen years, first in the service of Finnair, later managing a Chinese VIP hotel. A couple of years ago, she returned to Finland with a Chinese-speaking daughter. Over the years, Mikkola has even learned several Chinese dialects.
Mikkola’s Chinese is so perfect that he is thought to be a Chinese who has dyed his hair. When her daughter was small, Mikkola heard her glory from a woman who passed by in China: what kind of mother dyes the hair of even a small child white!
Mikkola has also told this story to his followers.
Anyone hardly knows how many foreigners are trying to gain popularity on Chinese social media.
“There are at least thousands of foreigners in Douyin alone, more and more every day.”
The huge Finnish market is attractive, as a Finnish influencer can earn well. According to Douyin, last year 22 million content producers earned a total of more than 5 billion euros through it.
Among other things, Chinese some is attracted by foreigners’ praise of China.
“Yes, I would get a lot more followers if I went to wave the Chinese flag.”
Mikkola doesn’t like licking. In one of his popular videos, he asks if it wouldn’t be worth watching the deeds rather than listening to the “I love China” vocabulary. Many foreign posters also tell nasty things about their home country, for example, criticizing Westerners for their laziness in the use of masks.
The worship of Chinese by foreign decorators is sometimes confusingly overflowing. South China Morning Post told how American Bart Baker already a year ago crossed the limit of ten million Douyin followers by singing patriotic Chinese songs and a promotional song by technology company Huawei. Coda publication in turn, examined Nathan Rich, which has been successful in barking at the Western media image of China and praising China’s actions in Hong Kong.
Mikkola pull the very other side. In Chinese, he presents good things about Finnish everyday life and culture.
He has explained that, contrary to popular belief in China, the family is important in the West as well. Grandmothers just can’t stay to care for their grandchildren in the Chinese style, as in the West, grandmothers are often still at work and not retired. Finland has good parental leave and related benefits, so grandparents are not needed so much.
“I want to talk about the unifying factors. For example, Finns and Chinese are equally bad at praising themselves, ”says Mikkola.
On the day of the interview, Mikkola clicks open his cell phone and records a one-minute video in a jar at once. She explains why she burst into tears in her previous video. He had recalled what it was like to move from China to Finland. She ponders the crying caused by her conflicting feelings.
Mikkola subtitled this video for HS readers:
Many followers consider Mikkola’s stuff to be at home, it’s like listening to a neighbor.
Something the relationship to its application is contradictory in many ways. For Mikkola, vlogging appears to be the job of young, miss-type people.
“This is kind of embarrassing,” Mikkola, a middle-aged lady from Espoo, says many times.
Mikkola did not dare to tell vloggaamisestaan Finland to anyone outside the family before more than half a million follower mark was not exceeded. The secret was revealed when he recently appeared at the Finnish Embassy in Beijing In a Facebook post.
Chinese agents have approached, but Mikkola has not taken up co-operation offers. He has agreed to advertise only one Finnish retail chain.
“Rather, I thought this would have brought me more interpretation and consultation, but this has not happened when the Corona Age has just continued.”
Mikkola hopes that his face will not be very well known in China.
“I don’t want to be the focus when I go to interpret.”
In that respect, the game may already be lost.