British Natural History Museum livestreams to Chinese audience

The British Natural History Museum partnered with Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy to hold a livestream for Chinese viewers on January 13.

The livestream featured notable exhibits and explanations from the museum’s scientists. Viewers were given virtual access to the Treasure Hall which covers the 4.5 billion-year history of the earth and the world-renowned dinosaur hall.

The livestream marks the first natural history museum to feature in Fliggy’s “Traveling in Europe” series. Due to the impact of the pandemic on international travel, cultural institutions have been looking for new ways to appeal to global audiences and, in particular, China’s 169 million annual overseas tourists. In 2020, several European museums, including the Louvre, British Museum, Prado Museum and The Palace of Versailles, held streams with Fliggy.

The livestream gained 61,600 views and ranked 22 in the Humanities and Arts category on Weibo. The Natural History Museum has no accounts on Chinese social media so Stephen Ellison, the newly appointed British Consul General in Chongqing, helped to promote the livestream on Weibo. Ellison was chosen as he gained a wide following on Weibo when a video of him diving into a river to save a young Chinese student went viral on social media in November.

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