Palace Museum sweeps Internet by cultural products, self-promotion
China’s Palace Museum, also called the Forbidden City, which has a history of nearly 600 years, has unexpectedly become an “online celebrity” on Chinese Internet thanks to its efforts in cultural products and self-promotion.
While some thought that the employees of the Forbidden City only focused on their professions and seldom cared about social responses, the fact is that they also hope to exhibit their research to the public.
According to Shan Jixiang, curator of the Palace Museum, only 30% of the total area of the Forbidden City was open to the public 5 years ago. But in the last year, that figure has expanded to 76%. Now he is planning to open 80% of the palace’s grounds to visitors by 2020.
Over the last few years, the museum has established 495 signposts and 1,400 new chairs have been provided. The palace has removed 11,200 square meters of its temporary buildings and provides cold light sources in the open halls.
In addition, the Palace Museum opened an official online store on e-commerce platform Taobao, selling related products. It also started their self-promotion through new media, publishing articles to promote the culture of the museum. It unexpectedly swept the Internet by its humorous style and interesting content.
The museum created over 7,000 kinds of cultural products in 2015, making a sales volume of 700 million RMB ($106 million) in the first half of the year, a figure larger than the total volume a year ago.
In 2016, it once again set a record, offering 8,700 kinds of products and achieving a sales volume of over 1 billion RMB.
At the same time, the Palace Museum has published several mobile apps, one of which saw over 200,000 downloads just two weeks after its release in 2013.
The Palace Museum has come closer to the people, sparing no efforts to promote itself among the public since 2013.
In the last month, a total of 18,529 themed calendars of the museum have been sold online. One buyer commented that buying the annual calendar has become routine for him.
Its self-promotion has achieved great results. In 2012, the museum saw 15 million visitors. Though the daily quota of visitors has been set at 80,000, the total number of tourists still keeps rising. The Palace Museum received 16 million visitors last year.
In 2016, the museum reached an agreement with seven countries, including Egypt, India, Iraq, Iran, Greece, Italy, and Mexico, proposing for a harmonious relationship between humans and nature, humans and humans, as well as the inward world of the people.
However, Zhang Hongwei, director of the Palace Museum Research Institute, has suggested that the management of the museum stay calm amid the surge in popularity in a bid to maintain enough freedom for research.