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No Harlem Shake in China (Yet)

Over the past 2 weeks the Harlem Shake meme spread all over the Internet. The hype seems to be a bit over by now, at least I don’t see that many new mentions in my feeds anymore. When companies like Pepsi start to release their own Harlem Shake video ads you know the hype is probably over the top. On the other hand, the song just hit the #1 position on iTunes today and even my kids are now jumping up and down to the Baauer music – my fault, I showed them a couple of the videos over the weekend and they liked it so much that they now keep on shouting Harlem Shake instead of Gangnam Style.

Interesting is that I did not see many Harlem Shake mentions in social media feeds from Chinese friends, so out of curiosity I did a quick search on Tudou and Youku. It turns out that for the search term 哈林摇 there are only less than 300 videos on both sites together. Harlem Shake gives a few more hits, but also these seem to be only foreign-made videos. And just 3 of them have over 100,000 views, which is very low for Chinese video sites. As a comparison, while I am writing this YouTube gives 8.5 million search results for Harlem Shake and the current top video compilation has been watched 13 million times so far.

Either the Chinese are a bit behind on this one or they just don’t like it. My take is that because the dance videos spread during the height of Chinese New Year many Chinese may have missed it, but that the hype may still come. Not that I am waiting for it, I have actually seen too many versions of the dance over the past days already. In case you missed the whole phenomenon, below a compilation of the best Harlem Shake videos on YouTube.

A compilation of Harlem Shake videos on YouTube

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  1. Thanks for letting me know about the video, will change to a different one tonight.
    Regarding TechinAsia, just saw their post but find it very weak. The fact that they found 3 Harlem Shake videos that were made in China is proof that it’s taking off here? There are still just a few hundred videos on Youku and Tudou, that’s nothing compared to the US.