The meteoric rise of modern Mandopop

by Gwyneth Cheng

It’s almost February, and our Chinese radio stations are ready. They know what their audience wants: traditional feel-good Chinese New Year songs, mixed with a good number of the best Mandarin hits of the decade—the perfect package for listeners to loudly sing to in their cars as they drive around between house visits.

The gramophone and the birth of Shidaiqu (時代曲; 1903–1920s)

An illustration of a gramophone

Mandarin pop music goes overseas (1930s–1950s)
Taiwanese Mandopop takes the spotlight (1970s–1990s)
The beginning of 21st Century Mandopop (2000s–2010s)
The music we hear today
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Code / Bianchi Dy
Illustration / Griselda Gabriele
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