Standing in/out

The platformization of Tencent’s TME Live in post-pandemic China


  • Weida Wang University of Liverpool



platform, Tencent, TME Live, biopolitics, COVID-19, streaming, music industry, China, popular music, digital, technology


As the first country to experience the outbreak of COVID-19, China’s music industry reacted quickly to the change of the musical context. On 10 March 2020, China’s biggest music company Tencent Music Entertainment Group announced the launch of its music livestreaming concert brand—TME Live. It is understood that through its online live concerts, TME Live uses multi-scenario, innovative performance and digital audio-visual technology to create a panoramic environment for online musical performances, through which TME Live connects musicians and communities of fans. Through this model, Tencent Music Entertainment Group provides musicians with a full range of services, including customized performance styles and an immersive performing experience. Without the impact of Western dominated social media, China’s online music streaming platforms have developed their own biopolitical logics and characteristics in building up online music community and data connectivity. With the case study of TME Live, this article sets out to investigate how China’s major online music streaming platform survives, transforms and adapts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author Biography

Weida Wang, University of Liverpool

Dr Weida Wang is a Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Music at the University of Liverpool. His previous research focused on the Western classical music industry in the context of post-socialist China. Weida is currently working on projects about digital platformization of music, neoliberalism, and biopolitics of cultural production.


Agamben, G. 1998. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Baranovitch, N. 2003. China’s New Voices: Popular Music, Ethnicity, Gender, and Politics, 1978–1997. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Gillespie, T. 2010. ‘The Politics of “Platforms”’. New Media & Society 12/3: 347–64. DOI:

Gold, T. 1993. ‘Go with Your Feelings: Hong Kong and Taiwan Popular Culture in Greater China’. The China Quarterly 136: 907–925. DOI:

Huang, Y. 2020. ‘Behind the Screen of “Ultra Live”, How Much Business Imagination Does TME Live Have?’ Online at (accessed 23 February 2021).

Kloet, J. de, J. Lin and Y. F. Chow. 2020. ‘“We are doing better”: Biopolitical Nationalism and the COVID-19 VIRUS in East Asia’. European Journal of Cultural Studies 23/4: 635–40. DOI:

Liu, X. 2020. ‘What Does It Mean to Suspend Antitrust Investigations against Tencent Music?’ Online at (accessed 3 February 2021).

Ren, S. 2020. ‘Tens of Thousands of Performances in the First Quarter are Cancelled or Postponed. Can Online Music Live Broadcasts Work?’ Online at (accessed 24 May 2021)

She, E. 2020. ‘Ending the Copyright War, the Changes in the Numbers of Tencent Music are Intriguing’. Online at (accessed 5 February 2021).

Xu, Z. 2020. ‘Rainie Yang Hosted a Super Live Show of Nearly 1.5 Million People at TME Live on White Day’. Online at (accessed 24 May 2021).

Yi, B. 2020. ‘Tencent Music’s Online Music Subscribers Reach 50 Million, and the Rate is Increasing Steadily’. Online at (accessed 5 February 2021).

Zhang, L. 2020. ‘The Bands’ “Winter”: How Chinese Independent Music Labels “Break the Ice” under the New Epidemic’. Online at (accessed 24 May 2021).



How to Cite

Wang, W. (2021). Standing in/out: The platformization of Tencent’s TME Live in post-pandemic China. Perfect Beat, 21(1), 56–62.