July 25th, 2013
09:22 AM ET

How are Chinese feeling?

For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN. 

It's tough to read the mood of an entire nation. But even tougher with the traditionally stoic Chinese. Is the national mood cheery or glum? Are they as a nation excited or mellow?

Now we have a way to know, because the so-called Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics is now serving as a sort of national mood ring. Artist Jennifer Wen Ma and designer Zheng Jianwei have coated the building with LED lights that change based on how the Chinese people feel.

How do we know? Big data, of course, from China's Web users of which there are nearly 600 million. Each day, software analyzes millions of emoticons – you know, those smiley faces or frowny faces, or just odd faces from sites like Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. They analyze data, then control the pace and brightness of the lights. Fast pulses for a more excited populous, a softer glow for a calm country.

Next, new world meets old world. The colors, yellows, reds, blues, purples are determined from the ancient Chinese text, the I Ching.

What it may lack in precision in explaining China's exact national mood, it more than makes up for in beauty.

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soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. John

    How is the West feeling? The West lost Hong Kong to Chinese. China does not allow much business there, while Chinese have many businesses in the West. Thats not the way it goes. The West wants Hong Kong back, or no business with Chinese! The West want feel like a winner, not loser.

    July 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Game

      Hong Kong is Chinese. Hong Kong is stolen, because China was weak from the opium war.

      July 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • Joseph McCarthy

        How true that is, Game. In fact, there war two opium wars between Great Britain and China which China lost both due to the vast superiority of British firepower. Then other countries jumped in and exploited China's natural resources to no end and by 1900, China was deeply impoverished which in turn, led to the unsuccessful Boxer Rebellion in which ten of thousands were tortured and then killed! Nowadays, a lot of ignorant people keep senselessly ranting against the Chinese!

        July 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Maersk

      John, the Chinese must have hacked into your azz. As a result, your azz is still bleeding and you lost your virginity, otherwise, you won't be opening your kwok zucking mouth and utter bullzhit.

      July 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Rising China

      Perhaps what is meant is that Hong Kong was STOLEN from China (Qing Empire) through Unequal Treaties as a result of the Opium Wars. Britain subsequently had to hand stolen goods back to its rightful owner.

      What is the bet John is an ignorant Republican in need of an education?

      July 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
      • George patton

        Well put, Rising China. I wouldn't be at all surprised if John was also a Tea Partier as well as a right-wing Republican on the take. So many are nowadays!!!

        July 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    I see the mood is rather glaringly blue.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  3. Tadesse

    The Chinese are out smarting the west because of their qualities of being capable of containing a one state two system solution. There are no likes of Hang Kong in the West and Cuba like Taiwan, is too hot to handle. Here is a good joke; try Canada to emulate the Chinese...

    July 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  4. ravenjcold1976

    Reblogged this on jjcgomez77 and commented:
    It's tough to read the mood of an individual...

    July 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  5. Mario

    Nevertheless, we can not care about Chinese, and forget about ourselves. We mean, we still need jobs, success, security, ...such as Western NATO alliance, ... and we have unemployment, non-functioning government, false media. Hong Kong was built from Great Britain, for the West to have a stronghold in Asia. Now, USA is talking much, but fails on every step (i.e. bankrupt DETROIT, ...). The West still needs to keep together, otherwise it makes no sense to believe in USA, NATO, EU alliance.

    July 26, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      You're right about all but one thing, Mario. We don't need NATO as it has become dominated by the right-wing thugs in Washington plus this right-wing drivel about the West needing to "stick together" as it is threatened by no one. We need to let our crony "allies" in Europe fend for themselves for a change!

      July 26, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
  6. Chukwuemeka

    In my opinion the Chinese feel they are on top of the world now, and its true. From Africa to Syria, Egypt there are no political and economic decisions to be taken without their input. Now, we need to ask; how are Americans feeling?

    July 27, 2013 at 1:49 am | Reply
  7. globeharmony

    Do Americans care about what Chinese feeling? Hardly. Just look at the blame games instigated by U.S. against China on a frequent basis.

    Only the delusional think that Chinese feel they are on top of the world now. Chinese are working hard to provide their families with better living and better education. They still have a long way to go. Their view and their feeling of America are on the decline and we all know why.

    July 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Well put, globeharmony. Thank you.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:37 am | Reply
  8. letspronounceitright

    The work Mr Zakaria referred to should be pronounced Ee jing, not Eye Ching.

    July 28, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  9. Steven

    The West wants Hongkong back. We cannot do business with Chinese, if the West has a losing position. Great Britain is one part in the NATO alliance, and that means that NATO alliance members need to protect Great Britain and Western Interests.

    July 29, 2013 at 5:54 am | Reply
    • Really?

      ^ Imperial nuts in the US does not bid well for it's future.... Hope that people like you don't EVER reproduce, so ignorant of history. Hong Kong was, is and WILL be a part of China. Doubt you even know where Hong Kong is....

      July 30, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
  10. vistar hornbill

    I think there is no glum or any sense of impeding economic disaster. This good feeling about the future is one which is further enhanced as China embarks on improving its HSR, road networks, and most exciting for rural Chinese folks is the roadmap to build 300 eco cities In China. In the works are plans for millions of modern low cost public housing style after Singapore's sucessful public housing system.And of course these cities would be driven by cheaper and cleaner energy

    July 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
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    August 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
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