Born and raised in China, 25-year-old Yuhao Feng moved to the United States when he was 19 years old to study business administration at Northeastern University in Boston.
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Five years later, Fengis one of the most influential Chinese bloggers in the United States and the voice of Boston’s Chinese student population.
More than forty-five thousand Chinese people subscribe to his social media platform, LoveBos, making his site the largest of its kind in the northeast and the third largest in the country. Whether he’s blogging about a restaurant, hotel, tour or destination, Yuhao’s review is heavily considered by Chinese Bostonians when deciding where they will ultimately spend their money.
Metro caught up with Feng for insight into how he connects Boston's growing Chinese community and the secrets to his LoveBos's success.
"The website is kind of a news source for the Chinese community," said Feng, who lives in Chelsea and has a full-time marketing career. "I feel I have a huge responsibility to keep [the Chinese population] informed."
Feng launched LoveBos in January 2012 to create an online resource for both Chinese students in Boston as well as others living and working in the city.
The blogger came to the US in 2009, and quickly learned that he had a passion for the city of Boston.
"I thought I knew Boston well enough, but there seemed to always be new places to explore. I hoped there was an online resource for the Chinese, but there wasn't, so I thought, 'Why not start my own?'"
The site, which is written entirely in Mandarin, attracts an average of 100 new followers per day, according to Feng.
Why is it so popular?
"The Chinese population seems to be growing in Boston. When I entered Northeastern [University] I didn't see many Chinese students, but after a couple of years, half the people in the student center were Asians," said Feng. "Plus, there are just not many Mandarin resources for that population. Chinese students don't usually read English papers or watch English TV. We still watch Chinese shows online, and we even use Chinese subtitles."
That may be why so many of his Chinese followers latched onto a Mandarin news source, said Feng.
But LoveBost isn't just about news.
Much of Feng's work focuses on the Boston lifestyle. He reviews restaurants, bars and other hot spots.
His blog posts on Boston Duck Tour, Frost Ice Bar and the New England Aquarium earned a combined total of more than 118,000 views, 213 reposts and 102 comments.
Comments included remarks like, “I didn’t know there was a place like this in Boston, will try!” and “I will recommend this to all my friends” to “My ‘to do list’ is becoming longer” and “This will be the first stop if my family come(s) to Boston.”
"Most of Chinese will go to Chinatown, and they'll have no idea what's happening in the North End, or in other Boston neighborhoods," Feng said.
In addition to LoveBos, Feng spends a lot of time connecting with Boston's Chinese population on Sina Weibo.
"When the [Boston Marathon] bombing happened, some friends were there and immediately told me I should post about it [onSina Weibo]. In a very short time it was taking off like crazy. Followers were saying, 'If you didn't post about this, we wouldn't have known the details so quickly," he said.
According to Business Insider, the Chinese platformresembles both Twitter and Facebook. Users are also limited to 140 characters for their posts, which allows for more depth than Twitter because 140 characters in Chinese is closer to 70 or 80 words in English.
"I love connecting with the Chinese community. Even if I don't know them personally, we share this great experience of living in Boston. I am trying to be a bridge to connect these people with businesses here. It benefits both sides," said Feng.