How Do Chinese Street Food YouTubers Robustly Communicate Cross-Cultural Tourism Destination?

Introduction

Media convergence has opened access for viewers to watch anything from other parts of the world in a global society (O'Sullivan & Fortunati, 2021). However, the new media is much more than a technological shift in the lives of individuals, groups, and the international community. Behavioural changes occur at the individual, group, and societal levels, in addition to changing the forms of industrial relations, institutions, target market genres, global audiences, and the massive application of communication technology (Jenkins 2019). In the process of this change, this paper captures a cross-cultural aspect in the building of understanding between nations. With the proliferation of online channels and the world's digitisation, citizens are becoming more connected and bound to each other, and cultural creations belong to everyone.

YouTube is a pioneering platform for broadcasting and sharing video content and is the second largest search engine after Google. Its growth in 2021 reached 4.9 percent, and until the end of 2022, according to Statista data, the number of YouTube channel users is more than 2.6 billion people per month worldwide, and most of the viewers are aged 15-35 years (www.globalmediainsight.com). YouTube has grown to be a global channel that replaces domestic television and cable television. Viewers in various parts of the world with easy accessibility choose to spend their free time watching and picking their communication content on YouTube rather than sitting in front of conventional broadcasting. This change in media consumer behavior has shaken up the world of TV broadcasting and created a new generation of stars (Stokel-Walker 2019). Globalization is spinning faster with the presence of young people who fill in and master creative content on YouTube, especially Millennials and Generation Z.

Each cohort or generation has a distinct social identity and characteristics that shape the values of its members. These habits and ways of thinking to influence the attitudes and behavior of people in each age group. Generation Y and Generation Z are often considered the most talked about senior and junior Millennials. Gen Y and Z are the most significant YouTube users from a cohort perspective. Thus, YouTube's creative content can be referred to as the creative work of Millennials and Gen Z as digital natives.

In contrast, seniors such as Baby Boomers and X-ers are called Digital Immigrants (Prensky 2004). Gen Y, a group born between 1982 and 1994, is often labelled the “The Generation Y”, a group born between 1982 and 1994. "Me" Generation, with technology as part of everyday life where all activities are mediated by screens (Gerhardt & Peluchette 2018). Meanwhile, Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2010, are often called Centennials with five characteristics not shared by other cohorts, such as the generation of digital linguists, social networkers, global collaborators, life-stage adapters, and sensory engagers (Madden 2019).

Millennials and Centennials are the two dominant cohorts of users of the YouTube channel, and they are prosumers or act as producers-consumers simultaneously (Toffler 2022). The activities of prosumers are increasingly massive with the digitalization process in convergence media, which allows every user to become an equal participant in forming new values as a culture (Jenkins & Ito 2015), especially on the YouTube channel. Thus, more and more consumers and producers are joining forces to collaborate because participants can share experiences, data, and knowledge that anyone can share.

Various similar studies have suggested the role of Gen Y and Gen Z in social media interaction, including YouTube. However, this document provides a different perspective, especially on the role of Millennials and centennials in their concern to strengthen friendships between nations by promoting tourist destinations in various parts of the world. This article explicitly analyses the content of street food on YouTube from the Chinese mainland that is created and shared by Millennials and Centennials for all viewers. In contrast to several previous reports, some research is still limited to the matter of language translation for specific viewers, such as YouTubers in Korea who precisely translated Chinese into Korean for viewers in South Korea (Chung & Wang, 2021). Similarly, YouTube content is intended as a cross-cultural learning resource to learn Chinese as a foreign language (Kao et al. 2022). However, awareness of bringing together mutual understanding between nations is also carried out as a form of cross-cultural affinity and fosters conversations to be negotiated through YouTube meetings. Furthermore, previous research has focused more on YouTube activities as a product marketing communication channel for the Gen Z target market (Duffett 2020) as a common way of understanding consumer behaviour. Other studies have tried to analyze the YouTube channel as a model for a cultural approach to combining Asian and Western cultures (Zhang 2018).

The uniqueness or specificity of this paper lies in several things as a novelty that needs to be mentioned, namely the activities of YouTuber prosumers in creating and sharing street food journey content in mainland China for viewers around the world to watch. In this context, there is a process of transculturization in media convergence through the YouTube channel initiated by Millennials and Centennials. Another uniqueness is that Chinese food, promoted by young people with the non-Chinese language of instruction, has grown into a marketing communication channel for mainland Chinese tourist destinations. Next, cultural identities such as food, architecture, fashion, language, and events are raised in cross-cultural creativity, reflecting Chinese culture's customs.

This research focuses on the activities of YouTubers creating and broadcasting street food and cultural content by visiting mainland China. YouTubers are young people from various cultural and national backgrounds fluent in two or more languages. Mandarin, English, Indonesian or Malay, and French. This research presents several research questions. How do cross-cultural interactions occur between street food buyers and sellers in various cities in China? Second, how do YouTubers study and choose Chinese heritage, architecture, artefacts, and cultural context backgrounds to communicate? Third, what are the verbal and non-verbal marketing messages of YouTubers for Chinese street food products? And finally, how has Chinese food become transcultural and can be bought and enjoyed worldwide?

Literature Review

Cross-cultural Communication and Social Learning

Culture is defined as a combination of human thoughts from one group with other humans from other groups who have different beliefs, values, and norms as conventions in each group, making it an identity (Hofstede 2001). The perspective of this article adopts the framework of cross-cultural communication theory to analyse interactions and exchanges in the interpersonal environment between individuals from different cultures. Individuals communicate as a representation of their cultural group, so Gudykunst (2003) identifies intercultural and cross-cultural communication as segments of intergroup communication. The cultural diversity between groups is is directly related to the the norms and rules that influence communication behaviour.

People share content and interaction between two or more social networks for specific purposes, including sharing information and entertaining each other. The exchange of information between two or more participants or representations of a social system can reduce anxiety and uncertainty to create mutual understanding between those people (Chung 2019, Gudykunst, 2005). Meanwhile, the concept of culture itself consists of values, beliefs, customs, mindsets, and models for understanding and interpreting messages within a social community. Information takes place naturally to build cross-cultural understanding.

Cultural elements are divided into online content to be seen, understood, and socially adopted by other cultural groups. People who previously felt like strangers to each other accepted and understood each other. This global interaction process is accelerated by young people's activities on YouTube. In the social learning process, environmental factors, including the media, play a role in interacting and sending messages to each other to be understood as a learning process that will ultimately influence human actions and behaviour. The social learning theory put forward by Albert Bandura emphasises the importance of observing, modelling, and imitating other people's attitudes, actions, behaviour, and emotional reactions (Bandura & Walters, 1977; Rumjaun & Narod,, 2020). Social learning occurs by combining production and distribution as ideal channels for creating, connecting, collaborating, and circulating widely. According to Jenkins (2019), audio-video social networks incentivise young people to act as creators of media and social networks. In online channels, it is not just intercultural interaction, but social learning and the formation of communities with the same interests as the dissemination of information and knowledge between individuals (Ting 2023). Platforms such as YouTube, social media, and live streaming create a participatory culture in which young people develop, interact, and learn socially.

Social Construction of Reality and Identity Through Food

Several theories from the constructivist or postpositivist landscape frame this paper to prioritise inductive qualitative content analysis. Interaction and communication in street food tourist destinations are seen as part of the construction of social reality that involves online media regarding how people collectively build their understanding of the world. Meanings in social groups are developed in an integrated manner in social aggregates and not in the world of objects, so that social interaction is seen as a loom for structuring social order (Leeds-Hurwitz 2009). Berger and Luckmann (2011) state that continuous interactions and actions in social groups and individuals in the social strata system create concepts as mental representations, become accustomed to these concepts, and the growth of social roles reciprocally.

Communication theory of identity (CTI) proposes a broader conceptualisation of "identity" than just individual and personal aspects, stating that humans are social creatures. People interact and communicate within and between groups, build relationships, and maintain the continuity of communities with characteristics often considered homogeneous. Therefore, according to Hecht (2009, p. 139), "identity and identification are key processes through which people and groups orient themselves towards each other and the world around them." Typical food is the social identity of social groups in tourist destinations and even becomes the property of the owner. Liu et al. (2019) found a strong relationship between social identity and food, even including values of norms adhered to and behaviour in social groups.

A person who comes to visit a tourist destination is a representation of a group of different cultures who then interact there. Ethnic group identity, for example, is the overall identity of those of that ethnicity. Interactions at destinations reflect two or more ethnic identity groups derived from membership in ethnic groups and are an essential aspect of self-concept (Tajfel & Turner, 1978). The group's identity represented is an essential aspect of interaction and communication (Borhuis & Giles, 1977; Hecht, 2009). Individual and group identities evolve as a result of social interactions. Strong identities will be maintained and those deemed unnecessary will be adjusted or changed so that identity types begin to shape and define social reality. According to Berger and Luckmann (2011), social reality emerges from different interpretations of social reality. Leeds-Hurwitz (2009) concluded that in the construction of social reality, two elements are most relevant in communication studies. First, people make sense of experience by constructing models of the social world and how it works. Second, emphasising the function of language when interacting is the most critical system for constructing reality. So, interactivity and conversation between YouTubers and natives and reporting to viewers in broadcasts are essential for maintaining reality.

Food as a Cultural Dimension

Food is identified as part of the culture of a community or ethnicity because it is related to the consumption habits and choices of food and beverages that apply in a particular area. More formally, food is referred to as cuisine to show that eating food is a property, a creation, and a social identity. The food consumed locally has been passed down from generation to generation so that it becomes a cultural dimension. The closeness of a social habit will tend to prefer the culture of certain other nations over the culture of other nations. Generally, this social practice is a way of behave (Djekic et al. 2021). Groups with different cultural backgrounds experience a process of sharing knowledge and experiences based on values (Hofstede 2016) so that people know each other as seeds for growing world peace and preventing divisions and conflicts between nations. Cultural identity is built through cuisine, and the context develops from cultural to intercultural (Kim 2018).

The sociophilosophical approach to food as a cultural dimension is related to ethnicity, nation, country, and food preferences by identifying sensory attributes as the most important (Calloni 2013). The tastes of each community are formed from the habits and natural resources available in their respective environments, so sensory attributes influence food and drink choices. Other cultural background groups may pay more attention to food available for consumption, such as in Russia (Djekic et al. 2021, Machín et al. 2014). Several other ethnic or cultural groups, such as the Chinese with health aspects and the Japanese, are very concerned about the costs of identifying food for consumption as cultural values that are maintained, including food culture in mainland China (Freedman 2016, Wang et al. 2023, Zhao et al. 2015). Geographical conditions and seasons contribute to the habits of people in that region when it comes to eating food and clothing choices (Spence 2021). In addition to the 'social & cultural motivations that food consumers consider, economic motivations & availability' are also identified as the availability of natural resources in one place, and the stability of distribution to global markets also contributes to the formation of dietary patterns (Guin'e et al. 2020; Djekic et al. 2021).

Tourist Engagement for Destination Marketing Communication

The interaction between people in each cultural group by introducing and recommending a product is included in landscape marketing. Everyone can identify their needs individually and socially, so efforts to fulfil needs profitably are a practical definition of marketing. However, the American Marketing Association defines marketing as an organisational function and a set of processes to create, communicate, and deliver value to customers and manage customer relationships in a mutually beneficial manner to all its stakeholders. In communication, marketing is a company's earnest effort to prepare messages to be informed persuasively while reminding consumers of their needs, directly and indirectly, about the advantages of the product or brand offered (Kotler, Keller &‎ Chernev 2021).

A tourism destination is a geographical tourism area consisting of various relevant services and products to be offered as a destination for vacation visits. In addition to natural beauty, resorts and hospitality, cultural attractions and culinary products, crafts and arts, and heritage are also available to consumers. Tourism destinations, as product packages, goods and services, involve social communities and networks to create, maintain, and pass on to each generation and to sustain business. Apart from that, according to Morrison (2023), a tourist destination itself is a marketing and branding function to attract tourists and produce an image in the minds of tourists with perceptions about what attracts visitors. Tourism destinations must have local creative elements to make selling points attractive for tourists who play an active role (Gato et al. 2022). Social media communication interactions generate brand equity and visitor engagement in tourist destinations (Huerta-Álvarez et al., 2020).

Marketing communication directs organisations to build long-term relationships with customers. Customer engagement as an outcome must be maintained and improved because the consumer's position is more than just a transaction. A persuasive approach and communication are carried out so that customer involvement arises from the bottom of the customer's heart. The initiative/company provides value to every customer transaction, increasing loyalty and benefits (Rather & Ramkissoon 2023). YouTubers who use videos help tourist destinations provide information and communicate attractive factors about the destination (Huertas et al. 2017).

Methodology

Research using content analysis is an appropriate method to decipher meaning in interpreting online communication messages. The analysis procedure provides a systematic way to identify concepts, message patterns, and themes that are more prominent in text, audiovisual, verbal, and non-verbal data formats to obtain in-depth insight into the meaning and context of the content. This method begins with data collection, processing, and presentation of the results. Producers and viewers, in this case, can be referred to as virtual communities or participants with real-time interactivity and delays in the YouTube comments column. The typology of virtual communities becomes an assessment on the YouTube platform with structured content analysis. Text must be coded in coding procedures, such as audiovisual, text, and verbal data, which are analysed as contextual requirements (Quan-Haase & Sloan 2017). Similarly, non-verbal communication is reflected in the expressions and body language of YouTubers and native people.

The population in this study is all YouTubers with unique street food content of an unknown amount. Sampling was done using the "Chinese Street Food" categorisation, and non-Chinese who visited various cities in China and non-Chinese speaking Chinese YouTubers were selected. These keywords and categorisations are used in YouTube searches. The categorisation was added with "foreign YouTubers who deliberately go on food tours to China" and "Chinese YouTubers who speak non-Chinese for foreign viewers." The selected YouTubers are Food Ranger, Mark Wiens, Nining, Puput, Ariana Xie, "Blondie in China," Rudy Chen, Puspita, "Monsieur Chinois," Nico, and Luke Martin. The amount of content was selected based on the categories "street food", "restaurant," "traditional cuisine" and "culinary tourism", with a target audience outside mainland China.

After selecting a YouTuber profile, the video content is then determined based on the criteria "street food," "heritage," "location explanation," cultural city explanation," "traditional Chinese food," "cooking process in the kitchen," "presentation and assessment," and "interactivity." Based on this categorisation, 21 content titles were selected for analysis in various YouTuber languages such as English, French, Indonesian, or Malay. English is a world language widely used in various countries and Indonesian is used in Southeast Asia with many users. Table 1 shows a sample of analysis units selected based on categories of YouTubers' linguistic diversity, cities visited, and cultural content in street food trips.

No YouTuber Video(s) Link
1 Food Ranger/ Trevor James (5.6M subscribers, English, Chinese) Chinese Rare Street Food Tour in Kaifeng, China. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy59i6XMnTI&t=29s 3,461,758 views (April 19, 2024. 03.00 PM) (James, 2019, Nov. 19).
2 Peking Duck: A Deep Chinese Street Food Tour in Beijing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKXOh5wrzK4 8,109,529 views (April 19, 2024. 03.00 PM) (James, 2017, June 20)
3 Insane Chinese Street Food Tour of Chengdu, China | Crazy Chinese Street Foods in Sichuan, China! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSkw_cn7-jI&t=1288s 4,212,791 views (April 19, 2024. 03.00 PM) (James, 2018, April 18)
4 Rudy Chen(Indonesian language, Chinese) 124K subscribers Xinjiang Culinary: Delicious Halal Food Typical of Xinjiang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTTFh55_xtU 26,970 views (April 19, 2024. 03.15 PM) (Chen, 2022, May 28)
5 Journeys in Hutong Beijing Special and Try the Street Food Tiongkok | Nanluoguxiang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oszvmeXFWMk 26,516 views (April 19, 2024. 03.21 PM) (Chen, 2022, Aug 2)
6 Tulou House in Fujian China | Yunshuiyao | Zhangzhou | House of Hakka People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxl0Rp2_jv8 79,546 views (Apr 19 2024. 03.30 PM) (Chen, 2023, April 12)
7 Puput diary in China (Indonesian language, Chinese) Delicious Street Food in Xiamen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVH9LBrgTvc 33,189 views (April 19, 2024. 04.15 PM) (Puput, 2022, Jul 14)
8 Ariana Xie (1.71K subscribers, Indonesian language, Chinese) Shanxi Knife Cut Noodles and the ancient city of Datong (Mie Potong Pisau, Shanxi, dan Kota Kuno Datong) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7UVEKU3mE8 2,993 views (April 19, 2024. 04.25 PM) (Xie, 2023, May 24)
9 Blondie in China (326K subscribers, English, Chinese) Street food market in Dongmen, Shenzhen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcP0z5mD6HM 108,896 views (April 19, 2024. 6.55 PM) (Blondie, 2019, Oct 1)
10 Mark Wiens (9.85M subscribers, English) Jacuzzi Chicken and Other Extreme Chinese Street Food in Kunming, Yunnan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w6UuOARJxs 26,306,714 views (April 19, 2024. 7.55 PM) (Wiens, 2017, Dec 27)
11 Rooster in Bowl and other Chinese street food in Chengdu, China. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9ZSeb0n_1g 2,504,619 views (April 19, 2024. 08.00 PM) (Wiens, 2019, Oct 23)
12 Ethnic Feast and Amazing Street Food in Yunnan, China. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K69xU0cFES8 3,645,137 views (April 19, 2024. 08.15 PM) (Wiens, 2017, Dec 17)
13 Monsieur Chinois (730 subscribers, French) Want to come to China? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RiDchGxhGY 536 views (April 19, 2024. 08.20 PM). (Chinois, 2018, Mar 13)
14 Nining’s Days (17.1K subscribers, Indonesian language, Chinese) Unique Cuisine and Historical Buildings in Kunming (Masakan Khas dan Bangunan Bersejarah di Kunming) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePzUgfwsz9M&list=PLXyO2xPOtAHMxKy9pHyM-70YCe6KJzW6b&index=4 10,138 views (April 19, 2024. 08.40 PM) (Nining, 2022, Sep 24)
15 Nico (67.8K subscribers, English) Visit Beijing Niujie Street ahead of the Eid celebration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpP6xcHrUKE 51,696 views (April 19, 2024. (Nining, 2024, Feb 10)
16 Xian: China's Cultural Capital? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQilBg3_vk 54,674 views (April 19, 2024. 09.35 PM) (Nico, 2022, Oct 24)
17 Guangzhou: China's food capital? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNYmqLfAo64 50,092 views (April 19, 2024. 09.45 PM) (Nico, 2022, Sep 12)
18 Puspita - Liu Tianhui (14K subscribers, Indonesian language, English) Street Food at Sahur Time in the Chinese Muslim Community (Sahur di Komunitas Muslim) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SroOjC8pWz0 25,030 views (April 19, 2024. 09.55 PM) (Tianhui, 2023, Apr 24)
19 Luke Martin(1.48M subscribers, English) The authentic Chinese street food with Lost Plate in Shanghai, China. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvb4tIejvhY 314,912 views (April 19, 2024. 10.06 PM) (Martin, 2018, Mar 23)
20 The World's Longest Noodle in the Xi'an Muslim Quarter, China. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzWIsrz2MxI 451,971 views (April 19, 2024. 10.10 PM) (Martin, 2018, May 2)
21 The Best Cantonese Street Food and Spicy Noodles in Guangzhou, China. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLF5ETH4M30 126,216 views (April 19, 2024. 10.15 PM) (Martin, 2018, Aug 29)
Table 1.Sample of YouTube content from the Chinese street food journey

Data Analysis

The verbal, text, and audiovisual content of the YouTube platform is analysed using a conceptual framework, cross-cultural aspects, and cultural dimensions as communication messages. Data analysis used interpretive techniques (Miles & Huberman 2018). This textual analysis focusses on close reading and watching that seeks to reflect human activities and social actions as texts (Lune & Berg 2017)—in this case, recordings of interhuman activities as intercultural representation. This close interpretation was used because YouTubers' actions can be seen as a collection of symbols, patterns, and anthological features that reveal layers of meaning (Figure 1). Interpretive content analysis is a process for making conclusions by systematically and objectively identifying unique characteristics of messages from comprehensive observations of audio video, verbal, text, visuals, artefacts, and interactions between viewers.

Figure 1.Several street food YouTubers as sample participants, from top to bottom: Food ranger Trevor James, Mark Wiens, Puput, Blondie, Luke Martin, and Rudy Chen (Source: YouTube, see Table 1).

This research takes two steps: the specification of the content characteristics (essential content elements) being examined and the application of explicit rules to identify and record these characteristics. This research is framed by concepts related to intercultural or cross-cultural dimensions and communication with international viewers. Cross-cultural communication is a basic framework for analysing the interactivity of street food buyers and sellers, such as members of different group cultures, exchanges in interpersonal settings, cultural variability, cultural norms, and rules; the ways that people see themselves, unstated relational dynamics, direct verbal communication, communicators reduce uncertainty and anxiety, and communicators accommodate various cultural practices. The analysis is intended to answer research questions that cover several dimensions, such as cross-cultural interactions in food street destinations, Chinese culture and artefacts, Chinese culinary tourism marketing communications, and Chinese culinary transcultural.

Results and Discussion

The following results are displayed in the order of answers to the research questions: Cross-cultural interaction in Food Street Destinations; Chinese culture, architecture, heritage and Artefacts; Marketing communication of Chinese Food Tourism; and Transculturalization of Chinese food. Each subchapter presents a table as a summary of coding results relevant to the conceptual framework in the theory and practice of communication actions in the field.

Cross-cultural Interaction in Food Street Destinations

The cultural and cross-cultural analysis in this article refers to the basic definition of core culture, which includes values, attitudes, and world conceptions (Lifintsev & Wellbrock 2019, Warren 2017) consisting of a community and between environments with different cultural backgrounds. Structured content analysis was conducted on cross-cultural interactions related to food, fashion, language, customs, artefacts and events in tourist destinations, the essence of YouTube content as messages in marketing communication campaigns, and the transcultural nature of YouTubers' endorsements. In this research, it was found that with street food or culinary, there is cross-cultural interaction and the human sense of taste as consumers. Street foods are a way to develop sensory perceptions and understand other people of different cultures. In the sensory process of street food, a bodily transformation occurs, which further helps to understand empathy and tolerance to foster cross-cultural understanding. This research supports the findings of Vogts and Costandius (2019), who found that if sensory disturbances that arise are positively mediated through affirmative learning practices, the results can increase awareness of attachment between oneself, others, and the sensory environment.

The interaction between YouTubers and sellers or people on the food street location is intercultural because each has a different cultural background. YouTubers born and raised in the West have a different point of view from Eastern culture. However, several YouTubers in this research were born and raised in Chinese culture, then learnt other cultures, such as Indonesia, and used it as the language of instruction. YouTubers play a vital role in introducing cultures between nations and become the centre of attention for global audiences to get to know, find, and try a variety of street foods in various regions of the world, such as Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, America, and Europe.

The way of communication between YouTubers and local food street sellers. YouTubers spontaneously attend a street food destination and enjoy it. Content plans have been prepared to eat specific food, but in presentation and trip, it spontaneously flows from one spot to another. YouTubers may need an agreement with the seller before shooting, but the content shows that the food trip on the street flows naturally. YouTubers look friendly, greeting vendors, and cameras focus on the products being sold. A series of images directed at sales stalls, long shots of the exteriors of shop buildings, or historic buildings that serve as the background.

The way they deal with others face-to-face. YouTubers often ask for special and unique types of food in the city or village of the tourist destination. Usually, the seller recommends choosing a special menu that tastes the best to impress the buyers with the food served. Rudy Chen, a YouTuber from Indonesia who has lived in Beijing for several years, usually plans to visit a street food area to take pictures. Still, YouTubers like him often change the scenario when a more attractive spot is found in a street food location to shoot.

YouTubers spoke. YouTubers always introduce the tourist destinations visited with adequate descriptions. YouTubers dig up information about the city so that viewers get meaningful knowledge. Rudy Chen, for example, always presents street food in Indonesian because his content aims to target viewers from Southeast Asia who speak Indonesian or Malay. However, in his communication with the seller, Rudy always spoke Chinese and then translated. Trevor James usually greets viewers in English and interacts with sellers in the street food area in Chinese. Trevor is fluent in interacting and then explains the contents of the conversation to viewers in English. Meanwhile, Mark Wiens and Luke Martin speak only English. Translators often accompany YouTubers to streamline their communication with street food vendors in China.

Food street vendors responded and spoke. Food and beverage sellers in China understand very well that their guests who act as YouTubers must be served as well as other buyers. The sellers are ready with the camera footage of the YouTubers, and the vendors permit shooting activities. Table 2 shows YouTube content on cross-cultural interaction in food street destinations.

The body language of the interaction. Body language reinforces the expressions of sellers and YouTubers when interacting. Gesture YouTubers want to be close to the food served, communicating, conversing, and enjoying. YouTubers also wish to satisfy viewers' curiosity about how sellers mix and make food and drinks. YouTubers who only speak English in conversations with sellers use additional sign language from body language to strengthen their verbal messages so that they are understood by one another.

Their language of etiquette. Western YouTubers, such as Europeans or Americans, understand how Eastern people prioritise politeness when interacting. These verbal and non-verbal cues can be seen in the greeting words and gestures that reflect respect between YouTubers and street food sellers. Likewise, residents also understand their guests as foreigners' habits.

YouTubers adapt to how hosts entertain guests at their destination. YouTubers generally like to travel to Asian countries because they perceive Asians as friendly, open, and close. YouTubers adapt to the people who host the show.

Download the Table 2: Main categories of cross-cultural interaction in food street destinations

Main categoriesthem and follow the visitor code. In culinary tourism destinations, guests are treated not just as buyers, but as respected people who have tried to come from far away and must receive satisfying service. The street vendor service is a tribute given to its guests.

YouTubers speak Chinese or use translators. YouTubers represent viewers with various national backgrounds, with English as the language of the world of business and international relations. However, more specifically for viewers in Southeast Asia with Indonesian as their mother tongue or second language, it is a form of cross-cultural interaction in receiving and understanding messages in cultural content in the activity of travelling to food street tourist destinations in mainland China.

Youtubers look polite when interacting with people and sellers. Sellers realise that YouTubers who visit and record videos are a communication channel for promoting food and beverage products throughout the world. Openness to receiving guests with happy and friendly expressions is a value that is maintained and practised as part of everyday life. Politeness is essential in society. YouTubers can understand and adapt politely and mutually supportively with street food vendors.

The following is a discussion and comparison of the above results with previous research findings. It was found in this research that YouTubers have become a representation of worldwide viewers who watch street food content. The interaction between YouTubers and street food vendors and local people in each tourist destination city is thus also part of the virtual interaction of viewers. The response of viewers to the YouTube channel by giving likes, writing comments and sharing the YouTube link with others is part of the follow-up of this cross-cultural interaction. The findings of this research align with the results found by other researchers by noting cultural journeys to foreign countries as a metaphor that requires the design of cross-cultural interactive systems (Badu-Baiden et al. 2023, Guan & Forceville 2020, Jeong & Lee 2021, Ting-Toomey & Dorjee 2018). Experience of authenticity in tourist destinations greatly determines cross-cultural awareness for YouTubers and viewers (Crossland-Marr & Krause 2023, Gupta & Sajnani 2020, Zhang et al. 2018).

Chinese Culture, Architecture, Heritage, and Artefacts

Street food by YouTubers is more than just eating traditional food; it also talks about and introduces Chinese culture, architecture, heritage, and artefacts. YouTubers conveyed broader communication messages about artefacts and architectural heritage buildings in a cultural context. Although street food in visual paintings is set in traditional buildings, shops, houses, temples, meeting halls, offices, and museums, all reflect a cultural package. The findings of this research strengthen the opinion of Chen and Han (2019), who highlight the strengthening of ancient Chinese cultural heritage by highlighting its differences from regional cultural heritage. Artefacts as the background for YouTubers' visual and verbal explanations reveal a specific perspective by emphasising the importance of the unity of humans and nature. Su (2021) added that contemporary China is implementing cultural governance reforms to integrate culture and tourism.

Visuals of food and drink. YouTubers use close-up and extra close-up shooting techniques to show visuals of food and drinks so that the details look authentic and tempting. YouTubers also slow the video's motion so that the food's texture and colour appear natural and fresh. This visualising technique means that YouTubers understand the aspect of visual influence on viewers' curiosity to come and try to enjoy food at tourist destinations. YouTubers intend to create and compile content that can influence viewers' interest in looking for similar Chinese food if they have yet to have the opportunity to come to tourist destinations. Table 3 shows YouTube content related to Chinese culture and artefacts.

Language and conversation. Some YouTubers born and raised in China are fluent in Indonesian because they specifically study that field. His experience and knowledge about mainland China are presented to viewers, and more detailed information is asked of food vendors in Chinese and explained to viewers in Indonesian. The interactions between YouTubers representing Southeast Asian viewers, for example, and food street vendors reflect intense conversations about food and drinks, information on city conditions, architecture, and residents' habits. YouTubers like Trevor James can speak Chinese and present in English to viewers, providing in-depth insight into matters related to the culture and traditions of city residents in tourist destinations.

Cultural-humanistic expressions. Every food street vendor appears in local clothing, which is part of the communal identity at the food street destination. China, indeed, consists of various ethnicities, even though the Han ethnicity dominates it, but in several provinces, the essence of multiple ethnicities is protected and maintained as diversity.

The cultural aspects of society appear in humanistic expressions, primarily non-verbal. Human individuals in each destination location grow naturally as human communities that form communities with strong cultural identities. YouTubers deliberately chose several provinces in China as destinations for destinations for street food journeys to be shown to world viewers. To enjoy food in China, tourists must understand each community and its cultural identity in various cities and suburbs.

Chinese dress and accessories. Chinese clothing is an effective non-verbal communication when visiting cultural and culinary tourist destinations. People's dresses in the street food area are seen daily as natives when serving visitors, especially at cultural events, to enliven the atmosphere in the street food area. Chinese dress becomes an identity that strengthens cultural tourism destinations. Street food vendors wear simple Chinese dresses and always add an apron to reflect that they are professional sellers who pay attention to aspects of food hygiene.

Download Table 3: Main-categories of Chinese culture and artifacts

Tourists are enthusiastic about taking pictures of themselves in Chinese dresses and trying on traditional dresses as a special moment during their visit. Tourists want to share memories with the world through social media to tell the world about travel to China. Nico, a YouTuber guided by a Chinese girlfriend, also tried wearing a Chinese dress in Xi'an and styled it against a beautiful red lantern as a background. People look happy in Chinese dress.

Traditional Chinese architecture. Buildings with typical Chinese architecture become a visual backdrop that captivates viewers along street food. The delicacy of food and drink is getting perfect and is depicted with a moving camera as if a YouTuber invites viewers to come to China. YouTubers explore culinary treasures all over the city by entering famous street food sections. However, YouTubers are keen to choose locations with traditional Chinese architectural backgrounds. Food Ranger, for example, tries to guide viewers to enjoy the beauty of the old city of Kaifeng with a city wall background. Trevor James, the owner of the account, said:

…and this is such a beautiful ancient old city, full of street food and friendly people, and we are going to keep exploring, going down the back alleys and bringing you a ton more street foods with today, so make sure to watch until the end because this is going to be a full-on street food tour. We keep biking through all day, guys. We are genuinely food-ranging now. Just biking through neighbourhoods looking for lunch, and here we are next. We have just been exploring, and we found this local cold-rolled joint, literally fatty pork with pickled mustard greens steamed, and you can see it is courtyard-style. We just walked into a super-busy toll road joint.

Food convenience and value. Street food tourism must provide comfort for tourists, especially with regard to the cleanliness of the environment along the way, the city's drainage system that supports food safety, and regular vehicle traffic. The diversity of types of business fields in a food street section must also be considered so that they mutually support each other's primary function as a centre of street food. Roads must also create clean air spaces to make visitors comfortable enjoying food and drinks.

Social space of street food. Social space in interior restaurant plans or outdoor street food lines is significant in understanding the integration of tourist destinations. Adequate pedestrians for stall space and people lining up in front of it as buyers are very important so that customers feel comfortable and, at the same time, use the moment for interaction and conversation among the customers, especially tourists from various nations who come. Close interaction between sellers, restaurant chefs, and visitors can be seen in all the YouTuber content. Tourists enjoy trying experiences and learning about Chinese food while interacting with chefs. Visitors try to make noodles, fry snacks, or the like. YouTubers show the need for customer experience in marketing communications that foster high customer engagement.

Traditional, simple background. The history of Chinatown has trees along the streets, traffic and shop buildings with distinctive architecture that hugs and is continuous with one another. With such a background, long tables are set up in front of the doors of restaurants or food stalls, while beside the pedestrians, the shoppers enjoy a bowl of noodles, Trevor James said.

We travelled to almost every city and village in China, looking for and tasting street food. The best of the best tastes, and we find delicious street food in Sichuan, Neijiang, Beijing, Kunming, all the way to Kashgar. This morning, for breakfast at the the the street food, we travelled from Chengdu to visit Neijiang. All served to the audience with the best Chinese street food. To get the best moment, we get up early to have breakfast in a local street noodle shop, which is very flavorful, spicy and delicious. We then walked to the local market and found some Sichuan street food. What a fantastic experience. All the food and drink at this destination is unbelievably delicious. If something is less than appetising, we will not recommend it to our audience.

Heritage buildings and artefacts tell a story. Rudy Chen, Puspita Liu Tianhui, and other YouTubers are always interested and looking for information to share about traditional Chinese architecture and artefacts with world viewers. YouTubers look for street food locations close to old Chinese buildings, shophouses, and historic buildings to show viewers before choosing which street vendor to try the food. YouTubers like Rudy Chen search for information from various websites on historical places to present to viewers. Rudy visited and explained the uniqueness and beauty of the city of Xi'an, China, calling it one of the oldest cities in the world because it is more than 3,000 years old. Even Xi'an has been the capital of China throughout the 13 dynasties of power, including some of the most influential dynasties in Chinese history, such as Qin, Han, and Tang. With Zhong Lou (Bell Tower) in the background, Xi'an is surrounded by a 14 km long city wall, making it an attractive tourist destination. Thus, YouTubers try to present content with contemporary issues that many viewers want to know about the heritage. The goal is for people around the world to know, understand, and come to see mainland China. Puspita said:

While watching this episode of "National Treasure," I was pleasantly surprised by the fingerprints that date back 2,200 years (on this Terracotta artefact). I cannot wait to immediately start the journey to explore Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Bingmayong (Underground Army) when visiting the city of Xi'an, Shaanxi being one of the oldest cities in the world to witness significant Chinese archaeological discoveries of this century.

The open and adaptive tradition. The relaxed attitude of an individual and community in society dramatically determines the melting of the atmosphere of friendship between tourists and sellers or locals. YouTubers, as guests or tourists, adjust or may have equipped themselves by studying local customs when they want to meet Chinese people. Food sellers openly explain what the tourist asks as long as the language used in the conversation is well understood, especially in Chinese.

Heritage and artefacts are visual elements that attract viewers in addition to street food products. Discussions on this dimension emphasise that YouTubers and tourists visiting street food tourist destinations want to witness and experience Chinese cultural aspects. People around the world have probably heard and learnt how delicious and exciting Chinese culture is to share. The research results provide a deeper insight into intercultural interaction and communication. People want to experience the convenience of values (Gupta et al. 2018), and viewers also enjoy the beauty of traditional Chinese vernacular architecture (Cai 2011, Fu 2014, Wang et al. 2022). Street food as a tourist destination displays structure, art, civilisational values, and social and spatial construction, especially its cultural-humanistic expression (Xiang et al.,, 2023, Zhu et al.,, 2022) as an architectural heritage (Leinonen 2012), which must be communicated to the whole world. Therefore, authentic street food provides a cultural tourism experience (Privitera & Nesci 2015) that displays community identity in tourist destinations (Giampiccoli et al. 2023, Mitgosoom & Ashton 2019). Street food offers a unique cultural experience (Liu et al. 2014; Pham et al. 2023).

Marketing Communication of Chinese Food Tourism

Tourists or customer engagement who record their experiences at tourist destinations play a role in popularising Chinese culture in intercultural interactions. YouTube content is not just a hobby for streamers and YouTubers, but a robust marketing communication channel to build the reputation, attractiveness, and uniqueness of all cultural elements. Qualitatively, in presentations and interactions, YouTubers at street food tourist locations invite all viewers from various nations to come and try to enjoy culinary and cultural attractions in Mainland China's cities. These research findings strengthen the results of a survey by Bu, Parkinson and Thaichon (2021) on digital content marketing factors, including YouTubers' content, as a catalyst for e-WOM in culinary tourism, also robust food festivals in the branding of tourism destinations (Yang et al. 2020). Digital content marketing has a social impact worldwide and increases viewers' interest in visiting street food tourist destinations.

Raw materials, ingredients, and seasonings of the product. YouTubers pay attention to the desire of viewers to know what ingredients are used to make food and drinks. In the content, YouTubers look professional in exploring the raw material, ingredients, and seasonings, how it is made, and how it is served in a bowl. The YouTuber goes into the back of the restaurant, in the kitchen, follows the creation process, and finally returns to the dining table at the front among the other diners to record close-ups, enjoy the food, and score. Table 4 shows YouTube content on marketing communication of Chinese food tourism.

Product cooking process. YouTubers cover the process of making and serving it in bowls as the most exciting moment for viewers, how sellers make street food. In Chengdu, Trevor James recorded Dan Dan Noddles deep in the backstreets following the chef behind the counter and seeing what ingredients and seasonings are added to the bowl. While in the back, James mentioned the steps for the serving process into the bowl, "...all these fresh noodles in Sichuan, wow! There is nothing better, and they are just scooping on the cowpeas. All right, on top, they put soy sauce, salt, MSG, chilli oil, of course, it is all there and then load the noodles, pure pork, and onion leaves."

Product hygiene. Food safety is essential in the food street business in tourist destinations. Not only did did the seller,, but also the local government intervened to provide certainty about product hygiene. For YouTubers, food hygiene is displayed when they cover by entering the production kitchen or at street food stalls directly while standing in line. Mark Wiens covers the food-making process in the kitchen and reports:

It is a unique little kind of Bowser restaurant, and in the back, they make pasta fresh. Hence, you know it is so fresh that they cut up the dough and then fill it. The main version you get is like a full meat balsa version. Hence, they fill it up and put it on the steamers and it looks like a mix of them. Do you know what type of meat it is? That is, pork, then pork cocaine onions. They mix it into the little buns, steam them, and then sell them at the front of the store.

Plate, presentation, and close-up of the product. Products bought on the street are presented in simple packaging. They are eaten by buyers, in contrast to the food in restaurants that requires the beauty of the appearance of the plating and formal presentation by the waitress. However, the audience can see that the freshness and deliciousness of street food can be seen from the texture of the food served and the attractive plating when it is still hot. Luke Martin, a YouTuber enjoying the best street food with the lost plate in Shanghai, China, "... at our next spot and we have a shower Bing, which is this baked bun talk with a bunch of sesame seeds, and we have the sweet kind, so this should be filled with a lot of variety of melted sugar.."

The chef explains the product while cooking. The sellers describe the stages of making food, especially noodles. YouTubers try to follow and learn how to make noodles. This experience is memorable and enjoyable. Tourists are trying to accept, adapt, learn, and try the practice of making noodles or other simpler foods. If the YouTuber does not participate in making it, then explain step by step how to make the product up to serving it at the dinner table 4.

Download Table 4: Main-categories of marketing communication of Chinese food tourism

viewers. On his way to each destination, when Trevor James finds street food, he always makes acquaintances and asks about the food being made. The chef explains the food ingredients, other seasonings, and how to make them.

Product plating and presentation to customers. Serving food on restaurant tables or being served directly to buyers in simple packaging of street food is part of the marketing experience. Customers are given a positive impression, so the event is stored in their memory to be shared with others as mouth-to-mouth or viral marketing. Street food vendors are aware of this, and YouTubers as customers are treated with friendly interactivity.

Product information and prices are on the menu. Restaurants on the street food usually provide product information on menu sheets, but anyone can search for street food information and easily find information about price ranges online. Some street food producers printed banners and hung them on the wall of the stall. The disclosure of price information can build consumer trust.

Prices are mentioned and converted by YouTubers. YouTubers say the menu price in the video and convert it from RMB to USD or IDR, as stated in the tagline. YouTubers enter written information when editing videos, while verbal information is conveyed live when recording on location. This transparency reflects that street food is interesting among people around the world as tourists.

The seller acts as a salesperson. The seller's simple appearance as an everyday style of dress is the same as the clothes of YouTubers or guests, although some of the street food vendors wear aprons to make them look more trusted and professional. However, what is more important is that their open attitude and friendly nature to tourists are the most important things that make buyers stop by and try their food. Some vendors are fluent in promoting their products to visitors.

Banners or posters are placed for potential buyers to see. Banners marketed on the exterior walls of restaurants or street food stalls are a medium to communicate the name of the food and the unique sale offered to potential buyers. Several stalls use banners as a menu list that lists product prices so that it becomes transparent information for buyers.

In the marketing communication aspect of this cultural product, a discussion can be formulated in which YouTubers act as customers who care about the products purchased and aim to make viewers pay attention and be interested in buying and becoming new customers for Chinese food and culture. This campaign style means that YouTubers also invite people from all over the world to come as street food culinary connoisseurs in various cities in China. In addition to finding new intercultural ways, the results of this study certainly strengthen the findings of several previous relevant studies. Mobility in tourist destinations accelerates cross-cultural occurrence through local food consumption and becomes part of food culture and tourism (Kraig & Sen 2013; Li et al. 2004; Lin et al. 2022; Ma 2015; Park et al., 2019). Food and other cultural product campaigns serve as entertainment content and a source of knowledge to understand other people's cultures. They can be disseminated electronically through sharing customer experiences, including YouTubers, via electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on social media channels (Ahmad, Ahmad, & Alam, 2024). However, marketing communication activities with customer engagement require local guidance (Cifci et al. 2021) as an economic, social, health, governance, and global communication system to build intercultural understanding (Cardoso et al., 2014).

The Transculturalization of Chinese Food

The Chinese diaspora worldwide allows YouTube viewers to try out the Chinese taste in various street foods and restaurants. Even Chinese or Asian foods are easy to get in Europe, America, and Australia, apart from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. YouTubers with digital content remind viewers to try to enjoy overseas Chinese culinary delights. Relishing food is one of the most exciting ways to learn about a nation's culture and increase retention actively (Asif et al. 2022). However, street food content that attracts viewers in mainland Chinese cities has a unique cultural uniqueness that attracts people to visit. Chinese foods thus grow as transcultural people who understand a culture, try to enjoy and adopt culture, and eventually become loyal consumers of cultural products. According to Hu (2022), Asian cuisine, including Chinese, has been widely accepted by the French community in Paris, unlike Japanese cuisine, which is famous for its techniques and tastes. However, Chinese food is building a reputation and identity with its philosophy. Chinese food has experienced cultural culinary transculturation in various parts of the world.

YouTubers remind us that Chinese cuisine can be found in Chinatown in various countries. As a form of promotion for culinary tourism destinations, street food content is important for global consumers. The YouTuber indirectly reminds viewers that Chinese cuisine can be found in many cities in various countries. YouTubers also produce and share content about Chinese food in countries other than China so that viewers understand that people can quickly get similar Chinese cuisine even though the nuance is different from the original in mainland China. Table 5 shows YouTube content on the globalisation of Chinese food.

Buyers or YouTubers like Chinese food and drink. Chinese street food offers fun for tourists visiting mainland China. YouTubers verbally and expressively give recognition, showing high ratings for the delicacy of food and drinks. If YouTubers like food, it means viewers also like it.

YouTubers rate products purchased and consumed. In each content, you can see expressions of satisfaction from YouTubers when enjoying food. The scores vary, but the average YouTuber awarded as a food and beverage assessor is at a high level, at 7-10 in the range of 1-10. Non-verbally, YouTubers enjoy noodles, for example, by slurping and visual noodles in close-ups so that the delicious sound of street food is very tempting to viewers.

Download Table 5: Main-categories of transcultural of Chinese food

YouTubers give non-verbal signs of the taste of products they eat or drink. The YouTuber's expression can be seen from his face, eyes that are closed because he is enjoying the delicious food, mouth movements that chew and swallow food, and limbs that show that his tastes match those of street food. Even some YouTubers look with extraordinary expressions and praise food.

Asian YouTubers like Chinese food. Because food is a culture, Asian people may be expected to enjoy similar foods where they were born and raised. However, street food in China provides a different sensation and enjoyment. Asian YouTubers love street food at destinations. They even found unique things from his journey against the backdrop of typical buildings and inscriptions. Also, talk about not only food, but also cultural artefacts and customs.

European and American YouTubers like Chinese food. The cultural background is different from that of the western world, such as Europe and America, when visiting Chinese food streets shows the same thing. Western YouTubers also like Chinese street food, as reflected in their expressions. Extra close-up shooting techniques on food textures reinforce food delicacy. Trevor James, while in Xinjiang, very expressively enjoyed Lamb Head Soup:

OK, there is the chin meat. Let us jump right in. Hmmm…! Oooh…..! That is really delicious. I cannot believe that I am saying this right now. That is probably the most tender and juicy meat I have ever eaten. Look at that. That is chin meat, and the flavour is very smooth. There is no odour to any of this. Let us try the broth. And the broth is great. It tastes like lamb soup. Let us try the lung. The chin meat and the broth are really nice.

YouTubers explicitly promote food and drink products. YouTubers always remember that they create content for viewers and, therefore, always greet viewers in conversation while occasionally turning their faces and eyes to the camera. YouTubers, while walking, choose street food as if they are with viewers while walking and selecting a food stall. Rudy Chen, on his visit to Xinjiang, said:

Yes, we are now in front of a culinary place, a street food restaurant. In front of Rudy was a poster on the wall with a picture framed in gold. Image of sheep and pastures with Chinese writing. These signs mean that most of the leading food in Xinjiang is made from mutton, guys. Xinjiang is famous for its unique mutton dishes.

YouTubers explicitly promote tourist destinations. YouTubers have mastered the mapping of street food travel in China. They carefully and in detail plan to visit notable cities with unique stretch food destinations. This mapping is essential for viewers to provide information about planning tours to mainland China. Trevor James says:

All right, check it out, guys. I am Trevor James. We just got to Tianjin, China. This meal is the capital of breakfast in China, and I am lucky today to be able to take the audience on a complete breakfast tour. This is it, Tianjin, the breakfast capital of China, and today we bring you deep for six incredibly unique Tianjin breakfasts.

YouTubers admire the beauty of tourist destinations and the taste of food. YouTubers consider the diversity of people's cultures and food delicacies while travelling in mainland China. YouTubers also explore the history of the Silk Road by showing an ancient map connecting Xi'an to the West. In addition to cities in southern, southeastern, eastern and northern China, YouTubers promote western China, such as Xinjiang. Trevor James said:

…And today, we are going for a full-on Uighur street food experience. This journey takes you to the farthest western city in China, Kashgar. Near that, there are Pakistan, Afganistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgistan borders. Here, a new world of multicultural street food influenced by these neighbours is waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

Based on the findings above, it can be discussed that Chinese food has become a global product that is consumed by many people of different cultural backgrounds. Chinese food has become an inseparable element of people's lifestyles and consumption. Despite the diversity of people, it provides variations in food choices. This research reinforces the findings of previous studies where Chinese food has experienced globalisation and has become a marker and a barrier to cultural barriers between nations (Wu & Cheung 2014). In Southeast Asia, culinary cultural products have experienced hybridisation with local creations or "glocality" in a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arabic, and Western cultures (Chan & Strabucchi 2019, Chaopreecha, Tovankasame & Limbut 2022, Chee-Beng 2012, David & Kofahl 2017, Hidayat 2017, Putra, Putra & Novianti 2023, Wade & Chin 2018). Chinese food has become a global cultural business network and part of everyday life (Cheung & Wu 2014). Chinese food in the West is growing into a network of subcultures (Fusté-Forné 2020, Lin et al. 2020) in the Middle East and Israel (Shahrin & Hussin 2023) and South and Southeast Asia (Chan & Farrer 2021).

Meanwhile, Chinese food has a long cultural history in the West. The market targets Chinese mainlanders, immigrants, and westerners in Europe and North America (Kellow & Choi 2022, Li 2020, Wang-Chen et al. 2022). Thus, overseas Chinese cultural goods and services foster a cultural exchange strategy and are also part of the country's efforts to advance its soft power abroad. The exchange and spread of Chinese culture abroad in a cross-cultural context is proliferating through food or cuisine, dress or fashion, language, and customs with the spread of the diaspora (Jihua & Ocón 2023; Songjie & Xinghua 2016).

Future Research and Recommendation

Several topics are recommended for future research based on the four dimensions of the analysis of the research results. First, culinary tourism destinations require research from a language and cultural literacy perspective so that natives, viewers, and YouTubers can understand each other. Second, research is needed from an anthropological and sociocultural perspective on architecture, heritage, and artefacts so that cultural tourism destinations are more accommodating for world tourists to build understanding. Third, more comprehensive and specific research on digital tourism destination marketing is needed. Finally, more research is needed on the diaspora and the spread of Chinese overseas around the world.

The result implication will guide decision makers within stakeholders to place global YouTubers as intercultural mediated communication to build diplomacy and international relations with soft power by the street food.

Conclusions

Intercultural interaction and communication occur between people with different cultural backgrounds in street food destinations in China, such as YouTubers, street vendors, and local communities. YouTube content contains communication messages about sharing social learning about food as part of Chinese cultural identity with all viewers worldwide. Reports on culinary tours from mainland China in non-Chinese languages are an intercultural channel for getting to know and understand Chinese culture by consuming Chinese food styles and tastes.

Street food is an open social space for visiting citizens of the world. Provides a channel for interaction, communication, and social transactions so that the city's appearance, historical buildings, heritage, architecture, and other artefacts become one unit in the experience shared by YouTubers with viewers. Cultural events are also reported that feature traditional clothing, Chinese language practices, ethnic diversity, and customs. The aspects of authentic street food consumption, the buildings on every street of the city, and verbal and non-verbal interactions strengthen intercultural communication.

Foreign visitors who visit China are involved in producing content for social learning about other nations' cultures. YouTube content is a marketing message for consumers visiting China to plan their trips to tourist destinations.

Chinese food, especially street food, is transculturalizing around the world as the Chinese diaspora expands by offering food as a cultural identity to other cultures. Viewers as global citizens can try to become familiar with overseas Chinese food throughout the world, including Asia and Australia, Europe, America, South Asia, the Middle East, and others.

Acknowledgement Statement:This paper and its research were made possible with support from the Bina Nusantara University Research and Technology Transfer Office. Thank you for your spiritual support and resources. We also acknowledge the journal's insightful comments from anonymous peer reviewers. As a research team, all authors contributed equally to this work.

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Authors' contribution statements: The first author's contribution included Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal Analysis, Investigation, Writing – Original Draft, Visualization, Project Administration, Software, Validation, Supervision, and Funding Acquisition. Authors 2 and 3 contributed including Methodology, Formal Analysis, Investigation, Writing – Original Draft, Visualization, Data Curation, Resources, and Writing – Review & Editing.

Funding: This research did not receive a specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or non-profit sectors.

Ethical consideration statement: Not applicable. This study did not involve studies of humans or animals.

Data availability statement: Data can be accessed upon request. Contact the corresponding author for further information regarding data usage and access.

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