East Asia Media and Advertising 4

? East Asian Media Cultures and Advertising? Based on the two articles about East Asian Media Cultures and Advertising, write a literature review that gives a detailed discussion and assessment of how experts have approached this issue. Compare and contrast the works you are discussing. The review should show their strengths and weaknesses, how they agree/disagree, and what contribution they make to your understanding of the topic.ORIGINAL ARTICLEGlobalization, East Asian media cultures and their publicsKoichi IwabuchiSchool of International Liberal Studies, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku,Tokyo 169-8050, Japan(Received 8 December 2009; final version received 19 January 2010)In the last two decades, media and cultural globalization has reached another levelof development and penetration.While various (national) media markets have beenpenetrated and integrated by the powerful missionaries of global media culturesuch as News Corporation, Disney and Time Warner, the development of EastAsian media cultural production and inter-Asian media co-production, circulationand consumption has become no less conspicuous. On the one hand, thesedevelopments have highlighted the de-Westernized patterns of cultural production,circulation and connection in, from and within the region. However, on the other, itis still questionable if these developments have eventually challenged uneventransnational media cultural flows and have truthfully promoted dialogic connectionsamong people of various places, as they reproduce hierarchy, unevenness andmarginalization. This article will critically review how the rise of Asian mediaculture production and inter-Asian connections fails to serve wider public interestslocally, nationally and transnationally, especially in terms of the promotion ofuneven globalization process in which the logic of market has deeply governed theproduction, circulation and consumption of media culture. Given that the statesare supporting the activities of transnational media culture industries, it isimperative for researchers to examine more rigorously the unevenness, inequalityand marginalization in the inter-Asian mass culture network, and to collaboratetransnationally with various social actors so as to advance inter-Asian mediaculture connections in more democratic and dialogic ways.Keywords: media globalization; inter-Asian connection; decentered powerstructures; dialogue and unevenness; inter-nationalism; publicness of mediacultureIntroductionWatchingKorean TV dramas, listening to Chinese popmusic, reading Japanese comicbooks and enjoying internationally co-produced Asian films are now part of themundane landscape of East Asian cities. Younger generations might take it forgranted, but it was something unconceivable just 20 years ago. While inter-Asianmedia culture connections have a longer history, the changes and developments thatwe have witnessed since early 1990s are really drastic. The last two decades after theend of the Cold War has been marked by significant development of globalizationprocesses. Cross-border mobility of capital, people and commodity has been furtherintensified by the penetration of neo-liberalism marketization, and the amplificationISSN 0129-2986 print/ISSN 1742-0911 online# 2010 AMIC/SCI-NTUDOI: 10.1080/01292981003693385http://www.informaworld.comAsian Journal of CommunicationVol. 20, No. 2, June 2010, 197‹¨«212Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011of international ethno-flows of labor, immigrants and tourists.No less important is theprogression of media and cultural globalization. While the development of digitalcommunication technologies has de-centered and individualized the media uses, it alsohas lent itself to the penetration and integration of theworldwide media markets by thepowerful missionaries of global media culture such as News Corporation, Disney andTime Warner. Cultural globalization does not just mean the spread of the sameproducts ofWestern (mostly American) origin all over the world through these mediaconglomerates. Furthermore, the rise of media culture production capacity outside theUS has become conspicuous, of which East Asia displays a most dynamic example.Advanced capacity in producing media cultures such as TV, films and popularmusic inEast Asia has also activated regional co-production, intraregional circulation andconsumption of media cultures. Media cultures from other parts of East Asia arefinding unprecedented acceptance in the region, leading to the formation of newconnections among people as well as media culture industries.These developments highlight de-Westernized patterns of cultural production,circulation and consumption and thus have attracted many researchers includingmyself into examining what is going on. Indeed, many studies have been done in termsof de-Westernization (Curran & Park, 2000; Erni & Chua, 2005), the rise of Chinesemedia cultures and markets (Curtin, 2007; Fung, 2008; Zhao, 2008), Korean Wavephenomena (Cho, 2005; Chua & Iwabuchi, 2008; Shim, 2006), the popularity ofJapanese media cultures (Allison, 2006; Tobin, 2004; Iwabuchi, 2002, 2004), culturaladaptation and formatting (Moran & Keane, 2004) and regional cultural flows andconnectivities (Berry, Mackintosh, & Liscutin, 2009; Chua, 2004; Iwabuchi, Muecke,& Thomas, 2004; Kim, 2008). These works contribute to enriching hitherto Westcenteredmedia and cultural studies in the English-language world by seriouslyattending to East Asian and inter-Asian media cultural dynamic under globalizationprocesses.Rather than just appraising what has been achieved by the studies of East Asianand inter-Asian media cultures, this article also critically reviews what has been notachieved with an aim to gauge whether and how the rise of East Asian media cultureproduction and inter-Asian connection serves wider public interests: locally, nationallyand transnationally. While the recent development has given rise to de-Americanized patterns of media culture productions and consumption and hasconsiderably facilitated mutual understanding among people in the region, it is stilldebatable whether and how these developments fundamentally challenge unevenmedia cultural globalization, what sort of cross-border dialogues are promoted, andwhether and how they encourage socio-culturally marginalized voices expressed,heard and shared in a mediated public space. This article is interested in theexamination of the promotion of uneven globalization process in which the marketizationgoverns the production, circulation and consumption of media culture andgrowing inter-nationalism in which dominant media cultures of each nation arecirculating, marketed and mutually consumed, in tandem with states increasinginterest in the uses of media culture for national interests. It is necessary, I wouldsuggest, to research more than before on the issues of unevenness, inequality andmarginalization to engage with a normative question of how to further advance thedevelopment of inter-Asian media culture production and connections in moredemocratic and dialogic ways.198 K. IwabuchiDownloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011Rise of East Asian media cultures and inter-Asian connectionsOne of the contentious issues that the rise of East Asian media cultures highlights iswhether and how it de-Westernizes or de-Americanizes media culture production andcirculation and challenges and/or reconfigures global cultural power relations.Globalization processes have enhanced media culture production capacities of variousnon-Western actors. This testifies to the relative decline of the supremacy of Americanmedia cultures and questions the credence of the Western cultural imperialism thesis.Although American media cultures are still well-received in many parts of the world,and their scale of transnational reach is by far the most prevailing, the popularity ofAmerican media cultures has been decreasing in East Asia with the development oflocal media culture production, which tends to be more receptive. The shift of mediapolicy discourses of East Asian governments from the protection of the populace fromWestern cultural invasion to the promotion of domestic media culture production tocounter it, which was witnessed in the late 1990s (Wang, 1996), also reflected theascendancy of local media cultures.East Asianmedia cultures are not just well-received domestically. They have crossedthe national boundaries aswell, especially to other parts of East Asia. This is suggestiveof another trend of media globalization that regional connections are enhanced in such away as to bypass the command of Euro-American media culture production anddistribution. Furthermore, inter-Asian promotion and co-production of media cultureshas become commonplace with the growing collaboration and close partnershipsamong media culture industries in the region with the aim of pursuing internationalmarketing and joint ventures spanning transnational markets, as a term such asAsiawood indicates (Newsweek Asia, The birth of Asiawood, 21May 2001). Indeed somany films have been co-produced within East Asia, such as three-language films likeSeven Swords (Hong Kong/China/Korea) which was produced in Cantonese, MandarinandKorean; aUS$35 million budget film, Promise (China/Korea/Japan); Daisy (Korea/Hong Kong with a Japanese music director); a trilogy horror film Three (Korea/HongKong/Thailand) and its sequel Three . . . Extremes (Hong Kong/Japan/Korea), tomention just a few (see Jin & Lee, 2007). East Asian markets have become increasinglysynchronized and producers, directors, actors as well as capital from around the regionhave been engaged in various creative activities that transcend national borders.East Asian media cultures have long hybridized in local elements while absorbingAmerican cultural influences, but cultural fusion among East Asian media culture hascome to be generated too. Remaking of successful TV dramas and films from otherparts of East Asia has been frequently done, especially between Japanese, Korean,Hong Kong and Taiwanese media texts, and Japanese comic series are often adaptedfor TV dramas and films outside Japan. In this process, the resulting texts dexterouslyblend in a variety of local elements, far from being mere imitations of original works.One of the most prominent examples is Taiwans TV drama series, Liuxing Huayuan(Meteor Garden), which shows the creative localization of Japanese media culture inTaiwan and its intriguing transnational voyage that follows. It is based on a Japanesecomic series about high-school students lives, Hana yori dango. At the time there wasno Japanese TV drama series based on the comic series, but Taiwan producersskillfully adopted it to drama form on their own initiative in 2001. While the dramatakes up the Japanese character names as they are, including the name of the idol groupof four main male characters, F4, the story is reconstructed in Taiwanese universityAsian Journal of Communication 199Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011settings, featuring Taiwanese idols and original theme songs. The program has beenphenomenally popular not just in Taiwan but also in various parts of East Asia. Thedrama was also well-received by audiences in Japan and a Japanese TV stationbelatedly produced a Japanese version of the drama series in 2005 and 2007, whichwere also well-received outside Japan. Finally, a Korean version of the drama serieswas produced in 2008.In the studies of cultural globalization, the West and the Rest tend to be equatedwith the global and the local, respectively, and, even in the discussion of culturalhybridization, the Rest is supposed only to imitate, appropriate and/or hybridize theWest, no matter howactively producing local media cultures in the process.While EastAsian media culture cannot be free from American influences, this intriguing dynamicprocess of inter-Asian cultural fusion and intertextual reworking urges us to go beyondthe view of Westernization or Americanization of the world.Another related significant issue of inter-Asian media culture circulation isconcerned with how people in many parts of the region are connected through mediaculture consumption. One argues that it might engender an East Asian identity (Chua,2004), while others discuss how the region works effectively to mediate between thenational/local and the global in terms of the operation of capital (Ching, 2000; Sinclair,2007). Another crucial question is how inter-Asian circulation of media culturespromotes peoples mutual understanding and self-reflexive dialogues in a transnationalscope.Media culture plays a significant role in constructing the national public. Manystudies have shown how the mass media such as film, radio and TV have constructedimagined communities and the public sphere on a national level. However, as mediacultures of various places regularly cross the national boundaries, people have nowmuch wider repertoire for reflecting on their own lives and socio-political issues,though the national mass media are still the most powerful in this respect. The practiceof transnational media consumption is most elucidated by migrants and diasporasconsumption of media culture coming from home but those national audiences whohave never moved to other countries are also actively watching and listening to bordercrossingmedia cultures. In East Asia too, the consumption of media cultures such asTV dramas and films from other parts of the region has become more commonplace inthe last 20 years. For most parts, this was something which the producers were notconscious of and did not expect in the production process, since media cultures areproduced chiefly for the national audiences. However, media cultures have transcendedthe national boundaries to reach unforeseen audiences via free-to-air channels,cable and satellite channels, pirated VCD and DVD and Internet sites. Furthermore,increasing numbers of media cultures are produced and internationally co-produced totarget those international audiences. Inter-Asian media culture circulation has cometo gain a significant weight as it has given a wide range of resources for peoples publicengagement in everyday life.Peoples participation in the public realm via the media is not just limited to aHabermasian public sphere in which people equally partake in rational deliberationabout significant socio-political issues. Emotion and affection are also vital to peoplesparticipation in and belonging to society and the consumption of media cultures playsa significant part in constituting the cultural public sphere, which McGuigan (2005,p. 435) defines as the articulation of politics, public and personal, as a contestedterrain through affective (aesthetic and emotional) modes of communication. It200 K. IwabuchiDownloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011provides vehicles for thought and feeling, for imagination and disputatious argument,which are not necessarily of inherent merit but may be of some consequence(McGuigan, 2005, p. 435). Indeed, the personal is always political and everydaymundane meaning construction through media consumption is an indispensable partof the public participation (Livingstone, 2005).Many studies have shown that inter-Asian media culture consumption has broughtabout new kinds of cross-border relationships, mutual understanding and selfreflexivityabout peoples own society and culture on a large scale that has neverbeen observed before (e.g. Chua & Iwabuchi, 2008; Iwabuchi, 2002, 2004; Kim, 2008).The mutual consumption of media culture has created an opportunity in which theunderstanding of other society and culture dramatically deepens and improves, andthe socio-cultural issues and concerns are sympathetically appreciated and shared bymany people in the regions. The sympathetic watching of Japanese or Korean TVdramas has encouraged the audiences in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan andKorea to have a fresh viewon their own societies, gender relations and social lives of theyoung through the perception and appreciation of spatio-temporal distance/proximityof other East Asian modernities (e.g. Iwabuchi, 2002; Kim, 2008; Lee, 2008; Leung,2004; Nakano &Wu, 2002). Although the sense of nostalgia, which is often evoked bythe consumption of media culture from other Asian countries, might reproduceOrientalist views of other Asians as not-quite-modern-as-us by equating their presentwith our past, nostalgia alsoworks to evoke a self-reflexive thinking (Iwabuchi, 2002,2008a). In my study, the somewhat nostalgic consumption of Hong Kong or Koreanmedia cultures in Japan has even destabilized a historically-constituted belief inJapans superiority over the rest of Asia; thinking which, while accepting that thecountry belongs geographically and culturally to Asia, makes a distinction betweenJapan and Asia (Iwabuchi, 2002, 2008). Furthermore, the consumption of mediacultures has also triggered extra post-text activities. No small number of peopleeventually visit other Asian cities, meet people there, start learning local languages andjoin transnational Internet fan communities (Hu, 2005). In the case of the KoreanWave in Japan, many (mostly female) audiences even started re-learning Japanscolonial history.Inter-Asian media culture connections thus work as a great opportunity for manypeople to critically review the state of their own culture, society and historicalrelationship with other parts of Asia. The mediated encounter with other Asianmodernities may make people in East Asia realize that they now inhabit the samedevelopmental time zone as other parts of East Asia. They mutually appreciate howcommon experiences of modernization, urbanization, Westernization and globalizationare similarly and differently represented in other East Asian contexts. This displaysa great possibility of cross-national dialogues engendered by media culture flows.Media cultures have connected East Asia in new, dialogic manners: dialogic, not in thesense of actually meeting in person to talk to each other, but in the sense of rethinkingones own life, society and culture aswell as socio-historically constructed relations andperceptions with others, critically and self-reflexively, via mediated cultures.Glocal marketization of media culturesWhile the rise of East Asian media cultures demonstrates that it is no longer persuasiveto understand the structure of global cultural power as bipartite domination, withAsian Journal of Communication 201Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011one-way transfers and influences of media culture from the center (West) to theperiphery (Rest), this does not however mean the disappearance of power structures inthe global media culture production and circulation. The rise of East Asian mediaculture needs to be considered in the context in which cultural power has becomedecentralized, dispersed and interpenetrated by the transnational alliance of mediaculture industries. Cross-border partnership and cooperation among media cultureindustries involving non-Western players are being driven forward, with America asa pivotal presence, but in such a way as to go beyond the West‹¨«Rest paradigm ora straightforward notion of Western cultural hegemony over the non-West. Here, acrucial question is whether global power relations are fundamentally challenged andtransformed, and whose voices and which issues are not included in the transnationalcultural conversation as the marketization of media cultures is moving forward.McGuigan (2009) argues how cool capitalism, which gives priority to individualconsumer sovereignty in a profound marketization logic, is capable of subtly taking inits critique to promote further commercialization. Flexibility of capital is, to put itmore extensively, discerned in such a way as to absorb subversive and opposingchallenges for its own benefit. This is shown by the marketing strategy of media cultureindustries that subtly combines globalization and localization, homogenization andheterogenization, and decentering and recentering. These seemingly opposing forcesare actually working simultaneously in a mutually constitutive manner and suchprocesses are subtly exploited by media culture industries as the business buzzwordglocalization shows (Robertson, 1995). The new configuration of cultural powerexploits the locally-specific meaning construction process in a globally-tailoredmanner.Globally-disseminated cultural products and images are, as suggested earlier,reworked through a process of hybridization in each locality. While this process givesrise to the diversification of media cultural repertoires in many parts of the world, thisincrease in cultural diversity is being governed by the logic of capital and organizedwithin the context of globalization (Hannerz, 1996). Globalization does not destroycultural differences but rather brings about a peculiar form of homogenization whilefostering them (Hall, 1991).With the advancement of globalization, a series of culturalformats such as genre, narrative style, visual representation, digitalized special effects,marketing technique, and the idea of coolness through which various differences canbe adjusted have been disseminated, shared and deployed by media culture industries.Many of them are attributed to the global spread of American media culture (Morley& Robins, 1995) and thus one could say that America has become a base format thatregulates the process of media culture production around the world. It can be arguedthen that what is happening is less de-Americanization than late Americanization.However, while it is incongruous to deny the enormity of American cultural influences,it is too simplistic to straightforwardly equate globalization with Americanization orAmerican cultural imperialism. As demonstrated by the prevalence of the televisionformat business and film remaking, many examples of which are not of Americanorigin, various media culture industries of Europe and Asia are now actively joiningthe glocalizing enterprise and jointly exploiting late Americanization. Transnationalmedia corporations are seeking to raise their profits by tailoring globally adoptableformats to every corner of the world while promoting cultural diversity in everymarket. The world is becoming more diverse through standardization and morestandardized through diversification under the marketization of media cultures.202 K. IwabuchiDownloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011Inter-Asian media culture circulations are not free from this transnational allianceof media culture industries. As exemplified by STAR TV, owned by News Corporation,and MTV Asia, global media giants are penetrating regional media flows bydeploying localization strategies in tandem with local partners. Made-in-Asia globalcultures are not immune to the dominance of the transnational alliance centered onAmerica, either. Hollywoods distribution networks are indispensable to make thePoke?mon animation series and films (distributed by Warner Bros.) and the animefilms of Hayao Miyazaki (distributed by Disney) a global culture. Moreover, thePoke?mon anime series and movies that audiences around the world enjoy have beenAmericanized, a process that involves removing some of their Japaneseness to makethem more acceptable to global audiences from the perspective of American producers(see Allison, 2006; Tobin, 2004).More recently, Hollywood has been accommodating itself with the rise of Asianmedia culture production and markets so as to make its products more internationallyoriented.Hollywood has been actively incorporating the strength of East Asian mediacultures through the employment of directors and actors such as JohnWoo, Ang Lee,Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyi and Lee Byung-hun, and the remaking of Japanese, Koreanand Hong Kong films such as The Grudge, Shall We Dance, Infernal Affairs and MySassy Girl. Hollywood also actively (co)produces and distributes Asia-related filmssuch as Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kung Fu Hustle, The Last Samurai andMemoirs of a Geisha. In addition, the Hollywood studios are now actively producingAsian media cultures by setting up local branches in prosperous Asian cities. It couldbe argued that Hollywoods embracing of Asia shows uneven power relations betweenthe US and Asia, since Asian contents need to be modified to the taste and style ofHollywood for which Western markets are still the most significant even though itstarget audiences are becoming more global than before, and because Orientaliststereotypical images of Asia are represented even in those films. However, let mereiterate here, while America still occupies a central position, the power relations in theglobal cultural economy has become more entangled than a Manichean picture ofWest‹¨«Asia or America‹¨«China.1 Hollywood production capacity, system and formatare becoming ubiquitous and constitutive in the producing of original national mediacultures in East Asia and inter-Asian media culture circulation. But this also means theshifting nature of America too, in which Asia has come to occupy a significant partand Asian actors in turn are actively and complicitly exploiting the opportunity toreach global markets. In this context, it is highly dubious that the rise of Asian mediacultures fundamentally challenges the existing global cultural power configuration,which is governed by transnational media culture industries of developed countries.Copyright and labor as the site of power operationGlobalization theories, which discuss how active hybridization and localizationprocesses are bringing about unexpected outcomes in the local, are often attackedfor their optimistic construction of the myth of global interconnectivity by neglectingthe unevenness in the political economy of the media culture production process infavor of agency of audiences and social actors at the receiving end (e.g. Hafez, 2007;Sparks, 2007). While these critiques tend to over-exaggerate the argument they try torefute, the point is well taken that more attention needs to be paid to the politicaleconomy of media culture production, which highlights the structural unevenness andAsian Journal of Communication 203Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011domination. Hesmondhalgh (2008) disapproves of the kind of argument thatglobalization is unidirectional but nevertheless connecting the world in a complexmanner, for it somehow downplays inequality, exploitation and injustice (p. 96).While criticizing the argument of cultural imperialism in its simplified account ofmeaning construction process, Hesmondhalgh proposes to analyze the copyrightmonopoly by media culture industries as the neo-liberalism operation of imperialism.Copyright and intellectual property is the most important source of profit for mediaculture industries, as is the case with the brand manufacturing sector (Klein, 2000).Hesmondhalgh (2008) argues that the neo-liberalism marketization of media culture isstrengthening the view of culture as property, which raises a serious question about theideas of cultural creativity and cultural commons. Creativity is shifting from a socialand collective one to individualization, which is eventually monopolized by mediaculture industries with the support of the state regulation.Though it is open to question if such a conception of culture as property isWestern as Hesmondhalgh states, Euro-American-based transnational corporationscertainly work hard to institutionalize it in the world. However Asian media cultureindustries too actively collaborate with them. Since late 1990s, the policing overcopyright infringement has become much tighter in East Asian cities, and this has aserious implication in the inter-Asian media culture circulation. The comprehensivepicture of the circulation and consumption of TV dramas, films and popular music inEast Asian markets cannot be captured solely by the examination of the formalbusiness and distributional route. Pirated VCDandDVDand the Internet are actuallythe main media for promoting their circulation. Through surprisingly swift subtitlingin Chinese, Korean and other languages, audiences worldwide enjoy many East AsianTV dramas just a few days after they are first broadcast. Unofficial circulation ofmedia cultures has been developed precisely because media culture industries in EastAsia were not much interested in overseas audiences, as suggested earlier. Theindifference of media culture industries has led to them being left out in thetransnationalization of TV dramas, which is promoted not just by the undergroundpolitical economy but also by neglected fans guerrilla activities (Hu, 2005).Fans creative activities on the translation of, commenting on and conversationabout media texts engender an unofficial globalization from below (Hu, 2004, 2005;Pang 2006, 2009). Through the (illegitimate) repackaging, East Asian TV dramasfacilitate new transnational cultural connections and gain public significance outsidethe original country of production. The ownership of cheapVCDandDVDcopies andthe watching of dramas on Internet sites have brought about new patterns of mediaconsumption, new forms of cultural creativity and new kinds of transnational affectivecommunities. It highlights grassroots practices of copying, distributing and sharing ofmedia culture,which seriously question the dominant system of the global governanceof symbol production and consumption (Hesmondhalgh, 2008) based on theprivatization of culture as property (Hu, 2005; Pang, 2009). While the right of theproducers needs to be protected, whether the corporate-driven dominant discourse ofcopyrights, with the increasing weight of its neo-liberalism mode of creativity andownership of culture, takes seriously the issues of publicness of media culture in termsof cultural commons, sharing and creativity is dubious.It is also deeply questionable if the policing of copyright infringement would reallybenefit all producers and workers. Another important issue raised by the copyrightmonopoly is the international exploitation of cultural labor. The high concentration of204 K. IwabuchiDownloaded by [Macquarie University] at 02:28 29 July 2011media ownership in the hands of a few global companies and their monopoly ofintellectual property has accompanied the new international division of cultural labor(Miller, Govil, McMurria, Maxwell, &Wang, 2005).While the headquarters of mediaculture industries are located in global cities of wealthier countries, the productionprocess is highly decentered as the corporations are desperately seeking cheap labor inoutsourcing basic work. This is not just occurring to Hollywood but also to culturalproduction within East Asia. Working conditions of animation subcontractors inJapan are infamously poor, but the exploitation of cultural labor has become not just adomestic issue but a transnational one. Japanese animation companies have longsubcontracted the basic work of animation production to other parts of Asia. It usedto be to Korea and Taiwan but, as the labor cost has increased there, it is graduallyshifting to other cheaper locations such as China. Those workers work hard with longlabor hours for low wages, and the situation is even getting worse with theadvancement of media globalization (see Yoon, 2009).While it is expected that promotion of creative industrieswould benefit all creatorsby improving their working conditions, giving more job opportunities and encouragingcultural creativity to flourish, however, as Otsuka and Osawa (2005) point outregarding the animation industries,

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