Internet celebrity

People walk at a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on 16 January 2024. (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

Xiaohongshu’s push to make users spend on its platform

Launched in 2013 as a place for users to share things like travel and beauty tips, and acting as a conduit for lifestyle reviews, Xiaohongshu is again reshuffling its e-commerce ventures, hoping to transform into an e-commerce platform.
Visitors walk past ice sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 24 December 2023. (Liz Lee/Reuters)

[Video] China's Harbin pampering visitors to win tourism battle

Harbin has seen an explosion of tourists this Chinese New Year season, and it is pulling out all the stops to welcome them, sometimes to the chagrin of locals. However, can this wave of tourism be sustained, and improve Harbin’s economy? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Daryl Lim takes a trip to China’s land of snow and ice.
Livestreaming has boosted sales for shops in Dongmen.

[Video] Livestreamers take to Shenzhen’s pedestrian street to make it big

As singers, dancers and even those just chit-chatting fight to stand out in the highly saturated livestream industry to get traffic and monetary contributions from their viewers, Dongmen Pedestrian Street in Shenzhen has become the place to be. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Daryl Lim speaks to livestreamers in Dongmen to get a feel of the industry and what it takes to survive.
Li fired back against netizens, stating: “Sometimes you should reflect on yourself to find out why your salary hasn’t gone up after years of work. Have you been working hard enough?” (Internet)

How China's 'lipstick king' lost 63,000 livestream followers overnight

A livestreamer’s comments over the cost of an eyebrow pencil recently brewed a public opinion storm in China. While the incident may be stirred by the livestreamer’s insensitive comments, it speaks to the public’s deeper discontent with the grim economic outlook and employment prospects. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
Escape from the British Museum follows the story of a jade teapot, played by Xiatian Meimei, that "escaped" and encountered Chinese reporter Zhang Yong-an, played by Jianbing Guozai, in the UK.

When a Chinese teapot wants to 'escape from the British Museum'

A short video series featuring Chinese artefacts in the British Museum has gone viral on social media in China, with viewers being moved by the story of a teapot trying to go home to China. But even as critics highlight the heavy sentiment and patriotism in the series, it has prompted calls by China and other countries for the British Museum to return artefacts to their rightful owners.
“Pavel Korchatie” (left) and "Russia Nana" have been accused of using deepkfake AI to pass off as foreigners. (Weibo)

Why are Chinese internet stars pretending to be Russian?

​Finding online fame in China could be as simple as being a foreigner praising Chinese culture and food, as some would believe. This has led to a number of Chinese impersonators using deepfake AI to gain views on social media platforms. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk tells us more about this phenomenon.
Tourism heads in China have been dressing up to attract tourists to their regions. (SPH Media)

China's local officials doing cosplay to jumpstart tourism

China’s local tourism chiefs have been dressing up in elaborate costumes and starring in high-quality promotional videos to find online fame to drive tourism in their respective regions. However, netizens observe that not all of them are doing it right, or for the right reasons, and the state media has also spoken against the trend.
A man stands near a sign of ByteDance app Douyin during China Fashion Week, in Beijing, China, 31 March 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's crackdown on fake and staged short videos

With the deluge of short-form videos on various apps and platforms, the line between fact and fiction can be blurred, with some content creators staging videos just to get views and stir up emotions. To combat this, Douyin has come up with a new rule that creators have to label staged videos as such. How effective will this be in preventing creators from going overboard in generating views?
People wearing face masks walk out of a subway station during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, 26 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Patriotism has become a commodity on Chinese social media

Chinese internet celebrities have landed in hot water since social media platforms began displaying the IP addresses of posts by verified accounts. Netizens are crying foul as the locations of these individuals have potentially exposed the deception and falsehoods in their content and “patriotic” personae. Is this the end for the “patriotic Big Vs”?