Chinese Vloggers Step Into the Past, Dressed for Clicks

Many users on video-streaming site Bilibili are keeping up with guofeng, a trend helping them bring in more clicks, and cash.

On one of China’s largest video-streaming platforms, online influencers are bringing new life to the country’s ancient culture.

Qingyuan, a leading vlogger, proactively posts videos on Bilibili to transport viewers to a different era. When she’s not dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, the vlogger dons traditional Chinese costumes, including hanfu and qipao, to shoot videos in which she dances.

Known by her online alias Qingyuan — the name of a green-colored bird in Chinese mythology — she is among the rising vloggers riding the popularity of ancient Chinese style videos, known as guofeng. The videos are the latest Bilibili fad to see such influencers compete for views via channels dedicated to popular trends, including fashion, dance, music, and makeup, as well as the animation, comics, and games culture, often abbreviated as ACG.

Guofeng used to be considered a niche hobby, but now it has gradually become mainstream,” Qingyuan told Sixth Tone, who declined to disclose her real name and age to maintain her enigmatic online presence.

According to Bilibili, though China’s ACG fans account for a large chunk of the platform’s 200 million users, guofeng fans are slowly catching up. In 2019, there were an estimated 83 million guofeng enthusiasts on the video platform, more than 80% of whom were aged under 24.

Chen Rui, Bilibili’s chairman, said that he started noticing the growing popularity of guofeng videos as early as 2017, when they were performing significantly better than other videos.

“At least on Bilibili, I can see that the young Chinese generation is really into traditional Chinese culture, which is a relief to me,” he said at the time. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.