Livestreamer Li Jiaqi has risen to become China’s most powerful influencer. Now, he’s jumping on a new trend: an upsurge in Chinese patriotism.
SHANGHAI — Standing under the blinding glare of eight spotlights, Li Jiaqi waves manically at the camera as he launches into yet another marathon broadcast. “Hello, everyone! Here we are!” he shouts.
The 29-year-old is almost unheard of overseas, but in China he’s a bona fide megastar. He has an online following to rival pop star Harry Styles, a string of movie and TV appearances to his name, and a bulging list of brand partnerships. Even his dog — a white bichon named Never — has her own reality show.
Li has built his reputation on being the nation’s personal shopper: a source of trustworthy advice on what — and what not — to buy online. Six evenings a week, he hosts a livestream in which he presents a selection of items he’s chosen to endorse, ranging from makeup to million-dollar rings. Then, he yells his favorite catchphrase: “Buy it!”
It’s a simple formula, but it’s become appointment viewing for young Chinese. Tonight, more than 10 million people have tuned in to watch Li’s show on Taobao Live — a livestream channel linked to Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao. On a good night, he can attract 10 times that figure.
Now, China’s top influencer has a new message for his viewers — and it’s bad news for global brands. He’s urging shoppers to buy more Chinese products. Continue to read the full article here
– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.