The Fitness Influencer Making Locked-Down Chinese Sweat

Liu Genghong has emerged as an unlikely entertainer through his viral workout sessions helping people keep fit indoors.

Millions of people under lockdown in China now share a common routine: A fitness session with their new star personal trainer Liu Genghong.

The recently little-known Taiwan-born singer, actor, and personal trainer has turned into a viral sensation over the past weeks, as his fitness livestreams amass audiences from across the country. Many of them have been locked indoors for weeks as part of the government response to stamp out surging COVID-19 cases.

The 49-year-old has also been in lockdown with his family in Shanghai, currently in its third week of a citywide shutdown. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, Liu appears on short video platform Douyin — China’s version of TikTok — with wife Wang Wanfei at 7:30 p.m., though he makes his followers wake up early at 9 a.m. on Saturdays for a 90-minute session.

The couple is usually seen exercising to the fast-paced tune of pop singer Jay Chou’s “Compendium of Materia Medica” and others. Snippets of the workout where Liu appears in a red tank top and black slacks with his wife have since gone viral on social media, with people imitating the workout routine at schools, quarantine centers, and even while lining up for nucleic acid tests.

Liu’s workout sessions have been so popular during the lockdown that they have broken Douyin’s livestreaming record for 2022 so far, according to data analysis platform Chanmama. Within one month, his livestreams have been viewed nearly 40 million times altogether, with his most popular session attracting over 1 million live views.

Liu’s followers have also increased from 5 million to 33 million in just 10 weeks. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.