October 5, 2022

China’s ‘Lipstick King’ returns to live-streaming show after mysterious three-month disappearance

3 min read

On Tuesday night, Li Jiaqi reappeared on Alibaba’s Taobao Live, the live streaming platform for the e-commerce giant.

His show attracted thousands of viewers within the first few minutes, despite no advance notice on his social media accounts. By the end of the two-hour show, 63 million viewers had watched his live stream, more than any of his previous shows. But still less traffic during major shopping festivals.

The 30-year-old livestreamer, also known as Austin Lee, was one of China’s biggest internet celebrities, with 64 million followers on Alibaba’s Taobao. He once sold 15,000 lipsticks in five minutes in a sales competition against Alibaba founder Jack Ma, earning himself the title of “China’s Lipstick King.”

But the superstar salesman has been silent since early June when his popular show was abruptly canceled on this year’s anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Just before the abrupt end, Lee showed his audience a multi-layered ice cream treat decorated with Oreos and wafers. It was like a tank.

analysts said Li was almost certainly censored by the government, as the tank motif is a sensitive symbol in China, which many associate with the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. According to Rongbin Han, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, timing is “deadly.”

During Tuesday’s show, Lee did not say why he had disappeared or where he had been in the past three months.

He focused solely on introducing goods, including cosmetics, skin care products, and fashion apparel, which were quickly snapped up by enthusiastic fans. One of the best selling items One was face cream, which sold more than 50,000 units. with total sales of 12.3 million yuan ($1.75 million).

“Finally you’re here!” Some fans said in the comments of the bullets scrolling on the screen. “Welcome!”

Here Today, Gone Yesterday: China's Missing Live Streamers

Fans were so excited that they bought the merchandise faster than expected, forcing Lee to end the show earlier than usual. His previous live streams usually lasted more than three hours.

“Today, stuff is produced in a hurry, and many girls can’t get hold of it,” Lee said near the end of the live stream, adding that she regretted having a bad shopping experience because there wasn’t enough stuff. was .

“How about we end it for now, and then when we have enough equipment we’ll continue broadcasting,” he said. “See you tomorrow girls.”

Lee’s return has quickly become a hot topic on social media, with many Weibo users giving the live-streaming star a warm welcome.

“Seeing it on screen again made me cry!” said one. “I’ve been waiting so long!”

“I’m ready to shop shop!” said another user.

Lee wasn’t the only live-streaming star to disappear in recent months.

    E-commerce livestreamer Austin Lee Jiaaki introduced the goods to his online fans.
Via, who – until now – was known as the “live streaming queen”, has not appeared online since December, when authorities were slapped. Record $210 million fine over it For tax evasion. The 36-year-old had hundreds of thousands of followers on China’s major social media and shopping platforms – including Weibo, Taobao and Doian, the China version of TikTok – but her accounts were taken down in December.

The sudden rise and fall of China’s best-known influence underscores the threat to people who depend on the Internet for their livelihoods in the world’s second-largest economy.

In June, just two weeks after Li disappeared, Beijing stepped up its crackdown on the country’s booming live-streaming industry. Regulators issued new rules banning 31 “misconduct” by live-streaming hosts, and requiring them to “uphold correct political values ​​and social values.”

China's economy is in bad shape and may stay that way for some time.

But a tough crackdown on the ballooning live streaming industry may not bode well for China’s economy.

It is the second largest economy in the world. Faced with serious economic problems. Consumer spending is weak, while youth unemployment is near. Historic highs
Policymakers now face mounting challenges to keep growth and jobs stable, as the country grapples with the effects of Beijing’s sanctions. A strict zero covid policya Bridging Regulatory Crackdown on the private sector, and A real estate crisis Due to which banks are facing increasing bad loans and increasing social protests.

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