Technology: China sees rise in Internet celebrities
(From News China)
Like many other 27-year-olds, Xu Yayan spends a lot of her time online. Unlike many of her peers, however, she has turned her social media skills into serious cash.
The former model has more than 200,000 followers on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, and about 40,000 followers on China’s ubiquitous messaging app, WeChat. Through WeChat, she and her sales representatives sell more than 10 million yuan ($1.6m) in personal care products every month. Her three-year-old company, Yancy Beauty, is now worth more than 100 million yuan ($15.5m).
Most of the people who sell her products are minor internet celebrities and models, just like Xu was several years ago. They are all part of a new generation of business-savvy online stars that is fast developing in China – the stars who, armed with a pretty face and a team of investors, capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame by pushing products under their own labels.
And it’s working. On last year’s record-breaking Singles’ Day, which occurs every November 11 and is China’s equivalent to Black Friday, e-commerce giant Alibaba saw $14.3 billion in sales, with most of that coming from its titanic online retail platform, Taobao. Five of Taobao’s top 10 best-performing shops that day belonged to online stars. Unlike in the West, where celebrities who market products are typically already famous in their own right, most of these young entrepreneurs appear seemingly out of nowhere. Along with their managers, they have successfully carved out a significant slice of the largest e-commerce market in the world. Read More