BEIJING: Dozens of social media influencers, armed with their cameras, tripods and electronic devices, packed the Malaysian embassy here when they gathered for the Musang King Winter Fiesta.
They were given an in-depth introduction to the King of Fruits, how to differentiate Musang King from other species, the skills required to open a durian, and the dishes and desserts that could be made with the fruit.
These influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), with hundreds of thousands of followers in China, also gave their opinion after trying the fruit and its products via livestreaming sessions at the event on Tuesday (Nov 17).
One of them was Rao Ke, 30, who has a fan base of more than 100,000.
"I introduced Musang King to my fans, as well as durian cendol and other products made of the fruit.
"The response was very good, ” she said, adding that the livestream session started with around 700 people, and shot up to over 3,000 at one time.
Rao Ke, who is also an actress, said there were more than 17,000 people who followed her livestream session of nearly three hours.
Another KOL was Dazhuang, with over 800,000 followers.
Dazhuang, 33, who usually posts videos and photos on the products he wishes to introduce to his fans, has opted for livestreaming this time.
"Durian has high demand in China, I think it is special enough for a livestreaming to help me attract more viewers, too, ” he said, adding that some 400 people followed him throughout the session.
Malaysian Ambassador to China, Raja Datuk Nushirwan Zainal Abidin, said Malaysia exported some 236 metric tonnes of durian pulp and paste, worth RM9.45mil, to China in 2018.
"This is an increase of over 300% compared with the RM3.86mil in 2017, ” he told the guests.
He said Malaysia has forecast that the durian trade would further increase in the future, especially after the Chinese government granted access for the import of the whole fruit.