Malaysian influencer draws in the crowd at China expo

Halo effect: Wong live-streaming at the expo held in Nanning, China.

NANNING: Surrounded by three ring lights, two smartphones and a number of electronic gadgets, Kalina Wong could hardly be missed by visitors to the 17th China-Asean Expo here.

The Malaysian businesswoman and social media influencer moved her “studio” to the exhibition hall, promoting her food products at the Indonesia section of the Asean Pavilion.

She live-streamed her experience at the event to her 400,000-strong fans, though the streaming process has nothing directly to do with her sales at the expo. It was a gimmick to attract visitors.

The 28-year-old from Kota Kinabalu, who came to China eight months ago, set up her company there in October.

But this was never actually on her mind. She came to China for a business meeting in Liuzhou city, about 250km from here, in March.

“When the Covid-19 outbreak happened in Malaysia, followed by the closure of the border between both countries, I was stuck, ” she said.

She was afraid to travel when the pandemic broke because she has her three children – one aged six and twins aged two – with her.

“I stayed back and planned to travel when the pandemic was over. But, I didn’t realise that it would last for so long, ” she added.

During her stay in China, Wong shoots videos and shares her thoughts on social networking platforms to pass her time.

“The number of my followers shot up quickly, ” she said, adding that an Indonesian food manufacturer noticed her social media posts and engaged her as its distributor in China.

She then set up an online business here last month but has only utilised the live-streaming platform to promote her products recently.

“It helps my business grow, ” she said, adding that her sales has increased.

The CAExpo, from Nov 27 to 30, at the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, is an annual expo for Asean traders to showcase their products and seek business partners in China.

Due to the pandemic, the number of Asean exhibitors dropped from 1,548 last year to 574 this time.

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China-Asean Expo , influencer , e-commerce


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