Using the nickname “Qiaobiluo Dianxia” (Your Highness Qiaobiluo), she has a sweet voice.
She gained more than 100,000 followers within weeks but none of them knew who she is and how she looks like.
Every time she went online, she would either turn the camera to shoot only her chest or use superimpose software to block her face.
The photos she uploaded were that of a young beautiful woman which made her followers believe she was that woman. They even bought her virtual gifts from the platform.
Everything went well for Qiaobiluo until July 25 when she linked up in a joint stream with another popular Internet celebrity Mix Qingzi.
Wearing a black tube-top and an unbuttoned blouse, she used a cartoon character to cover her face.
“I cannot show my face until I receive gifts worth 100,000 yuan. I’m good-looking after all,” she said.
(The amount is equivalent to RM60,500.)
Gifts started pouring in but soon, “the mask” disappeared due to a computer glitch and it shocked everyone.
She turned out to be a dama – a term referring to Chinese middle-aged aunty.
Qiaobiluo only realised the technical glitch after reading comments left by furious followers who, in rapid numbers, abandoned her.
One of the very first to unfollow was a big spender who had bought her gifts worth 100,000 yuan.
It is said that this follower was so heartbroken that he even cancelled his account.
Seeing that she could do nothing to save her image, Qiaobiluo revealed that she was actually 58 years old.
She also posted a photograph of her wearing the same outfit, but it was heavily filtered to make her younger and prettier.
The incident went viral with many people venting their anger on social media, calling her a cheat.
Surprisingly, the number of her followers did not drop.
In just a few days after the incident, her followers shot up to over 600,000, putting her in the list of Top 10 Most Popular Live-streamer of the platform.
Most of them were just curious onlookers, very few sent her gifts.
On July 30, Qiaobiluo revealed that the whole saga was a publicity stunt to boost her popularity and that she had spent 280,000 (RM169,400) for it.
She also said that some companies, including a beauty camera app, intended to sign her up for their commercials and that she was also planning to release a music album.
But all this is now history because the issue became too hot and caught the attention of the authorities.
Last Thursday, Douyu issued a notice to announce that the room of Your Highness Qiaobiluo would be closed down indefinitely.
Online streaming is a hit in China.
Recently, I checked out a streaming platform for the first time.
From what I saw, only a few were men out of the 120 streamers on the first page.
The women have obviously been using filters to “beautify” their looks, so all of them appeared to be fair, have big eyes, high-bridged nose and a long, sharp face – the general characteristics of beautiful women in the country.
Apart from disguising as beautiful babes, these wanghong (online celebrities) also do outrageous acts such as performing dangerous stunts and eating insects such as centipede and spider to attract viewers.
Fans can buy them virtual gifts from the platforms.
These “gifts” would later be turned into real money to be shared between the platforms and the streamers, and the latter’s agents as well, if they have any.
It is said that the top live-streamers in China could receive at least one million yuan (RM605,000) worth of presents monthly.
Some were also invited to variety shows or had appeared in commercials.
According to the China Economic Times, the streaming market is expected to reach two trillion yuan (RM1.2 trillion).
There are approximately 600 million wanghong fans in China and over half of them are below 25 years old.
In May, an 11-year-old girl used her parents’ cellphones to send gifts to her favourite celebs.
The adults only came to know about it when the bank contacted the mother to inform her that she had reached the 500,000-yuan (RM302,500) limit on her credit card.
In March, a 12-year-old girl was also found to have spent 120,000 yuan (RM72,000) on the celebs from a streaming platform via her father’s cellphone.
She told her parents that the
celebs said she was their best friend and that she felt happy gifting them.
Late last year, a 19-year-old man spent 260,000 yuan (RM156,500) on an online celebrity, whom he claimed had agreed to marry him.
They even called each other husband and wife on WeChat although they had never met in real life.
When the teenager exhausted his parents’ life savings, which they intended to use as a down payment for their first home, the celeb broke up with him, saying that he was like her brother.
Last year, the Chinese government instructed online video companies to strengthen the management of their content, reported China Daily.
These firms were told to stick to the guidance of good values while setting up internal protection systems for juveniles and intensify the clearing of content that harms them.
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