Chinese university trains "Internet celebrities"

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/23 8:21:37

A university in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has caused controversy by offering courses to train wannabe "Internet celebrities".

The training program, starting on Tuesday, was jointly launched by the Chongqing Institute of Engineering and Chongqing Miuyin, a cultural communication company.

It included courses in performance, live-streaming, video filming and image design.

The training program takes aim at e-commerce and marketing graduates to help them find jobs, said an employee, surnamed Zhang, with the institute.

Zhang said 19 students have signed up so far.

"If the program works well, we may set up a major in Internet celebrities someday in the future," Zhang told Beijing Youth Daily.

Some of the courses, such as image design, performance, psychology and live streaming techniques, are taught by instructors arranged by the company.

Internet celebrities will be invited to teach students their practical experience in attracting fans, said the company manager, adding the students may be recruited as online broadcasters by the company after graduation.

The training program has sparked heated discussion among netizens.

"The program is leading young people the wrong way to pursue success," said a netizen on Weibo, a Twitter-like service.

While some criticized the institute for misleading the young, others have shown an open attitude to the new phenomenon.

"The program just reflects a common trend that many people want to become Internet celebrities. There is nothing wrong with that," said one netizen.

Internet celebrities (Wanghong in Chinese) are regular people who go on to attract millions of fans by creating original content on the web and social media.

Online performance in China brought a total revenue of 21.9 billion yuan (3.3 billion US dollars) to more than 250 live streaming platforms which had 344 million users in total in 2016, according to the online live performance (streaming) branch of the China Association of Performing Arts.

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