Snap gif boost web celebrity economy in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/4 1:43:40



Street photographers take pictures at Sanlitun Taikoo shopping arcade in Chaoyang district, Beijing, on July 3, 2019. (Photos: Wang Qi/GT)

While internet celebrities in other places rack their brains for wonderful pictures to impress others, those in China have found a new way to stand out with snap gifs.

Splits, Ballet rotation, a sudden Princess hug by "boyfriend"... there is nothing social media celebrities in Hangzhou, capital of China's Zhejiang Province, cannot do in a staged snap gif to catch your attention.

Every time I go to the West Lake - a famous scenic spot in Hangzhou - I see dozens of male and female models walking around. There are so many photographers following closely, but they pretend to be surprised and shy when the camera looks at them, a net user complained on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Street snap, or street photography, which was originally invented to highlight popular elements in normal daily life, is apparently being redefined in China by the new snap gif trend.

There are no beautiful clothes, only overexerted performances, netizens said.

The trend was started by popular short-video streaming platforms, such as TikTok and Kuaishou, which makes it easier for those who want to make a name for themselves and, of course, fortunes.

Behind the celebrities and models, there are photography teams, incubator companies and, at last, products suppliers, insiders told the media.

When these pictures, short videos and gifs are uploaded to the internet, advertisements for the models' clothes, bags and shoes will be attached.

By this measure, Zhou Xiang, a garment company owner in Hangzhou, told the media that he once sold about 600,000 items of clothing in a single day.

The companies usually divide the incomes equally with the celebrities, according to Zhou.

Photographers also benefit from the business. They can reportedly gain as much as 30,000 ($4,360) yuan a day to take photos of celebrities. 

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