Social media influencers play a positive role in China
Published: Sep 06, 2021 06:33 PM
Photo: A screenshot from Li Ziqi YouTube account

Photo: A screenshot from Li Ziqi YouTube account

We are now in an era full of miracles. Social media influencers (SMIs) may just be one of them. SMIs are netizens who stand out from the crowd with their ability to harvest attention and increase online traffic. 

While their incredible effect on young people has been widely criticized due to some SMIs grabbing attention with violent, vain or indecent content, the SMI industry is still booming. 

What do you think about 500 billion yuan ($77.4 billion)? 

This is equivalent to the total GDP of Luxembourg in 2020. It is also the gross merchandise volume of Chinese SMIs for that year. 

Yes, Chinese SMIs sold a country! Don't be surprised! You and I, your mother and my mother are probably all contributors to this shocking number.

In a subtle yet effective way, SMIs are using their credibility and attractiveness to build brand admiration, and then further turning this admiration into sales. 

During China's 618 e-commerce shopping festival in June, influencer Li Jiaqi set a record by reaching more than 2 billion yuan in sales! 

Behind these numbers, we can see huge industrial chains and job opportunities that are propelling China's economic development in the internet era.

Apart from their contributions to the economy, SMIs have become a new helper for national governance. SMIs provide the government with an approachable way to deliver its political intentions and increase transparency. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping earned the nickname "the best seller of agaric mushrooms in 2020" by promoting Shaanxi Province's tasty fungus during a livestream in April 2020. 

During the Wuhan lockdown, official SMI blogs refuted rumors in real time, giving a much-needed shot in the arm for the panicked and bewildered Chinese people at the time. 

At the same time, SMIs create a new approach to spreading Chinese culture. 

Li Ziqi, a beautiful SMI from Sichuan Province, set a Guinness World Record for having more than 14 million subscribers on her Chinese language channel on YouTube. 

Her videos vividly display the charm of traditional Chinese cuisine and the beauty of the country life. Her success shows that SMIs are a good choice to tell Chinese stories and convey Chinese voices. More importantly, by straddling cultural and online popularity, SMIs are a sustainable model for cultural dissemination in the internet era. 

These facts show that SMIs have done a great job in China. If more controls and regulations could be introduced to discipline SMIs, and therefore unleash their positive potential, we can expect SMIs to amaze us again and again.