Why everyone wants stellar influencer Li Ziqi back
Published: Oct 09, 2023 10:33 PM
Illustration:Liu Xiangya/GT

Illustration:Liu Xiangya/GT

In a recent official promotional video on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, Chinese influencer Li Ziqi made an appearance after a two-year hiatus, sparking speculation among netizens that she might make a formal comeback on the platform. This topic quickly trended on Chinese social media, generating anticipation among many netizens. 

In this fast-paced life, we not only miss and admire Li but also yearn for the poetic and slow-paced lifestyle that she represents. 

People appreciate the relaxed, comfortable, and leisurely way of life conveyed in her videos, as well as the spiritual rejuvenation. This artistic way of life embodies the wisdom and philosophy of ancient Chinese civilization and represents the diligence and craftsmanship of Chinese people.

As one of the most influential internet celebrities in China, Li has evolved from being an ordinary online influencer to becoming a walking cultural symbol. 

When it comes to her personal influence, she has gained international fame with over 100 million fans across various platforms. 

Despite losing over 8 million followers during her more than two-year hiatus due to litigation with her management agency Weinian, she remains unmatched by other internet celebrities. Her YouTube subscribe count has otherwise increased to 17.8 million. 

In 2021, the official Sina Weibo account of the Guinness World Records announced that Li set a remarkable Guinness World Record for "the most subscribed Chinese-language channel on YouTube" with a total of 14.1 million subscribers.

Why do people all over the world love her? Despite her two-year hiatus, why has she been continuously imitated by many internet vloggers but never surpassed? 

The popularity of Li's videos, both domestically and internationally, resonates with the universal longing for a better life. 

The soothing ambiance portrayed in her videos has healed many people and has encouraged many of them to pursue a down-to-earth life in the busy world.

Her works possess high artistic value and cultural significance, which other video influencers find difficult to achieve. 

Whether it's food preparation or mundane daily chores, her videos are filled with poetry and aesthetic appeal. This unique artistic charm makes her works highly likable.

Through her videos showcasing food, crafts and farming, she embodies a return to simplicity and self-sufficiency, conveying the charm of traditional Chinese culture and the values of simplicity, hard work and kindness that have been inherent among Chinese people since ancient times.

It is clear that Li cherishes her craft greatly. Her food videos have significant aesthetic value, featuring meticulous preparation that demonstrates her understanding of and love for traditional Chinese cuisine. 

She is willing to post her content only once a month to ensure the quality of her productions. 

For example, she traveled to Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu Province and spent a month learning from a master to produce a video about making Lanzhou beef noodles. 

Through this, she exemplifies the spirit of a Chinese craftsperson who perseveres, innovates, faces challenges without fear, and pursues excellence.

In addition, Li also ventures into the protection and inheritance of intangible cultural heritage. 

Through short videos and livestreaming platforms, she has introduced more young people to traditional Chinese handicrafts and fostered their love for them. 

Under her influence, many endangered heritages have regained attention. Li's poetic and graceful videos have inspired mostly the young people to see the preservation and development of traditional Chinese culture as a trendy thing to do. 

Her promotion and popularization of traditional Chinese culture holds great significance for enhancing cultural confidence.

Li, as a one-of-a-kind internet celebrity, no longer needs to prove herself in terms of content creation. 

Upon her potential return, her main tasks will be to regain her fan base and reestablish her influence while maximizing the value derived from it.

"Spreading Chinese culture and telling rural stories," Li is using her unique videos to narrate her own story that also aligns with a broader vision of rural revitalization. 

By sharing her personal anecdotes and embracing a slower pace, Li can continue to cultivate her "timeless piece of land."