beijing cybercafe (Photo : Getty Images)
Because of China’s firewall, celebrities famous on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube find it difficult to reach a potentially large market. Chinese would need to use a VPN to access these social media sites, so these celebrities have some help from Chinese companies to reach Chinese social media users.
Nurturing the Next Top Web Celebrities
One company that helps these Internet stars such as Korean beauty expert Park Hye-min, or Pony, is Tophot, an incubator in Shanghai that targets to nurture the next top Web celebrities, Global Times reported. The company organized seven days of activities for Pony – who was 600,000 followers on YouTube and 3.3 million followers on Instagram, such as attending a Sina Weibo award ceremony and a fan meet.
After Pony debuted on Sina Weibo, her first post got more than 50,000 likes and elicited 13,000 comments. Female Chinese also began purchasing the cosmetic and beauty products she uses in her make-up tutorial until she was able to establish her own makeup brand Pony Effect.
Besides Pony, Tophot also assisted Alissa Violet, an American makeup and style Internet sensation with 3.5 million Instagram followers. After she debuted on Sina Weibo in August 2016, she got more than 50,000 Chinese followers.
Following Tophot’s assistance, the Eh-Bee Family, Internet sensation in Canada who perform skits and parodies, got a million followers on Sina Weibo. Lu Donglei, operations director of wanghonglaile.com, a company based in Guangdong Province that cultivates celebrities seeking Chinese followers, said to be a hit on Chinese social media, they should have some knowledge of Chinese culture, speak a little Chinese and have a moderate political attitude.
Common Online Space
Lu Wei, former Internet Czar of China, in justifying the country’s firewall, old foreign dignitaries at a Spring Festival banquet, ““We live in a common online space. This online space is made up of the Internets of various countries, and each country has its own independent and autonomous interest in Internet sovereignty, Internet security and Internet development. Only through my own proper management of my own Internet, and your proper management of your own Internet . . . can the online space be truly safe, more orderly, and more beautiful,” China File quoted.