China Focus: Bilingual livestreaming channel attracts millions of viewers

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 13, 2022
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by Xinhua writers Zhao Jiasong, Zhang Manzi

BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- A livestreaming sales channel operated by Chinese tutoring giant New Oriental Education & Technology Group has attracted more than 22 million subscribers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, with its teacher-hosts selling products in both Chinese and English.

"Rare, medium rare... These are answers for a question like 'How would you like your steak?'" This is a common format on the channel, where livestreamers share their knowledge of English with online viewers.

The company's shoppable livestream went viral in early June, when Dong Yuhui, one of the livestreamers, attracted nearly a million viewers to the "Dong Fang Zhen Xuan" channel on Douyin. It was not only his English teaching techniques that drew in viewers, but also his enlightening words when he shared his favorite books.

During a livestream, Dong used his humorous and knowledgeable hosting style to introduce a biography of ancient Chinese literary master Su Shi, priced at 26 yuan (about 4 U.S. dollars). He sold more than 20,000 copies.

During another live sales event, he sold 30,000 copies of "To Live" by famed Chinese writer Yu Hua in less than five minutes. It was after this that investors sensed the potential of New Oriental's participation in the livestreaming sales industry.

Fellow channel host Sun Jiaqi caught the attention of online consumers with her talent for singing and playing the guitar. She is always able to come up with snappy punchlines and improvises around the theme of a certain product.

Fun and humor are found in most classes taught by New Oriental teachers. "It's not hard for me to transform from being a teacher to being a seller. Both my students and my audience can be my friends, and I'm happy to share my knowledge and talk to them," said Sun, explaining how she avoids being camera-shy when speaking to millions of viewers.

Douyin's latest report on e-commerce shows that a significant number of high-quality content creators have stepped into the livestreaming sales industry. By January 2021, there were more than 1 million livestreamers profiting from e-commerce on Douyin.

According to a report released by data analysis agency iiMedia Research in late June, the total scale of China's livestreaming e-commerce industry hit 1.2 trillion yuan in 2021, and it is estimated that that figure will exceed 2.1 trillion yuan by 2025.

New Oriental founder Yu Minhong said he is willing to make efforts to support farmers and agriculture. He said he plans to take the hosts of the channel to farms so that they can sell agricultural products on-site via livestreaming, which could help farmers sell all of their products for the year in just five minutes. Enditem

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