Across China: Livestreaming offers vulnerable new career opportunities in Chongqing

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 26, 2023
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CHONGQING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Zou Bin, a 42-year-old livestreamer with some 150,000 followers, has been winning his fans over with his handsome looks and gorgeous voice since 2017; however, very few knew that he was blind in his right eye.

Zou says he has never wanted to take advantage of the disability to draw people's attention online, so when the livestreaming incubation base for the handicapped residents in Yuzhong District, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality reached out to him last year, he declined their offer.

The incubation base continued to extend Zou an invitation, so this year, he agreed to take a look. He was surprised to find how professional they were. "I am a livestreamer myself, so when I see the equipment they got, I know they are for real," said Zou. In contrast, the incubation base offers support for e-commerce livestreaming, whereas, previously, he had focused on entertainment.

The result of cooperation with the Federation of Disabled Persons in Yuzhong District, the incubation base was built last year and officially opened this February.

"On the one side, we provide e-commerce livestreaming training for people living with disabilities in Chongqing and aim to empower these individuals to make money from livestreaming. We also connect them with suppliers to guarantee the quality of goods they sell," said Yuan Hongda, the leader of the incubation base.

Yuan added that on the other side, the base also has their own accounts, managed by four livestreamers, which to date have sold local specialties from Chongqing worth 150,000 yuan (about 21,000 U.S. dollars).

After several months of training, the incubation base recommended Zou attend the national e-commerce livestreaming competition for handicapped people. "I learned a lot from these events. I also observed lots of changes taking place for my peers. Some of them were green hands at the beginning, but now can reap tangible benefits through e-commerce livestreaming," said Zou.

Zou himself changed, too, and the incubation base inspired him to shift career path.

Other than finding a practical way to broaden career choices for the handicapped, the initiative also seeks to empower people.

For Weng Ning, a 40-year-old blind pianist, his initial motivation was not financial, but rather social. He saw the incubator as a place he could reach people. Losing his sight when he was 27 years old, he had a very rough time digesting the sudden strike. But the piano inspired him to pluck up the courage to live again. Now as a pianist, he has earned respect and money for himself.

When the incubation base offered to support him to be a livestreamer, he was attracted by how his presence online could impact the viewing public. "I wish people can have more courage toward life after seeing my experiences," said Weng. "Also for me, I feel really glad to see other hard-working, talented and diligent handicapped friends here. I gain more power from them."

"We have trained over 300 people this year. We run courses every month and offer free equipment and consultancy services. Until now, there have been over 1,800 livestreaming sessions held at the base, including our accounts and trainees' accounts," said Yuan.

Yuan said after just one year, their system is more complete and scientific. Also they have supported eight skilled livestreamers who are not only eyeing sales targets of 500,000 yuan but aim to enrich the lives of other handicapped people in the process. Enditem

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