Kenyan student in China share internet celebrity economy
“Why do Chinese people love instant noodles? We would not eat such food in Kenya because it is so long that we have to cut it with scissors.”
Ruth, a 22-year-old woman from Nairobi gave this comment in a food review video starring her. Her full name is not available.
She needed to taste those “weird” foods she was offered in front of the camera and comment on them. Sometimes a tiny bite of spicy food would make her burst into tears.
This is Ruth’s second year in China. She is a junior student in Tianjin Normal University and her teacher named her “Ruoxi” in Chinese, the name of a character in a famous TV series, when she just arrived there.
In her free time, Ruth, or Ruoxi, was invited by a Chinese video platform startup to take part in recording online videos twice a week.
To become an internet celebrity, she even studied crosstalk and traditional Chinese opera.
The internet celebrity economy, having developed a new business operation mode, is one of the highlights of China’s internet development last year, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The scale of internet celebrity industry reached 52.8 billion yuan ($7.98 billion) last year and is expected to surpass 100 trillion yuan in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 59.4 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to a report by market research company Analysys.