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China

Millions of Chinese Stream Reality Shows Starring Themselves (bloomberg.com) 42

Lulu Yilun Chen, reporting for Bloomberg: Pole dancing, bungee jumping, a woman eating maggots: at any given hour, millions of Chinese are live-streaming all of this and much more on their smartphones. Crazes come and go at neck-snapping speed in the world's largest online marketplace, but China's live-streaming phenomenon shows staying power and is already a significant business. Tiny startups and internet giants alike are making money selling virtual gifts -- flowers, cars, toys -- to people keen to reward their favorite live-streamers. As the business matures, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and others may start selling ads on the most popular streams. "This isn't a fad that will disappear, as the business model has proven to be viable," said Zhu Xiaohu, managing partner at GSR Ventures Management Co., who invested in Inke, one of about 200 live-streaming startups that have attracted an estimated $750 million in venture capital. "But the amount of interest in this sector is so high, bubbles could be forming and many will fail."
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Millions of Chinese Stream Reality Shows Starring Themselves

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  • Is this a case where the great firewall of China could be a "good thing", containing all these films to China?

  • ... Zhu Xiachu.

    "This isn't a fad that will disappear, as the business model has proven to be viable," said Zhu Xiaohu, managing partner at GSR Ventures Management Co.
  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @11:02AM (#52456207)

    It may sound crazy, but with people making stuff and putting it on Youku Tudou, it just may be something that gets honed and becomes a positive thing for the Chinese culture for the long term. As time goes on, things get more refined and professional. It also gets more people involved in theater and the arts, and this is always a good thing. This is how new forms of entertainment (be it jazz, vaudeville, opera, etc.) are created.

    I wouldn't be surprised if 100 years from now, videos on YouTube and similar sites are regarded with high esteem, similar to how movies made in the early part of the 20'th century evoke nostalgia.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @11:05AM (#52456227)

      It also gets more people involved in theater and the arts, and this is always a good thing. This is how new forms of entertainment (be it jazz, vaudeville, opera, etc.) are created.

      Times sure have changed if pole dancing and maggot eating are considered the modern equivalent of vaudeville or opera....

      • Times sure have changed if pole dancing and maggot eating are considered the modern equivalent of vaudeville or opera....

        Vaudville was considered cheap entertainment at its time, and both pole dancing and maggot eating would have fit right in. Come to think of it I'm pretty sure both must have appeared on the vaudeville stage at some point.

        Opera was the spectacle of its age (in essence the Michel Bay of its time) exploiting whatever advanced technology was possible, and plenty had risque lyrics (not necessarily Aïda, or any Wagner, but Mozart wrote plenty of opera buffa). Broadway shows are its natural heir. Tickets w

    • But there isn't anything "new" on YouTube. What you get is someone starting a hype, then a billion people copying it. And not even the first one to do it was usually original.

    • Nah, all of these are subject to the Ministry of Culture and can be shut down at any time. There will be little lasting impact from the larva eaters. The Communists know they are harming the growth of their own culture by doing this, but it is a deliberate decision. Stability is more important than culture. Culture can lead a culture off the cliff, China has seen it before. One can only wish that more "enlightened" countries would put the brakes on some of our more crazy fundamentalists. But no, we ha
      • Those more enlightened* countries won't act because their populations are too distracted with social media, television, sports matches and the like. It looks like China has evolved to adopt this more refined form of mass control, letting the masses too entertained to rebel, while they contribute with data for mass surveillance. The next step is breaking the Communist Party in two, so as to give people an illusion of choice and one more thing to crave for.


        * I don't use quotation marks, as the Enlightenm
  • "In this segment, I will overthrow our totalitarian government, and install democracy..."

  • If millions of Chinese stream reality shows starring themselves, that would mean that there are millions of Chinese on reality shows, would it not? Seems pretty excessive, even for a country with the population of China.

  • I, for one, welcome our new Chinese pole dancing, maggot-eating overlords!

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @11:47AM (#52456509) Journal
    The question I have, not living in or ever having visited China, is: Are their 'regular' TV shows there utter, unwatchable crap? If so then it would begin to explain why viewer-generated content like this would be so popular.
  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2016 @12:31PM (#52456897)

    The shameless attention-whore culture is being monetized.

    "Look at me me me me meeeeeeeeeeeeee, look at me!!"
    (Congratulations User, you've just made 9 cents! Please continue attention-whoring to keep earning.)

    "Look at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Look at me dance, watch me eat breakfast, watch me break up with my boyfriend for the 27th time! Look at meeee!"
    (Congratulations User, you've just made 11 cents! Please continue attention-whoring to keep earning.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't that what a movie star is? Just an attention whore we've all decided to pay attention to?

      This is decentralization. Every aspiring actor is now given a platform and the public gets to decide who is worthy of attention or not now rather than movie studios.

  • I live stream myself watching people live stream themselves FTW!
    • I've thought about doing something like this...
      Actually, didn't "America's Funniest Videos" do it first? Also there is some "Fail" channel or some such as well that does well enough to have employees whose job it is to look for appropriate videos...

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