Why Li Ziqi?

2021-02-04 12:08:01

Li Ziqi (right) and her grandmother. [Photo/Sina Weibo account of Li Ziqi] On Tuesday, Guinness World Records announced through its official micro blog account that livestreaming star Li Ziqi had, with 14.1 million followers, beaten her own earlier record as the person with the most followers on the Chinese YouTube channel.  On July 16, she had 11.4 million followers, also a record. She attracted so many followers in just four years, since debuting on the platform with her first short video, titled "Making a dress of grape skins", in 2017. In it, Li showed how she kept the skins of grape after eating the fruit, boiled them in water and used the emerging purple dye to color a dress. Though she features on YouTube's Chinese channel, her appeal knows no boundaries, with viewers around the world commenting favorably under her videos. What's the secret behind Li's mass appeal? The answer lies in her style and content. Instead of preaching to her audiences, Li tells her story as it is, like, say, about growing beans, harvesting them, grinding them into powder and fermenting it to make bean sauce.In another video Li shows how to make traditional Chinese ink, starting by burning wood, collecting the smoke, adding water to make a black paste and lastly using the handmade paste to draw on bamboos in the traditional Chinese way. That way she also ends up promoting traditional Chinese culture before a global audience. However, what she promotes is often a legacy of the past; China is no longer how she depicts it in her videos. Chinese farmers now harvest crops with machines, not with hands, and have long been cooking with natural gas, instead of using wood. All the progress that technology can bring has reached China, with 37,900 kilometers of high-speed railways, about 70 percent of the world's total, and 989 million internet users. It is time for more Chinese individuals and media to learn from Li and draw a fuller portrait of modern China before the world.