China’s Hottest Livestream Trend: Fraud
About halfway through the livestream, Li Huida felt her chest tighten with panic. She’d begun to suspect she’d been conned.
Li, a marketing manager from the eastern city of Suzhou, had spent a small fortune to get a popular Chinese influencer to promote her company’s product — a meal-replacement shake — during a live show in mid-August.
It was a big risk, but Li had been confident it’d work out. Commercial livestreaming, after all, was a red-hot industry in China. Stars like Li “the lipstick prince” Jiaqi regularly sold millions of dollars in goods per broadcast.