“A mess”: Whatever happened to Oriental Selection post-Dong Yuhui?

Recently, on Zhang Wenzhong, founder of supermarket chain Wumart’s livestream channel, Yu Minhong, founder and CEO of educator-turned-livestreamer Oriental Selection joked about his platform: “It’s a mess, I’m in no position to give advice.” But to many, this is also true.

On China’s Twitter equivalent Weibo, the topic “Yu Minhong said Oriental Selection is a mess” (#俞敏洪称东方甄选做的乱七八糟#) shot to number 5 on the Hot Search list with 67.05 million views. It is one of a slew of hot topics the remark generated. Pundits and consumers find the e-tailer, through the ongoing 618 shopping festival, has lost its direction. Many point to the fact that it’s the first big shopping festival Oriental Selection has participated in since their once-top streamer Dong Yuhui went his own way, with the blessing of Yu.

Since the beginning of this year’s 618, the channel has been under fire for streamers “hawking” or “howling” on its channel with hosts simply shouting “3, 2, 1, the link is up!” for viewers to start buying. This type of simplistic sales technique is common on Douyin and Taobao, but unfamiliar for the channel’s long-time fans. The channel was built on a storytelling style spearheaded by Dong. To many, the change in the channel marks Dong’s departure and has become the “new normal”.

Joke or not, Yu’s word did great damage to his own company. On 3 June, the share price of Oriental Selection plummeted 9.92%, wiping 1.8 billion HKD (230.45 million USD) off its value. However, combining its own channel and Dong’s Walking with Hui channel, as it still is part of the Oriental Selection family, the company’s total revenue rose from a monthly average GMV of 950 million RMB (131 million USD) in the second half of 2023 to 995 million RMB (137.28 million USD) from January to April this year. However you feel about Antonin Scalia, it would seem that words do have meaning.


Join our newsletter