China’s top live streamers called out for false advertising

Chinese researchers have named live streamers Crazy Xiao Yang, Li Jiaqi, Liu Genghong, Luo Yonghao, and Xinba as reflective of fault lines within the live stream industry.  

The report, produced by Beijing Sunshine Consumption Big Data Research Institute on April 24, analysed public opinion on top live streamers including the famed “Lipstick King” Li Jiaqi. From January to December 2022, the researchers scoured news sources for keywords relating to live streamers and livestreaming platforms and then categorised the results as positive, neutral or negative.  

They found that 31.41% of public opinion data points were positive, 55.96% were neutral, and 12.63% were negative. Delving deeper into the data, the researchers found that 90% of the negative opinion data collected was about just five live streamers: Crazy Xiao Yang, Li Jiaqi, Liu Genghong, Luo Yonghao, and Xinba.  

The researchers further broke down the negative public opinion data into categories based on the specific criticisms raised. The top three concerns were found to be product quality, false advertising, and inappropriate salesmanship style.  

Multiple related hashtags cropped up on the microblogging site Weibo after the report was widely published on news sites on April 24. The hashtag “Li Jiaqi, Liu Genghong among five celebrity live streamers named” has clocked up over 300 million views. In the comments section of one post, Li Jiaqi’s fans and customers rushed to his defence. Many claimed they have bought products recommended by Li for years without any problems, angrily declaring he should not be targeted. 

Li Jiaqi’s livestream activity stopped abruptly last year after a cake featured in his June 3 livestream resembled a tank – an accidental reference to the politically sensitive 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident and the internationally famous “Tank Man” photograph. He eventually returned to the limelight in September after several months’ hiatus.   

The report also included a series of suggestions on how to strengthen consumer rights in the livestreaming industry, including upping supervision by regulatory bodies and looking to live streamers to raise their self-discipline and professionalism. Government bodies already introduced new guidelines on live streamers’ behaviour last year and will continue to closely monitor the development of this sector.  


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