China’s most beloved vlogger Li Ziqi has reached a settlement with her agency Weinian on 27 December, paving the way for a return with new content after a 531-day break.
After news of Li Ziqi’s legal dispute finally being resolved broke last week, a rather lively discussion amongst her fans both in and out of China was triggered soon afterwards. On Weibo for example, China’s biggest microblogging site, the topic “Li Ziqi is set for return” was placed at the top of the Hot Search list and has since garnered over 390 million views.
With the year-and-a-half radio silence coming to an end, the vlogger can finally say she has won ownership of her own brand and receive the income she deserves. Before being tangled up in the business dispute, Li Ziqi rose to prominence by posting peaceful and original lifestyle videos through her Chinese storytelling related to doing handicrafts and cooking countryside food in her hometown of Sichuan province in 2015.
Despite the fact that the vlogger hasn’t posted any content for quite some time, her YouTube account still has over 17.3 million subscribers as of 4 January. Taking into account all her social media platforms such as Douyin, Bilibili and Weibo, she has over 100 million followers worldwide.
During her period of absence, messages like “What happened to Li Ziqi?” and “Why she stopped uploading content”, can be seen as comments under her YouTube channel by her overseas followers.
In this fast-paced society, consumers are encouraged and pushed by brands to chase for a productive lifestyle, such as SHEIN, a Chinese online fast fashion retailer, which releases over a thousand new items daily, and the popularity of short-form video is rapidly rising.
In comparison, the average length of Li Ziqi’s videos are around 20 minutes and uses snippets she has collected over a year to present for example, the whole journey of producing silk starting from the silkworm.
Whether this vlogger can still win over audiences’ hearts after she returns remains unknown but it’s worth noting that the peaceful countryside lifestyle presented in Li Ziqi’s idyllic videos caters to the younger generation’s needs of finding escape from modern life and connecting with people all over the world spiritually, which is the concept that led to her popularity as well as breaking down cultural barriers.