China’s only top live streamer Li Jiaqi, who also goes by the name of “Lipstick Brother”, has hit online sales of 2.83 billion RMB ($447.5 million) on the first night of the latest shopping festival (Tmall 3.8 Queen’s Day) curated by China’s e-commerce giant, Tmall in celebration of the upcoming International Women’s Day.
The first night of the festival’s presale kickstarted at 8 PM on 27 February, which saw over 70 million flock into Li’s live streaming room where a total of 279 products were on offer. This has broken the sale record of 790 million RMB ($125.2 million) for this online shopping festival Li had once set with Viya, the country’s once dubbed “live streaming queen” who had fallen from grace over tax evasion last year, and was delivered a hefty fine of 1.3 billion RMB ($204 million).
Viya’s woe sounded alarm for many live streamers, but in the meantime, it also contributes to the present momentum of Li, who has already been in a dominant position in China’s live streaming industry. Although it is not easy to convert Viya’s fans into his own, online traffic can be redirected.
It is reported that Li’s live streaming session saw the highest tune-in at 20 million. The viewership surpassed 38 million on the night of Viya’s fall and reached a new high of 50 million afterward. Such traffic gain is particularly true when it comes to big promotion seasons like the ongoing shopping festival, and the hosts achieving the highest transactions attract more traffic.
However, the win for Li doesn’t seem to have benefited consumers and the once promised “the lowest price of all” through pre-order in his live streaming events seems to have become meaningless words as many buyers soon discovered some products sold at Li’s live streaming sessions are not a better option, but in fact more expensive.
It remains to be seen how the live streaming game plays out in the new shopping season, and more importantly how it would change consumers’ online shopping behaviours and further influence their decision making.
It is understood that the presale lasts until 6 PM on 4 March and sales continue until 8 March. The digital marketplace has been divided into sections including featured and subsidised categories, electronic and household appliances, international directly managed merchants and brands from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Consumers can enjoy price reductions of up to 20 RMB ($3.17) at different stores once the accumulated value of their purchase reaches the threshold of 200 RMB ($31.7).