New Oriental touts Sichuanese snacks on livestream anniversary

Formerly China’s largest private education company, New Oriental (now called Oriental Selection) is continuing to see success with its new commercial livestreaming business model.

Blending its initial approach of selling agricultural products with its new focus on culture and tourism, New Oriental spotlighted Sichuan on its livestream channel from June 9-10. The channel made 140 million RMB (19.5 million USD) in sales of Sichuan specialty items across the 2-day live broadcast, which included products as diverse as broad noodles, local baijiu (rice liquor) variations, brown sugar sticky rice cakes, beef tallow hot pot soup base, and soybean milk.

The top-selling items were sets of Sichuanese baijiu, which accounted for 3.7 million RMB (517,000 USD) in sales, and Zha Cai (a pickled mustard plant from Chongqing), which had the highest sales volume at 75,000 units.

Apart from promoting Sichuan specialty products, the hosts introduced viewers to Sichuanese history, culture, folk customs, and geography. The stream included multiple musical performances, with the live audience of cheering fans surrounding the team creating a lively atmosphere. To add to the cultural component of the commercial livestream, the hosts recommended books about Sichuan, which were also snapped up by shoppers.

The Sichuan-focussed broadcast marks one year since New Oriental started publishing content on Douyin. The company pivoted from its online education business to commercial livestreaming after the “double reduction” policy was introduced in 2021. The policy effectively wiped out the tutoring industry in an attempt to reduce the academic burden on students. The company’s livestreaming tactic saw early success, clinching the number one spot in sales on Douyin during last year’s 618.

New Oriental CEO and founder Yu Minhong posted a video to the channel on June 10 to celebrate the anniversary. He thanked subscribers for their support, with the caption reading “Looking to the future, Oriental Selection will continue to work hard to bring you better agricultural products and household items!”.


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