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Dateline: China's Web Celebs
China's Web Celebs
SBS  |  September 26, 2017
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China's live streaming craze is creating a new kind of celebrity and challenging censored media. We go to China to meet these unlikely stars and ask; why are people watching? Live streaming, which barely existed in China a few years ago, is now a multibillion-dollar business with hundreds of millions of viewers tuning in for hours every day. China's internet is highly regulated by the government and most of the popular social media sites used in the west are blocked there - Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, as well as pornography, dating and major international news sites. Audiences are instead on China-based versions of these platforms, such as Weibo, WeChat, Youku Tudou, Yizhibo and Panda TV. Without access to much of the online entertainment available in the rest of the world, Chinese audiences are increasingly watching, and paying for, live streams run out of the homes of average citizens - and a new generation of young Chinese people are making careers out of it.

China's live streaming craze is creating a new kind of celebrity and challenging censored media. We go to China to meet these unlikely stars and ask; why are people watching? Live streaming, which barely existed in China a few years ago, is now a multibillion-dollar business with hundreds of millions of viewers tuning in for hours every day. China's internet is highly regulated by the government and most of the popular social media sites used in the west are blocked there - Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, as well as pornography, dating and major international news sites. Audiences are instead on China-based versions of these platforms, such as Weibo, WeChat, Youku Tudou, Yizhibo and Panda TV. Without access to much of the online entertainment available in the rest of the world, Chinese audiences are increasingly watching, and paying for, live streams run out of the homes of average citizens - and a new generation of young Chinese people are making careers out of it.

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