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Web celeb Papi Jiang’s 20M viewer live streaming debut leaves fans disappointed (updated)

Heather Wang and Ibo Fung

Chinese web celeb Papi Jiang gave her first live streaming show on Monday night. The show was available on eight leading live streaming platforms, including China’s premier video streaming sites Youku, Meipai, and Douyu. By the end of the day, she had attracted more than 20 million viewers.

The success in viewer numbers didn’t go hand in hand with positive comments. Many fans complained that the show was like an online fan meeting, that it lacked her iconic funny and sharp comments on trending topics, and that the show failed to live up to their expectations.

Papi Jiang had announced the date of her first streaming show on her Sina Weibo on Sunday, just one day beforehand.

“For God’s sake, won’t you come and watch my first live streaming show, my dear old friends? I must admit I’m so tense, but you will come, perhaps?” said Papi Jiang on her Weibo.

Although the post was written in Chinese, it sounds like a typical, overly direct translation of spoken English, producing a humorous effect.

“Humorous” is indeed the first tag most people would give Papi Jiang, who has made herself famous with her self-made funny videos. These videos have been watched over 300 million times, bringing her over 16 million followers on Weibo.

Her humor has produced more than just laughs: She landed RMB 12 million (USD 1.8 million) investment in March, and sold her first advertisement for RMB 22 million in April.

Now she is reaching towards live streaming – or, perhaps, being pulled towards live streaming – something which has become a hot area in China recently.

According to a report by tech blog in May, there are 116 live streaming apps in China, 108 of which have obtained financing.

Games-focused Douyu TV landed USD 100 million from investors in March, including Chinese tech giant Tencent. “17” is another channel, it landed USD 23 million in May. Tencent, Alibaba and Xiaomi have their own plans when it comes to in live streaming.

China’s biggest social media platform Sina Weibo launched its live streaming platform in May. Video streaming site iQIYI launched its live streaming app Qixiu last Friday.

(This story was updated on July 12)

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