Imagine this. It’s a normal working day. You have a long list of tasks to complete. You’re just grinding day in and day out, complaining about tiring workdays and dreaming of miraculously getting rich enough to never have to work again. One lucky live streamer in China seemed to have struck gold with her unique product promotion which has turned her into a millionaire.

As a testament to how massive live streaming e-commerce is in China, a Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) live streamer, Zheng Xiang Xiang, adopts a minimalist approach that is turning heads and raking in millions of views and bucks within a week. She has gone viral and made somewhat of a trademark of herself owing to her blank expressions and lightning-speed moves. What’s the secret behind her astounding success? Let’s explore.

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Zheng’s Unique Method

We’re used to seeing live streamers resort to gimmicks to hard-sell their products. But with reduced attention span, it seems netizens are recently more into low-effort, minimalist live stream e-commerce. According to Singaporean news site 8Days, Zheng’s marketing tactics are simple — someone passes her a box, she picks the product up and mentions its price, then pushes it aside. No upselling, no further descriptions, just that.

The viral Chinese live streamer spends only three seconds promoting each product and ends up earning a jaw-dropping 100 million yuan i.e. S$18.7 million in seven days. What makes Xiang Xiang so special? The live streamer, who perpetually wears a black halter dress similar to the one donned by Chinese actress Gina Jin in the film No More Bets, is known for her deadpan expression and sped-up way of introducing products. Honestly, if you blink, you probably would have missed the item completely.

Xiang Xiang’s live streams are also recognised by the piles of Hermès boxes in the backdrop. All the items she sells are placed in the signature orange boxes as well. Although, don’t let these boxes mislead you. It is reported that despite the boxes resembling those of luxury brands, the products themselves mostly cost less than 10 yuan (S$1.87) each. This only makes Zheng’s achievement all the more impressive as she would have had to sell approximately ten million units in the past week to have earned the 100 million yuan.

Why It Works

While Zheng Xiang Xiang is a fresh face to many, she has actually been in the live-stream business since 2017. However, her popularity skyrocketed in the past month. In the past three days, her follower count has reached over a million, making her the “Dark Horse” of the Douyin e-commerce industry in October. Zheng’s success highlights the power of authenticity. She has differentiated herself by keeping things simple and low-key.

Her videos are stripped down to the essentials — just her, the products, and those signature Hermès boxes stacked up behind her. She doesn’t rely on crazy stunts or even speaking much at all during her live streams, which are often just 3 seconds per product. This minimalist style feels more genuine and lets the products take centre stage. And that authenticity creates trust with her audience — over a million loyal followers who show up day after day, believing in both Xiang Xiang’s taste and her curation.

Douyin’s Restrictions

A popular live streamer with over 100 million followers across various social platforms, Xinba was recently banned from Douyin. Global Times reports that Xinba’s downfall was due to repeated violations of the platform’s self-discipline agreement, including posting insults, abuse, and false information. His controversial business dealings and involvement in selling misrepresented products have led to further scrutiny and an eventual ban. In light of such incidents, regulators across China have been stepping up efforts to rectify wrongdoings in the live streaming e-commerce industry. 

Following Zheng’s windfall, Douyin introduced a new rule to prevent copycat cases. Since October 27, the platform has prohibited sellers from showcasing products on live stream without giving much information. Sellers who breach the rule may face a fine or have their accounts shut down. Zheng’s Douyin account appears to still be up and running. An Instagram account claiming to be her official page also exists. Hopefully for her fans, this would mean that their favourite live streamer is still doing well. Although perhaps now, she has to adhere to the new rules.

douyin chinese live streamers zheng xiang xiang viral

While the livestreaming e-commerce industry in China has faced its share of controversies and challenges, the future looks promising with increased regulatory oversight.