(Yicai Global) Feb. 19 -- The new coronavirus epidemic has been devastating for many Chinese sectors but e-commerce is not one of them as stuck-at-home crowds have gathered to watch live streaming merchants.
Retailers have got onto platforms such as TikTok, Taobao, Pinduoduo, and Suning to sell cars, phones, and houses amid the virus outbreak that has kept many offices, restaurants, and shops closed for weeks.
In the six days ended Feb. 17, two million viewers had been watching the housing offering across almost 100 cities on Alibaba Group Holding's Taobao Live. Meanwhile, some 23 global car sellers such as Audi and BMW had leveraged the live streaming platform. Phonemaker Xiaomi and sportswear retailer Adidas also ran their video campaigns on Taobao Live.
A farmer in northeastern Liaoning province started broadcasting from a greenhouse to sell as much as 18,000 kilograms of strawberries per day. Another agricultural business sold 5,000 kilograms of onions in two hours on bulk-buy platform Pinduoduo.
Live streaming is good for farmers as they can find new markets while viewers can better examine the quality of the product, online news outlet Economic View reported, citing an industry insider.
Some streamers have expanded their fan bases by coming up with new ideas. A blogger filmed himself sleeping on Feb. 10, gaining 21 times more followers at 800,000, nearly 19 million views, and CNY76,000 in cash donations (USD10,851).
Popular novelties such as online discos or filming oneself sleeping will become quickly passing fads after the virus situation has been tamed if the content is not diversified to offer more real-time interaction, an analyst told Economic View.
Editor: Emmi Laine