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Livestreams disrupt e-commerce in China

Livestream shopping on social media is booming in China and disrupting traditional e-commerce at high speed. In 2020 sales totalled $161 billion in China with nearly 400 million people buying directly in the apps they watch. Taobao, the online marketplace of Alibaba in China, and Douyin, a sister app of TikTok, run tens of thousands of shows every day with national as well as local influencers feeling, wearing and marking everything from lipstick to Teslas. Top influencer Viya, with 18 million followers, even sold two rockets in April last year for $5.6 million each. In contrast to the one-way ‘tel sell’ programs that were so popular in the ‘90s in the US and Europe, mobile video shopping is live and interactive and as a result much more engaging. The livestream trend has already jumped to major brands and even mutual funds while Google, Facebook and Amazon are steadily expanding their livestream businesses globally.

Photo by Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay.


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