Programs showcasing rural life via live streaming and video platforms have recently gained traction. The low-cost programs on topics such as how to catch shrimp, how to cook escargot and a farmer's typical day have captured the imagination of China's eager netizens.
Through live streaming, the rural stars of this new brand of entertainment have found a purpose beyond their ordinary and often difficult lives.
Three sisters who suffer from brittle bone disease in Yunyang County in Chongqing Municipality live stream their daily life for six hours each day and have attracted over 260,000 followers in five months. The three children, who could only lie in bed, can now support themselves thanks to the revenue they generate from becoming live-streaming sensations.
Viewers of the programs, who are primarily urban residents, have discovered a new world where life happens at a different pace. They escape from urban life through live-streaming shows, even if it's only a psychological retreat, meeting the need for escaping the pressures of everyday life.
Rural areas may embrace more opportunities for development as their importance is rediscovered through the shows, but the battle for constant and original content creation is a challenge facing the stars of China's newest entertainment format.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in Guangming Daily on October 12)