Rural life live-stream an online hit for young Chinese farmer

Liu Jinyin’s broadcasts of everyday life – including feeding chickens and working in the fields – have helped him attract nearly 100,000 followers, paper reports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 2:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 2:47pm

A young farmer in a poor area of southwest China has attracted nearly 100,000 followers on the internet by live-streaming parts of his daily life, including feeding the chickens and doing the cooking, according to a newspaper report.

The web broadcasts have also earned Liu Jinyin more than 80,000 yuan (US$12,000) in donations from viewers in six months, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported. He formerly made 4,000 yuan a month as a migrant worker, according to the article.

Liu is the only young man living in his village of 160 in Luzhou in Sichuan province.

He gets up at 6am to webcast his daily activities, which also include working in the rice fields and fishing.

He said he started to make small films of his daily life with his mobile phone for fun when he worked in a window factory.

He began his home live-streams in February, with his first webcast attracting only five viewers.

The number has steadily risen.

“Somebody said it reminded them of their childhood memories and the comment deeply encouraged me,” said Liu. “I’m not an internet celebrity, I’m just a farmer – an outdoor webcast anchor.”

China’s crackdown on internet live-streaming to shake up the industry

His parents, however, find it hard to accept his money earning scheme.

His father has criticised him for “ignoring his proper duties” and threatened to break his phone, according to the article. His mother even thought about sending him to hospital fearing he may be mentally ill.

Liu told the newspaper he once thought about moving to a big city such as Beijing or Shanghai, but has decided to stay in his village.

The ugly side of China’s live-streaming celebrity factories

His fans say they find his broadcasts honest and true to life.

“The first time I saw his web stream, talking about his life in his kitchen, I was deeply moved,” said one viewer.

Another commented online: “I treat him as my buddy. He’s honest, he never asks for tips and that’s why he can make it.”