“Buy it now! Buy it now! Five, four, three, two, one … it’s all sold out!” yells Viya Huang, the Chinese live stream host who once shifted 5,000 pairs of jeans in a matter of seconds during a live sales session. Live streaming e-commerce in China is nothing new. In 2014, Chinese fashion e-commerce platform Mogujie began to experiment with it, and was quickly followed by Taobao, the world’s biggest e-commerce website, founded by Alibaba – owner of the South China Morning Post – soon after. In the past few years, names such as Viya Huang and Li Jiaqi – dubbed China’s live streaming sales queen and king respectively – have become familiar faces to most netizens, selling products that many would deem outlandish. Chinese celebs sold face masks online during coronavirus – what next? Huang once managed to sell several rocket launches (yes, rocket launches) for a total of 40 million yuan (US$5.9 million) on Taobao, and just this August, she achieved 2.1 billion yuan of sales within a month, again, via Taobao’s live platform. Meanwhile Li, known as the “Lipstick King”, is best known for once selling 15,000 lipsticks in five minutes . Part-salespeople and part-influencers, they push everything, from Louis Vuitton bags to home-grown oranges. And millions are tuning in to watch. Nevertheless, it’s the current pandemic that has sent this particular style of marketing into the stratosphere. During the outbreak in China, movie production was suspended and studios were temporarily closed, leaving an increasing number of celebrities in the country free to try their hand at live streaming. Big stars seem like the perfect candidates: they already have legions of fans able to drive huge amounts of traffic to a brand’s page. However, does their celebrity and acting ability mean they’re actually any good at hawking products on live stream platforms? Let’s take a look at who did what, and how sucessful they were. 5 trends behind China’s untapped demand for gold and diamond jewellery Fan Bingbing Fan Bingbing has been out of the public eye since she fell from grace following her 2018 tax evasion scandal. Reportedly banned from appearing on Chinese television or filming any projects in China, the actress – who still has a large number of followers – has found an alternative route to making money and staying famous by selling her line of beauty products on e-commerce websites. Fan Bingbing’s top 5 most iconic film and TV roles One of her most successful live streams took place alongside Chinese influencer Xueli Cherie. The pair sold face masks from her beauty line, Fan Beauty, on social media platform Little Red Book, also known as Xiaohongshu. In less than five minutes, she had shifted 110 thousand masks, and bagged herself around 20 million yuan. Still, some netizens complained the appearance was beneath her, and called for her to focus on her acting rather than attempt to sell products online like a KOL. Given the success of the broadcast, however, we expect she doesn’t care. Yang Mi Known as China’s “Lipstick King”, Li Jiaqi has more than seven million fans on Weibo and 35 million fans on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok). And if you were in any doubt about just how influential he is, the 28-year-old was also named on Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Asia 2020” list. In April, Li invited celebrated actress Yang Mi – dubbed the “queen of driving sales” because products would immediately go out of stock after she was spotted using them – to join his live stream on Weibo. During the two-hour live session, Yang – who is also a spokesperson for Estée Lauder – didn’t just promote their beauty products, but a whole host of clothing items and food commodities. The live stream was so successful that the duo sold 40 thousand pairs of shoes within seconds and drew the eyeballs of more than 12 million people. Will China’s luxury sector recover after the coronavirus? Angelababy Well-known actress and influencer Angelababy is the latest star to hop on the e-commerce live streaming bandwagon. In July, the 31-year-old held her first live stream vending show on Douyin, selling various products including make-up, accessories and food. The five-hour stream reached 26 million viewers and hit more than 12 million yuan in sales. Those may seem like big numbers, but given the superstar’s 40 million Douyin followers and 103 million Weibo followers, the results were viewed by many as underwhelming. 5 things you should know about Angelababy Liu Tao This May, Liu Tao of wildly popular 2015 drama Nirvana in Fire fame, partnered with Alibaba’s Juhuasuan flash sales platform for her live stream debut on Taobao Live. During the session, Liu’s backdrop was a partial recreation of her own home, and her range of discounted offerings included business class flight tickets, wine and even houses. On her first try, she drew an audience of 21 million and banked 148 million yuan in sales. Another time Liu impressed us with her live streaming skills was when she had a go at selling apartments. In partnership with Country Garden, Liu was attempting to sell 10 Hangzhou flats ranging from 1,370 to 1,820 square feet and priced between 3.85 million yuan and 5.28 million yuan. By offering a discount of up to 420,000 yuan, Liu sold all 10 flats in just 10 seconds. Liu has since become a firm favourite of online shoppers thanks to her sincerity, professionalism and the fact they can tell she has tried many of the products herself before attempting to sell them. What are China’s top KOLs posting about during lockdown? Li Xiang Famous Hunan TV anchor Li Xiang first begun broadcasting in May last year. Within just a few months she had become one of the hottest live streamers ever, achieving over 100 million yuan of sales in two hours by shifting more than 30,000 air conditioners during Taobao’s Singles’ Day Shopping Festival. She even changed her name on Weibo from “Anchor Li Xiang” to “Host Li Xiang”, a clue that she might be switching to a new career sooner than people thought. Nevertheless, she hasn’t always been successful since then. On one occasion she failed to sell any of the 4,000 yuan mink down jackets she had been asked to by one brand. She was reportedly paid 800,000 yuan for the five-minute live stream. Ouch. Many netizens commented that the jacket was too expensive during the live stream, while others were baffled by the fact that Li didn’t try the jacket on once during the broadcast. Chen He If you are a fan of the Chinese remake of Korean variety show Running Man , Chen He – who has more than 60 million fans on both Douyin and Weibo – will be a familiar face. Keep Running season 8 – who will compete in China’s hit reality TV show? During his debut live stream on Douyin in May, Chen was selling a total of 29 products, including snacks and beauty items, among other things. Seemingly happy to shed his idol image, Chen tucked into the crayfish live on camera and sold three million pieces in three minutes. Over the course of the four-hour broadcast, 50 million viewers tuned in and spent over 80 million yuan. Chen later announced he would start hosting online streams to sell products on Douyin more regularly, much to the delight of his fans. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .