CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (3/31/2020 Tue.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (3/31/2020 Tue.)

People's Daily app

01:00, March 31, 2020

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From the People's Daily App.

This is Story in the Story.

China's culture industry has been transformed by embracing live broadcasting as the coronavirus outbreak has forced many cultural events to move online.

This year's Shanghai Fashion Week is going to be very special. More than 100 brands will present their latest collections on China's biggest e-commerce platform Tmall.

Billed as the world's first "cloud fashion week," it allows fashion lovers to watch the shows at home via live broadcasting while ordering the garments featured in the new spring/summer collections.

"If the epidemic restricts so many talented designers and brands to display their energy, it would be a pity," said Lyu Xiaolei, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai Fashion Week organizing committee.

Today’s Story in the Story looks at how livestreaming is helping people across China stay in touch with cultural events.


Xie Ning, manager of Zhongshuge Bookstore Minhang branch, sells books during a live-broadcasting. (Photo: Xinhua)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the fashion industry has been heavily hit with fashion shows canceled and brands closing their stores around the world.

Chinese customers are not unfamiliar with buying goods online via live broadcasting.

In recent years, top livestreaming hosts, such as Li Jiaqi and Wei Ya, have enjoyed huge popularity and repeatedly made headlines by breaking sales records. Their broadcasts sell a wide range of goods from cosmetics and clothes to film and concert tickets.

Inspired by the business model, some brick-and-mortar bookstores, which had few visitors during the epidemic, also went online to revive their business.

In early March, Xu Zhiyuan, co-founder of Owspace Bookstore, was a guest in Weiya's livestreaming studio and spoke with operators of other independent bookstores. The single broadcast sold books and creative products valued at more than 500,000 yuan ($70,576), giving a boost to the struggling bookstores.

After closing their doors amid the coronavirus, Zhongshuge Bookstore hosted live broadcasting sessions on its online store. During a two-hour transmission at a bookstore in Shanghai, store manager Xie Ning gave viewers a tour around the store, shared his experience during the epidemic and recommended several popular books.

"We use livestreaming to help readers know our store, and during the process, we also find new readers," Xie was quoted as saying.


(Photo: CGTN)

But live broadcasting is more than selling goods.

When enjoying a concert at a theater became impossible during the outbreak, four musicians at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, wearing masks, held a concert in an empty hall during a free live broadcast on March 14.

Themed "Love's Greeting," the concert presented several pieces of classic music, attracting nearly 840,000 viewers.

The concert was part of the free online service "Cloud Theater" introduced by Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in late January. From courses to playing musical instruments to live concerts, the content was rich and varied.

"All the doctors and nurses were working so hard to help people, so we thought 'What can we do as musicians?'" Hao Jie, the orchestra's principal trombonist said.

"With everyone staying home for so long, we thought of doing something for young people, for students interested in learning how to play musical instruments," Hao added.

According to a report released by QuestMobile, since the outbreak, Chinese internet users have spent 21.5 percent more time online every day in comparison with the beginning of 2020.

Live broadcasting is no longer a production tool for online entertainment but has become a basic business tool integrated with more business scenarios, the report said.

The epidemic outbreak has promoted the transformation of the culture industry, said Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of China National Center for Culture Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The enterprises in the industry are forced to use new technology applications, business formats, and business models to survive, which will allow cultural productivity outside the traditional model, Zhang said.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon and Da Hang. Music by Text from CGTN.)

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