Vlogger Li Ziqi. (Photo: Sina Weibo account of Li Ziqi)
Popular Chinese vlogger Li Ziqi has become the subject of heated discussion among parents recently after a primary schoolteacher used her story to formulate a question on an exam paper.
A parent in Haishu district in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, questioned whether it was appropriate to include Li, an "internet celebrity", on the final exam and called the teacher "shallow" on a local bulletin board system for doing so.
The parent shared the photo of the exam paper and expressed concern that it might mislead children by teaching them the wrong values.
The question, which asked Grade 6 students to choose the most influential person among Li; Yuan Longping, a renowned Chinese agronomist; and Lei Haiwei, a deliveryman and the champion of CCTV's Third Poetry Competition, and give their reasons.
The question said Li was selected for promoting an idyllic traditional Chinese lifestyle and for spreading traditional Chinese culture to the world.
The test paper also included Li Ziqi's online account information and the number of followers she has on Sina Weibo and YouTube.
Well-known for sharing her idyllic life in a village in Sichuan province, 30-year-old Li has more than 11 million subscribers on YouTube and more than 26 million followers on Sina Weibo.
She uses the camera lens to document meal preparation, from cultivating basic ingredients to sharing the food with her grandmother in the backyard.
However, the parent questioned whether she is a good example of traditional idyllic life in China, whether the teacher is a fan of Li and whether the number of followers listed on the exam paper is misleading to students.
Yang Liu, the teacher who came up with the question, told Chinese media Yangtze Evening News that by choosing Li, she wanted her students to know that it takes painstaking efforts to chase one's dreams, no matter the industry.
Students should learn from her contributions to promoting traditional culture and her dedication to her job, she said.
The incident raised widespread debates online, with the hashtag "Li Ziqi has been included in a primary school test paper" having been viewed 450 million times.
According to a survey by Guangzhou Daily, 10,000 netizens think people should not judge Li and anyone who works diligently to make a living should be respected, while around 3,000 people think it is misleading for teachers to include an internet celebrity on test papers.
One netizen said there is no comparison between Yuan Longping and Li Ziqi since she has not brought any material goods to people. Other netizens questioned whether the teacher should choose an internet celebrity to represent traditional Chinese culture.
However, other netizens defended Li for discovering the beauty of life and think the parents are just being too narrow-minded.