Many senior citizens recently took the internet by storm and broke stereotypes on Chinese social media.
Countryside Plump Dahai was built by a frustrated young villager in Hunan together with his 83-year-old grandfather on Chinese internet platforms. By shooting short videos of daily rural life, they expressed their love for each other, which has moved netizens. The account now has 1.6 million fans and has accumulated at least 3 million likes.
Another well-known online celebrity is Food Aficionado Granny, a 99-year-old woman from Sichuan. She has 6.6 million fans of her videos in which she eats all kinds of food.
Other online favorites include Granny Wang Who Only Wears High-heeled Shoes, a 79-year-old woman known for her good figure and elegance, and an 80-year-old man called Yaoyang’s Grandfather, sharing humorous stories of his daily life in the dialect of northeastern China. Both of them have more than 10 million subscribers online.
There is also still a place for the elderly online celebrity on bilibili.com, a younger Chinese social media site. Jiang Minci, an 89-year-old retired railway engineer from Guangzhou, shot to fame over the past four months after releasing short videos here. The videos, which show her early days and her cooking local cuisine, are popular among young citizens.
Before these senior citizens became stars, some "Chinese grandpas" with incredible gymnastic skills, and some "Chinese grandmas" renowned for their fashion, had already shaken up China's social media platforms.
According to figures from 2018, China had 249 million netizens over the age of 60, making up 17.9 percent of the population. Liu Jing, a researcher from the 60 Plus Institution, which focuses on research into the issue of aging, said making videos is a way for senior citizens to express themselves and helped to make their lives more meaningful.
(Video produced by Zhu Yurou and Chen Shini)