in fashionable clothing and with immaculate make-up, Ling Ling is seen
dining at fancy cafes and restaurants; attending parties and social
events with her girlfriends; travelling to places like Boracay, Tokyo
It’s a lucrative business, with Zhang Dayi, one of China’s best known
Wang Hong, reportedly earning 300m yuan (35m pound; $46m). This compares
favourably to top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who according to Forbes,
made about $21m last year.
There are two types of internet celebrities in China - those who create
original content like Papi Jiang, who was once censured by Chinese
authorities for excessive use of foul language in her videos, and the "fashionistas".
The enormous earning potential has led to the rise of internet celebrity
incubators in China, which race to discover and nurture the next Zhang
Incubators like Tophot provide training for budding internet
celebrities, with skills in photography, make-up and performance. They
also represent internet celebrities and help them find jobs like product
endorsements. In return, they take a cut from their earnings.
Others in China worry about the standards of beauty online celebrities
are creating for Chinese women.
An attractive appearance seems to have become an indispensable quality
for internet celebrities, and "internet celebrity face", which refers to
the combination of doe eyes, a pointy chin, a high nose and fair skin,
is a commonly used shorthand in China.