China’s livestreaming economy is huge, lucrative and kind of dystopian
Dec 11, 2018

China’s livestreaming economy is huge, lucrative and kind of dystopian

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In the United States, would-be internet stars turn to YouTube, Twitch or Instagram. In China, it's a livestreaming platform called YY, where creators sing or tell jokes to an audience that pays them directly in the form of digital gifts. Top streamers can make $100,000 a month or more, and lots of people now want in on the action. A new documentary about China's livestreaming economy, "People's Republic of Desire," is in some U.S. theaters now. It's about loneliness, fame and greed. Molly Wood talks with the film’s director Hao Wu about how China's livestreamers are mostly looking for a better life.

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China's livestreaming industry is huge, lucrative and kind of dystopian

Dec 11, 2018
As more people join Chinese platform YY, a new documentary sheds light on the business.
GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

In the United States, would-be internet stars turn to YouTube, Twitch or Instagram. In China, it’s a livestreaming platform called YY, where creators sing or tell jokes to an audience that pays them directly in the form of digital gifts. Top streamers can make $100,000 a month or more, and lots of people now want in on the action. A new documentary about China’s livestreaming economy, “People’s Republic of Desire,” is in some U.S. theaters now. It’s about loneliness, fame and greed. Molly Wood talks with the film’s director Hao Wu about how China’s livestreamers are mostly looking for a better life.

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