The birthplace of WeChat now wants to become China’s livestreaming capital by offering rewards

Livestreaming is driving a bigger share of online consumption in China and now a local authority has gone one step further by offering people rewards if they can make a success of it.

Guangzhou, the birthplace of China’s ubiquitous social media platform WeChat, has announced an incentive plan to boost e-commerce livestreaming development in the city, aimed at fostering new influencer stars and helping it become China’s live streaming capital.

The government of Huadu District in Guangzhou is offering local livestreamers who can attract more than half a million followers online and generate annual sales in excess of 10mil yuan (RM6.01mil), a 100,000 yuan (RM60,182) allowance towards buying a house, according to an announcement released last week on the government’s official WeChat account. Those who rack up annual sales over 20mil yuan (RM12.03mil) and 50mil yuan (RM30.08mil) can receive 300,000 yuan (RM180,534) and 500,000 yuan (RM300,890) respectively towards a house purchase in the local area.

The incentives cover individual influencers and newly-established livestreaming enterprises who move to the area. Online platforms, multi channel networks (MCN) and livestreaming e-commerce brokerage companies can receive up to 12mil yuan (RM7.22mil) in cash incentives if they set up in the district. Businesses with annual turnover of more than 500mil yuan (RM300.91mil) can receive grants worth up to 10mil yuan (RM6.01mil) if they locate there.

“In 2020, the district of Huadu aims to have 10 influential livestreaming industrial parks with 100 online livestreaming stores and more than 1,000 influencers,” said a government statement on Saturday. “And we will aim to have online retail sales in excess of 100bil yuan (RM60.18bil).”

Like most of WeChat’s functions beyond messaging, livestreaming is built upon a mini programme and it already has tens of thousands of registered merchants, according to WeChat. Last week, Conghua district in Guangzhou announced a similar incentive plan to Huadu’s for the development of livestreaming e-commerce.

Livestreaming has boomed in China as Covid-19 and related lockdowns dealt a further blow to offline shopping.

There were more than four million e-commerce livestreaming shows in China in the first quarter this year, according to the country’s ministry of commerce. According to a report published in April by Citic Securities, the gross transaction volume of e-commerce livestreaming will surpass 1tril yuan (RM601.82bil) in three years. – South China Morning Post

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