How the rise and fall of an unlikely online influencer triggered a debate about the plight of older people in China

How the rise and fall of an unlikely online influencer triggered a debate about the plight of older people in China

According to a study by, three-quarters of these followers are female. Of these, 64 % were 50 years of age or older, and the vast majority( 96 %) resided outside of the nation’s major cities.

Many of these fans have referred to them as a source of comfort and have enjoyed posting video of themselves singing alongside him using one of the Douyin phone’s most well-liked features.

One lady told Southern Metropolitan News that Xiu Cai’s movies helped ease her mother as she underwent a difficult course of treatment for end cancer. Many have left comments under his videos about their marital issues, worry over children, and grief.

However, Xiu Cai frequently requested funds items from his viewers while broadcasting. According to Beijing Youth Daily, he even privately messaged followers who gave him cash gifts to make them feel valued and unique. Some claimed that he had also made advances toward them digitally.

In two and a half decades in 2020, one person confessed to Xiu Cai that she had feelings for him and gave him 520, 000 renminbi( US$ 71, 500 ) in cash donations after he secretly agreed to split the money sent by another fans. She complained to the local government, and she received a refund of 30, 000 rmb.

Another person sent Xiu Cui more than 70,000 yuan, according to Chinese internet, which could have been used for her health expenses.

Xiu Cai’s films seemed to specifically targeted older Douyin people, according to Li Jia, deputy chairman of the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank.

” We can’t say it’s an online scam just yet, but the way they do it is intolerable. It more closely resembles a marketing tactic aimed at Chinas’ graying people.”

According to Li, some older Chinese people are now active users of mobile telephones and social media, and they are the most effective spreaders of videos, rumor-free info through WeChat, the nation’s most well-liked social networking site. This is in contrast to the conventional wisdom that there is a significant electronic divide between the old and young generations.

Out of the 1.4 billion people who made up the people next time, more than 280 million were over 60, and the state estimates that 100 million of them live alone.

People over 60 spent more than an hour per day on their mobile phones, according to a 2020 report by online information aggregator Qutoutiao and, and over 100,000 unhappy older people did the same for the entire day.

Why were the old most drawn to Xiu Cai’s information, which would have appealed to middle-aged people as well? because they have a lot of free time, whereas middle-aged individuals are preoccupied with work and caring for kids, according to Li.