The Fitness Influencer Making Locked-Down Chinese Sweat

The Fitness Influencer Making Locked-Down Chinese Sweat

Millions of individuals underneath lockdown in China now share a typical routine: A health session with their new star private coach Liu Genghong.

The not too long ago little-known Taiwan-born singer, actor, and private coach has became a viral sensation over the previous weeks, as his health livestreams amass audiences from throughout the nation. Many of them have been locked indoors for weeks as a part of the federal government response to stamp out surging COVID-19 instances.

The 49-year-old has additionally been in lockdown along with his household in Shanghai, at present in its third week of a citywide shutdown. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, Liu seems on quick video platform Douyin — China’s model of TikTok — with spouse Wang Wanfei at 7:30 p.m., although he makes his followers get up early at 9 a.m. on Saturdays for a 90-minute session.

The couple is often seen exercising to the fast-paced tune of pop singer Jay Chou’s “Compendium of Materia Medica” and others. Snippets of the exercise the place Liu seems in a purple tank prime and black slacks along with his spouse have since gone viral on social media, with folks imitating the exercise routine at schools, quarantine centers, and even whereas lining up for nucleic acid assessments. 

Liu’s workout sessions have been so common through the lockdown that they’ve damaged Douyin’s livestreaming report for 2022 up to now, according to knowledge evaluation platform Chanmama. Within one month, his livestreams have been considered almost 40 million occasions altogether, along with his hottest session attracting over 1 million reside views. 

Liu’s followers have additionally elevated from 5 million to 33 million in simply 10 weeks.   

His reputation soared particularly following a exercise on April 9 throughout which the couple had been seen carrying a down jacket, supposedly after their livestream was disrupted for unspecified causes. 

“It was actually scorching,” Liu told home outlet China News, recalling the expertise. “But on the time, we couldn’t discover out why the livestream was reduce off. So we guessed it was a clothes subject, and we wrapped up our entire our bodies in down jackets to amuse our viewers.”

Douyin didn’t reply instantly to Sixth Tone’s request for a remark by publication time.

Left: A screenshot shows Liu Genghong and his wife on Douyin before their session was disrupted; right: After an unspecified warning from the platform, the couple livestream in their down coats on. From Weibo

Left: A screenshot exhibits Liu Genghong and his spouse on Douyin earlier than their session was disrupted; proper: After an unspecified warning from the platform, the couple livestream of their down coats on. From Weibo

Liu Xixi, a 27-year-old Shanghai resident working within the medical sector, instructed Sixth Tone that she has been following Liu Genghong’s livestreams for every week now. She mentioned the couple are enjoyable to observe, particularly for these on the lookout for numerous methods to train whereas cooped up indoors.  

“I’ve been quarantined for almost a month,” she mentioned. “Working out on daily basis makes me really feel happier through the irritating interval. It’s wholesome for our physique as nicely.” 

The on-line health enterprise has seen a big surge in China for the reason that pandemic began in 2020. According to a March report by Douyin, the variety of health movies in 2021 elevated by 134% whereas followers of such content material had been up by 208% in contrast with the earlier yr. 

Liu Genghong isn’t the one icon who has been in a position to get the eye of health fans not too long ago. With her exercise movies, German health mannequin Pamela Reif has additionally constructed an enormous fanbase with over 8.3 million followers on social platform Xiaohongshu. 

Liu Genghong’s meteoric rise to fame has made him a family identify, in addition to one other of the nation’s worthwhile livestreaming stars. He reportedly makes some 240,000 yuan a day by way of his livestreaming session the place followers bathe him with digital items that may be transformed to money, according to home media Chinese Entrepreneurs. 

Many on-line have even joked that the health teacher was now dealing with a stiff reputation contest with Li Jiaqi, the “livestreaming king” identified for his gross sales ways.  

“Li Jiaqi empties our pockets, Liu Genghong empties our physique,” has grow to be some of the common feedback on microblogging platform Weibo currently. 

Editor: Bibek Bhandari. 

(Header picture: Photos present Liu Genghong and spouse Wang Wanfei livestreaming health classes from their residence. From Weibo)

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