Getting set up with a live streaming account and filming content for audiences might only take a few minutes, but to become a Chinese internet celebrity or ‘wang hong’, is much more complex.

Hiring a professional talent agency is becoming a necessary, if not indispensable, part of the wang hong career path in China. For Chinese internet celebrities, fame is short lived – online celebrities enjoy a much shorter time in the limelight compared to film or TV stars.

Papi Jiang, whose humorous video clips went viral early this year, secured a joint investment of 12 million RMB (about $1.8 million USD) this March. A month later, Papi Jiang’s first advertisement sold for 22 million RMB (about $3.3 million USD) in a public auction advanced by a major investor which also backs Luogic Show, a popular talk show. The auction was widely considered by local media as a move to monetize the full commercial potential of Papi Jiang before public attention surrounding the comedian faded.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.