Li Jiaqi, China’s top livestreaming sales anchor, earned RMB 1.855 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2021, according to a September 11 report by Chinese news outlet Shanghai Securities News. His income surpassed the performance of most A-share listed companies in China in 2021, the report said. In 2021, 93% of A-share listed companies recorded net profits attributable to shareholders that were less than Li’s annual income, according to the report. On the evening of September 10, Li aroused controversy by saying on a livestream that consumers should reflect on whether they have worked hard enough to improve their income instead of complaining about product prices. His comments have seen a major backlash from netizens. As of 1:00 p.m. on September 12, Li’s followers on the social platform Weibo had dropped from 30.43 million to 29.23 million. [Shanghai Securities News, in Chinese]

Correction: An earlier version of the article miscalculated the income of Li Jiaqi which is RMB 1.855 billion rather than the RMB 18.553 billion as mentioned.