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Olympic athletes boost popularity on live apps


08-18-2016 16:48 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

Live broadcasting is the new buzz word in China with a scale of popularity unmatched by any traditional media format. China's Olympic athletes used to rely on TV for exposure but now they've turned to online live broadcasting.

Let's go to Rio de Janeiro to take a look at some athletes turned live broadcasting celebrities or Wang Hong in Chinese.

29 year-old Zhao Yunlei has just finished her events at the Rio Olympics. Together with her partner Zhang Nan, she won a Bronze medal for mixed doubles in badminton. It's the first morning she could relax a little after long preparations for the Olympics. She decided to turn on her computer, and be a live show host for the first time.

Zhao said, "Many badminton lovers sent their regards to us, but I don't have to reply to their messages one by one. I want a better platform to interact with them, and thank them for their persistent support. I chose this software because it's new, and loved by young people."

Zhao Yunlei is one of the Chinese athletes that has joined the live broadcasting platform. Another is Fu Yuanhui, the swimmer who shot to fame due to her humorous facial expressions during a formal TV interview. Gymnast You Hao is another participant. The live online media exposure brings the athletes income that ranges from 10 thousand to 1 million yuan per hour.

Zhao also said, "It's my first time using this live broadcasting software, I'm not very familiar. It'll help me interact with netizens. It's like I'm chatting with my friends. "

Chinese fans can send their gratitude to their favorite Wang Hong athletes by purchasing gift stickers on the live broadcasting platforms. Athletes from other countries mostly rely on advertisement deals for income.

"Our national athletes usually share their videos and pictures through Instagram, but not live online broadcasting. In this year's La Liga, the famous Barcelona soccer player Gerard Pique used live broadcasting and pushed up his popularity. But it didn't bring him commercial benefit," said Ibon Landa, PR director of Spanish basketball team.

May be it's only in China, Zhao Yunlei's debut attracted 2 million fans. Statistics show that the live broadcasting industry in China generated 9 billion yuan in income last year. Industry experts estimate the market will rise to about 25 billion yuan by 2017.

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