NEW FOREIGNER ERA; YCHINA & THE LAOWAI INFLUENCERS

A shining beacon of innovative foreign success has come through efforts in Beijing via voxpops; Latin for “voice of the people”. Israeli born Raz Gal Or has taken Weibo and Youtube by storm in recent months with the startling popularity of his videos.

Not only are the videos popular on the mainland with almost two million fans on Weibo, but with over 18k subscribers on YouTube, this voxpopper is set for Mandarin stardom.

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Mr. Gal Or’s company, YChina, says it “brings you to the forefront of Chinese culture, media and technology while answering the question: Why China?

YChina video’s on YouTube average 50 – 200k views, with most running no longer then 7 minutes. The videos are mainly interview-based in Beijing’s Silicon Valley, Zhongguancun, and presumably the capital’s prestigious Peking University campus. They comprise everyday pop culture topics about expat life in China.

While the videos seemingly appear aimed at the Chinese as a way of helping the them better understand the “new, younger generation of foreigners”, they also feature English subtitles, which implies the videos are intended to bridge the culture gap both ways.

While YChina is still relatively new, the “Foreign Influencer” concept is not. As YouTubers in the West have begun making millions via vlogging these folks are now targeted as influencers by large companies that will pay or giveaway product as a modern means of advertising.

The Foreign Influencer is no different. While foreigners in China have (for a long time) been used to physically promote businesses such as schools, malls and cafes as a result of their foreign face, these days companies in China needn’t look as far as the Internet. Millennial laowai influencers can not only speak Mandarin fluently, they can also understand difficult subtleties in Chinese online humour. Not only do they vlog, they can also be seen live streaming song after song to their millions of Chinese fans.

Longtime China laowai, Australian native David Gulasi, is now considered one of China’s top 3 influencers with over 8 million followers online. With advertising space on his video posts selling for $A75,000 a hit, according to The Australian, Gulasi has become one of China’s Key Opinion Leaders.

With the emergence of foreigners vlogging in China and the popularity of their channels, companies are paying big, it is said we are now experiencing the golden age of opinion pushed advertising.

Source: thenanjinger.com, Renee Gray

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