Huang Wei, aka Viya

Background:

Huang Wei was born on September 7, 1985. Huang, born into a retail family in Anhui province, opened her first business in Beijing when she was 18 years old. She appeared on Anhui TV’s talent show “Super Idol” and briefly joined a music group before returning to the commerce sector and launching other stores in Xian. By 2012, however, they had transitioned from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, and they were one of the first channels to join Taobao’s live streaming program in 2016. She earned a reputation on Taobao for being able to sell any goods or service, with claims that she had sold a rocket launch service for CN40m ($6m) in 2020 and sold over CN8.5b ($1.3 billion) of merchandise on Singles’ Day in 2021, earning her the title “queen of live streaming

Social Impacts:

Typically, Chinese buyers are skeptical of sellers who say anything about what they have been paid to sell. Viya, on the other hand, is the viewers’ champion, going out of her way to find them the best bargains on the best new products, flagging up their complaints, or badgering her off-camera crew when popular deals run out.

Viya has been riding the crest. Her evening program is Taobao’s most-watched e-commerce Livestream—her viewing stats more than doubled during the COVID-19 lockdown. She spends the day sifting through products, rejecting many that do not meet her high criteria. She has the means to be a perfectionist. Companies compete to get their items on her show, ready to drop costs by up to three-quarters.

It’s not all about the money in the first place. Viya’s influence helped a lot in promoting anti-poverty programs by retailing domestic brands from the outskirts of China. During the pandemic, she visited Wuhan and advertised local items. She has advocated for new high-yielding rice varieties and enlightened her audience on China’s reliance on grain and wheat.

Accolades:

In May, she was named a “Project Hope Ambassador” by the China Youth Development Foundation for her charity efforts and public service. Viya was elected as an excellent Online Marketer to the All-China Youth Federation in August. She received a National Poverty Alleviation Award in October for assisting in selling farm products through her platform. The municipal government of Hangzhou, China’s e-commerce center and host of the 2022 Asian Games named Viya as the event’s ambassador in March.

  • Ritika Behera
  • By Ritika Behera, sophomore of Chemical Engineering at NIT Rourkela, Odisha.

I am from Balasore, Odisha. I have interests in reading books, painting, creative writing, playing badminton, volunteering, and teaching small kids.

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