China’s Fishing Princess Is Here to ‘Banish’ Stereotypes — or Is She?

China’s ‘Fishing Princess’ Is Challenging Stereotypes — or Is She?

Fishing influencer Ge Xiaoge is more than just a pretty face, but it seems some people aren’t following her for her fishing skills alone...

5 0
Beatrice Tamagno Headshot
5:18 PM HKT, Thu November 3, 2022 1 mins read

Fishing has long been a boys-only club all over the world, but especially in China. Rows of middle-aged men standing by the edge of rivers, lakes, or any large bodies of water are a common sight in both urban and rural parts of the country.

Even when the sport blew up on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, thanks to fishing legends turned influencers Deng Gang and Liu Zhiqiang (who boast more than 40 million followers combined), the fledgling fisherfolk who were inspired to pursue the sport were primarily male.

In this male-dominated environment, the self-appointed ‘Chinese Fishing Princess’ Ge Xiaoge has risen to social media stardom. With 3.7 million followers on Douyin and counting, Ge is one of China’s most followed female fishing influencers.

fishing china trends tiktok

‘Chinese Fishing Princess’ Ge doing her thing. Screenshots via Douyin

Ge’s content usually depicts her fishing and selling her fresh catch to passersby. She also chronicles her experiences as a frequent participant in fishing competitions organized by Douyin for its brightest fishing superstars.

Boasting a bubbly personality and rocking cute outfits, Ge often gives her fishing content a comedic slant, which includes playing up the stereotype that women — especially pretty ones — can’t fish.

But the Fishing Princess is so much more than just a pretty face. Before becoming an influencer, Ge was a TV host on Hunan Happy Fishing Channel for eight long years. In said videos, her mastery of technical fishing terminology and skills using the rod — watch as she seamlessly pulls a wide assortment of fish out of the water — are all too apparent.

Besides producing viral videos, the Fishing Princess also conducts unfiltered Douyin livestreams, allowing her fans to catch her in action sans any scripts.

fishing china trends tiktok douyin

Ge Xiaoge schooling her followers on how to fish. Screenshots via Douyin

But in an interview with the Chinese magazine Life Week, Ge revealed that 95% of her followers are male and — perhaps predictably — many of the comments under her videos revolve around her physical appearance.

“Looking at her fishing is secondary; what’s important is looking at her physique,” wrote one netizen under a popular video, while another chimed in, “She is so much prettier than the aunties selling fish at the wet market.”


Fishing-focused hotels in northern Henan province, China. Images via Xiaohongshu

Fishing is just one of many outdoor activities — such as glamping, road trips, and skateboarding — that has enjoyed a new wave of popularity among Chinese youth in recent years.

China’s top social media sites, such as Douban and WeChat, serve as platforms for fishing enthusiasts to seek out fishing companions living within the same area.

The country’s hospitality industry is also pivoting to cater to the fishing craze. For instance, some hotels have turned themselves into fishing paradises with private cabins overlooking ponds and streams.

Cover image via the author

Join the Conversation
Write comment

Pour yourself a stiff one, we'll be with you in a minute