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Li Ziqi, once the hottest influencer in China, has returned to the online world after a two-year break. Her return has caused quite a stir on social media. Li first went viral for her beautiful, peaceful videos about rural life in China. She made her official comeback on September 15th with a short video, but has yet to go back to posting regular content.
In the video, Li stands in an orchard, wearing a simple white T-shirt. She begins by greeting her fans and talks about her plans to continue posting about Chinese farming culture and rural stories.
Li Ziqi first started posting videos in 2015, and quickly gained fans both in China and around the world. In 2020, she even set a Guinness World Record for having the most subscribers on a Chinese-language YouTube channel. At the time her YouTube channel had more than 14 million followers, a figure that has now risen to 17.7 million. By April 2022, her Douyin account had nearly 49 million followers. Fans loved how her videos showed the beauty of Chinese culture and traditions, from cooking to handicrafts.
However, in July 2021, Li’s career took a sudden hit due to a dispute with her agency, Hangzhou Weinian Brand Management Co. Ltd. This disagreement led to lawsuits and countersuits between the two parties, which went on for months. Finally, in December 2022, they reached a settlement, but the reasons behind the dispute were never made public. Netizens speculated that it might have something to do with Li’s reluctance to commercialize her online presence.
Li’s return was eagerly awaited by her fans, with over 29,000 people commenting on her comeback video on Douyin. What caught many people’s attention was her changed appearance. Some users pointed out that her eyes and chin looked different. This led to speculation that she may have undergone cosmetic surgery performed during her time off.
One user commented, “Her facial features, especially her eyes and chin, seem different. It’s possible she opted for hyaluronic acid injections, joining the ranks of many internet celebrities.”
On the other hand, some users rushed to her defense, another insisting “It’s just more dramatic eyeliner. Don’t people know about makeup? Definitely no surgery here.” Others emphasized that Li Ziqi’s account was never about being a beauty icon, and that the important thing was whether or not she will continue to post the same quality of content as before.
Image via Youtube / Douyin
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