Livestreamer Li Jiaqi Does 25 Billion in Singles Day Sales, Sparking Nationwide Debate

The “King of Lipstick” reportedly sold over 25 billion RMB of merchandise during this year’s Singles Day shopping festival

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6:56 PM HKT, Wed November 15, 2023 1 mins read

Chinese beauty influencer Li Jiaqi, famously dubbed the “King of Lipstick,” reportedly sold over 25 billion RMB of merchandise during this year’s Singles Day shopping festival (about $3.4 billion).

After analyzing the sales and pricing in Li Jiaqi's livestreaming sessions, reports estimated that the influencer’s total gross merchandise value during this year’s Singles Day shopping event exceeded 25 billion RMB. On the first day of the shopping festival alone, Li managed to reach sales of 9.5 billion RMB.

Li’s team, Meione (Shanghai) Network Technology Co., quickly refuted these claims, dismissing the reported figure as entirely inaccurate. The group stated that they have never released any data regarding Singles Day sales figures.

Nonetheless, a couple days later on Nov. 13, the news shot to the top of Weibo’s list of trending topics, sparking intense discussions and debates among netizens.

“There are entire cities in China that don’t even make 25 billion RMB in a whole year,” one user remarked, in a comment which received over 6,000 likes.

Ad materials for Li Jiaqi’s Singles Day promotions

Another highly upvoted comment suggested that Li Jiaqi’s success had a negative impact on the broader economy.

“Li Jiaqi’s annual income reaches tens of billions, yet he’s responsible for the loss of 180,000 jobs,” one user commented, “This livestreaming practice is more detrimental than beneficial.”

Others, meanwhile, took a different point of view on the news.

“Li Jiaqi’s live broadcasts shouldn’t be seen as solely his own endeavor. There’s a whole brand behind the name 'Li Jiaqi,’” one user argued. “The issue of online e-commerce impacting the jobs of millions in offline physical stores has long been a topic of discussion. If you want to criticize, I’d suggest you approach it from a different angle.”

In the lead-up to this year’s Singles Day sales, Li Jiaqi found himself embroiled in controversy. He faced backlash after failing to empathize with viewers who felt his products were overpriced, telling them that if they didn’t earn enough money to purchase the items, they had only themselves to blame.

Singles Day, also known as Double 11, is an informal Chinese holiday and shopping festival that started in universities, and takes a ‘treat yourself’ approach to celebrating being single. In 2009, Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang transformed it into the shopping event it is today, offering discounts for online shopping and providing offline entertainment. The holiday has since evolved into the world’s largest annual day of shopping globally.

Images via Weibo

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