Weekend Passport: Film Screening Explores Online Voyeur Culture in China

CHINA WEB CELEBS
In this Feb. 28, 2016 photo, office worker Zhai, 28, who asked that only his last name be used, pets his cat while watching a live web stream from a Korean web performer on his computer at his apartment in Beijing. China’s live-streaming sites have become a burgeoning cottage industry, offering money-making opportunities and even stardom to their mostly female hosts and an entertaining new alternative for millions of viewers to online dramas and stodgy state-controlled TV. Zhai said he spends 500-800 yuan ($80-120) a week purchasing virtual gifts on four or more different sites. Mark Schiefelbein / AP Photo
CHINA WEB CELEBS
In this Feb. 28, 2016 photo, office worker Zhai, 28, who asked that only his last name be used, pets his cat while watching a live web stream from a Korean web performer on his computer at his apartment in Beijing. China’s live-streaming sites have become a burgeoning cottage industry, offering money-making opportunities and even stardom to their mostly female hosts and an entertaining new alternative for millions of viewers to online dramas and stodgy state-controlled TV. Zhai said he spends 500-800 yuan ($80-120) a week purchasing virtual gifts on four or more different sites. Mark Schiefelbein / AP Photo

Weekend Passport: Film Screening Explores Online Voyeur Culture in China

A new documentary by Hao Wu explores China’s live-streaming culture. What can be resembled as something out of a Black Mirror episode, everyday hundreds of millions of Chinese people log on to the internet to watch various entertainers perform songs, tell jokes, and other party tricks all in the hopes to gain money from their audience. And many of them do. These live-streamers have huge fan bases, most of whom are working poor, that donate enormous amounts of money to their channels. Joining to discuss the documentary People’s Republic of Desire is the filmmaker himself Hao Wu. As always, our global citizen, Nari Safavi, also joins us to give you a couple ideas to help you plan your international weekend!