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Aiming for more goals

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-17 07:28

Zhu also takes every chance to try new things in her spare time.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Internet entrepreneur Zhu Feng has come a long way from her first soccer commentaries in 2014, Wang Kaihao reports.

Zhu Feng's resume looks great. In 2009, she interviewed Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, after finishing high school in Shanghai.

She had top marks at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she studied journalism and communication, and she did a course in Urdu to prepare for an interview in that language with Asif Ali Zardari, the former president of Pakistan.

Earlier this year, the 27-year-old Zhu was on the 2017 Forbes "30 Under 30 Asia" list that selects 30 young achievers from 10 sectors on the continent.

To her, the two things that matter most are the exploration of the universe and the understanding of human nature.

In April, Zhu shared this at the launching ceremony of Tsinghua Association of Culture & Creativity Industry, a students' society that promotes cooperation between the university and cultural startups.

Quitting her job as an investment banker a year after her graduation, she started her first online video channel in 2014. As a soccer fan in the year the FIFA World Cup was held, she found an industry that was promising but seemed unprepared for her.

"I didn't have much money, and investors couldn't understand what I wanted to do either," she says.

She could only rely on herself - as the producer and the host.

It was uncommon then to see a young woman analyze tactics on screen amid a soccer commentator circle that has been traditionally dominated by men.

Within two months, her program claimed the top spot among soccer channels on Youku, China's major streaming platform, also thanks to her frequent interaction with people from different network groups on Chinese social media.

Zhu began to grasp her status as an internet celebrity in 2014, when an online shop offered to pay her 20,000 yuan ($2,900) if she wore its T-shirts on her show. Thereafter, her popularity increased and attracted a number of entities, including Chinese Football Association and the marketing team for international Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

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