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Xinjiang team takes comedy online

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-28 01:25

Memeteli makes grills when filming a music video in Urumqi. Wang Fei / Xinhua

The wanghong industry is huge. It was worth more in 2016 than China's box office in 2015, according to CBN Data, a commercial data company affiliated with e-commerce company Alibaba.

Livestreaming is the preferred format for many wanghong, but the market is becoming so saturated that many stars have been accused of releasing "sensational" videos that favor style over content in an attempt to stand out.

The Anar Pishti team said they did not want "fame for fame's sake", and rather than a livestreaming format, they decided on a scripted and edited show. They wanted their show to stand out for what people learned from it, and what better way to learn than through laughter.

Funny fruit

Memeteli grew up in a tiny village. He said his world was small until internet cafes began to open up around the time he was a student. Rather than news or current affairs, however, he found he naturally gravitated toward funny videos.

"These videos showed me that the world was full of people with the same sense of humor as me. They reveled in making people laugh," he said. "I instantly knew this was my calling — I wanted to make people happy online."

For a spell, Memeteli worked for a TV shopping channel. It was there that he met Hezreteli Yasin. The two friends bonded over a love of sitcoms and lamented that Xinjiang was poorly represented in that niche. It was Yasin who suggested they fill the void.

And so, the character Daodao, a young Uygur from Xinjiang, was born.

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