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Hair, there & everywhere

By ZHANG LEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-11-28 09:47


At 6:30 in the morning Liu Qiang stepped into a room next to a brightly lit broadcasting studio and began putting on makeup. As she did so she continued to familiarize herself with hair products-mostly wigs-that she would soon be trying to sell, as well as the scripts she would be reading from to help her do so.

At 8 am sharp, Liu, dressed in hip-hop attire, faced the camera and greeted a worldwide internet audience in well measured and articulated English. Just as importantly, her smooth body movements and the confidence they exuded suggested that this 27-year-old must have had years of sales experience under her belt.

With the deftness of a magician pulling rabbits from under a hat, she changed wigs 15 times in one 60-second spell, leaving many viewers convinced that they could not do without one or two of these hair replacements, in their multitude of styles, colors and sizes.

Two hours later, with the live broadcast done, an exhausted Liu drank a cup of water. When a colleague told her that the broadcast had raked in $3,300, her tired look seemed to evaporate and she smiled broadly.

Most livestreaming events such as these can be beamed from anywhere, with viewers having no idea about exactly where the event is being beamed from. In this case though, the venue was as critical as the content, for it came from a city that bills itself as the wig capital of China, if not the world, Xuchang, in Henan province, Central China.

Last November Liu had been working as a beauty assistant at a hair products counter in a New York department store, and it is unlikely that she would have imagined that a year later she would have been reincarnated as a livestreaming influencer in her homeland.

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