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Web celeb secures $2 million investment

By Gao Yinan (People's Daily Online)    13:54, April 08, 2016
Web celeb secures $2 million investment
A combo of Papi Jiang's selfie on her Weibo account

A 29-year-old woman from Shanghai, who started posting humorous videos online six months ago, has already attracted more than eight million followers.

Nicknamed “Papi Jiang,” the graduate student at Beijing’s Central Academy of Drama has just secured 12 million yuan (US$1.86 million) in funding, which triggered a heated discussion online, pushing people to reevaluate the “web-celeb economy.”

This is largest funding of its kind to date for a young Chinese web celebrity. Four investors, including big-name venture capital firm Zhenfund and popular social media talk show Logic Thinking, put up 12 million yuan for a 12 percent share in Papi Jiang’s business, according to Tencent.

(Screeshot/ Papi Jiang's self-made video)

Some fans are worrying that Jiang’s videos will change now that she has received such a big sum of money. Up until now, Jiang doesn’t appear to have been making much money from her work. Her only revenue was obtained through WeChat’s tip function — a “like” button through which viewers can give the writer of a given post anywhere from 2 yuan to 200 yuan as a tip.

Jiang says she produces all her videos by herself. So far they are simple: a talking head chattering for less than five minutes, with some easy cuts and subtitles. In her videos, she mocks everyday life, relationships, movies and social issues by talking in a mixture of Shanghai dialect, English and Japanese.

Unlike many female Internet celebrities who cash in on their beauty and pose for sexy photos, Jiang always wears light makeup, dresses in casual clothes, and never hides the clutter in her apartment — from an empty plastic bottle to sneakers on the table. She ends every video by saying: “I’m Papi Jiang, a woman who combines beauty and talent.” 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Bianji)

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