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Chinese businesswoman finds success online after losing job in U.S. during COVID-19

(People's Daily Online)    13:41, June 23, 2020

After losing her job selling made-in-China wigs at a mall in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Qiang returned to China, where she became a live-streaming anchor.

By selling wigs to African Americans on AliExpress, a global online retail marketplace and part of Alibaba Group, the 28-year-old was able to earn up to $3,000 in just one hour.

Liu, from Xuchang city in central China’s Henan province, a manufacturing centre for wigs, said she wants to be an influencer like Li Jiaqi, a young beauty blogger, who has 800,000 followers on Sina Weibo.

According to a Bloomberg report in May, AliExpress plans to cultivate 1 million foreign influencers and content creators.

China produces about 80 percent of the world’s wigs, which have become an essential product for foreign consumers. It is estimated that one wig is bought every two seconds on AliExpress, and revenues from wig sales can top 1 billion yuan.

However, the pandemic resulted in several orders placed by offline retailers in the U.S. being canceled.

But Liu found that the overseas demand for wigs was still great, with consumers taking to AliExpress in their droves to buy wigs. Statistics indicated that the sales of wigs to U.S. customers increased by 100 percent on the platform in April, even surpassing that of masks.

She also found that sales of wigs were boosted when she matched different wigs with the right clothes and makeup while doing live-streaming shows at home.

“I served five to 10 customers each day when I was in the U.S. On AliExpress, a 2-hour live-streaming show could attract 75 clients from around the world,” said Liu.

During one live-streaming session she hosted in late April, Liu earned nearly $3,000, a figure that was beyond her wildest dreams when she sold the products offline.

In fact, more influencers from home and abroad are exploring new opportunities through AliExpress.

AliExpress announced that next year, it will collaborate with governments, universities and streaming service providers to build 10 streaming bases targeting overseas customers. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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