In half a year, Xinda Zhan made 30m yuan ($4.4m) through live streaming
China’s ‘Pearl Bro’, AKA Xinda Zhan, is making millions from live streams of him harvesting pearls.
The 25-year-old who runs a pearl shop on China’s online marketplace Taobao presents a daily live stream of his pearls.
After harvesting pearls from freshwater mussels, the Zhuji-based entrepreneur broadcasts the opening of the pearls live.
‘Pearl Bro’s innovative strategy is making the young entrepreneur millions each year. In just half a year, Zhan made 30m yuan ($4.4m) – six times that of his family’s annual profit.
The live-streaming market is worth an estimated $3bn, tripling over two years.
“I think over 90% of people in China, or the world, haven’t seen the harvesting of pearls. Even some locals in this pearl town haven’t seen it either,” Zhan says.
“They don’t know there could be dozens of pearls in one mussel, or that the pearls grow in the mussel. So I came up with this idea to live stream the harvesting of pearls from live mussels. To my surprise it became very popular.”
Viewers of Zhan’s live stream buy a mussel for 58 yuan ($8.48) but have no idea what kind of pearls are inside. The excitement of the stream is Zhan’s reaction upon discovering the gems.
Zhan believes that live streaming brings people together and helps youngsters who feel the pressures of loneliness.
“Younger generations are used to this mobile world. Live streaming is a way for the customer to communicate and accompany each other. It;s a new way to make friends and socialise. Young people are facing lots of pressure. We feel more lonely. Many of us are the only kids of the family. We have very few siblings and even less friends.”
“Watching a live stream is a good way to kill time. It doesn’t matter if you purchase anything or not. Tens of thousands of viewers chatting together is an interesting thing in and of itself.”