china kol

What Can We Learn from China’s Top 1 KOL-Weiya’s Tax Punishment?

Weiya, the alpha woman in China’s eCommerce Livestream, has been published by Zhengjiang Tax Bureau with an RMB1.341 billion (£159Million) tax evasion. Along with the punishment is the collapse of her business empire, backed by Weiya’s online presence in top marketplaces like Taobao, Douyin(Chinese version Tiktok) and Sina Weibo, now wiped clean by the authority in succession.

Weiya was China's No.1 KOL in China

The internet celerity economy has become China’s new trend ever since 2015. Along with the popularity of mobile phones, Chinese merchants witnessed the opportunity of the live stream.

Weiya followed the trend. A presence burgeoning in acclaim, she gained success with a character assumption of “fighting young” because the majority of the Chinese buy a public figure like this. In 2001, she went to Peking alone from Anhui province. She worked as a clothing seller in a wholesale market. It was a time for her to accumulate energy. She gained the seller’s professional knowledge such as size, fabrics and the shipment of the clothing, after marketing her clothes to the customer for years.

Even after she has become a network celebrity, she never thought of herself as a celebrity but a boss.

Highlights are Wei Ya made sales last year worth RMB 3.5 billion (£414 million). And her most fascinating record was that she sold a rocket with the live stream in 2020. She was undoubtedly the No. 1 KOL in China.

Chinese online celebrity Weiya sold a rocket from live stream

How does the KOL Lead the Public's Consumption?

The top KOL(Key Opinion Leaders) like Li jiaqi, Li ziqi and Weiya reaped tens of millions of fans. 

The reason for KOL’s popularity is that they have an MCN(Multi-Channel Network) to run the account. With more likes, engagements, and virtual rewards, the platform will automatically distribute a wider audience for them to reach. After they got more exposure to engaging personas, they started to make money by promoting products online. 

Weiya’s success was typical of “big data success”. She spent most of the funds on the purchase of online traffic. It’s more like gambling in the digital marketing world. Like all the other SEM(Social Engine Marketing), it requires the rules of the engine and the experience of the SEM operation to make a balance. The huge expenditure cleared her way, made her stand out from the competitors, yet was supposed to be the culprit of the tax fraud. 


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What Can We Learn from this Case study?

  • Live stream eCommerce creates fortunes in the Chinese market.
  • The cross-border vendors targeting the Chinese market need to shape the correct public persona. 
  • It’s crucial to abide by the national regulations and investigate the culture and political system when engaging Chinese audiences. 
  • Weiya is not the first influencer to get punished, and she will not be the last one. Draw your growth map with an agent who genuinely understands the market before being aggressive in the market.