China's video apps to fight on the global stage

Born in China, live streaming platforms are expanding overseas to escape fierce competition at home.

Princess Sissi, dressed in a figure-hugging Chinese gown Qipao, chit-chats on a live streaming app with an audience in China, Egypt and Japan, entertaining and encouraging them to buy digital gifts which she can later redeem for cash.

The biggest gift Princess Sissi, a native of the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, has received so far is a virtual world tour worth over $10,000 which she will share with the app platform Up Live.

Although live broadcasting on mobile phones first appeared in the US, Chinese apps commercialised the technology with the virtual gifts model. While fashion bloggers and YouTubers in the west still rely...

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