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Young vlogger tells story of China in picturesque videos

Updated: 2019-12-11 14:41:31

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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A scene from Li Ziqi's video. [Photo/Sina Weibo account of Li Ziqi]

"Li Ziqi is not made without passion. Without passion, you cannot understand Li Ziqi," the official Sina Weibo account of China Central Television comments on the Sichuan native's sensational popularity around the world.

"The success of Li Ziqi lies in her passion -- passion for life, for her home and for her culture. She does not say much, but she told the stories of China's culture and that of China," the television station added in its post, which has been read by more than 11 million internet users.

Li Ziqi (right) and her grandmother. [Photo/Sina Weibo account of Li Ziqi]

Li, who was born in 1990, has been living with her grandparents in the rural parts of Mianyang, Southwest China's Sichuan province, since the age of 6 after her father died. Li has always been crafty with her hands, having helped with her grandfather's carpentry and grandmother's housekeeping from a tender age.

Life was difficult for her during her youth as she and her grandparents had little to live on. Li herself revealed that she was "economically supported" to continue schooling. She started to work in the city at 14 and would not have returned to her childhood home if not for her grandmother falling ill in 2012.

After returning home, Li opened an online shop, Li Ziqi, to sell mostly edible products. To boost sales, she began making short films in 2016 about how these products were created, while covering her life in the rural area, all against the backdrop of traditional Chinese aesthetics.

"I started it because I wanted to create something for people to watch and relax. We are all under a lot of stress. I hoped that after a long and busy day, they could click on my videos and relieve some of their anxiety and pressure," Li said.

But her videos did more than that. Viewers from both home and abroad are hooked.

"Who else is happy whenever she uploads?" reads a comment by YouTube viewer Ira Shayne.

A scene from Li Ziqi's video. [Photo/Sina Weibo account of Li Ziqi]

"She uses things that are common in life, but I never gave any thoughts on where those things came from. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to get to know them better!" write Sina Weibo user Qin Fengqin.

"She's a gift from heaven," comments YouTube user Jill Hoola.

"I just discovered your videos last month and I'm hooked. Thank you for your inspiring and relaxing videos," writes YouTube user Odessa Villareal.

Her latest video on brewing soy sauce, uploaded on YouTube on Dec 4, has received more than 3.4 million views in less than a week. The same video drew more than 35 million views on Sina Weibo.

Li is not without criticism, such as remarks about her "beautifying" life in the country and her use of a professional production crew to help her film. Others have expressed skepticism about how "real" her videos are, and how "amazing it is that she looks so picture perfect after a long day of work in the fields."

Watch Li Ziqi's videos here.

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