Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes What's happening in Asian America? Get a daily email to stay informed, educated, and entertained.
Meet Lin Jingfu, one of the most unique live streamers in China’s booming “Internet Celebrity Economy.”
What she does puts her on a different category than other live-streamers in the country; she offers free matchmaking services for her social media followers.
Lin, a 58-year-old grandmother from Cangzhou in northern China’s Hebei province, began her live streaming career about a year ago.
She was a migrant worker before becoming an online personality. Since the age of 17, Lin spent most of her life working and traveling across the country from Shanxi and Heilongjiang provinces to Xinjiang, according to South China Morning Post.
Lin moved back to her hometown in Cangzhou two years ago to help take care of her grandchildren and to also seek for a more stable lifestyle. However, she eventually became bored and wanted to try something new in her free time.
“I was bored at home and just wanted to do something for fun. I guess I’m different to other older women because I like trying out new things,” she said.
Her fame quickly rose in just a year of live-streaming. Lin eventually earned the title of “Hebei Rural Dama” – where the word “Dama” means older women – from her 75,000 followers on social media, citing her personality as the root of her success, said in the report.
“I’m the kind of person who likes to chat and laugh. I guess my outgoing personality makes me the right person for the job,” Lin said. “I believe in helping others to find love – it should be free of charge.”
The live-streaming industry in China is expected to surpass 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) this year, thus making it one of the booming economies in the country. It was reported that some online celebrities in the country can earn up to $20,000 a month just from streaming alone.
However, Lin did not jump into the industry just for the money — she’s doing this all free of charge for her supporters and followers.
“Matchmaking is a joy to me and doing it for free is a principle of mine,” she said. “Nothing makes me happier than to see a couple come on my live-stream reporting that they are in love, without tipping me virtual gifts. All I want is to help people build a comfortable and loving family.”
The 58-year-old streamer’s viewers often reach up to 200. Despite her decision to do everything for free, her fans still send her virtual gifts as tips that, when converted into money, amounts to 50 yuan ($7.90) to 300 yuan ($47.42) per day.
Lin typically goes online at least 10 hours a day on top of her household chores as well as looking after her grandchildren. She logs on at around 6:30 in the morning after she prepares the breakfast for her family and cleans the house.
She private messages some of her followers who wished to be setup with a partner and she often logs their information in handwritten files that she keeps.
On the topic of conventional matchmaking services, Lin expressed that she’s not exactly in favor of how they conduct their business by charging their clients about 600 yuan ($94) just by introducing them to their prospective partner. And if it, by any chance, becomes successful, the company could earn 10,000 yuan ($1,580).
“Those matchmakers are old and don’t know live streaming and they don’t know me either,” she said.
However, there are times that client requests can be quite difficult to achieve, especially now that the divorce rate for people in their 30s is starting to rise. According to Lin, even divorced women are now asking for specific traits for their next husband such as someone who has a car, a house, or just has a nice job. Unfortunately, men in that age group don’t usually meet these standards, thus making the search for their prospective partners become even more difficult.
Despite having 200 successful matches just this month alone — with 30 of them have already tied the knot — Lin said not everyone fits the puzzle perfectly and things don’t always go smoothly.
She helped set up this relationship between a man and woman who both lived in Hebei. However, the two suddenly broke up after just living together for three months.
“I feel guilty and called them many times [after they broke up],” she said. “I liked the girl and thought the man was nice, but they just don’t get along because of different personalities. It’s such a pity.”
Live streaming is slowly becoming quite the platform to meet your significant other. Just last year, a paralyzed man met his wife in one of his live streams and their story touched the heart of his social media followers.
Images via Sina.com.cn