A 22-year-old man who lives in a remote “cliff village” has attracted thousands of followers by vlogging about his daily life, joining the ranks of China’s wang hong.
Yang Yang hails from Atule’er village in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, southwestern China.
The village, located at the top of an 800-meter cliff, has never been in the limelight until May 2016, when media outlets reported that its children must spend two hours to attend school.
For context, imagine how they had to go up and down 17 makeshift ladders every day!
Fortunately, help started coming as soon as Atule’er gained public attention. By November 2016, a new, safer steel ladder was constructed from over 1,500 steel pipes.
The village was also connected to the internet. Yang, among its first broadcasters, has since amassed at least 49,000 followers by livestreaming his daily life.
In an interview with Beijing News, he explained how his newfound activity works:
“Livestreaming works as a window — people who live in the village can know the world outside, while those who are curious will have a good grasp of how the villagers live on the cliff.”
While there are at least seven other broadcasters around, Yang is the most consistent, going live for three to four hours a day. He often talks about the village and its products.
“I usually livestream every day, from 8AM to 11AM, so that’s about three hours. If there’s time in the afternoon, I can start again at about 4, but this is not fixed.”
Before livestreaming, Yang spent most of his time at home. He also planted corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes, though he continues farm regularly.
It’s not only Yang’s life that’s improved, however. He’s also helping the village, since more people are becoming aware of their products and buying them.
Despite the fame and better living conditions, Yang does not plan to go anywhere. Instead, he hopes to start a business in the future:
“I want to continue livestreaming for regular fans and viewers and have some influence. In the future, I hope that more people will be willing to visit after this kind of publicity. I can also open a pub and receive friends from the outside.”
Photos: Screenshots via @yh20161006 / Kuaishou