Interestingly, the incident appears to have done Qiao more good than bad, at least for a while. Before Douyu shut her account, her follower count reportedly ballooned from 100,000 to nearly a million.
She also started signing contracts to advertise beauty cameras, which are popular in China. Even better (for her fans), she also announced plans to release a music album.
In what seems to be another layer of the twist, Qiao recently claimed that the shocking revelation was actually a publicity stunt — meaning, she had planned the “glitch” from the beginning.
According to Beijing News, she enlisted the services of a branding agency, which allegedly concocted the whole thing for 280,000 yuan ($41,000).
Without her Douyu account, Qiao’s future as a livestreamer is unclear. However, she could face a string of lawsuits for defrauding donors.
Apparently, those donors can claim compensation under China’s contract law, according to Jiang Zhimin of Jiangsu Jukai Law Firm. Speaking to The Paper, Jiang said that Qiao’s practices were equivalent to fraud, while Douyu should be responsible for verifying its hosts’ identities.
The closure of Qiao’s account drew mixed reactions on Weibo:
“And just like that, her career is over.”
“Can donations for aunt still be refunded?”
“This is a fat woman and people are disgusted.”
“I knew it. I thought it was marketing she did and it was very annoying.”
“This auntie has been ruthlessly canceled. She didn’t commit a crime. She’s just too old. She’ll live forever in the hearts of her fans. She’s immortal.”