Li Jiaqi Cover
Photo Credit: Wang Siqi, screenshots from Taobao

12 Hours in the Lipstick King’s E-Commerce Empire

Amid the fervor of Singles Day, a 12-hour livestream with e-commerce luminary Li Jiaqi unveils his many talents beyond mere marketing savvy

Just a few hours into Li Jiaqi’s marathon livestream, I’m already conditioned like one of Pavlov’s dogs. As I stare at the screen on my phone filled with comments from over 10 million other viewers, I catch myself subconsciously opening links to products I know I don’t need. As the hours tick by, the refrain of Li and his team of pale, beautiful, smiling livestreamers keeps ringing in my ears: “3, 2, 1: The link is up!” they say whenever a product goes live.

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author Roman Kierst (小罗)

Roman Kierst is a staff writer and editor at The World of Chinese based in Beijing but much more at home in Chengdu, where his own China story first began as a high school exchange student in 2006. Likes to pick up a film camera occasionally to take pictures of (mostly) old places.

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