It’s no secret by now that China’s authoritarian response to a certain situation has caused havoc in China. The entire city of Wuhan is in lockdown and virtually every other city/province in China has implemented certain restrictions under the guidance of (ill-advised?) government officials.

Wuhan, which is a huge city of over 11 million people, has been locked down now for quite some time, with Chinese citizens given strict warning to stay within their homes/living communities.

We can only imagine how bored people must be! So the question becomes, what are people doing to pass the time and stay in good spirits?

Live Streaming Booming During Coronavirus Lockdown

Most people in the city live in small apartments and being cooped up at home all day just can’t be much fun. Many Chinese have turned to the internet to solve this problem and more specifically, watching, or participating in, live streams.

Wuhan, interestingly enough, is also the ‘live streaming capital’ of China. In 2017 the government built a town for online live streaming celebrities, called ‘Damara Village’ which features European style architecture.

Wuhan is also home to the Chinese streaming/video company, DouYu. DouYu is the largest game-centric live streaming company in China and it’s user base is sure to continue growing.

Live streaming is already a very fast growing industry in China, expected to reach a market value of 112 billion yuan in 2020.

(Graph: Statistica)

Live streaming in China has become a hugely popular form of entertainment. Live stream ‘hosts’ sing, dance, discuss current affairs and interact with viewers while live on camera. Some hosts simply go about their daily lives, bringing viewers along with them through their smart phone.

There are over 500 million live streamers in China and that number is only likely to increase.

Many Wuhan businesses have begun to tap into the live streaming market as a way of keeping contact with their customers amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Unconventional Live Streams

Gyms in Wuhan have been forced to close and as such many are now live streaming exercise classes for customers to do at home.

Clubs and KTV (Karaoke) bars have also had to close and are now live streaming DJ sets, which they’re calling ‘cloud raves‘, creating what is essentially a virtual clubbing experience. Pretty innovative if you ask us!

DJ’s and performers record their sets in their studio, at home or at the club in front of an empty croud. The set is then live streamed over DouYin (the Chinese version of ‘TikTok’) or another live streaming app. People can then tune in to listen to their favourite music producers.

Additionally, more and more new shows are popping up on Chinese live sreaming and video websites. Some of these shows feature reality stars or other celebrities competing with one another in their homes or singing songs which are requested by viewers.

TV stars are also stuck at home and therefore many shows, in order to keep running, have turned to a live stream format, which resembles something of a video conference between hosts.


While the coronavirus outbreak is of course a tragedy, it is nonetheless fascinating to see how different industries are adapting and evolving.

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