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Live Streaming Secrets: How Rihanna and Zara Captivate Chinese Audiences

The Power of Live Streaming: Lessons from China for Western Brands

Live streaming is more than just a trend in China—it's a booming industry that's transforming how brands connect with consumers. With high-profile examples like Rihanna teaming up with a famous Chinese bloggers: QierLeo (琦儿Leo) and Shenyexulaoshi (深夜徐老师)​ and Zara’s ongoing live streaming efforts, it's clear that this medium holds immense potential. Let's look into how live streaming works in China, what makes it so effective, and what brands that want to tap into the Chinese can learn from this phenomenon.

The Rise of Live Streaming in China

Live streaming has become a cultural staple in China, driven by platforms like Taobao Live, Douyin (TikTok’s Chinese counterpart), and Kuaishou. According to a report from Deloitte, the Chinese live streaming market was worth over $63 billion in 2020, and it’s only grown since then.

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Live Stream Success

Recently, Rihanna took to Chinese live streaming, partnering with two popular beauty influencers, QierLeo (琦儿Leo) a popular beauty influencer with15 million followers on Douyin and Shenyexulaoshi (深夜徐老师)​ is highly respected for her honest and detailed beauty product reviews​, she has over 10 million followers on Douyin.

The live stream with Rihanna was part of a promotional campaign for her Fenty Beauty line. It lasted about two hours, during which Rihanna interacted directly with Chinese fans, demonstrating her products and discussing beauty tips.

Key Details:

  • Products Promoted: Fenty Beauty products, including lip glosses, foundations, and highlighters.

  • Fan Reaction: The live stream was a massive hit, with millions of viewers tuning in. Chinese fans were thrilled to interact with Rihanna directly, and the event generated significant buzz on social media platforms like Weibo and Douyin. Many praised her for being personable and engaging, and Fenty Beauty products saw a noticeable boost in sales following the event​.

Zara’s Live Streaming Strategy

Zara has been a pioneer in using live streaming in China to showcase their latest collections. By regularly streaming fashion shows, behind-the-scenes content, and live shopping events, Zara has managed to create a more intimate and immediate shopping experience for their customers. This approach has not only driven sales but also increased customer loyalty and brand engagement​.

So...Why Live Streaming Works in China?

Chinese consumers love the interactive nature of live streaming. Unlike traditional e-commerce, live streaming allows for real-time interaction between the host and viewers. This dynamic engagement includes:

  1. Real-Time Engagement: Chinese consumers love the interactive nature of live streaming. It allows them to ask questions, make requests, and receive instant feedback.

  2. Trust and Authenticity: Seeing products in real-time, rather than in polished ads, helps build trust. Consumers can see how products look and work in a live setting.

  3. Exclusive Deals: Brands often offer special discounts and exclusive deals during live streams, encouraging immediate purchases.

  4. Influencer Partnerships: Collaborating with local influencers who have a strong following can significantly boost viewership and credibility.

Taking Notes: Applying Chinese Live Streaming Success to Your Brand

  1. Embrace Authenticity: Consumers appreciate genuine, unscripted content. Live streaming provides a platform to showcase your brand’s personality and connect on a deeper level.

  2. Interactive Content: Encourage viewer interaction through Q&As, polls, and live chats. This not only keeps viewers engaged but also provides valuable feedback.

  3. Leverage Influencers: Partner with influencers who resonate with your target audience. Their endorsement can drive significant traffic and credibility.

  4. Create Urgency: Use live streams to offer limited-time deals or exclusive products. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages immediate action.

  5. Cross-Promote: Promote your live streams across all your social media channels to maximize reach. Use teasers and countdowns to build anticipation.

How to Get Started

  1. Choose the Right Platform: Depending on your audience, you might use Instagram Live, Facebook Live, YouTube, or Twitch. Research where your audience spends their time.

  2. Plan Your Content: Outline the key points you want to cover. While live streams should feel spontaneous, having a plan helps keep things on track.

  3. Promote Your Stream: Use all your marketing channels to promote your live stream in advance. Teasers, email reminders, and social media posts can help build anticipation.

  4. Engage During the Stream: Keep an eye on the chat and respond to viewers’ comments and questions. Make them feel heard and involved.

  5. Analyze and Adjust: After your live stream, review the analytics to see what worked and what didn’t. Use this information to improve future streams.


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