The impact of influencer’s dismissal on China’s youth and economy

China’s most popular influencer, Li Jiaqi, recently sparked controversy when he dismissed a young follower’s complaint about high makeup prices. His insensitive remarks have struck a chord with China’s struggling youth, who are facing high unemployment rates and economic hardships in the post-pandemic era. The incident has not only led to a backlash against Li, but it has also shed light on the growing disillusionment among the country’s young population.

China’s economy has been grappling with significant challenges in recent months. Youth unemployment has reached a record high, with more than one in five 16-to-24-year-olds jobless as of July. The property sector, which used to be a major contributor to China’s wealth, is on the verge of a crisis. Economists have lowered their growth forecasts for the country’s economy, painting a bleak picture. Li’s insensitive comments, coming at a time when many young Chinese are struggling to make ends meet, have further deepened the frustration and anger among the country’s youth.

Li Jiaqi, known as the “Lipstick King,” rose to fame in 2017 for his online sales sessions on Taobao. He has built a massive following of approximately 150 million users across various platforms. However, his controversial remarks have cost him followers and tarnished his image. Critics argue that Li’s celebrity status has desensitized him to the struggles faced by millions of young Chinese, exacerbating the resentment towards him.

The incident has revealed the prevailing disillusionment and sense of collapse among China’s youth. Social media comments in response to the controversy reflect a general sentiment of disappointment and frustration with the current state of affairs in the country. The incident has become a symbol of the larger issues plaguing Chinese society.

Li’s provocative comments were made during a livestream sales pitch for a cosmetic brand. When a viewer criticized the high price of an eyebrow pencil, Li dismissed the complaint and suggested that those who couldn’t afford it had not worked hard enough. This triggered a wave of criticism online, with many users sharing their own struggles and financial hardships. State media also joined in the criticism, accusing Li and other internet celebrities of becoming arrogant and out of touch after achieving success.

Li’s previous controversies, including showcasing a tank-shaped ice cream cake on his show during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, have further fueled the anger directed towards him. The incident resulted in Li’s disappearance from the public eye for three months before his return last year.

Following the public backlash, Li issued an apology for his “inappropriate remarks,” acknowledging the hardships faced by everyone. However, the controversy has not subsided, and calls for a boycott of Li’s livestream channel have intensified.

The incident involving Li Jiaqi highlights the larger issues at play in China’s society and economy. The economic struggles faced by the country’s youth and the growing disillusionment with the current state of affairs have found a focal point in the controversial remarks made by one of China’s most successful influencers. The incident serves as a reminder of the challenges China’s economy faces and the urgent need to address the growing inequality and hardships faced by its young population.