Stream factory in China.

Stream factory in China.

Stream factory in China.

In China, livestream commerce started in 2016 with the launch of Taobao Live by Alibaba, a platform that combines livestreaming and e-commerce. By combining e-commerce, live streaming, and social networking in a smart way, the company was able to tap into the huge Chinese consumer market. Users soon spent twice as much time buying things on livestreaming channels as on the main Taobao platform (the Chinese equivalent of Amazon).

With the help of shopping holidays like Single’s Day, live stream commerce in China has become a sort of zeitgeist, and sales are expected to reach $91 billion in 2019.

Reasons why Livestream Ecommerce has grown so quickly

Unlike its predecessor, live stream purchasing allows viewers and presenters to talk back and forth. It’s basically a temporary group of people who get together for a short time to talk, buy, and then split up. Even people who don’t know each other well talk to each other about what to buy and how to use or wear it. But China’s live commerce instance growth rate has been boosted by a number of macroeconomic factors.

COVID pandemic

In 2019, Chinese live streaming commerce took off, creating a brand-new industry at the intersection of live streaming and ecommerce. The COVID problem made the already fast spread of live stream business in the area even faster. As Chinese people spent more time at home and were less able to go to real places, many businesses started using live streaming to meet the needs of people who couldn’t leave their homes.

A large number of Millennials and Generation Z people

Most guests and shoppers are between the ages of 20 and 35, which means they are Gen Z and Millennials. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since more than 70% of Chinese Gen Z customers prefer to buy directly through social media, while the average around the world is 44%. This generation grew up with social media and thinks that technology is just a normal part of life, not something strange and new.

Rate of growth in e-commerce

According to eMarketer, China has the highest percentage of ecommerce of any country (over 35% in 2019), the highest absolute sales level (more than three times the total of the United States, the second-largest country), and one of the fastest growth rates of any country starting from a low base. In 2019, China’s e-commerce was worth $862 billion. In 2021, it is expected to be worth $1 trillion.

Super Apps Get Used

It’s possible that China was one of the only places in the world where the idea of a “Superapp” worked right away. For example, WeChat’s livestream platform can be used for a variety of other things and has built-in shopping (QR Codes, mobile payments, hotel & flight reservations, etc).

Exclusion from groups and an uneven number of men and women

China quickly changed from a rural, agrarian, and manufacturing economy to a consumer-focused, service-based behemoth, which caused a lot of people to move from the countryside to cities. Because of this, people in cities felt even more alone and isolated. The country’s one-child policy, which has led to a huge gender gap (there are about 70 million more men than women) and millions of lonely men, is another reason why livestreaming is growing. Millions of Chinese men who don’t have partners use live streaming events to meet women because they don’t have many other ways to start a family or find love.


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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