The World of Chinese - - Cover Story -

Dai Rui is hold­ing court to his fans at his of­fice in Liaoyang, Liaon­ing prov­ince. Just 24, Dai is al­ready a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur and pro­ducer of pro­fes­sional live-stream­ing shows, but he was once an or­di­nary on­line per­former, like his em­ploy­ees.

Dai first broke into the busi­ness in 2014, and his en­thu­si­as­tic singing soon earned him a mas­sive fol­low­ing. His fans in­cluded sev­eral rich busi­ness­men who were will­ing to give him ex­pen­sive gifts for his per­for­mances—soon his in­come reached as much as 200,000 RMB a month (wealthy users are of­ten mo­ti­vated to do­nate large amounts as a show of face; some­times they even com­pete to be a per­former’s most gen­er­ous pa­tron).

The in­come al­lowed Dai to break out of the per­former’s life and be­come his own pro­ducer. The Liaoyang Zhiyuan Cul­ture and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Com­pany now turns over sev­eral mil­lion RMB a year, and Dai has more than a thou­sand stream­ing singers on con­tract.

But de­spite the wealth and ac­claim it brought him, Dai doesn’t miss his singing days. “The broad­cast­ing in­dus­try made me suc­cess­ful, it also ru­ined my nor­mal life,” Dai re­calls.“i used to broad­cast more than 15 hours a day. It hurt my body badly. Now I have more money than I could imag­ine, but I still don’t have enough time. If I could do it again, I may not choose to broad­cast.”

Dai, who once made thou­sands of RMB for his per­for­mances, now prefers the cor­po­rate life, manag­ing oth­ers in his agency Stu­dio sys­tems like Dai's (be­low) give am­a­teur acts a chance to shine pro­fes­sion­ally

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