Li Ziqi owner throws noodles into product mix

Hangzhou Weinian, owners of the Li Ziqi brand have established a food company, Guangxi Xingliu, with to exploit the vloggers international acclaim.

A screenshot of LI Ziqi's video.

A screenshot of LI Ziqi's video.

By WU Rong


Lifestyle vlogger Li Ziqi is the uncrowned queen of China's wanghong (internet sensation) tribe both at home and overseas. On two of the biggest Chinese social media platforms, Weibo and Douyin, Li has amassed 65 million followers. Her short videos depict cooking of traditional Chinese food and an unsophisticated way of life It has been deemed by China Central Television to “promote Chinese culture in a good way, telling a good China story.”

Owner of the Li Ziqi brand, Weinan, established in February 2013, develops influencers and owns dozens of brands, including 51 percent of Sichuan Ziqi Culture Communication Company. 

On August 17, 2018, a Li Ziqi store opened at Tmall selling only five products but raking in 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in just six days. It is believed that monthly sales have now reached 100 million yuan. All this money comes from a few sauces, instant noodles, and "health care" products.

During the lockdown, instant food was a big seller everywhere, but especially at Li Ziqi, which sold more than 1.5 million packs of snail rice noodles priced at 39.7 yuan monthly since February. Production was entirely outsourced until July 29, when Hangzhou Weinian – essentially an advertising business - established a wholly-owned food company, Guangxi Xingliu, with registered capital of 2 million yuan.

Most multi-channel networks in China depend on advertising, which has been in decline all year. According to WeMedia, by March, more than half of the industry players had filed for bankruptcy or were on the brink of closing down. The survivors are struggling, hence the switch from advertising to retail.

Weinian's revenue from e-commerce now contributes more than 70 percent of its top line. Founder Liu Daxiong holds that neither pure e-commerce nor pure advertising will succeed, and is now focused on retails brands.