'E-scout' discovers internet celebs in India

By Jiang Lu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-05 14:08
Gao Chen (second from left) poses for a photo with Indian children. [Photo/IC]

Gao Chen spends almost 200 days out of the year in India, on a mission to unearth and assist future internet celebrities in the country's burgeoning online video scene.

Gao is a talent scout for an app called VMate, a community platform in India for short videos. Gao's main job is to discover internet celebrities and train them in shooting short videos to reach a wide audience.

Many Indians gain respect and confidence by shooting short videos featuring a variety of activities, such as performing magic, dancing, fishing and carving.

In the past year, Gao Chen and her team have developed 4,000 internet celebrities in India, some with a monthly income that reaches 200,000 rupees (about 20,000 yuan or $2,780). Indians who work outside their hometowns normally earn an average of 6,000 to 10,000 rupees a month.

In order to cultivate new internet celebrities and open up new users, Gao's team has traveled to more than 10 city-states and countless villages.

Gao and her colleagues teach users skills, from choosing clothes and theming videos to performance on film — even training them in how to select cover images and screen background music.

Gao said hierarchical concepts and male superiority are particularly strong in the Indian caste society. However, through shooting short videos, many women have gained higher family status.

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