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Internet celebrities become viable investment with surge in fan base

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-19 10:56

China's internet celebrities are using their popularity among young Chinese followers to make money, creating an industry with real investment value, a new report said.

As of May, the total amount of internet celebrities on Sina's Weibo with 100,000 plus followers has increased 57.3 percent from last year, and their total followers surged 20.6 percent to 465 million year-on-year, according to a report published by iResearch on Friday.

The report shows that 61.4 percent of online celebrities' followers are male, and the other 38.6 percent are female, compared to the data released by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reporting that Chinese netizen's male to female ratio is about 52:48.

According to the report findings, as mobile internet penetrates into lower-tier cities, about 54.1 percent of the followers come from small cities. In contrast, netizens from first-tier cities are least attracted by online celebrities, who account for 18.5 percent of their fans. Second-tier cities represent about 23.1 percent of followers with third-tier cities holding 23.5 percent.

These web celebrities also have followers in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, who account for 2.5 percent of total fans, and overseas followers account for the other 1.8 percent.

The 2017 China Online Celebrity Economic Development Insight, an extensive analysis on the present and prospects of cyber celebrity related economy, was published on June 16 by iResearch, a provider of online audience measurement and consumer insights in China.

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