Chinese virtual key opinion leader (KOL) Ling (ins: ling.gram_) made her world online debut Monday, leading the latest Chinese internet trend among positive influencers and cultural inheritors and showcasing China’s soft power and culture.
Bearing a close resemblance to humans, Ling (ins: ling.gram_) was co-created by Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Shanghai Xmov Information Technology and Beijing Cishi Culture Media Company.
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Ling’s team will generate content around such characteristics as the national essence of Peking Opera and the combination of classic and modern fashion on social platforms like Weibo, Instagram, and TikTok, Xmov said in a statement.
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With commercial programming, the 3D virtual figure will engage in business endorsements, live broadcasts, and participate in online and offline activities.
CEO and Xmov founder Chai Jinxiang said virtual IP value will be released at the maximum level via livestreaming and short videos.
The emerging virtual idol sector, backed by China’s younger generation, has been on the fast development track in recent years, with more domestic internet firms increasing investment in this nascent sector.
Despite the size of China’s virtual idol industry being less than 100 million yuan ($14 million) in 2018, with increased investment, it is expected to grow to 1.5 billion yuan by 2023, according to Newsijie.cn.
Last year, virtual idol Luo Tianyi shared the stage with China’s top pianist Lang Lang, marking the country’s first concert between a holographic singer and real-life musician.
Today, Luo’s Weibo account has over 4 million fans.
The virtual idol trend first originated in Japan, where the IP industry has thrived. Hatsune Miku, a virtual idol pioneer, is an anime character who sings through a vocal synthesizer. Miku has performed multiple times in China, singing in both Chinese and Japanese.