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Exclusive Interview With Li Ziqi, China’s Most Mysterious Internet Celebrity

Her life looks like one straight out of a fairy tale. Li Ziqi impresses millions with her videos, where she makes seemingly everything from scratch with her own two hands, from dying a dress with fresh grape juice to fashioning traditional lipstick from roses in her garden to foraging on horseback in order to prepare one exquisite meal after another. She has some 50 million fans in China and another 8 million overseas, but she remains a mystery to many of them. In her videos, she doesn’t speak, and she rarely gives interviews. But now, she’s ready to open up to us. To find Li, we had to travel to rural Sichuan Province in southwestern China, where she grew up. Li grew up with her grandparents here. She says she came to live with them after her stepmother mistreated her. But they were poor, so when she turned 14, Li went to work in the city. In 2012, she decided to return to the countryside to take care of her grandmother. Four years later, she started filming her life there. The dishes she prepares range from a single condiment to elaborate multi-course meals. But whatever she makes, she leaves no stone unturned, going as far as raising baby ducklings just to make a sauce out of salted duck eggs. Some joke that she’s brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “from scratch.” Some of her other recipes are wholly original. In one video, she uses magnolia flowers to make pastries and even deep-fries the flowers themselves. Apart from food, she’s also known for her videos demonstrating traditional crafts, like building this bamboo furniture set, which she says was inspired by one of her grandfather’s old benches. Li’s stylized depictions of rural life stand out in China’s ultra competitive field of online videos. The market has become lucrative, estimated to be worth $6.5 billion. Li’s pensive and ethereal take has struck a chord with young people hustling in China’s big cities. But Li is not without controversy. Some viewers have been skeptical of her claim that she started as a one-woman band. Two years ago, Li posted a behind-the-scenes video to refute those claims. Li says she now works with one videographer and one assistant, but she’s still the one calling the shots. We weren’t able to verify these claims because we were not allowed to observe Li filming. But today, three years after she first picked up the camera, Li is one of China’s most successful online video makers.

Reader Comments

  1. this interview sucks. you guys should watch Sina Weibo interview (Chinese native interview) with Liziqi

  2. I love watching her cooking and everything but you interview girl, your questions are as dumb as you look!!!!!!! Be professional or go away!!!! You are a nitwit, you ruined the whole mystery!!!!!

  3. I would love to meet her when next time I visit Sichuan. She is very humbled, and genuine. I hope she stays true to herself without the influence of social media.

  4. Alguien que me ayude en la traducción ✨🙏✨ I need someone to help me with the translation, someone who speaks Spanish. Thank you for 🇨🇱

  5. Poor Grandmother?, This video says she grew up with her very poor grand parents.

    How did they end up on a Multi Million Dollar piece of real estate that looks like cultural nature reserve as poor elderly people with no semblance of income to afford it.

    I will tell – Chinese propagandga. She is an actor for State of China, the property is owned by the Government.

  6. You already made up your mind that she’s fake then why did you even interview her ? It’s too insulting

  7. 子柒,你的生活環境太自然快樂,城市的人都是金錢,物質,找不到如此自在自然的生活快樂,無束縛,與我3O年前的生活在農村時的狀況是一樣,收割,種植,溪流補魚,這種生活以經斷層了,以一個年輕人,太棒了,看了我只能回憶,你真棒。

  8. I really love watching her videos, but it makes me wonder if that lifestyle is real or not, because last time i heard, YouTube was banned in China. Is it propaganda or not?

  9. The interviewer was very rude in the original video .. this one isn't full please check out the ending https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7kxdsl?playlist=x6htlh very unprofessional and toxic

  10. The interview is fine. She's a journalists profiling a person nothing more than that. Get over yourselves!

  11. She's poised, has feminine characteristics, caring. These are attributes that men are hard wired to seek in a woman. Then… you look at the west, where women are all drinking the feminism kool-aid and you wonder.

  12. I suffer from depression and anxiety watching Liziqi gives me hope and makes me feel at peace Please keep up with the videos

  13. Yall need to calm down you're being horrible and I dont know how you guys insulting the interviewers appearance or the channel size makes you believe you're in any way defending liziqi, shes an adult who can handle a blunt interview yet you're all acting like children

  14. Liziqi read Quran.God is really there.God gave u beautiful place to live, gave u brain n taught u so much, wont u be thankful to Him.Would u not like to enter paradise? Islam is very true research Quran in Chinese language.It is God who gave u talent ,beauty ,sight ,hearing etc.It is He who made beautiful nature .A small pen can't cant make itself.All praise n thanks be to God.

  15. Li Ziqi is one-woman army of yard work, cooking, furniture making and video producer, indeed a very talented woman. I salute her and wish her the best.

  16. if is possible don't disturb her . leaves her alone . your video even not interesting . you can't compare your self with her . she is her own queen we respect her and we always waiting for her new video

  17. It is such an honor to see how we could all live. Many blessings and love to you!💞🤟🥰💓💞🏵💕💓

  18. I don't care if shes a one woman film crew or if she has 100 people filming her. Her videos are relaxing and beautiful and make me want to go back to a simpler time in life.

  19. She is so inspiring amazing and harde working person 😘😘😘😘😘 i hope she poste more videos to inspire fans

  20. Liziqi is UNIQUE! every video i watch i can say is a magical moment to me and my kids. Blessings from Mexico to Liziqi and her granny.

  21. 给子漆的一句话. Haters ganna hate aintners ganna ain’t. 不需要解释。支持你的会继续支持你,不支持你的你在解释他们都不会接受。就算真的在眼前看这.

  22. What an entitled and bigoted interviewer. I still remember the original interview.
    NEVER have a hong konger do interviews about China or Chinese culture.
    What would a hong konger know about a Chinese woman in Sichuan China?!

  23. 她 從佢角度嚟睇, 生活所具備嘅條件, 農村生活 艱苦, 佢要憑自己嘅身材實料 拼搏精神, 打出血路出嚟, 用佢嘅巧手, 播秧插種, 收割, 曬 穀 都是她 擔當大旗, 表面睇 農村生活好寫意, 實質上係經過拼搏 汗水換出來今天嘅幸福生活, 我們都要向她 致敬!

  24. I think she is amazing & her videos are stunning & have a calming effect. People are all too quick to criticize others who are doing something they can’t do or accomplishing something wonderful. I hope her and her grandparents are safe & well, during this horrible virus that’s sweeping the world. When it’s over Li Ziqi please come back, many of us miss you.

  25. Who cares what poeple might have to say Liziqi… if its negative just ignore it…ur videos are exceptional…even if u had a whole team production on ur side…these videos are old Chinese traditional way of doing things that are being forgotten in the world…I feel before all of our elderlies disappear from the world that more and more traditional ways of getting things done should be videotaped and shared all over the world…because what u do girl it's truly art…and other countries should each have someone special as u are to introduce lost values of old ways of doing things…from Australia to Canada to Russia…I love what u do…I envy u in a good way…I was born in the wrong Era…when I watch u…i feel at home in my heart…thx for sharing in English

  26. Enchanted is right! My wife has been so stressed with this virus, but then she ran across Li Ziqi's site. She said it was so calming. She has always loved knowing how to do things "low tech". So, on my wife's behalf, THANK YOU for your hard work. Take care of yourself and your Grandmother. Best wishes from Wisconsin, USA

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