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Honey money, sex and crimes on the Internet

Updated: 2016-01-25 07:05
By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)

The money is split three ways. The platform (website) gets 40 percent, the hostess (most are young women) gets 45 percent and the rest goes to the agency that recruits, trains and manages them. In the hierarchy of this business, the vast majority of hosts take home 5,000-15,000 yuan a month while those at the top can earn up to 1 million.

Longzhu.com made headlines when it signed Han Yiying, a 27-year-old game player with the online handle MISS, for a 20-million-a-year contract.

A chat room can be a room, (many low-end hostesses are put up by their agents in cheap hotels and work much like a telephone service center) but it can also be anywhere.

Ding Yao, who has 480,000 followers, aired her attendance at a comedy show during which she was warned by the theater for infringing on the comedian's copyright. Her highest-rated moment came when she tried on a bevy of newly bought fashion wear from South Korea, attracting 600,000 simultaneous viewers, according to Thepaper.cn.

Late last year, a host on Douyutv.com showed himself driving a luxury car, accidentally causing a traffic accident that injured two people. Another one rented a drone to peep into a college girls' dormitory. One male host on Zhanqi.tv has made a specialty out of eating gross stuff like rats and spiders raw. And a female host supposedly with 600,000 followers aired herself cutting her wrist, instantly drawing 450,000 viewers.

I say "supposedly" because the numbers displayed on the screen can be easily manipulated. The platforms may inflate them-sometimes by 10 times-to make someone look more popular than she actually is.

The same goes for the "bidding" when one party throwing tons of bouquets could be the platform's bait to entice real bidders to throw away real money.

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