On the Belt and Road: Chinese live-streaming app boosts cross-cultural exchanges in Egypt
Editor’s note: Egypt has been a commercial and trade hub since ancient times. Now with the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese mobile Internet company has seen great opportunities and is making its history in the country. Developed by Beijing-based Asia Innovations Group, Uplive is now the leading live streaming platform in Egypt. And the Chinese application is bringing Asia's live-streaming frenzy to Egypt, while building a bridge for cross-cultural communication.
Maha Boghaday, 26, is obsessed with a Chinese live streaming platform called Uplive, which has made her an online star with over 100,000 followers. Maha said the app has occupied much of her time as she communicates with her fans on a daily basis.
Maha has worked as a presenter at a local radio station in Cairo since graduation about 4 years ago. She said online live streaming is very similar to her main media job. The only extra thing is that everyday and every hour she gets to meet someone new, which excites her a lot.
From cooking to guitar classes, live streamers can record their every move via the channel. And they also can gain income by receiving virtual gifts from their viewers. Maha said that she earned 800 US dollars in one month, almost double her monthly income as a radio presenter.
Jin Weiwei, the CEO of Asia Innovation Group Middle East, told us that the design of all the app’s events, products, and virtual gifts are based on the preferences and customs of locals. He said live streamers have to take into consideration the elements of local characteristics, such as Muslim and Arabic culture.
Uplive is taking the country by storm. Over 60,000 streamers are broadcasting on the platform around the world per day, 3,000 of them from the Middle East, just like Maha. With a substantial growth in viewers, the Chinese company is seeking to cash in on the Middle East's growing appetite for live streaming.
Over the past few months, Uplive has been among the most popular apps downloaded on the Apple and Android app stores. But the company is not just satisfied about the achievements. It is trying to help Egyptians understand more about the nation of China.
Jing said that the short-term target is to become the healthiest and largest live-streaming platform in the industry, and then to expand their operation, especially in the field of cross-cultural communications. He said the people-to-people exchanges between China and Egypt are very frequent now,whether in cultural interactions or tourism.
Uplive also provides services in other countries such as Japan, Vietnam and Russia as it widens its doors to help more people from different cultures meet over their smartphones.