Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College in China now teaches you how to be wanghong: an online sensation

Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College in China now teaches you how to be wanghong: an online sensation

Forget accounting, law, or business, the degree young people are choosing instead is wanghong – which literally means hot on the web. The Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College, near Shanghai, now has a course for people who want to make money by becoming famous on social media.

The students of the wanghong course learn skills like how to dress fashionably, how to apply make-up, how to perform on camera, and learn about various luxury brands.

Being a wanghong means streaming your life to millions of smartphone users, promoting brands and helping launch businesses. The wanghong industry is so popular it is now worth billions. Students like Jiang Mengna, 21, spend 30 minutes at lunch talking about her day to her audience, and she is rewarded with “virtual gifts” that have a digital value.

Wang Xin, 20, switched from accounting to a major in wanghong. “I’ve always had an idea, a dream to be on stage with the crowd watching me,” Wang said.

Internet consultancy Analysys International estimated China’s wanghong industry was worth 53 billion yuan (HK$60.5 billion) last year, and would double by 2018.