Sun Yang at the 2017 Chinese National Games Photo: VCG
With his athletic career on hold for four years, it appears Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has turned to selling cosmetics online to make a living. The three-time Olympic champion until he was banned from swimming for four years for a doping test, Sun held live broadcasts on Friday and Saturday, attracting millions of netizens and making more than 30 million yuan ( $4.72 million) in sales.
During her livestreams on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, Sun promoted products from cosmetics brands such as CPB, SK-II and Estee Lauder at a duty-free store in Hainan province, New York. southern China, for a total of five hours over the two days.
Sun seemed very familiar with the process of selling goods online and cooperated well with several assistants. He showcased the products, including makeup and face masks, using terminology like beauty blogger and was also able to react quickly during the livestream, saying one product “can make you look like a rose.” .
Sun’s total sales amount in the city excluding tax exceeded 33 million yuan, Sports Money reported. The report said Sun’s revenue from this live stream is expected to reach 6 million yuan before tax and 3.6 million yuan after tax.
Sun’s livestream topped the charts for all livestreams on Douyin during the same period, and the hashtag associated with the event topped the trending chart on Sina Weibo on Friday, attracting the attention of many netizens.
Sun Yang Photo: screenshot from the video on Douyin
Sun has over 3.8 million followers on Douyin and over 30 million followers on Chinese Twitter Sina Weibo.
Many media and netizens have dubbed Sun the “Li Jiaqi of the sports world” for his choice to sell cosmetics online. Li is widely regarded as China’s best live streamer in this industry.
Sun, who turned to selling products online during his suspension from competitions, drew various reactions on Chinese social media.
Some netizens said that it was Sun’s personal choice and that there is nothing wrong with him earning income from a livestream, which is currently very fashionable, as long as he pays his taxes according to the law.
However, some netizens criticized Sun, saying he should train more and prepare for the Paris Summer Olympics in 2024 instead of focusing his attention and energy on the latest buzz industry.
“I had faith in Sun’s brilliant return to the 2024 Olympics as he is a swimming genius and can compete for another gold medal after two years, but now I’m a little hesitant. The live stream could diffuse his energy. I hope he can bounce back like a cork and prove himself in training,” Zhang, a fan of China’s national swimming team, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Another Beijing-based swimming enthusiast also expressed similar concerns.
Many Chinese sports stars, including table tennis player Zhang Jike, former China women’s volleyball team leader Hui Ruoqi and diving champion Wu Minxia, have been promoting products on live broadcasts.
In February 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed an eight-year ban on Sun in September 2018 after finding him guilty of refusing to cooperate with sample collectors during a visit to his home in Hangzhou. In June 2021, the suspension was reduced to 51 months – four years and three months – meaning it will expire in May 2024, just weeks before the opening ceremony of the Paris Games.