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The future has arrived for livestreaming

Dear reader,

A current MIT Technology Review article reports on the new and rather scary developments in AI generated clones used for marketing in China.

More and more of the speakers of the thousands of livestreams selling goods on Taobao etc. are actually not real: they are AI-generated clones of the real streamers.

Today, livestreaming is the dominant marketing channel for traditional and digital brands in China. However, training livestream hosts, retaining them, and figuring out the technical details of broadcasting comes with a significant cost for smaller brands. It’s much cheaper to automate the job.

Chinese startups are now offering the service of creating deepfake avatars for e-commerce livestreaming. It needs not more than one minute of sample video and about 1,000 USD to clone a human streamer to work 24/7.

Once the avatar is generated, its mouth and body move in time with the scripted audio. Even the script is done by AI. All the human workers have to do is input basic information such as the name and price of the product being sold, proofread the generated script, and watch the digital influencer go live.

More details about this development you can find in the free section of COTRI INTELLIGENCE, the new home of COTRI weekly Editorial, here.

In this week’s edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE the Topic of the week is no surprise, as this question is on everybody’s mind: Will the Chinese continue to travel with the same number of trips and spending as before the pandemic or not? Given the many economic problems including the slow-motion crash of the Ponzi schemes in the property market, but also the unexplained disappearances of Chairman Xi during BRICS and G20 summits, some Kasandra cries are getting much attention in the industry. Western politicians including US president Biden and Germany’s foreign minister Baerbock calling Chairman Xi dictator indicate the ongoing souring of relations on the highest level.

Weird regulations like the government proposal to a law that could result in detention and fines for “wearing clothing or bearing symbols in public that are detrimental to the spirit of the Chinese people and hurt the feelings of Chinese people” further help to muddle the water.

The latest rumour heard by COTRI INTELLIGENCE, that the plan to establish Hainan as an alternative to outbound travel could even include horse races with betting on the island in Hainan, adds yet another layer to the discussion.

The Deep dive consulting text features one of the major new trends which developed during the pandemic in domestic tourism in China and is now also influencing outbound travel: Outdoor activities. Developing new products outside the city and away from the beach will be one way to welcome Chinese visitors without increasing the problem of Overtourism. New destinations and new companies can profit from the new interest in outdoor and adventure activities. However, Chinese visitors will except a high level of comfort and will go for beautiful pictures and videos rather than sweat and sore muscles.

Facts and Views provides as an example for the diversity of the Chinese source market a discussion of Chinese breakfasts.

In the News you will next to the AI avatar text also selected news items about different aspects of the Chinese outbound market.

In COTRI News invitations to two travel fair conferences: QTM 2023 and GITF 2024.

As always, all best wishes from Prof. Arlt and the entire COTRI INTELLIGENCE team!