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Media & Entertainment

Disappearance of China's online sales king is blow to Alibaba

Li Jiaqi is latest superstar livestreamer to go silent amid crackdown on sector

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI -- The abrupt disappearance of China's top online sales host from Alibaba's Taobao platform may only deal a short-term blow to the e-commerce group, but it highlights the risks of relying on a few celebrity influencers, analysts say.

Rumors are swirling around the fate of Li Jiaqi after his popular show on Alibaba-owned Taobao -- where he shifts a dizzying array of products to 64 million followers -- was abruptly cut on Friday. He cited technical issues but then failed to show up at an online sales session a few days later and has since gone off the radar.

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