Imagine yourself eating huge quantities of food every day during dinner. While eating, you are socializing with others and the most important part is that you are making money at the same time. Doesn’t this seem like the dream job? This is actually what professional live-eaters (also known as Broadcast Jockeys) do: stream themselves online eating servings of food while chatting away to the viewers (Evans, 2015). These live-streamers are popular to the extent that they are becoming minor celebrities in the Korean culture. But why is this trend, called “MukBang”, getting so popular?
Have you ever been to a retail store to just check out a certain product, but end up buying it elsewhere online for a much cheaper price? We all must have done that at least once. If we look back at the situation, we can actually describe it as a free ride on the sale service of offline retailers by visiting them to obtain information about the product, with no intention of buying. We often require firms to behave fairly, but never thought about the other side, the customers.
Currently, China is known as the world’s largest internet market and. The estimated time Chinese spend on internet each day is approximately 1 billion hours, which is more than double the daily time spent by customers in the United States (Clemes et al., 2013). The increasing internet penetration and smartphone ownership is the cause for this booming e-commerce in China. As Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba once said: “In other countries, e-commerce is a way to shop, in China it is a lifestyle.”(KPMG, 2014).