Li Ziqi vs. Dianxi Xiaoge: Similar Idea, Different Style, Equally Amazing

If you’re a fan of Li Ziqi, sooner or later you’ll hear about Dianxi Xiaoge. They’re both YouTube stars from China, both exceptional in making gourmet food, and yes, both produce amazing videos that showcase their unbelievable skills and gorgeous scenery around their home towns.

What’s the difference? Why do people keep comparing them?

Li Ziqi vs Dianxi Xiaoge

Similar Idea

Both Li Ziqi (李子柒) and Dianxi Xiaoge (滇西小哥) focus on cooking traditional Chinese dishes using home-grown ingredients. They also stick with traditional methods to prepare everything, meaning no modern kitchen equipment, and they both live in rural farming villages.

So basically, they have exactly the same concept: Present authentic Chinese culture and traditions via cooking.

And obviously, both of them are brilliant at what they do.

They both cut out the hard part of their work, and the result is we get to enjoy all of their beautiful and relaxing videos.

Despite all the similarities, you can also see how they differ in many ways.

Different Style

In their typical videos, Ziqi often looks like a princess from a fairy tale, while Xiaoge is more like the girl next door.

Ziqi is cool and elegant; Xiaoge is warm and lovely.

Ziqi’s videos are near perfection; Xiaoge’s videos are more realistic.

Ziqi is almost silent in her videos; Xiaoge chats with everybody. However, this one probably doesn’t matter to most viewers, because even to a lot of Chinese people, their dialects sound like a foreign language.

Hometowns of Li Ziqi and Dianxi Xiaoge
Approximate Hometown Locations of Li Ziqi and Dianxi Xiaoge

Ziqi, sadly, only has grandma around, and she rarely shows footage of other people; Xiaoge, on the other hand, enjoys a big, happy family, as well as many friendly neighbors – viewers who lived in farming villages before can certainly relate to that.

Ziqi obviously spends lots of time on post-production and video editing, and her hard work is evident in every video she releases. Xiaoge’s videos are often shorter, less refined in comparison, but nonetheless captures the essence of what she’s trying to show us.

Ziqi covers a wider range of topics. Other than cooking, she also makes furniture and tries many other craft projects. Xiaoge is more focused on food with the occasional expansion into cultural festivals and events.

So in short, I’d say Li Ziqi is making a movie, and it’s truly amazing. Dianxi Xiaoge is producing a beautiful documentary, and it’s definitely more representative of her daily life.

Equally Amazing

Now, some people accuse Ziqi of being “fake” and too far away from real life. But think about it. We know for a fact that Star Wars is “fake,” we know Superman is “fake,” we know pretty much all movies are “fake” in that regard. But it doesn’t stop us from enjoying a good movie. Li Ziqi is extremely creative. She presents everything with an artistic touch, and the end result is simply amazing. Is it exactly how she lives her life now? Maybe not. But even if it’s a dream, it’s a beautiful dream built on real life.

Both Li Ziqi and Dianxi Xiaoge are successful entrepreneurs and have been financially rewarded. They deserve every penny.

What’s interesting is that the two camps, most likely just fans, have started fighting on China’s social media. After all, they’re competitors, but it sounds ridiculous to me. I’m a big fan of Li Ziqi’s videos, but I love Xiaoge just as much!

Many more vloggers in China will try to repeat what Ziqi and Xiaoge have done. People from other countries will join the party as well. And it’s a beautiful thing.


Miscellaneous

Lately I’ve received quite a few questions about Li Ziqi and Dianxi Xiaoge, probably because this post is starting to appear on Google and other search engines. Some of the questions may interest a wider audience, so I’ll gradually add them here:

Age: Both Liziqi and Dianxi were born in 1990.

Note that in China, age is not treated as sensitive information like in the west. Both Dianxi and Li Ziqi openly talk about their age.

Education: While Li Ziqi had to drop out of middle school at age 14, Dianxi Xiaoge actually graduated from college, a police academy. She didn’t become a police officer, however, and instead found a job with an internet company in Chongqing – one of China’s largest cities. She quit her job and returned to Yunnan in 2016, when her father became ill.

What’s rarely known, even in China, is that Dianxi Xiaoge was awarded twice for bravery: One was to save passengers from a burning bus, another was rescuing people during a dangerous mudslide.

Name:

Li Ziqi (李子柒) is her brand name, and may be her real name as well. Some unconfirmed reports claim that her real name is Li Jiajia (李佳佳), under which her business in China is registered. Also in one of her videos, her grandma called her Jiajia once. It doesn’t really matter – everybody knows her as Li Ziqi.

Dianxi Xiaoge (滇西小哥) is also a brand name. Xiaoge’s real name is Dong Meihua (Dong being her family name). She also has a nickname: Apenjie, which originated from “bowl chicken.” When she was born, her grandma happened to be holding a bowl and a chicken. Based on local traditions, she was named after whatever her grandma was holding at the moment, as a way to ensure health and prosperity.

Timeline: Li Ziqi started a bit earlier than Dianxi Xiaoge, by roughly one year.

Li Ziqi started posting videos on China’s Weibo in early 2016, and joined YouTube in August, 2017.

Dianxi Xiaoge started in early 2017, and joined YouTube in July, 2018.

Latest Videos:

You can watch their newest videos right here. All videos shown on this website use YouTube’s official embedding method, so even if you’re watching them here, the videos are directly streamed from YouTube:

35 thoughts on “Li Ziqi vs. Dianxi Xiaoge: Similar Idea, Different Style, Equally Amazing”

  1. Nice article! I’m from Bali, Indonesia, and I love both Li and Dong, what inspirations they are! I understand their aesthetics too. Li’s videos are highly stylized, I love them! Many of their menus are surprisingly similar with Indonesian cooking. They remind me a lot to textbooks I read in elementary school which wrote Indonesian ancestors came from Yunnan, Dong’s homeland!

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    • She’s fine. Her hometown wasn’t hit hard with the virus at all. In fact, both of them are doing Ok. Liziqi’s assistant has been posting on China’ Weibo, while Dianxi has released several videos recently.

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  2. The fact the Liziqi started first, automatically puts her first, as she had the idea, which is the core element here. Moreover Dianxi, uses more meat and shows scenes of animal slughter which sometimes is irritating… Liziqi, is an original artist, and I think this article doesn’t give her that when equalizing her with the Dianxi.

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    • Dianxi’s videos never show an actual slaughter of any animal, some only show when her uncles cleaned the pig after doing so. And it is a tradition of raising an “annual” pig then having it shared with others and reserved for later use, she just tried to show how people in her big family gathering to do something for others. Some of Li’s videos also show when she cleaned the chicken after slaughtering it. I think this is not a bad thing or a serious matter, you can choose to skip the part or stop watching. Also how can they have the meat to cook without taking down a cattle?
      Yes Li starts first, but the girls’ direction is different as mentioned. If Dianxi also made videos look aesthetic and dreamy then she was definitely the copycat, but she focuses on food, spices and daily life of her & her village, interacts with her acquaintances and neighbors, while Li is more about her own life with her grandma.

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  3. Love Dianxi more since her videos seems more realistic and she seems very happy meeting the demands of her family. Love her country side and her style.

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  4. I watched Japanese movie call Little Forest and exactly the same living both Li Ziqi and Dianxi, later coming up the Korean version with the same title.
    I think both Li and Dianxi were inspired by the Little Forest movie, I don’t mind about it as long it shows their own style and hopefully people all around the world can do the same, it’s really good entertainment.

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  5. I am Morlyn from Burundi .I am really impressed by them, there is a kind of serenity that emanates from their videos and that whats attracts me and a also YouTube who suggest me a Dong video 😂 . The hardwork that emanates from Li videos is very impressive and should be appreciate by all

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  6. Thanks for this article, help me to learn about this Two amazing girls
    I star with liziqi, and I can’t stop watching love her videos and is so relaxing, and I learn a lot.
    I am still have to watch Dianixi, to see difference,
    Enjoy other culture and food making is great

    Thanks to the se great girls🤟
    Cheers from Guatemala

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    • I like liziqi much more than dianxi xiaoge as she is the first one who has the idea , i think dianxi xiaoge is just a copycat , she copies every idea that liziqi does , such as cooking or instrumental chinese music as the background , she doesn’ t have her own ideas , and liziqi launched her words about her copycats once at youtube and told that she is the real one , but what can she do ? If something becomes popular , copycats will turn up just like mushrooms in the rainy season

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      • Can you give me linknin which dianxi vedio, you have found background music likr li ziqi regularly use?

        Off course Li ziqi starts earlier but she is not the first Vlogger. Shiwimg cooking vedio first d9es not give her whole copyright. in china. So everyone can start vlogging now and then doesnot

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      • Why to compare. I started seeing Li ziqi’s videos first. And then happened to seen Diane Xi. Both are good. Li’s more self conscious, we can understand that by her expressions and dresses and sometimes that look artificial. Diane xi’s full concentration is on what she is doing -preparing food. And it looks so natural.

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  7. I watch both. But I prefer Dianxi xiaoge as I like the family dinners at the end. It also feels more homely and authentic. I get a more fuzzy feeling inside compared to liziqi who is more about aesthetics. both are great though

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  8. I like them both. But if I had to choose, I will say Li Ziqi. Her videos is like telling astory. It’s more than just cooking a dish. You can see the amount of effort she puts into the video production

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  9. I like liziqi more because she’s the original. I agree with Dong being more homie but her choice of background music, camera angles and other shots just seems less thought or more careless.

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  10. Li Ziqi’s videos give me more peace, I feel they are more pleasant to watch, Dianxi’s videos are also really nice, but it’s okay to say that Li Ziqi is better, artistically, from a direction and style point of view, also there’s more variety, If we compare them I don’t think it’s fair to say they’re equally good.

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  11. Hola, la verdad he visto los vídeos de ambas, a simple vista las ideas pueden ser parecidas pero la esencia es propia de cada una. Todo depende de los ojos que lo vean y los gustos de quien lo disfrute.

    En lo personal me encanta lo que muestra Dong, su entorno es más realista, me fascina su arte culinario y esa percepción de la familia y vecinos en su aldea.Y cuando muestra sus imágenes donde se equivoca y detalles que se escapan de nuestras manos, nos recuerda que no existe la perfección humana. 😉

    Saludos desde El Salvador…

    Reply
  12. Sou fã de ambas! Cada uma tem suas qualidades… Minha esposa ama e com certeza já assistiu todos os vídeos da Ziqi e da Dong, e vários outros vídeos do mesmo estilo de outros Youtubers. Aqui no Brasil muitas pessoas gostam desses vídeos. Nos trazem paz, quase que nos conectando a natureza. É simplesmente fantástico! Parabéns a toda cultura chinesa e obrigado por compartilhar vossas culinárias.

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  13. I am a Naga from Manipur, India. The foods that they cooked are very similar to the food we cook. what a great joy to see them with such a remarkable talent.

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  14. What I like in Li Ziqi is that she promotes traditional Chinese cuisine, craft, and costume. She’s very elegant in her Chinese apparel and despite the hardwork she’s doing. You can also see how much she cares for her grandma.

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  15. I can see people comparing between the 2 but i will choose Liziqi because she is very details in her video and also putting a lot of efforts into making one. The reason she is not as friendly as describe by other who comparing her with Dianxi is because she don’t have a big family like Dianxi and also she have a suffering childhood. Who don’t want to have a big and happy family, but she got no choice left alone with her grandmother only. And because what she went thru during her childhood make her more careful and quiet personality most probably.

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  16. LiZiQi Works hard. I have seen her sweat. She builds great furniture. Is far more artistic. Has a great garden. Is patient. And most of all she takes care of GrandMa. r

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    • She started with a simple smartphone App to edit her early videos, and then upgraded to a DSLR (low-end Canon if I remember correctly). She definitely has more professional equipment now after hiring a photographer, and I know she uses iMac to edit videos.

      Reply

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