*** To protect Liziqi’s privacy, we won’t reveal her location. ***
Li Ziqi’s fans are all familiar with her home and village. The kitchen, the garden, citrus trees, rice farms, creeks and mountains. Together they form the beautiful setting for all of her videos.
But where is it?
It’s a carefully guarded secret for good reasons. Even though we can’t stop wondering, we also understand why it’s important for her to keep it that way – a fairyland isolated from the outside world.
Earlier this month, however, China’s 时代周报 (CDT) sent a couple reporters to locate Li Ziqi’s house, and they found it.
CDT didn’t reveal the exact location. But from their description, it’s not too hard to pinpoint a relatively small area. And in this day and age, you can bet someone else will go one step further. Sooner or later, her location will be published online. But before that day comes, let’s hope it can remain hidden for as long as possible.
Their report does offer some interesting tidbits, though.
First of all, the majority of local residents never heard of her.
As popular as Li Ziqi is, she’s apparently not well known in the rural parts of China, even in her own hometown.
Wikipedia and Baidu Baike both list Pingwu County as her hometown. So naturally CDT went to Pingwu first. It’s a small city about four hours of bus ride from Mianyang. They randomly asked 10 residents, and 8 of them didn’t know who Li Ziqi is.
When they eventually located her real hometown, it was the same thing. Considering Li Ziqi is the biggest internet star in China, let alone Sichuan Province, it’s kind of amazing how her fame has not reached where she lives.
I would imagine that most of Li Ziqi’s audience are young, white-collar, urban dwellers. They face constant pressure of housing, jobs, healthcare, and so on. So they dream about a place where they can live like Ziqi. But for rural residents, it’s a totally different story.
Secondly, Li Ziqi’s house is a single-family, 2-story structure with farm lands on both sides. It has a steel gate for the front yard. There’s also a surveillance camera as well as barb wires on the lower portion of the brick wall surrounding the house. I also noticed in one of her videos that she reminded grandma to lock the gate immediately after she leaves.
All of these seem to be contradictory to a worry-free paradise depicted in the videos. But it’s also understandable. Ziqi lives with her grand mother, and they have to be very careful regardless of how safe their little village appears to be.
Another thing that caught my eye is that Li Ziqi’s village is still very poor. In fact it is one of those designated “poverty” villages in the county. My understanding is that such designation would make the village eligible for certain government aids.
The head of the village is aware of Li Ziqi’s stardom in China. He’s proud of her, and is doing a good job protecting her privacy. But in the meantime, he also hopes that Li Ziqi could help out in some way, and eventually bring prosperity to the region. The problem is that he has no way of contacting her either. The last time they talked was over a year ago, according to CDT’s article.
While tourism may ruin the region quickly, there could be other ways to help the locals but also keep the environment intact, such as helping local farmers sell their crops. Who knows, maybe we’ll see something like that in the future.