$100,000 Donation to Female Streamer Causes Internet Stir in Korea

A female online broadcast jockey sent the local social media abuzz with chatters about her lucky day. On Monday, she received digital currency worth 120 million won ($101,500) in donation from her fan during a live show.

The streamer named Yu Hye-ji is known for her mukbang (eating show) while chatting with viewers on the Korean video-streaming platform Afreeca TV.

Video streamer Yu Hye-ji is shocked after she receives a massive amount of donation from one of her fans during a live broadcast on Monday. (Screen capture of Yu`s livestream video)

The massive amount of money she got during a live broadcast instantly became the talk of the town, followed by a number of news media reports. The scale of the donation was unprecedented, especially given that Yu has been in the video-streaming business for just four months.

The generous fan sent her several bundles of “star balloons,” the digital currency used on Afreeca TV that can be gifted to streamers. The cyber money can be withdrawn in the form of real cash after a commission cut.

Shortly after confirming the huge amount, Yu initially danced in joy and later burst into tears in front of the camera.

As the news went viral, some questioned how a single fan could donate a total of 120 million won in digital currency. Under the platform’s own regulation, a single user account can donate up to 30 million won per day.

In a phone interview with The Korea Herald, Afreeca TV explained that two accounts were used to donate a total of 120 million won to Yu — 30 million won per transaction on two accounts before and after midnight — while the broadcast was on.

video streamer Yu Hye-ji
Video streamer Yu Hye-ji bursts into tears. (Screen capture of Yu`s livestream video)

Afreeca TV said they could not verify whether the two accounts were owned by the same user because of privacy rules.

Due to Yu’s relatively brief experience in the streaming field, some online users expressed doubts about the identity of the alleged fan who made a shocking amount of donation. Others raised the possibility that the unidentified fan had some ulterior motive.

As the dispute snowballed, the fan in question, who only identified himself as the manager of Yu’s fan club, put out a statement saying he and the female BJ had no personal relationship.

“I have never met Yu or even exchanged phone numbers with her,” he said in the statement. “I came across her videos on Afreeca TV last week. I got much help from watching her cheerful and bright character in the videos.”

“I just wanted to support the young BJ and didn’t realize my actions could make some people uncomfortable,” he said, adding that he would resign as the manager of Yu’s fan club.

By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)


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