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Xinjiang team takes comedy online
2018-07-30 source:Xinhua
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Memettursun Memeteli (center) acts in the comedy show "Anar Pishti" in Urumqi. Wang Fei / Xinhua

Anar Pishti, now released daily, has more than 15 million followers

Few people call Memettursun Memeteli by his given name. To millions across China, he is better known as Daodao, the zany lead character in an online comedy show.

Daodao's exploits in Anar Pishti (The Pomegranates have Ripened) are rooted in life in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

"Viewers in Xinjiang can relate to our sketches, while those from other parts of the country watch because they are intrigued about our remote region," said Henizat Tohti, the show's producer.

Xinjiang locals are immensely proud of the delicious pomegranates grown in their region. Like the fruit, Anar Pishti was cultivated in the northwestern region, with the seeds of the show taking root during a discussion among two friends.

Since the first episode was released in 2016, the show has gained a cult following and has more than 15 million fans across various platforms.

The show's success was made possible, in part, by the rapid development of the internet in China. More than 753 million Chinese access the internet on mobile devices, and short videos have become an important format for expression. There is even a term for the online celebrities spawned from this phenomenon — wanghong.