LIZHI INC., a leading online UGC audio community and interactive audio entertainment platform in China, released a short documentary film titled “Different? So What” (“不一样？又怎样”) on China's 31st National Disability Day (Sunday, May 16, 2021) to highlight the stories of young Chinese audio content creators with physical disabilities, particularly those who are visually impaired. LIZHI also announced its “Sunshine Project: Let warm voices make the world a better place.”, which uses tools, AI algorithms to route traffic, financial incentives and other measures to integrate differently-abled audio content creators more deeply into the overall LIZHI audio ecosystem.
Through the stories of these audio content creators, LIZHI aims to shine a spotlight on how the visually impaired are expressing their creativity through original online audio content. In the documentary, visually impaired teenagers sing Cantonese opera, recite poems, and play the piano.
Xinzhao Tan and Enlin Chen are recording an audio program
Xinzhao Tan is singing Cantonese Opera
Enlin Chen is playing the piano
"The goal of these community initiatives is to let more people feel the warmth of the world through voices. The development of an integrated audio community requires the construction of platforms that involve and engage with all sectors of society,” according to Mr. Marco Lai, Founder and CEO of LIZHI INC.
There are more than 17 million visually impaired people in China in 2021, signifying that there is one blind person out of 80. Through this documentary, LIZHI hopes to encourage wider acceptance towards these individuals and eliminate prejudice based on stereotypes.
The documentary features a visit to the Qi Cong School in Foshan, Guangdong, a special institution that provides education for the disabled. Four years ago, a group of visually impaired teenagers at the school decided to establish a radio station. By recording, uploading, and sharing online audio programs on the LIZHI app, they were able to showcase their vocal talents in singing and Cantonese opera.
As an audio platform built on UGC, LIZHI's intention in creating the documentary was to record a podcast called "Seeing the World with Your Ears", hosted by visually impaired individuals. This received support from schools, charity organizations, and other platforms. More than 200 people have participated in this initiative during the past four years, creating 1,200 minutes of programming that has been enjoyed by 63,000 users.
“LIZHI will continue to promote the production and dissemination of content by differently abled groups through the power of the platform,” said Marco. “Based on the LIZHI app's features and user characteristics, we will explore a win-win future cooperation between public welfare initiatives and our platform”.
About LIZHI INC.
LIZHI INC. (the "Company" or "LIZHI") has built an audio ecosystem with a global presence consisting of audio-based social networks, podcast content portfolios and audio communities. The Company aims to bring people closer together through voices by its product portfolios. LIZHI's audio-based social networking product offering, including Tiya App, caters to users' evolving interest in social interactions in real time online and enables users to connect with friends having similar interests, entertain, chat online, and share their daily lives through voices. LIZHI also offers a vertical podcast platform, LIZHI Podcast, that provides users with curated content drawn from its extensive content library built over the years, as well as new podcasts provided by selected content creators. Since the launch of LIZHI App in 2013, the Company's flagship platform, LIZHI has cultivated a vibrant and growing online UGC audio community and interactive audio entertainment platform where users are encouraged to create, share, discover and enjoy audio, and experience immersive and diversified entertainment features through audio. LIZHI envisions a global audio ecosystem – a place where everyone can be connected through voices and across cultures. LIZHI INC. has been listed on Nasdaq since January 2020.