A new Chinese app called “Miao A” or “Seconds” has allowed celebrities and socialites to sell their time to fans, by the second. The app is based in Beijing and helps the fans get access to their favorite celebrities on the trading platform.
The time is bought from the stars or their agents in bulk by the company and is then sold to the public in one-second packets. All the transactions are carried out through the Chinese online payment platform NetEase and the platform charges a 3% service fee on all exchanges. An average month sees an exchange of 300 to 400 million yuan ($45-60 million) worth of celebrities’ time.
The growing fan economy in China is behind the success of Miao A. Every second can be cashed for celebrity interactions. These interactions include online chat, social media replies, video recordings, and face to face meetings depending on the number of seconds you have accumulated.
One second of time gets you a one-liner in a text-based chat with them. You need at least 600 seconds for a live voice or video call and a real-life meeting can be scheduled if you have at least 7,200 seconds. The Miao A homepage counter shows over 3 million celebrity seconds have been sold.
The app has more than 500 celebrities listed including actors, models, show hosts, musicians, athletes, and even a professional “League of Legends” female gamer, who offers fans a chance to play with her. An Olympic speed skater is offering live skating lessons and famous entrepreneurs are offering business advice and consultations. Zhang Yuan is the lead singer of a popular boy band “Top Combine” and he is offering personal recordings which can be used as ringtones. One fan commented on his Seconds profile, writing, “My little sister is super happy, thank you, kind Zhang Yuan!”
The fans have the option to trade the seconds with other users instead of cashing them in. This is similar to a stock market and trading hours are set from Monday to Saturday. The app has government approval but this is still raising concerns. Liu Xinyu, an attorney at Dentons Law Offices in Shanghai, told The Paper that time is not a tradeable commodity and that by doing so the app is violating regulations for stock exchanges.
Despite the criticism, the app is continuing to impress everyone. “This trading platform is too awesome,” one reader wrote on The Paper website, while another commented, “Well, time is money.”