Since the 1990s, Liu Genghong has achieved minor celebrity as an actor, singer and fitness guru. But while the entertainment industry continues to suffer under Covid restrictions and major lockdowns, Liu unexpectedly catapulted his career in late April with his viral fitness videos. Within two weeks of his first post, Liu had 50 million followers on Douyin (China’s TikTok) checking in to his fitness livestreams broadcast under lockdown from his Shanghai home, which also feature his wife, children and 66-year-old mother. It also helps that Liu, now 50, once trained Taiwanese pop megastar Jay Chou – whose song “Herbalist’s Manual” saw a bump in popularity after Liu used it in one of his most popular videos. Many praised Liu for his easy-to-learn routines, energetic personality and constant encouragement to keep going. Although some people suspect that a marketing company is behind Liu’s recent rise, most said he is fulfilling demand for ways to keep fit while many people remain stuck indoors.