The heavy rainfall in central China’s Henan province has inflicted huge loss of life and property. Fortunately, the government and other members of society mobilised to provide disaster relief on a war footing. China’s online influencers also jumped in to help. As the disaster unfolded, a number of these internet short-video celebrities, or wang hong (red-hot on the web) in Chinese, who can leverage their popularity to get their fans to purchase goods or services that they endorse, wielded that power to help flood-affected people and raise funds for relief aid. I’d call it wang hong social mobilisation. China’s short-video stars are able to monetise their popularity, from product sales, advertising, and virtual gifts from followers. In response to the disaster, some declared during their live-streaming sessions that all the revenue for the day, rewards or proceeds from products sold, would be donated to the disaster-stricken areas. They then performed a kind of a rap – known in China as han mai , or shouting into the microphone – that contained lyrics aimed both at selling goods and rallying support for the flood victims. While it’s true internet celebrities would also enhance their own image and boost their own popularity in such high-Traffic live-streaming events, no doubt their support also gave some comfort to the flood-affected people in Henan (“ ‘Leave to professionals’: Celebrities accused of using China floods in PR stunt ”, July 27). Some Douyin (China’s TikTok) influencers with a considerable following have posted songs and videos in support of the flood victims, including rapper Yang Huanan with 946,000 followers and ballad singer “Xiao Li Classmate” with 1.24 million followers who have created great pieces of music. Shakespeare by One, a short-video motivational speaker with 6.26 million followers, posted three touching and inspiring videos to comfort the people of Henan and clocked up more than 1 million likes. The popularity of a short video, usually of about 21/2 minutes, depends on how many people watch and for how long, and how many “likes” it has garnered. Therefore, if the video content includes some breaking news, it would boost its reach. So while internet celebrities may have capitalised on the Henan floods in terms of boosting their own popularity, by focusing attention on the disaster they also offered the flood victims much-needed support. It would be wrong to dismiss their contribution to the disaster relief effort, even if they may have gained some advantage in the process. While it is not necessary to advocate such contribution because, after all, wang hong have benefited from “hot” events like the Henan floods, it is good to acknowledge that they did help at a time of public need. Tao Hongyi, Shenzhen