Meet China's most 'spiritual' social media editor

Updated 2017-08-23 11:02:54 CGTN
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Zhao Chaoyang visits Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province.

Zhao Chaoyang visits Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province.

How does it feel to be the social media editor at a famous Buddhist temple with a history of thousands of years?

In February 2016, when the Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province released a notice of job vacancies on its official WeChat account, it instantly caused a firestorm on Chinese social media.

Zhao Chaoyang does social media for Lingyin Temple.

According to the notice, the temple was looking for talent in new media, including editing, photography, and video post-production. The notice was removed two days later for "receiving way too much attention".

Nearly a year and a half later, Zhao Chaoyang, a college graduate and the temple's only social media editor, has already spent more than 500 days in this spiritual place.

His life – which combines elements of religion, history, culture and the latest online trends – has also raised massive interest from outsiders.

Zhao Chaoyang taking care of deliveries.

"Basically, it's not a demanding job at all," said Zhao, as there's no KPI requirement for his work. He doesn't need to get thousands of clicks and likes for his articles posted online, because in Buddhism, "everything is destined".

But how did he get the job? Zhao was among 1,000 candidates, and he won the job with an essay titled "What is the proper way to offer incense at temple?"

His daily routine includes carrying delivery parcels for the monks, playing basketball with them and promoting the Buddhist culture in a way that can be understood by online users. He also writes about pop culture and film – he could write on any topic he likes.

But there are strict rules when it comes to diet, which prohibits drinking and eating meat, so Zhao has to go downtown when he wants to get together with his friends.

Zhao Chaoyang is one of the longest serving members at the Temple.

Over time, Zhao has become accustomed to the abstinence lifestyle and is one of the longest serving staff members at the temple. "I contribute so little to the temple, yet it rewards me with so much", said Zhao.

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