Hollywood and traditional media are often criticized for their lack of racial representation, but online media has proven much more diverse. YouTube has enabled minorities to create, upload, and share content at a rapid pace, and the Asian community, in particular, has taken advantage of the platform.
While many of the biggest Asian YouTubers are based in the United States, major influencers are beginning to emerge in Japan, Korea, India, and other Asian countries. YouTube is bolstering Asian influence in popular culture and is giving rise to some of the top Asian social media influencers.
Asian-American Ryan Higa is the influencer behind comedy channel, nigahiga. His channel name combines the word “Niga” which is Japanese for “rant” and his last name, “Higa”. Ryan is best known for his “How to be” videos and is an icon in the YouTube community.
Canadian-Indian Lilly Singh, better known by her YouTuber username IISuperwomanII, is a renowned vlogger, actress, and writer best known for her hilarious one-woman skits. She ranks 3rd in Forbes‘ highest-paid YouTube stars and has released a book and a feature film.
Michelle Phan is one of the most notable Asian-American makeup artists on YouTube, and her beauty tutorial videos have made her a global sensation. Michelle founded the online beauty community, ipsy, and has been on the Forbes 30 under 30 lists for Art and Style.
Freddie Wong is an Asian-American YouTuber who founded hybrid studio and production company RocketJump. He aims to bring his audiences fun and genuine entertainment and his famous web series Video Game High School is critically acclaimed and has won several awards.
はじめしゃちょー, or Haijme, is a Japanese YouTube influencer who loves to entertain his audiences with funny skits and pranks. Haijme satiates the curiosities of his viewers, tasting the trendiest foods, demonstrating the newest products, and providing uncensored commentary.
Hikakin is the Japanese YouTube celebrity who founded YouTube channels HikakinTV, HikakiGames, and HikakinBlog. He is a beatboxer and music composer who has performed with celebrity bands and artists such as Aerosmith and Ariana Grande.
Dominic Panganiban is a Filipino-American flash animator and the talent behind popular YouTube channel Domics. His comics or “Domics” cover personal anecdotes with a satirical twist that never fail to entertain in simple, clean graphics.
Japanese YouTuber and competitive eater Yuka Kinoshita is best known for her ability to consume seemingly endless amounts of food on camera. Viewers from around the world will watch Yuka’s mukbang videos, where she ingests massive volumes of food and calories.
Lindy Tsang of Bubzbeauty has a passion for beauty and fashion. Her popular makeup tutorials, lifestyle content, and clothing haul videos draw nearly 3 million subscribers. Additionally, she has a successful clothing and makeup brush line.
WONG FU PRODUCTIONS
Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang are the filmmakers behind Wong Fu Productions. The Asian American trio’s popular YouTube channel (which has over 2.8 million subscribers) showcases their best short films and sketches, which span a variety of genres.