In the past three years, China's live-streamed entertainment has gone from a blip to a booming billion-dollar industry.

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

The entertainment can take different forms — like interactive gaming or online marketplaces with real-time salespeople — but at the heart of this internet phenomenon are young girls chatting casually from the comforts of their pink bedrooms to an audience of millions about life, love, and their favorite makeup and beauty products. But don't be fooled by that girl-next-door vibe. That's just a part of the show.

A girl broadcasts at live streaming talent agency Three Minute TV in Beijing, China. | (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

Tens of thousands of streaming starlets have joined the live-streaming industry hoping to get a job as an "anchor" and find fame online. To meet such a furious demand for internet celebrities, talent agencies have sprouted up to select and train mostly young women to star on streaming platforms and programs. In many cases, these women broadcast directly from agency buildings, where offices are designed to look like girls' bedrooms, complete with shaggy pillows and stuffed animals. Working in shifts around the clock, the anchors hawk products or flirtatiously encourage their audience to buy virtual gifts with real money that will be split among the agencies, the online platform, and the anchor.

The idea is to create characters who "look like someone you can be friends with," one agency head told BBC. Women get makeup training sessions, as well as "performance" lessons to better charm viewers into purchasing products. Agencies even help arrange bank loans for cosmetic surgery to increase a girl's fanbase. One industry insider told Reuters he estimates some 95 percent of anchors have undergone some kind of plastic surgery.

"72 hours of pain in exchange for three to five years of good looks is totally worthwhile," one streaming host told Reuters following her five-hour rhinoplasty procedure and facial fat injections.

Below, a behind-the-scenes look at the peculiar, carefully constructed world of China's online celebrity hopefuls:

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

(REUTERS/Thomas Peter)