CHINA / SOCIETY
Chinese fans’ attempts to further their idols’ careers through ‘bribes’ will poison young people’s values: opinion
Published: Dec 23, 2020 07:12 PM

Screenshot from Sina Weibo


 
Luxurious perfumes, bags and even thin bars of gold… It seems that Chinese fans are more than willing to spend their hard-earned money helping their idols stay on good terms with the hosts and staff of some variety shows that have throughout China’s entire entertainment industry. 

This invisible rule of the entertainment industry came to light recently after netizens posted a video of He Jiong, one of the hosts of variety show Happy Camp, speaking on another show about the gifts he sometimes receives from idol fans. 

In the clip, which has since gone viral, he talks about how one time he received more than 20 vacuum cups and 50 pens. He goes on to complain that fans always put stickers bearing their idol’s names on these gifts and that since they are hard to remove he is never able to give these gifts to other people.  

On Tuesday, He responded on Sina Weibo to the video, saying that he would no longer take gifts from stars or fan clubs. 

“I originally wanted to give everyone guidance on how not to waste… but it turned into bad guidance. I’m really sorry about that,” he wrote on Sina Weibo.

The related hashtag had 630 million views on Sina Weibo as of Wednesday afternoon. 

While the host tried to explain his comments away, the gifts themselves point to a phenomenon in which many young fans feel that a lot of problems can be solved by sending gifts or money.

Growing up with such unhealthy values is sure to be detrimental to young Chinese,  especially young fans who are not financially independent, and might lead to disastrous consequences including asking their parents for money or even illegal behavior such as stealing or bribery.

Even if these fans voluntarily pay for these gifts, there is still a question about whether it is reasonable or legal to receive such expensive gifts. 

Some fan clubs also spend a lot of money hiring online astroturfers to help promote their idols, forming a special industry chain. 

However, the reality is that fans need not go to such lengths to help their favorite idol’s career. The entertainers on these shows can still do their work without the incentive of gifts as it is their job to participate in these programs. 

Since this phenomenon has caused frequent controversies, the industry should pay more attention to it from a legal and ethical standpoint to prevent these types of unhealthy trends from poisoning more young people’s values.

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