Boosted by “Consumption Quotas,” Single Shatters Sales Records

Fans of Chinese celebrity Xiao Zhan are back in the spotlight for pressuring each other to buy hundreds of copies of the same newly released single.

Fans of Chinese pop star Xiao Zhan are feeling conflicted this week. They’re excited because their idol’s newly released single has broken all-time sales records, but they’re also smarting from criticism over the role they’ve played in the song’s success.

The 28-year-old celebrity dropped his new track, “Guang Dian,” to much fanfare on Saturday. In the 48 hours that followed, more than 25 million downloads were sold for a combined 76 million yuan ($10.7 million) — both record-breaking numbers for China’s music industry.

Behind the scenes, however, Xiao fan groups were hard at work making sure the previous records were surpassed by setting “consumption quotas” for their fellow fans.

One fan leader on microblogging platform Weibo, an online watering hole for fan groups, suggested students should buy at least 105 copies of the single, while those with jobs should buy at least 1,005.

In China, spending money on your idol is more than just a way of showing affection and support — it’s also a way to prove your commitment to the cause. Taking up this mantle, many of Xiao’s fans urged their peers in no uncertain terms to meet the quotas.

“I’m a student too! 105 singles is just the cost of one lipstick!” wrote another fan group leader on Weibo. “Is it that hard for each fan to buy 105 copies? It’s the bare minimum! If you just buy one or two copies, aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”

“I hope everyone can come together for Xiao’s new song. The sales are super important!” wrote yet another fan leader, vowing to purchase an additional 105 copies for every 50 fellow fans who showed proof of their own compelled consumption. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.