Headlines from China: The Complicated Supply Chain Behind China’s Fan Economy

Hired Fans Make Up To $4600 A Month: The Complicated Supply Chain Behind China’s Fan Economy

In an age where followers and social media popularity are everything, fans have become an integral part of many Chinese celebrities’ careers. It is no secret that on Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging site, only 30% of the engagement on celebrity accounts comes from “real” fans, while the rest come from fans hired to boost activity and visibility of those accounts. With the flourishing fan economy, companies focused on social media growth have also been sprouting up across China. For some of the most followed Chinese celebrities, their fan groups are usually professionally managed by such companies, and among the organic fans, there are paid fans hired by those companies who follow, comment, and forward a celebrity’s posts, and initiate heated discussions to drive traffic. Apart from Weibo, Baidu Tieba and Tencent’s QQ Groups are platforms where fans are the most active. The downside of this phenomenon is that it is becoming increasingly difficult differentiating real information from non-factual rumors and controversies created to promote celebrities. Read more on D-entertainment

Recommended ReadingChinese Celebrity and the Soft Power MachineBy Jonathan Sullivan and Tricia Kehoe

Monster Hunt 2 Selected For Screening At Berlin Film Festival

A sequel to the 2015 movie also directed by Raman Hui, the upcoming fantasy sci-fi Monster Hunt 2 is making its European debut at the Berlinale Special Gala in February. It has also been reported that Monster Hunt 2 will not be releasing a 3D version in Mainland China. When the first Monster Hunt movie was released in 2015, it grossed $383 million in China, making it the highest-grossing film in 2015. Read more on Mtime

“Superman: Red Son” Might Be The Next Animated DC Film

Bruce Timm of DC animated universe has expressed interest in adapting Elseworlds comic Superman: Red Son into an animated film, after the release of Batman: Gotham By Gaslight. Timm also said Batman: Gotham By Gaslight’s box office will largely determine whether or not the Superman adaptation will happen. Superman: Red Son is an alternative take on the American superhero, which incorporates Communist Party figures like Joseph Stalin and socialist values. It has also been pitched for a live-action film before. Read more on Mtime

Low-Budget Film “Forever Young” Headed for $77.6 Million In Box Office

When Forever Young finally released five years after filming, its performance took everyone by surprise, heading to a total of $77.6 million. Some contributed its success to good timing, having been released after Youth, and thus attracting more arthouse film fans to the theaters. Starring Zhang Ziyi, and directed by Li Fangfang, the most successful aspect of Forever Young was its ability to emotionally engage the viewers and bring out their vulnerable emotions. It is also interesting to note that at the early stage, there were false reviews deliberately created to tarnish its box office, but things quickly turned around after its release as more and more people were moved by the film. Read more on yiqipaidianying