He Jiong’s co-host on one program was also reportedly selling lavish gifts from appreciative “fan circles” on a secondhand marketplace.
Accepting expensive gifts can come at a cost, as a renowned Chinese TV personality recently discovered.
He Jiong, the host of several popular variety shows, apologized Tuesday for accepting costly presents from fans of big-name guests who had been invited to appear on his programs, adding that he would no longer accept such tokens following accusations that he was exploiting his fame. The gifts ranged from gourmet baked goods to luxury items such as Leica cameras and designer accessories.
“I will take this opportunity to explicitly decline all gifts in the future,” He wrote on microblogging platform Weibo, adding that he “couldn’t bring myself to reject” them. “I hope fan groups, fellow celebrities, and teams can understand and cooperate,” he said.
According to domestic media, most of the gifts were sent by the fan groups of celebrities who had been invited to appear on “Happy Camp,” a long-running variety show on the state-run network Hunan TV. Fans had showered He with gifts so their idols would “have a better relationship with program staff,” one report said.
He isn’t the only one benefiting. His “Happy Camp” co-host was also named and shamed online for allegedly selling gifts he had received from fans on a secondhand online marketplace.
Chinese celebrities’ fan clubs — better known in the country as “fan circles” — play an instrumental role in boosting their beloved stars’ status on social media, as well as generally growing their online influence. To accomplish this, they mobilize in formidable numbers to aggressively encourage mass-purchasing of albums or movies, or to troll their idols’ competitors. Continue to read the full article here
– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.