Wang Leehom, an iconic pop singer with a net worth of over 3 billion RMB ($471 million), provoked a public row after Taiwan media reported his divorce on 15 December. Once, the idol of millions of boys and the dream lover of girls is trapped in a trust crisis. His previous image of being hard-working, wholesome, frugal, and approachable has now been replaced by cheating, senseless violence, and prostitution.
Soon after the scandal came out, Infiniti terminated their cooperative relationship with Wang, even though he was announced to be the brand ambassador just two days prior. Today, Wang made a public apology and announced his temporary retirement from the entertainment industry.
Discussions around Wang’s divorce have been shown on the most searched list on Weibo, where people also started a vote on which side are they standing. At the time of writing, 294,000 expressed dissatisfaction with Wang’s latest apology, and 197,000 believed the ex-wife’s accusations against him.
Most people who have participated in the discussions, in certain ways, do not just come along for the ride; they couldn’t let go of being deceived. When Wang built such a positive image of commitment and simplicity, he now can’t expect people to take his words when he, himself destroyed his own image.
People usually think that it’s easy to make money from fame when it comes to China. Because the population is so significant that even if every person supports the brand or celebrity with one RMB ($0.16), it will easily build up to a million RMB ($156,850) – it merely takes less than 1% of the population.
However, to the same token, with certain circumstances against you, the consequence can also be horrifying – criticism from millions of people or more to call you out. It is fair to say, to enter and survive in the world’s second-largest market, one does not only need some luck, but more importantly, careful management, as the consumers there do not just have money but valued judgment.