Idol economy is rising in China, a double-edged sword for brands
Fandom can bring in sales and cash for brands which pick up the right endorser, but sometimes it can damage their images if the choice turns out wrong. A group of hardcore fans who favoured the pop actor and singer Xiao Zhan, reported the well-known international open-source platform ‘Archive of Our Own’ (aka AO3) as a website containing underage pornography and had it successfully censored by the government. They do it so simply because they are discontented about one piece of work released on the website which has their male idol depicted as a cross-dressing teen in a fan-fictional homoerotic novel. Such crazy sledgehammer behaviour irritated the subcultural fans who support alternative publishing and has definitely fenced off the go-to place where LGBTQ communities commonly gather. What’s the idol economy really like in China and how are brands handling crises when cooperative endorsers fall to the ground? We recommend you this article from Jing Daily that offers a clear explanation and another piece from Sixth Tone with some more relevant cases summarized for you.