ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Media & Entertainment

When China's massive fan-economy goes wrong

Extreme fan behavior creates a minefield for stars -- and the brands they sell

Xiao Zhan shot to startdom thanks to his role in the hit streaming show "The Untamed." (Screen shot from "The Untamed")

NEW YORK -- Right up to the time when China began putting cities under lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Xiao Zhan was the country's most sought-after star, endorsing everything from skin care products to beer. By the time the country lifted the shutters months later, Xiao's celebrity status was in tatters and his commercial power hanging by a thread.

Unlike most of what has unfolded over the past two months, Xiao's abrupt reversal of fortunes was not a direct result of the pandemic that started in Wuhan and swept from China through the world. Rather, what has killed Xiao's career is an extreme case of what some call "toxic fans."

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more