Last week, the viral celebrity story of the moment on Chinese social media was, hands-down, the highly publicized wedding between Tiny Times star Yang Mi (杨幂) and Hong Kong actor and singer Hawick Lau (劉愷威). The hashtag celebrating their Bali nuptials (#杨幂刘恺威结婚#) has been mentioned over 8.5 million times on Sina Weibo, and several social media-savvy luxury brands have been able to cash in on the attention.
Luxury jeweler Bulgari noted on its Sina Weibo account that the event took place at the Bulgari Hotel in Bali, where the “romantic and divine wedding ceremony was held by the the blue sky and turquoise sea, with the sea waves slapping the reef,” according to the company’s poetic promotional language.
Meanwhile, jeweler Swarovski was sure to point out that it had provided Yang Mi’s jewelry for the wedding, and tweeted a note of congratulations to Chinese designer Wang Peiyi (王培沂), who received a massive amount of attention for designing Yang’s wedding gown.
Another beneficiary of all the attention was Bali, a location which has been attempting to court the attention of Chinese tourists. The tropical Indonesian island destination is likely to receive a larger influx of Chinese New Year tourism from Chinese travelers avoiding protest-engulfed Thailand, and a celebrity wedding can’t hurt. In November 2012, Chinese celebrity Yao Chen married in New Zealand, generating a massive amount of publicity for the destination.
China’s wedding industry is big business, generating $80 billion annually, and luxury brands hoping to cash in on the trend can see massive benefits if their products are worn by top Chinese stars. Yang Mi’s celebrity status skyrocketed in 2013 when teen drama Tiny Times and its subsequent sequel became blockbuster hits in China (despite receiving terrible reviews).