The Wang Han Scandal Delivers Another Blow To Celebrity Livestreaming

What Happened: On November 6, famous Chinese TV host Wang Han led a livestreaming session for the home appliance company Shunde. Now, a screenshot circulating on the internet shows the company paid Wang a fee of 100,000 yuan ($15,000), and it sold 1,323 units during the session — except that 1,012 of those units were returned. That makes the refund rate as high as 76.4 percent.

Other merchants have had similar experiences, which led to the shops receiving false transaction warnings on the platform. Wang Han’s MCN later released a statement, saying that the return rate was not a
result of fake traffic: “If there is no real transaction after the return, we get no commission.” However, Weibo netizens attributed the livestream failure to the celebrity himself. “Even if the sales were real, I doubt any business would hire him again,” said one commenter.

The Jing Take: Wang Han’s incident is not the first time a celebrity livestreamer has stirred up controversy. Previously, comedian Xiao Shenyang and actress Ye Yiqian’s attempts both failed miserably to convert sales. E-commerce livestreaming is still in its early stages, and offline fame does not necessarily translate to sales. In many cases, experts have advised brands to work with livestream influencers instead, as they cost less and are more experienced.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government recently released new regulations to crack down on livestreaming fraud, and Wang Han’s fake traffic backlash proves that netizens are no longer tolerant of fabricated sales and made-up statistics.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.


Marketing, News, Tech