Planet China

Paying a premium

Hong Kong received its annual migration of scalpers this week. Each year the ticket touts – many of whom seem to come from Liverpool – descend on the city in hope of profiting from demand for the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. However, the prices the touts will be hoping to be charge over the next few days pale in comparison to what their brethren are making at an event in Shanghai. This was the meet-and-greet hosted by Kim Soo-hyun, the heartthrob who starred in You Who Came From The Stars, a South Korean soap opera that was immensely popular in China (it has now been watched online around 2.5 billion times on Baidu’s video-streaming sites). Shanghai Daily reports that touts have been able to sell front-row tickets for as much as Rmb25,000 ($4,015) – a hefty mark-up on the Rmb1,280 face value. Most of the scalpers did brisk business selling tickets to women who had travellled from as far away as Anhui province. But not all were so lucky. Police sent 700 officers to the event to hunt for pickpockets and unofficial ticket-sellers and Shanghai Daily says a 45 year-old named Cai was picked up at 8am trying to flog Kim tickets. The man was made to leave the area, later ruing that he had paid Rmb23,000 for 10 tickets, but hadn’t been able to sell any.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou Daily reports that Kim’s military service has been delayed for a year. The government in Seoul thinks the 26 year-old can do more good for his country by promoting Korean culture in China.

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