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Pseudo Fan Bingbings are Selling Products on Livestreaming Platforms

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Every night, Fan Bingbing pops up on numerous livestreaming platforms, selling products from skin cream to foundation to self-heating hot pots. She streams from Chongqing, Shenyang, Taiyuan, and Hangzhou — live. Confused? Let us explain…

Fan Bingbing has continued to make small-scale returns to the public eye after her tax evasion scandal in 2018. In October 2019, she made a foray into the world of livestreaming, via a live selling event — shifting 10 million RMB’s worth of products in minutes.

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Chinese Authorities Finally Issue a Statement on Fan Bingbing, Fining Her for Tax Evasion

The popularity and success drummed up by the actress has caused other users to dress up as her and sell products on various livestreaming sites. Currently there are at least five different people imitating Fan Bingbing.

Fan Bingbing impersonators. Source: Tencent News

The impersonators are bombarded with comments wondering if they are in fact the “real” Fan Bingbing. With their large eyes, defined jawlines and sculpted cheekbones, the fake Fan Bingbings could very well pass for the real actress.

The lookalike closest in appearance is Fan Yebing. She currently has 830,000 fans — the highest of all the “fake Bingbings.” She keeps herself shrouded in mystery, refusing to admit or respond to comment accusing her of being “fake.”

In the bigger livestreaming picture — it is unclear whether or not these impersonators will get into trouble over their use of Fan Bingbing’s image to sell products. China’s ecommerce industry has recently been in hot water over “immoral” conduct, with the use of previously scandal-ridden celebrities one of the major points of contention. The real Fan was seemingly one of the targets of pronouncements over “inappropriate” livestreamers, given her massive tax scandal.

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Authorities are Targeting Immoral Livestreamers

The government issued a new set of regulations and the National Radio and Television Administration made a statement as part of the push, saying “it’s necessary not to provide illegal and immoral artists with public appearances and opportunities, in order to prevent the spread of bad habits in the livestreaming field.”

The regulations are vague, however, and it is not known whether the Bingbing lookalikes will be deemed “immoral” simply for making money via impersonation. And while the fake Fans have been hitting the headlines recently, Bingbing isn’t the only star to be “honored” with lookalikes on the Chinese internet. A quick hunt on video platforms such as Douyin (TikTok) or Kuaishou will take you to multiple Jay Chous talking to each other, for example.

This week has also seen Chinese news outlets checking back in on a more disturbing trend, with a number of reports related to the story of Li Yifei, a 19-year-old girl who had plastic surgery in order to look like Liu Yifei, the actor best known for playing the lead role in Disney’s Mulan this year.

Chloe Yorke
    Chloe was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Shanghai and San Francisco. She is currently studying Chinese at Durham University in the UK and is passionate about Chinese art and culture.