Arsenal and 30 ad agencies ensnared in alleged BYD fraudulent misrepresentation case | Marketing | Campaign Asia – More than 30 domestic agencies are crying foul after Chinese electric-car brand BYD absolved itself of payment obligations for RMB1.1 billion (US$16.4 million) worth of advertising production and roadshow fees last week. The automaker claimed these agencies have been dealing with a fake employee from an “illegal” entity carrying out marketing activities on behalf of BYD by “forging” the company’s seal. BYD made statements on its website (English) and Weibo account (Mandarin), naming a “criminal suspect” Liki Li (李娟) who managed to engineer a potentially sham sponsorship deal with football club Arsenal in April 2018, and has since been detained by the Chinese public security bureau. “Hereby we reiterate that BYD was never involved in and is not responsible for any fraud issues,” read one statement. “Please make sure to report to the authority responsible whenever you find yourself a victim.” The 30+ agencies suffering in this legal quagmire certainly see themselves as victims, with many raising objections to how BYD is handling the case so irresponsibly. The exposé party was begun by Jingzhi PR (上海竞智广告) three days ago, posting an ugly narrative on its WeChat account of how three years of creative design and test-drive execution for BYD was suddenly invalidated in this about-turn – not particularly surprised that this happened. I am surprised that it happened to Arsenal. Sports teams like Arsenal have historically been savvy in navigating the Chinese media ecosystem.
I’m not DTF, OKCupid – Hacker Noon – great analysis of pandering advertising
Amazon’s Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback – The New York Times – is it merchants trying to pretend something is more rare than it is, or machine driven automated pricing errors? (paywall)
Google Maps API Becomes ‘More Difficult and Expensive’ | Slashdot – so much that you can say about this. Google is Alphabet’s cash cow, with changes like this it’s losing developer hearts and minds. I think its part of a wider trend away from “Don’t Be Evil” to “Greed is good”. The economics of cloud services should surely be going in the opposite direction to Google’s pricing changes?
Jackie Chan tried to replace Bruce Lee after he died, and so did Bruce Li – screen name of a Taiwanese actor behind slew of Lee rip-offs | South China Morning Post – great article on how the Hong Kong film industry coped with the death of Bruce Lee as a box office draw. I just couldn’t see Jackie Chain as a Bruce Lee analogue – thankfully he found his own way
China’s ‘red education’ history tours and the rise of communist cosplay | South China Morning Post – from opening up under President Deng to the go go growth of President Hu, the party had sublimated into the back of Chinese people’s lives. President Hu is bringing the party back to the forefront with nationalistic characteristics. Hence Chinese citizens doing ‘founding of the republic’ style cos-play
Salmon Theory – well worthwhile reviewing when you have a period of stuckness