Two side seats at ‘King of Mandopop’ Jay Chou’s Tianjin concert cost $20,800

King of Mandopop concert tickets
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Chinese netizens complained about how difficult it would be to get tickets for “King of Mandopop” Jay Chou’s concert in Tianjin in September, while ticket sellers at an online flea market advertised a price of 150,000 yuan ($20,800) for two adjacent seats.

Born in the Taiwan region in 1979, singer-songwriter Jay Chou, whose ballads often echoed in the hallways of Chinese karaoke bars during the first decade of the 2000s, will perform four concerts in northern China’s Tianjin from September 7-10.

On Damai, China’s leading online ticketing platform for live events, more than 5.2 million people had requested to attend the concert, with nearly 130,000 tickets sold in 30 seconds when it went on sale on Tuesday. Another online entertainment ticketing company, Maoyang, will start selling concert tickets on Friday.

Some scalpers sold tickets for the front three rows of the infield for 19,800 yuan, while a pair of tickets, originally priced at 2,000 yuan, sold for 150,000 yuan at auction. The hashtag “150,000 yuan for a pair of tickets” became a trending topic on China’s Twitter-like social media Weibo, with 340 million views and comments.

In order to crack down on scalpers, some netizens are demanding the introduction of a full-fledged real-name ticketing system when purchasing concert tickets, just like when purchasing train tickets. From Malaysian singer-songwriter Phish Leung, Taiwan-based singer Rene Liu Luoying, Jay Chou of the band Mayday, to Singaporean singer Wayne Lim Junjie, others lamented years of suffering from not being able to get concert tickets and having to pay exorbitant ticket prices.

In May, about 300,000 tickets for six May Day concerts sold out within five seconds of going on sale. Fans therefore questioned collusion between promoters and scalpers, but concert promoters denied this on the grounds that ticket sales were open and transparent. According to the China Performing Arts Association, box office revenue in the first half of 2023 reached nearly 16.8 billion yuan, up 673.49% year-on-year. The number of shows, including large-scale concerts and music festivals, reached 506, generating about 2.5 billion yuan in box office revenue from about 5.5 million visitors.

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