Diversity of Fans on Social Media: The Case of Entertainment Celebrity in China

Diversity of Fans on Social Media: The Case of Entertainment Celebrity in China

Xinming Jia (Zhejiang International Studies University, China), Kineta Hung (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong) and Ke Zhang (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3220-0.ch009


This chapter explores the diversity of celebrity fans in China, including their motives, activities and processes of celebrity idolization. Based on a grounded theoretical approach, the authors traced and analyzed the user-generated content posted on Weibo that was prepared by fans of the singer/actor Wallace Chung. The analysis reveals five fan segments with different motives: casual fans (playful), fascinated fans (aspirational), devoted fans (sense of belonging), dysfunctional fans (identification with celebrity), and reflective fans (solid self-identity), thus demonstrating fans' different characteristics. This chapter also outlines the typical developmental process as fans increase their investments into the celebrity. Variants of this process, given the fans' different psychological and demographic characteristics, were also discussed.
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Celebrity And Fans In China

The celebrity market is highly vibrant in China. As more and more brands compete for the consumer’s limited disposable income, celebrity endorsement provides a marketing communication tool for the sponsoring brand to stand out, grab consumer attention, and strengthen its appeal in this growing consumer market. According to the brand consulting firm Millward Brown, China has the third highest percentage of companies in the world using celebrity endorsements, with over 50% of the advertisements featuring one or more celebrities (Market Me China, 2015). The popular use of celebrity endorsement reflects consumer’s acceptance and positive response to this strategy. Indeed, compared to American consumers, Chinese consumers are significantly more receptive to celebrity endorsement. They perceive such advertisements as providing more valuable product information, more pleasurable to watch and they heighten their desire for the featured product (Schaefer, Parker & Kent, 2010).

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