Two singers that performed at a Chengdu concert last year have become the first entertainers in China to be punished for lip-syncing at a live commercial performance.
The Shuangliu County Culture and Sports Bureau handed down fines of 25,000 yuan (US$3,662) each to Fang Ziyuan (方梓媛) and Yin Youcan (殷有璨), on April 1 for their involvement in a Huang Shengyi (黄圣依) concert. Fang and Yin told local media that they recently graduated from university and had no money to pay the hefty fine.
Huang, who also goes by Eva Huang, is best known for roles in movies such as Kung Fu Hustle and The Founding of a Republic. Her concert took place on September 19 in Shuangliu.
Authorities from local and provincial bureaus were reportedly on hand at the concert to make video and sound recordings. After the performance featuring Fang and Yin was flagged as suspicious, experts analyzed the footage and ruled that not only were the pair lip-syncing, their microphones were turned off.
It is not known what will happen to the young women. As Fang told a Western China City Daily reporter, "We just acted as cheerleaders [for Huang], and this is the disastrous price we pay."
China's November 2008 lip-synching ban was passed after a PR disaster during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in which a nine-year-old Beijing student lip-synched a rendition of the song "Ode to the Motherland". The song was actually sung by another young girl who was not deemed pretty enough to represent the country.