Monday, July 2, 2007

S.H.E.--The Hottest All-Girl Pop Group

Almost all of the Fortune 500 companies are channeling ever-increasing resources into getting a piece of the huge Chinese pie, and why should pop idols be any different? Sure, it's nice to be loved back at home in Taiwan, Japan, Korea or Hong Kong, but China is where the money is for an increasing number of pop idols in Asia despite of rampant piracy. S.H.E. is one all-girl pop group that is raking it in big times with their China strategy.

For a more complete description of S.H.E. visit

S.H.E. (short for Selina, Hebe and Ella, the three girls' names) is quite unique in the sense that they appeal to both young girls and guys, unlike the traditional approach where pop idols tend to attract the opposite sex. They are kind of but not very pretty or sexy (so girls like them), kind of cute (but not to the extreme of Japanese cute), sing very well and mock themselves all the time. They have endorsed numerous products that target the young consumers. My personal guess is that endorsement fee is actually the main source of income for them in China since it is really meaningless to talk about CD sales as most of the CDs are pirated.

One touchy issue that Taiwanese pop idols should always bear in mind is their national identity. Chinese people want their idols to be very patriotic, so anything they say or do that suggest Taiwan is not part of China will immediately attract waves of negative comments. In 2006, S.H.E. had a close one by saying that they "are not Chinese, but Taiwanese" during an interview with a Japanese TV program. Lucky for the girls that this issue wasn't escalated. A-Mei, another hugely popular Taiwanese singer wasn't so lucky. She was practically banned from all performances/media appearances in China after singing the national anthem at the official flag raising ceremony on Taiwan's National Day several years ago. Only recently China has started to lift the ban on A-Mei, and she has since learned to shut up whenever similarly sensitive issues come up.  However, it was a big loss. Think of all the Yuans she could've cashed in during those few years. Huge mistake.

Read more about A-Mei and her unfortunate accident

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