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article imageSamsung paid 500 people to pose as fans at China Galaxy S6 launch

By James Walker     Apr 5, 2015 in Technology
Samsung is alleged to have paid 500 people to pose as fake fans at the Chinese launch of its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge Android flagship smartphones on Friday. This means that over half the attending crowd of 1,000 were paid to be there.
Samsung hired people to act as "recruiters" for "fans". They were paid 20 yuan (around $3.20 USD) for every person recruited while the people themselves were paid 30 yuan (around $4.80 USD) if they stayed at the launch event for more than one hour. One attendee said that she earned the equivalent of $8.14 USD just by staying for 15 minutes at the press event though.
They were told to inform any inquiring press reporters that they were interested in Samsung's new phones and were fans of the brand. The hired "fans" also had to post their photo, name and phone number on popular messaging platform WeChat and like the Samsung Galaxy page on Chinese social network Baidu.
The recruiters are alleged to have been tasked with picking people from a target audience of under 30 years of age. "Fans" were also more desirable to the company if they looked like students eager to buy a new device.
Additionally, several groups of 20-30 people each were employed as "professional" fans. These were contacted by Samsung's Beijing office to confirm their participation. The application process was monitored by a Samsung staff member in a group chat on WeChat.
Samsung's motive for the stunt is likely to be its declining market share in China. The iPhone has risen to tremendous popularity in the country and indeed most people at the S6 launch event were taking photos on iPhones. The company could have been trying to appear more popular in order to entice potential buyers to its brand.
The report comes from Shangai newspaper the Paper and has not been confirmed by any independent source. Samsung has not commented on the allegations.
More about Samsung, Galaxy, s6, Launch, Phone
 
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