Updated: Samsung allegedly paid 500 fake fans to attend the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge launch in China

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (47)

When Samsung launches a new flagship smartphone you would naturally think that there will be more than a few people that are willing to stand around and ogle the handset, wouldn’t you? Especially when the handsets in question are the stylish Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Apparently not so in China, where Samsung is alleged to have paid people to pose as fans and celebrate the launch of Samsung’s latest flagship devices.

According to a report from the Shanghai-based news outlet The Paper, Samsung paid 400-500 people to attend the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge press conference. Each so-called fan received 30 yuan ($4.80) to spend an hour or more at the event, with recruiters being paid 20 yuan ($3.25) for every person that was recruited. Seeing as there were around 1000 attendees at the press conference, that means that roughly half of them were allegedly fake.

The alleged recruits were required to supply their names, pictures and phone numbers on WeChat (an instant messaging app in China), as well as ‘liking’ Samsung’s Baidu page. If interviewed, the fans were to say that they at the press conference because they were Samsung fans and interested in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. One such fan said that she got the job by answering an ad on WeChat, earning 50 yuan ($8) for staying more than 15 minutes.

If true, it isn’t the most unusual thing that Samsung has ever been accused of, but it still isn’t quite kosher is it? And while it’s probably just a sign of the desperate measures that Samsung sees necessary to gain market share in China from the iPhone, it does beg the question – what else is Samsung doing that it is getting away with?


Update: Samsung has refuted these claims on its official blog, stating that “under no circumstances has anyone been hired or given money to attend the event (Galaxy S6 launch in China)“. After Samsung’s investigation into the story, the news outlet that first broke the story has retracted the erroneous story. And there we have it folks, time to put the pitchforks down.


Source: WantChinaTimes
Via: PhoneArena

About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 around in his pockets. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

  • https://plus.google.com/+NathanielClay Nathaniel Clay (NatT96)

    Pathetic move Samsung, I used to love how you differentiated yourself from Apple, now you have become the monster you never wanted to be.

    • My Galaxy Prime

      Dude, but Samsung is a business. The whole point of a business is to make money and be the number one company in your category. Samsung isn’t being like Apple, Samsung is being like a corporation.

      • https://plus.google.com/+NathanielClay Nathaniel Clay (NatT96)

        By hiring fake fans and having a phone with a similar designed bezels? The S3 had a better design that this phone!

        • jamezr

          This is no different than what Apple does with their invitation only system. They only invite tech bloggers who will give their products positive reviews. This bring a ton of traffic to their sites and blogs. This means a lot of money for these reviewers/bloggers. They get advertising revenue from each click on their blog/review site.
          If they give a negative review of an Apple product they do not get invited to future apple events. This mean big bucks to these bloggers. So Apple sets the tone by making sure the audience at Apple events are filled with cheering fans…..or else they won’t get invited to the next one…..

  • ChuckN007

    All businesses and politicians do things to manage who is appearing in public events on camera.

    Do you think it’s just a coincidence that the people surrounding Obama at every photo op are in line with the theme and are hugely enthusiastic Obama supporters?

    Maybe a politician doesn’t pay people $4.80, but there’s some quid pro quo. Maybe it’s being close to a celebrity.

    Do you think Apple doesn’t orchestrate its press events?

    • My Galaxy Prime

      Apple definitely does that. I’m also under the suspicion that Apple puts cameras next to the seats so when people clap, it sounds louder (via video) than it actually is in person. But that’s my own conspiracy theory

  • My Galaxy Prime

    Not saying this is right or wrong but it is marketing. Humans are hardwired to follow the crowd (this has been scientifically proven). If a few people clap for a performer, others will start to join. They do it not to feel excluded and may even believe what they’re clapping for is something they actually like. When a play gets set for opening night, the theater may have a few people pose as patrons so at the end, when those “patrons” give a standing ovation, others will follow. It’s a great marketing tool. Not so great if you get caught.

    • https://plus.google.com/+NathanielClay Nathaniel Clay (NatT96)

      Exactly! Not great at all.

  • DW Duck

    I’m not so sure they would have to do this. Not saying it’s above them. But if you have had any time with either of those phones you’d go willingly.

  • Odisej

    All Apple events are by invitation only. And Apple goes a step further by also paying tech pundits..

  • Christian Giroux

    Isn’t that what most tech companies do every time there is a launch of something?

    That exact same thing happens every week.

  • Thanos

    everyone does this moron, now go pound more apples up your ass

  • UstillUseAniPhone?

    Remember all the major tech news sites that tested bendgate? Me neither. Its the most obvious example of the “influenced” world we live in. Much of what you see, hear, and dont hear is “inspired”.

  • http://www.androidheadlines.com/author/peter-holden Peter Holden

    Hey folks, the story has been updated, and well, it isn’t a story anymore. Samsung has refuted the claims via its official blog, and the original source has now retracted its article.

  • disqus_Hwg3C2iodc

    haha like samsung will ever say “yeah we did that.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/urmilshroff Urmil Shroff

    I still don’t get why people are going so mad after hearing this. I mean come on, it’s Samsung. They do this kinda stuff. But this is still better than what they’ve done in the past, and after all, it’s only 500 people, that too only in China.
    Besides, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are anyways good phones (better than the S5 and all of that crap); and if you think about it, in normal advertising and commercials, companies hire actors/celebrities who might not be interested in their product but promote it anyway since they are getting money for it.
    All companies tend to do similar stuff, but people usually shit at Samsung the most (I guess due to their reputation).