Faye Wong's Shanghai concert latest to fall prey to ticket scalping in China

Tickets to Faye Wong's concert were completely snapped up within minutes of going on sale on a designated online platform.
Tickets to Faye Wong's concert were completely snapped up within minutes of going on sale on a designated online platform.PHOTO: CHINA DAILY

Pop queen Faye Wong's first concert in six years will take place on Friday (Dec 29), and ticket scalpers are making losses as prices are falling with the date fast approaching.

The tickets for the Shanghai concert were originally priced at 1,800 yuan (S$375), 5,800 yuan and 7,800 yuan. They were completely snapped up within minutes of going on sale on a designated online platform, according to Hong Kong's South China Morning Post (SCMP).

An unknown number became available through touts and scalping websites, with one such site selling VIP tickets for 599,999 yuan each, reported Shanghai-based Dragon TV.

But prices returned to the original levels last week. Ticketing website Xishiqu.com has the 7,800 yuan tickets being on sale for 6,666 yuan.

Mr Li Mingwei, founder of Xishiqu.com, said the exorbitant prices turned some customers off, according to the SCMP.

The practice of releasing just a minor portion of tickets for public sale has also drawn criticism, as they are usually sold out quickly to make it seem like the demand is massive.

The organiser for Wong's concert, White Magnolia, released only 800 of the 8,900 tickets for public sale, entertainment news outlet Yuleguan001 cited director Zhuang Ming of concert organiser as saying.

The other tickets were gifts for sponsors, or sold to "friends and family" of Wong, 47, and other insiders. Director Zhuang said the company had no way to intervene in what they did with the tickets thereafter.

Ticket touts in China have inflated the prices of tickets for trains, theme parks and even doctors' appointments, according to SCMP.

The practice, which Beijing has promised to tackle, is still common. In March, scalpers placed a 499 yuan Shanghai Disneyland ticket on sale for 3,400 yuan extra. But prices lowered to 500 yuan as demand fell following the theme park's opening.

In Singapore, tickets for British band Coldplay's April concert were sold out shortly after going on sale in November, but later appeared for resale. While originally priced between $78 and $298, some were found to be going for as much as $800 on online classifieds website Craigslist.

This led concert organiser Live Nation Lushington to void "a number of tickets".