This Wannabe Chinese Idol Cheated People Desperate For Masks Of S$55,000, And Now He’s Probably Going To Jail For It
With many Chinese provinces in lockdown and filming for most movies and TV shows cancelled until further notice because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese celebs have mostly gone home to spend time with their families.
For aspiring pop idol Huang Zhibo, however, he was up to something sinister — scamming people desperate to buy surgical masks and other medical supplies.
Medical supplies in China are now in high demand, and the 20-year-old, who was a contestant on survival programme All For One, reportedly made use of the desperate situation by 'selling' masks on messaging application WeChat. He is believed to have collected up to 280,000 yuan (S$55,000) from buyers via the app but became uncontactable after he received payments.
Multiple reports were made against him and photos of a Mr. Huang being arrested on February 13 were subsequently uploaded on Weibo.
Investigations are still underway, but Chinese media outlets have reported that he could face eight to 10 years in jail if found guilty.
The news has been confirmed by his former label, Yuehua Entertainment, who issued a strong-worded clarification. “We would like to make the following statement with regards to All For One contestant Huang Zhibo, who is being investigated by the police for illegal activities. As per our contract, the company has terminated Huang Zhibo’s contract as a trainee. We apologise for the negative impact on society, and we will leave all matters in the police’s hands. Huang Zhibo’s actions are against our company’s policies and beliefs, and our company is strongly against any actions that take advantage of the current situation to cause harm to society.”
Zhibo’s last post on his personal Weibo was on February 4, where he shared a handwritten note. “The most amazing frontline medical staff who have been working tirelessly have had it hard. We will work together to defeat this virus. Wuhan, jiayou! China, jiayou!”
This post has amassed over 10,000 comments at press time, with many netizens expressing their outrage at his actions. “Little kid, it’s unfortunate that I got to know of your name in this way,” one wrote. Another added, “You must have extraordinarily thick skin to be able to post such a message while you’ve been cheating people of their hard-earned money. You’re ugly inside and out, and even your handwriting sucks.”