Forbes’ Take on the Hong Kong Photo Scandal

Forbes has written an interesting piece on the Hong Kong celebrity photo scandal, in essence, explaining its importance to western audiences:

It’s been called the equivalent of the 9/11 disaster for the Hong Kong entertainment industry.

Apparently, more than 1,000 stolen nude photos have begun circulating of Cantopop icon Edison Chen. And, unlike with the infamous Hollywood sex tapes, this is not going to be good for his career.

In a city few would deem prudish, Hong Kong police have reacted with startling force, raiding the repair shop, declaring possession of the photos illegal and prodding local Internet service providers to erase them under a colonial era indecency law. At least nine people have been arrested.

But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to get a hold of them.

The photos quickly became favorite fodder during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, causing a surge in Internet traffic across China, Taiwan and Hong Kong as the curious rushed to download them.

The affair has proved to be a shocking revelation of the private lives of a new generation of celebrities, many of whom have been portrayed by PR agents as models for today’s youth. A survey in Hong Kong found more than 30% of high school students have passed the pictures around among themselves and 74% of them brought the issue up with their parents.

However, despite the country’s seemingly insatiable interest in finding these photos, the people in charge seem to have the final word.

Hong Kong criminal groups, which are deeply involved in the local entertainment industry, are said to be upset by the damage done to the singers they have cultivated.

Read the rest of the story here and here

February 20, 2008 2:15 AM
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