In China, illegal music downloading from internet and pirated CDs make it hard for pop stars to earn money. That’s also a key reason why they “rely heavily on commercial performances, which make up more than half of their income.” From BBC:
Beijing-born singer Agi knows her music carries a different price tag in the UK than in China.
She made about $2000 (£1,000) a month from music royalties and live shows with her band Mika Bomb when she lived in London.
But in China, her band Long Kuan Jiu Duan can almost double that by singing just one song at a commercial gig. At these gigs, artists get paid a set amount by companies or promoters regardless of how many tickets they sell.