Apr 22, 2014

    Fans see red over no-show by actor Kim


    MS RORO Cao got up at 5am to make her way to the Beijing car show to catch a glimpse of her favourite South Korean actor, Kim Soo Hyun, who was recruited by Hyundai Motor to help it boost sales in China.

    But Kim, who played the lead role of a stranded alien in the Korean TV drama My Love From The Star, didn't show up.

    The Beijing public security bureau notified Hyundai to cancel the appearance for security reasons, the company said.

    That didn't sit well with the hundreds of Kim's fans who had gathered at Hall W2 behind the barricades surrounding the Hyundai stand, with some yelling at the organisers after learning of Kim's no-show at around the time of his scheduled appearance. Many had paid money to get into the exhibition.

    "I'm so disappointed," Ms Cao, 26, said after the announcement at the jam-packed hall. "Who would come to see Hyundai cars if he wasn't coming?"

    Automakers are increasingly targeting celebrity endorsements to help sell cars in China, the world's largest auto market, amid the surging popularity of foreign pop entertainment - particularly Korean.

    At previous car shows, before the government clamped down on the practice, carmakers often employed scantily clad models to attract attention.

    For those who stuck around, Kim later made a brief appearance at the Hyundai booth, according to Beijing Hyundai's Weibo social media account.

    Kim is used by at least 30 companies in South Korea and China, including Samsung and Coca-Cola, as a model, his agency Keyeast said.