Cheerios and Wang Lihong

25 Mar 2004

I saw Cheerios in the grocery store the other day. Not at Carrefour, which has all kinds of imported foods that those foreigners who live in remoter parts of China can only fantasize about. I mean the regular Chinese grocery store.

Its Chinese name is “Guduoduo Cuigule,” which kind of mystifies me. Yes, 谷 can mean “grain,” but why such an unnecessarily long name? I would think that Cuigule (“crisp grain happiness”) alone would be enough. (Any Chinese people want to explain that, please?)

Anyway, the price was only 10rmb ($1.25 US). When I’d seen breakfast cereals before, they had always been around 30 rmb, which is kind of expensive for what it is, in China. So I bought it. Chinese pop star Wang Lihong‘s (I refuse to call him “Leehom”!) smug face was on the box reassuring me that I had made a wise purchase.

Well, the morning I tore into the box I immediately noticed that something was seriously wrong. There were 5 small cereal packets inside. Each cereal packet contained a measly 30g of Cheerios! (To give you an idea, a smallish 11 oz. box from back home has over 300 g of Cheerios in it.) I had to eat two packs just to feel like I had even eaten anything.

(There is only one pack of Cheerios in the bowl in the photo.)

Sitting there munching my ripoff Cheerios, I fixated on Wang Lihong. What a pretty boy. I don’t think he used to be this bad. I didn’t find any images of it online, but in his promo photos for the Chinese McDonalds “I’m lovin’ it” campaign, he looks so cosmetized it’s scary. I think this pic gives you an idea of how lame he is.

The worst part about it is that Wang Lihong is an ABC. He grew up in the States. I can only conclude that (1) he has completely sold out, rejecting any American identity imprint he might have once had, or (2) he is just a shameless money grubbing pretty boy.

Either way, he has my contempt. I wouldn’t have blogged about it until he conspired with Cheerios to rip me off, though.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. anonymous dork Says: March 25, 2004 at 12:16 am

    in the mc d’s photo, is he the one on the right or the left? they both look pretty cosmeticized to me….
    😉

  2. What’s new? All Asian pop stars are dorks. The music/tv/movie industries are all tied together and thick with commercialism in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, (etc.) and now China. I have trouble finding a single one I respect. Then again, I have trouble finding ANY popstar (esp in the US) that I respect.

    I spent a bit of time in Hong Kong, and it seems everyone buys into the commercial crap with much more abandon and less sarcasm than we do in the US. I was never able to satisfy my musical appetite with HK tunes… I imagine China following a similar path.

  3. See what happens when you rely on Wang Lihong’s smug face for assurances that you’ve made a wise consumer decision? You get ripped off. Silly fher. Never trust something so blatantly endorsed – esp. if they happen to be “pretty boys”

  4. Wang Lihong is badass, I don’t know what you are talking about.

    Actually, besides being the spokesmodel for McDonald’s, Wahaha, rip-off Cheerios, etc, and singing a crap song or two, what else has he done in life to deserve his fame? Last week in class I was leading a discussion about fashion and a girl stated that she thought Leehom was the personification of cool. She gave me a couple of silly reasons why and since I happened to have a bottle of Wahaha, I pointed to him and said “In America I beat up people who look this lame”, much to the delight of the rest of the class. That will teach her!

  5. “Carrefour”: interesting name for the grocery, especially since you say that it’s a place that all the foreigners can find their ‘needs’. It’s the French word for “crossroads”.

  6. Carrefour is French-owned.

  7. harsh words, especially from the guy who pimps [allegedly] Sailor condoms. Where’s the love?

  8. It’s not even being marketed and sold by General Mills here in Asia.
    China’s Justin Timberlake. At least its just Lee Horn (what kind of name is that?) and not F4. Those guys are the worst and there are four of them.

  9. that reminds me, the guy from F4 who plays Mei Zuo in meteor garden is an ABC as well. I wonder how common this phenomenon is

  10. wulong,

    Re: “all Asian pop stars are dorks,” I fully understand your sentiment. However, Wang Lihong is an ABC! I expect more from an ABC.

    (ABC = “American Born Chinese” i.e. Chinese American)

  11. Carl,

    Haha, that’s great!

  12. Da Xiangchang Says: March 25, 2004 at 9:00 am

    Well, I don’t know about Chinese Cheerios, but why dis Wang Lihong? Okay, he’s a major poser (he just looks STUPID in that Ronald McDonald pic), and he’s an ABC, but in China, he’s a pop star. In America, he’d probably be a low-level exec slaving away in some company. It’s not hard to understand why he’s in China. It’s the same with Dashan and that Amerasian meathead I’ve previously talked about whom I’ve forgotten the name of. However, what pisses me off though is that most of these ABCs shamelessly copy black American music, hand gestures, and clothes. If they were REALLY cool, these ABCs would think of original stuff.

  13. there is one successful ABC rap star making it big in the USA: Jin. Just look him up on google. I don’t watch enough of Music-somtimes-commercials-all-the-time-TV, but I’m sure they play his music a bit.

  14. Just looking at that photo…. Could it be called Guduoduo to try and convince people that, despite the prominent ‘Nestle’ logo, there might actually be food inside.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen cereals made by Nestle packaged in such ridiculously small individual ‘servings’. Perhaps the name should be changed to Gushaoshao. I wonder if we could add a reference to Nestle’s over-use of GM-ingredients as well?

  15. Da Xiangchang,

    I’m picking on him because he didn’t have to go this route. He chose to. Plus, if he represented his American culture a little better, he would probably be even more popular in China.

    Zhou Jielun (Jay) is not even an ABC, and he’s got a way cooler image than Wang Lihong. The only strike he has against him is being too popular at the moment.

  16. well,when singers want to sing the “real” songs, they cannot make much money; when they do whatever the record companies ask them to do, they get fame and money. Even if they wanted to do sth real and interesting at first, money gained most of their attentions later.It’s true everywhere.
    Look at the Backstreet Boys’ crap CDs. Almost every bookstore and CD shops provide them. I’ll vomit if I listen to them once more.

    Lihong,ya I went to a concert which he played inside last year. His music style? Well I admit it’s not so unique, and he also copies from western music. But look at his growing-up background, he’s an American, so his taste is westernised; but his major market is Asia, he has to follow ppl’s tastes and needs here.
    Perhaps that’s why the songs are so-called “crap” in westerners’ eyes while cool in local ppl’s eyes.(I reserve my opinion.)
    Also the same logic: money-oriented.It’s a realistic world. Nobody doesn’t care about it. If singing a bad song will not bring you money, but also fame and ppl’ concerns, I’m sure nobody will refuse to sing it unless u’r not hoarse.

    Anyway, the cheerios pack is a cheating stuff. Actually, lots of packages here are like “Guduoduo Cuigule”. >_

  17. Ya, and and that’s why singers’ demo is much different from those on CD shops’s shelves.

    😉

  18. hi john,
    I am still stay in mblog these days.
    Ya, I moved to http://pketh.blogs.com/heather a few days ago, but it seems that the computers based in China can’t access to it recently. Don’t know why, hope it’s not like blogspot’s being blocked here. T_T
    It’s kinda silly since I’ve mailed all of my friends for two times about my blog transfer. Sorry for the unconvenience la. 😉
    I use mblog recently, and when the one mentioned above is back, I’ll tell you.
    Ya,I decided to throw blogcn away. Its speed is crap, can’t afford it.

    Cheers,

  19. Is it just me, or does Nestle distribute just about every foreign food product in this country? I don’t remember them having their paws on Cheerios back home.

  20. I was just thinking today while i was in a convenience store, with all these american products have chinese names and chinese writing on the packaging, is there are lot of weird or non-sensical chinese on them? (like the way a lot of chinese/foreign products in the US have really strange english) My chinese is barely good enough to read the packaging, let alone see the errors…

    btw, Wang Lihong is the definition of a tool.

  21. ya’ll are being way too hard on this guy. Why begrudge him of the chance to make a quick buck? Like that one previous poster said, if he stayed in the States he’d be working for peanuts, probably at some Starbucks in Monterey Park.

    Also, where is your sense of righteous indignation at the true culprit, pop culture and modern consumerism? I don’t hear any of you going ballistic over Britney Spears and whatever other flava of the month coming out of the Orlando teen dream machine.

  22. No one is going ballistic on Britney Spears because no one asked about her. Plus, I’m guessing she is even cuter than Lihom. Anyway, I’ve heard the theory put forth by some Chinese friends that the Chinese are generally more willing to make fools of themselves for the entertainment of others than Americans are. For instance, the lovable Da Shan. You always get blank stares when you tell the Chinese that he has no dignity, etc. Anyway, I don’t know if I subscribe to this theory — and it is counterintuitive in some ways — but after seeing so many Chinese pop stars making fools of themselves for a laugh in ways that make me cringe, I start to wonder if there is something to it.

  23. prince roy does have a point. These idols are so popular among so many people, that their credibility and dignity is so diminished only because of our sarcastic western minds. Most of my Chinese-born friends seem really innocent and just like to have ‘good-clean’ fun. To that end, shouldn’t we allow for cultural differences when seeing these ‘tools’ become so popular? Wang Lihong should know better, but he is only catering to the taste of the public at large, most likely at the behest of his agent. There’s nothing like the lure of being so famous among so many people (aside from the fat paycheck).

  24. John,

    Sorry, my comment is not related to the star…I just read from my site’s comment that “all Typepad blogs is banned in China, started from today”…have you heard anything about this?? what a sad news..the freedom of speech has been banned even blog site…..

  25. I realize you have to evaluate him within the frame of the culture to which he appeals. But let’s face it: when you compare Wang Lihong with other popular Chinese stars, he’s still lame. Obviously, I’m still applying my own Western standards. Tough luck for Wang Lihong.

    As for him just wanting to make a buck… yeah, so? He’s rich. I’m still going to make fun of him.

    As for the “true culprit, pop culture and modern consumerism”… it should be fought, not surrendered to. To me, Wang Lihong represents that surrender.

  26. Da Xiangchang Says: March 26, 2004 at 9:43 am

    The problem with pop culture isn’t that it’s bad, but that it’s TOO popular. When more people in America know the name Britney Spears than Condi Rice, you know that’s a problem. I don’t mind mindless entertainment–I found “Bad Boys 2” to be highly engrossing–but it’s like eating fast food: everything in moderation. The problem is the vast majority of people ONLY get their entertainment from pop culture, and that blows.

  27. Anonymous Says: March 26, 2004 at 9:17 pm

    You posters used to have more intelligent drift than above. It’s clear which is lame between the target or the reasonings.

    words for the day:
    INSECURE
    ENVY

    which fits best?

  28. Funny calling us INSECURE from someone who won’t post with their ID.

  29. I love that theory: anytime you criticize someone it is due to envy or insecurity. I must realllly envy Bush, then. I shouldn’t be too harsh, though, because most 12 year olds think that way — and I don’t know your age.

  30. patrick,
    I don’t mean American companies are good at making cheating packages.
    “And American companies are really good at marketing really. They konw what ppl here like.
    ” just refers to their sophiscated marketing skills, they know ppl here love foreign stuffs and also the singer Lihong, that’s why they choose Lihong as the icon rather than sb else. Maybe he fits for the image of “cheerios”, as Zhou Jielun fits the cool image of “M-zone” (a program of China Mobile), though the service is kinda crap.

  31. I have it on very good sources (from a friend in Taipei) that Wang Lihong bats from the other side of the plate, if you catch my drift. Not surprising, I know.

  32. And what does THAT have to do with anything??

  33. It’s “chinese american” like “african american,” or “asian american” or “irish american” not “ABC.” American born chinese is just chinglish. It’s like saying “I very want to go to the store today.”

  34. nishishei Says: March 28, 2004 at 6:29 pm

    “”Most of my Chinese-born friends seem really innocent and just like to have ‘good-clean’ fun. To that end, shouldn’t we allow for cultural differences when seeing these ‘tools’ become so popular?””

    Haha
    It appears you guys need cooler Chinese friends in China. Wang Lihong is NOT cool for a sizeable portion of Shanghai’s youth. There are SO MANY anti-pop Chinese in Shanghai. My cousins and I grew up in Shanghai listening to Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Hum, Aphex Twin, Orbital, etc pirated from Japan. Our friends did too. I left Shanghai in 2000, I presume the alt groups remain.

    Besides, most straight Shanghainese males with egos will not think being 娘娘腔 is cool no matter how in-your-face the marketing is. At the most they will shrug in indifference. Shanghainese men are passive aggressive macho. 娘娘腔 and 小白脸花花分子 are big no no’s.

  35. nishishei,

    very good, you are enlightened, and can speak very fluent American-English slang. Now, because of your English ability, I would have to say that you probably DO NOT speak for the majority of your peers OUTSIDE of Shanghai.

    This is why Wang Lihong is famous.

  36. nishishei Says: March 29, 2004 at 5:50 am

    Huh? I don’t get it.

  37. nishishei Says: March 29, 2004 at 6:07 am

    Oh nm. I don’t know though… Beijing too has a pretty large indie population, hipsters and hipster-wannabes, anti-hipsters, etc. And he is only famous in the urban areas right? So, I would think there are many people in those same areas that hate him with a passion or probably don’t know who he is and why he is famous, nor care to know.

    The alt culture is rising in popularity because mainland Chinese (at least some of us in Shanghai) want a different western image than that portrayed by HK and Taiwan. We are better than HK and Taiwan, and as a socialist republic (at least in name), an alt image fits us better and gives us more room to implement elements of Chinese culture and arts as well.

  38. Simple fact: someone is famous because a large majority of a given population makes them famous. You are talking about a minority of the population. I am not arguing in favor of Wang Lihong, but there is a reason he is famous. I am glad that there is an anti-pop culture sentiment in China. I had a hard time finding it in HK, but the fact remains. This guy is popular, and John’s reason for posting the article, it seems, is to say that he doesn’t deserve all the attention he gets.

    Also, I wouldn’t assume he is only famous in urban areas. I would assume he has the possiblity of being famous whereever popular media is present. This could mean other smaller cities. China doesn’t revolve around two world-famous, municipalities.

    Your statement is like saying Britney Spears isn’t popular in New York or Los Angeles, because their culture is so much more advanced and would reject pop-trash like her. Since she can’t possibly be famous out in the boonies, so she is illegtimately famous.

    Anyway, I don’t know what we’re arguing anymore, but I’m glad that, as you claim, there is an underground in China. Hong Kong’s was either too small to notice, or non-existent. I think the smell of money is much too strong there.

  39. Alf,

    I use the term ABC because they themselves use it! Sorry, but you not liking it is pretty irrelevant, and it doesn’t make it Chinglish.

    Nishishei,

    Throw some cool Shanghainese friends my way! 🙂

  40. nishishei Says: March 29, 2004 at 11:40 am

    wulong:
    No… I meant that pop culture is the same everywhere (different styles of course), and where there’s pop culture, there’s also a reaction against pop culture (albeit a minority, a very small minority in China). Again, I have been addressing towards what you wrote way earlier: |||”…their credibility and dignity is so diminished only because of our sarcastic western minds. Most of my Chinese-born friends seem really innocent and just like to have ‘good-clean’ fun. To that end, shouldn’t we allow for cultural differences when seeing these ‘tools’ become so popular?”||| Perhaps I misread the statement, but I felt it suggested that the Chinese in China are more prone to tool-worship than “western minds.” So I provided some examples (like me) to the contrary. And actually yes, if you did suggest what I had interpreted, then you are partially right. The Chinese youth I feel are more inclined to pop culture than the youth in most western nations. But this, I believe, has more to do with the standard of living and the limited access (for now) towards more diverse resources. I’ve always felt that it has little to do with Chinese culture (the Chinese “mindset”, et al). But your example of Hong Kong (wealthy, barrier free, etc) seems to suggest otherwise. And I’m not sure how to address that, as I’ve never been to Hong Kong and really don’t know much about it (hehe other than the fickle pop stereotypes).

    Basically tools are everywhere, and yes they are capable of being “so popular” in the US too. Adding the cultural framework only discerns different types of tools. It doesn’t help answer why there are tools, because I feel there isn’t a culture that is immune to every kind of tools. But I believe that the levels of economic and political development (and freedoms) do have an impact on how pervasive tools can be accepted in a society (the more developed and diverse, the less accepting for tools). Unfortunately your HK example is a great smack in my face. Perhaps HK is less liberating in ideas than I’ve imagined it to be? But HK does have some great vogue and hipster films (like those directed by Wong Kar-wai, he is Shanghainese though).

  41. I spent a semester there studying at HK Polytechnic University. I made a few friends, but most of them was into the pop scence. I had trouble being musically satsified there. Most of the people I met were interested in mostly partying all night in Lan Kwai Fong (the perpetual night club district). It’s fun there, but can get old if you go too much (which I did). The extent of the music there is pop-dance music or US hip hop music.

    However, I had the good fortune of meeting another music lover; a third-generation HK born Indian who spoke perfect English. Most of the music she introduced me to were English or European bands that she found while studying in England. Other than her, I found very few HK-born Chinese who was interested in non-Cantopop.

    I even took a pop-culture class at the university, and I found out that most of the students bought into the commercial canto-pop music. They rarely listened to music outside the Cantonese speaking world except for the major hits from Britney Spears and her ilk. This is where I recieved the impression that it was easier for “tools” to become idols in Hong Kong. I sincerely hope that all of what I have been saying will not apply to China, but Wang Lihong is a pretty bad omen.

    I guess it really still is a stereotype since I haven’t met EVERYONE in Hong Kong, and I can’t ask EVERYONE their opinion. But after 5 months of searching, I came up with no underground music scene. My pop culture professor (a fairly smart guy) said that it had more to do with the relatively small economy of Hong Kong. There is so much saturation with music stars showing up on TV, and vice-versa, that it is impossible for someone outside this system to exert any influence. You have a relatively small population (less than Shanghai) obsessed with work (unpaid overtime is common) and even more obsessed with their favorite Cantopop idol. To like anyone outside of Hong Kong is to go against the idea of being a Hong Konger. So I guess a little of this phenomenon is borne of the sense of identity Hong Kong people have. Indeed, a lot of people told me that Hong Kong culture is different than mainland Chinese culture, and often they pointed out this distinction. So, I guess I really can’t extrapolate this stereotype into China.

    You mention Wong Kar Wai. I love his films (though I have only seen one). I really really really wanted to meet people that enjoy his films, but sadly I had no success in doing that. Mostly it was gwailo (laowai, foreigners) who had heard of his films and held any interest in them.

    Just go to Hong Kong and see for yourself. I think it’s an overnight 13 hour train ride 😉 You may have more success since your Chinese is probably a million times better than mine.

  42. I’ve never heard a chinese american outside of china use the term “abc”. Maybe it’s a west coast thing. It’s still stupid and bad english.

  43. Alf,

    Yes, the term “ABC” is a West Coast thing.

    If only we all could grow up in Wisconsin, none of us would speak “bad English.” Alas!

  44. You have to admit, whether they apply it to themselves or not, that the phrase “American Born Chinese” is pretty stupid. Am I an “American Born Italian/German” because my ancestors came from Italy/Germany? In any case, the phrase “ABC” really puts emphasis on CHINESE and not AMERICAN, i.e., an American Born Chinese is a certain “kind” of Chinese (not a certain kind of American, at least in emphasis). I would say a “Chinese American” is a kind of American. In any case, this might reflect why CBCs (Chinese Born Chinese ? 😉 use the term ABC: they still think of these AMERICANS as Chinese. I just think of them as Americans.

  45. Mork,

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Using the term “ABC” emphasizes that group’s Chinese identity, whereas “Chinese American” emphasizes that group’s American identity.

    Americans may think it’s stupid, but Chinese still identify Chinese Americans as Chinese. That being the case, ABC remains a useful term for them, and I think it’s especially appropriate in the case of Wang Lihong, as even though the guy was born in the USA, he sure seems more Chinese than American.

  46. american born chinese just sounds stupid, it’s a very odd sentence. I would never say “I’m a wisconsin born american,” It’s just a bizarre sentence. Plus ABC is confusing. Are they a chinese citizen, who happened to be born in the U.S. or a U.S. citizen happening to be living in china, who is also ethnically chinese? What about immigrints from China to the U.S. that change their citizenship? Are the “CBCWHTLIA”? (Chininese born chinese who happen to live in america.) China needs to deal with the fact that american citizens are americans no matter what the color of their skin.

  47. And everbody knows peopleon the west coast are stupid, so the fact that the people use ABC there just shows what a dumb term it is.

  48. Just to clarify: I meant that the phrase “ABC” is stupid from the standpoint of English, and esp. English used in the US. I think it is understandable for Chinese in China to use the term “ABC” for the reasons I gave above. (They want to emphasize that they think of them as a type of CHINESE). But “ABC” is definitely a “foreignism” in English and sounds pretty stupid on any coast (of the US).

  49. Alf,

    Your argument can be used to prove that people in the US (from the British viewpoint) are stupid because we say “take out” instead of “take away.” Or indeed any other difference in language use could be used to prove the other is stupid.

    If you want the Chinese to accept that Americans can be of any race, you yourself should accept that different coasts of the US have different linguistic environments that stem differences in language uses, dude.

  50. I can say whatever i like cause I’m a native speaker. haha

    If west coast chinese want to be called the ABC’s they can go back to china. i can’t tell you how much I detest that term. it’s another clumsy attempt for the chinese to try and keep together their divine mother race,

    It’s the same impules that leads them to get into such a hissy fit about the renegade province, but it’s obviously not as dangerous.

    Seriously, no other ethnic group in america has such a stupid and sensless name assigneed to them. It would be better for chinese americans if they stopped using it.

  51. nishishei Says: March 31, 2004 at 3:33 pm

    alf wrote: “”If west coast chinese want to be called the ABC’s they can go back to china. i can’t tell you how much I detest that term. it’s another clumsy attempt for the chinese to try and keep together their divine mother race, “”

    Chill… ABC is easier to say than Chinese American. It is also a national television station like CBC in Canada. Most people I know do not differentiate ABC from Chinese American. China is large, it is continental in size, and very diverse. A Chinese American identifying himself to be Chinese is akin to you identifying yourself as coming from Europe and of European ancestry, and appreciating Western Civilization. And the Chinese race has never been perceived as divine by the Chinese.

  52. alf,

    I am also a native speaker. I was born the US and grew up speaking English. That has nothing to do with the fact that other people have the right to use terms that YOU don’t see fit for use. After all, America IS a free country. You have the right to hold your opinion that ABC is stupid term, but your opinion isn’t going to stop its use. You can be mad all you want; ABC has already become an accepted term, especially on the west coast. Either you can accept that fact yourself, or continue to be mad about it. I’m not saying you should start using it yourself, but realize that things are going to happen that don’t always follow YOUR logic.

  53. Yeah, it is a free country, and people can call themseleves whatever they want. I want to be called “His Lordship Mighty Balls the III.” The only problem that arises is when I start telling other people that they should call me this, too. This is just like the whole “African American” / “black” issue. I’m all for self-identification; however, i’m not for bashing people because they don’t use your preferred term.

  54. mork,

    I’m not sure if that was directed at me, but if it is, let me clear one thing up. I am not suggesting everyone start using ABC instead of “Chinese American.” Instead, I just want to point out the absurdity of Alf’s logic. ABC has simply become an accepted synonym to “Chinese American” among a certain population of the US. This is pretty much a fact. Alf seems to be implying that this is somehow fundamentally wrong, and that entire group of people is mistaken. Note that this only includes a “certain population,” and doesn’t include the whole of the United States. This means that the ‘other part’ (maybe the part where Alf lives/lived?) of the US can hum happily along saying “Chinese American,” and showing mystified looks whenever someone calls someone else an ABC. Geographic location seems to a factor here. Let’s not ignore it.

  55. Ok all you wannabes…
    Wang LiHong’s an Ok guy. Not quite sure if he’s into girls or guys, if that matters, but he’s been working really hard at what he does for at least 6 years now. He’s pretty talented musically as well. Give the guy a break! He can’t make any money from producing or albums anymore, so why not Cheerios? This’ll probably get him lined up with the little kid crowd, and soon enough you’ll be seeing some English language stuff coming out. The F4 guys also work hard at what they do, and they get paid well for it. Jerry’s working on his album now, getting his voice in shape. Doing that idol thing. Too bad being a good musician or song writer doesn’t pay in Mando-pop. But being famous does. Rules of the game: Get known first. Then worry about artistic integrity (if it happens to come up)later. Usually it never comes up because a pop star has to be just that, popular, and a star. No one ever equated a “star” with “great talent.” That’s like a double bonus. Very few great talents become stars. Most stars are not great talents. Either way, beats working.

  56. Anonymous Says: April 1, 2004 at 7:02 pm

    well said

  57. Melissa Says: June 24, 2004 at 3:02 pm

    I don’t think anybody in here should start judging Leehom before you people actually FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HIM!!! He’s got more talent than any other Chinese singer/songwriter out there, not to mention he’s probably the ONLY one out there who has had formal training in music. His looks are just a bonus, although I don’t deny that there are idiots out there who call themselves REAL FANS, but all the do is just drool over his good looks and completely ignore the fact that he makes good music. Ok, so you think he’s “lame”, but you’re making a comment on a totally different culture from your own, so what really gives you the right to say that in the first place? He is an ABC, but he is Chinese after all, it just runs in his blood. I think certain people in here (no names) try to deny the fact that they’re Chinese by acting like they’re Caucasian when they’re not. YOU people are the lame ones.
    My bad for discovering this blog so late…It could’ve been an interesting debate.

  58. Anonymous Says: July 1, 2004 at 2:09 pm

    lol!U tossers are dumber than a load of rocks!

  59. leehom’s the best so don’t diss him! he must be famous for a good reason, u ppl are just jealous. Pure jealousy going on here! u say he looks stupid posing? erm..well i think u will most probably look 1000000 times worst posing! i respect ur opinions but there is no need to say ALL chinese singers are dorks that’s just extremely stereotypical.

  60. I would venture that Guduoduo is an attempt to label the multigrain version of Cheerios and occasionally (though I doubt this one works) a long name has a pervertly effect of catching the eyes.

    Even though the momentarily heated debate above has poked into many random facets of the Wang Lihong issue, I feel one point has been left out: marketing is an art of targeting. In some cultures masculinity sells, in others pretty (celebrity) faces sell. The box in question obviously was not targeting the American youth market or the market of you guys. So yes, you have the right to puke but, haha, it’s irrelevant.

  61. Wow, I think it’s extremly hypocritical of you guys to start calling Leehom ‘Nothing but a pretty face’. He’s probably more talented than anyone on this board. Firstly he plays 7 instruments, speaks 4 languages and is learning japanese. He writes and composes. He got a 1600 on his sats…i could go on, but my point is just because you didn’t get your money’s worth doesn’t mean you can bag on Leehom. And if you think leehom is so worthless…then seriously I don’t know what you see yourself as. Good day and keep and open mind.

  62. I like Wang Lihong because he looks like my first love. His name is Xiao Lei. If anyone knows him, email me and tell me how he is doing right now please.

  63. i hold a lot of admiration for wang li hong. not because he’s exceptionally talented or good looking, which is expected from an idol anyhow, but because of his diplomacy. His responses to the questions posed in his interviews and on talk shows have thoroughly impressed me. The way he maneuvers the questions with his spurious innocence and almost incredible humility definately vouches for his intelligence. He also has a way of making whoever he’s speaking to feel very special while the spotlight never once leaves him. I don’t know about being a ‘shameless, money-grubbing pretty boy’ but he is a pretty shrewd businessman.

  64. Don’t know much about Wang Lihong, but when I first got to china I did some pretty stupid commercials (bathroom fixtures, bai jiu), standing around being the white guy who approves etc. I thought it was cool to see myself on tv.

    Got sick of them tho, maybe this guy won’t get stuck in that role.

  65. 1.My Taiwanese friend laughed when she saw me eating breakfast cereal, she said it was for xiaopengyous (children). Maybe that’s why the packets are so small (meant for xiaopengyous).

    2.Wang Lee Hong is soooo handsome ^_^

  66. You guys dont even comparable with LeeHom. He is a talented and charming guy which you guys jealous the most. Please look at your self before you say anything about him. He is cool n rocks!!!

  67. I don’t know about the rest of the States, but on the West Coast, ABC is kind of a derogatory term. When my mom’s friends use it, it’s usually after they find that my Chinese isn’t fluent, which isn’t fair cuz my dad’s isn’t either and he was born in China. They use ABC in Taiwan, too, but I assume that’s because Taiwan is way westernized due to alot of the expatriats returning home: Ambrose Hsu, F4’s Vanness Wu, Wang LiHom, some Chinese girl from Texas, Edison Chen (Canada to Hong Kong), to name a few ABC’s that made it big in Asia.

    A point to why they head back to Asia for a music career: Has there ever been a Chinese pop star that was able to make it in the States? Only CoCo Lee, and only because she got her career started in Asia first.

    Before you start dissing Asian pop stars, you have to understand the way the music business is over there. Your manager controls whether you date or not, marry or not, the media is constantly up your ass, and in Hong Kong, to even break into the music scene, you have to sleep with tons of people and the Chinese mafia’s even involved. It’s alot of pressure.

    Plus, at least Wang LiHom’s “raps” aren’t faked or horribly accented and he writes most of the music himself. And to be honest, Jin is not that good. Who besides a Chinese person would buy his record?

    Personally, I’m tired of American music. There’s so much judgement going on, like if you actually like the Backstreet Boys, you’re lame. At least with Tsino-pop, their voices are more soothing than a California whine.

  68. Priscilla Says: April 22, 2005 at 8:59 pm

    There’s one thing I need to correct. Wang Li Hong is a Canadian, not American. Another thing is, he is an asian to begin with, so what’s wrong with being a Chinese singer?

    He’s also quite talented in his music, not to mention original. His style may originate from blues, R&B and pop but the lyrics and tunes are all self-composed.

    About the “shameless money grubbing pretty boy” comment, what’s wrong with showcasting your music to other countries that can understand the language you are comfortable with? Being a “Pretty boy”, in my opinion, just happens to be a bonus. (=^.^=)

  69. lihong rules Says: May 12, 2005 at 11:45 pm

    lihong has never said he is an american. all the way he says he is a chinese.since u people know him so little. i’d like to talk about his background. he grows up in a quite rich family.his father is a doctor. and his brother too. if he stayed in the states, i’m sure he won’t have to work for peanuts or at some starbucks in monterey park. he has received a very good musical education since 6 years old. he was expected to become a doctor but he chose to study jazz piano in the williams college in boston. u westerners just can’t understand him and his efforts and struggles in making music. and definitely can’t understand his music. just from his good look and his pose u call him a lame. and i would like to call u a lame for just judging people from surface. but anyway, i don’t care what u think or say. lihong definitely won’t take a look at this kind of talking. he is busy himself making music, meeting friends, and –why not–making money. it’s a free world. so u people have fun.

  70. Wow, thanks, people. I have seen the light. My opinions were all wrong. I like Wang Lihong now. Thanks for opening my eyes to this talented and handsome musician.

    (Now you can all go back to your fansites and read what you like to read.)

  71. 王力宏 is awsome… I don’t know why you guys don’t like him but hes actually got some talent, just for the fact that he invented his own type of pop/rap music….

  72. “The worst part about it is that Wang Lihong is an ABC. He grew up in the States. I can only conclude that…he has completely sold out, rejecting any American identity imprint he might have once had…” –John

    And besides his race, how is he different from you, John? After all, you came here to get a girlfriend, a job, and popularity as well. 🙂

    BTW, in the below post, you and Wilson say “America is culturally bankrupt.” It sounds like Chinese pop culture really infuriates you. In fact, I was tempted in that post to ask you EXACTLY what about Chinese culture you loved so much as opposed to the states. But you yourself said you couldn’t answer the specifics.

    http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2004/04/21/when-culture-lets-go

    Keep in mind Chinese pop-culture IS a part of China, even the “magical adventure-filled China” you love so much. I find it fascinating how expats romanticize, idealize, and criticize all at the same time.

    G

  73. G,

    You make a lot of assumptions. You’re wrong about a lot of them.

    Also note that the “culturally bankrupt” quote was Wilson’s. I never said I agreed with it. I used it as a starting point for a discussion.

  74. BTW, John,

    My comments were meant as a good natured ball-busting. 🙂 I hope you didn’t think I was attacking you. I find this topic, (of reactions to guys like Wang Lihong), and your other topic “When Culture Let’s Go” to be particularly interesting.

    Here’s my question, and what I was really getting at. This Wang Lihong guy, why does he disgust you so? He’s just doing what’s smart–going back to China for his career. And it sounds like he’s really made it, according to these “fans”. You also found yourself drawn overseas for your career, or “life path” or whatever. And it sounds like you are very happy. How is that different?

    And why do expats in China always make fun of Dashan? I have my own theories…

    Thanks,

    G

  75. G,

    OK, fair enough.

    What I don’t like about Wang Lihong is that he has taken on an image in China that no American guy would want in order to sell his albums. Yeah, it worked. But he sold out completely. I don’t see how you could say I’ve done the same thing by learning the language or having a Chinese girlfriend. I don’t “want to be Chinese.” I am a white American and always will be. I’m very clear on that.

    You could say that Dashan did the same thing as Wang Lihong, but he made his Chinese damn good to get where he is today. (I’d say Dashan’s Chinese is much better than Wang Lihong’s, and Dashan didn’t grow up bilingual.) Dashan, being white, has fewer career development opportunities than Wang Lihong.

    Given the chance, I would not follow Dashan’s path. I hate the whole “performing laowai” feeling. I think it’s obvious why Westerners make fun of Dashan, but I think you’ll find my opinions on Dashan atypical. (Check the 大山 tag.)

    In your original comment, were you insinuating that you have to either accept a culture as a whole or accept none of it? I couldn’t disagree more. There are plenty of elements of American culture that I actively reject. The same goes for Chinese culture. To blindly accept all that a new culture has to offer, making it one’s own, amounts to selling out.

  76. “In your original comment, were you insinuating that you have to either accept a culture as a whole or accept none of it? I couldn’t disagree more.”–John

    Good point. I actually agree with you. I was playing devils advocate there and going to extremes. It sounds like you living in Shanghai has empowered you to take what you want from American culture (the free thinking, independent attitude, humor, etc.), reject what you don’t agree with (George Bush :)), and do the same with Chinese culture (your language and culture studies, your career) and rejecting aspects like Wang Lihong.

    Do you feel like BEING there gives you that freedom, whereas if you were in, say, California, you wouldn’t have that freedom? Also, after having been there for so long, do you ever feel like you lose your identitiy? Or do you know yourself even better?

    Just curious,

    G

  77. don’t know whether he is american or canadian, but i’m pretty sure he went to brighton high school outside of rochester, ny. you can check out his friendster profile for more info.

  78. ShadowStar Says: January 9, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    Yo, all actors, actresses, singers, etc are working for money, what do ya expect? charity work? I dun see anything wrong wif LeeHom, if you dun like him, then too bad. But you dun have to criticize his ABC thingy, his pose, his make-up, his talents or whatsoever.. cos you juz being subjective and you were making judge without knowing anything!

  79. Poor Lee-Hom– It’s amazing how celebrities can get abused and simultaneously worshipped for no reason at all besides their celebrity. I knew Lee-Hom at Williams– he’s a talented guy, great singer, mostly nice and human. He is not the American representative of all things good and great in the U.S., nor should he be taken as the ABC ambassador. He’s a guy who likes to sing and compose, and he has discovered people will pay him enormous amounts of money to eat Cheerios in a photo. I wish someone would pay me to eat Cheerios. I mean I do every morning anyway. It would be nice to at least get reimbursed for the cereal.

  80. If you don’t know much about Leehom,please shut up!!!
    Don’t make any irresponsible accusation!
    As L said,Leehom is a talented guy,a very nice and friendly human who has breadth of mind!
    He just want to make his own music,but he can’t.Everybody knows that commerce and music are unitive now.He has no choice.
    But he still try his best to make his music or Chinese music better.
    I can say, he is the greatest singer—not only a singer,but a greatest musician!!!
    I’m so angry because there are so many irresponsible people here.
    My English is very poor, I don’t know how to express my feelings exactly,
    BUT, I just know I am so indignant !
    It’s unfair to devalue anyone’s work unjustly

  81. rabidwolfie Says: March 16, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    hello. i pretty much was just googling Wang Li Hong.. and i came across this entry. and even though its about 2 years old, i’m still going to comment anyway!

    i just think youre really judgemental… Wang Li Hong is more than just a pretty face. it’s not that he hasn’t had accomplishments in America.
    it’s amazing how people have false accusations of him in this entry. and think hes stupid just because of that McDonalds picture.

    “(I’d say Dashan’s Chinese is much better than Wang Lihong’s, and Dashan didn’t grow up bilingual.)”
    Wang Li Hong learned chinese when he was 18 years old. It’s not a surprise that he doesn’t have perfect chinese, and its not a surprise that he has a slight American accent when he speaks. But he is smart, and he is talented. He could’ve become a doctor, but he chose to follow his passion in music. Now he has mastered 10+ instruments. He has a beautiful voice that touches millions. ..and hes not a sell out just because hes SUCESSFUL, okay? 10 albums. being a sell out doesnt get you to be so popular for that long: his talent and charisma did. just his overall appeal to other people because of his personality.

    Plus, Wang Li Hong hasn’t completely abandoned America or whatever… a lot of his music has R&B / rap style that he took from American music and tried to mix it in with Chinese. Personally, i think a lot of it sounds great. I like Jay’s style too, and they’re just both really talented. but just becuase Wang Li Hong looks 10000x better than Jay and actually uses that to his advantage for shooting commercials and stuff… i dont know.

    but don’t hate on him just becuase hes goodlooking&talented.
    and definitely dont hate on him just becuase of your dumb cheerios.

    wang li hong is my hero! :]

  82. Oh, I’ll totally hate on him for the Cheerios.

    And did I mention he’s a sellout?

  83. rabidwolfie Says: March 16, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    you’re just jealous ’cause you dont have what it takes to make it big :[
    and you’re hating on alex because he took the opportunities

  84. According to Wikipedia: “Since piracy is prevalent in Asia, artists earn revenue from sponsorships. Leehom is the East Asian spokesperson for McDonalds, Lays, Feel 100, Fossil, Wahaha, Sony Ericsson, Nestle Cheerios, Suzuki, among many others.” Maybe this is the reason he is in lots of cheesy ads.

  85. Although I stumbled on this blog by accident, I do feel inclined to comment.

    Firstly, I do want to say that leehom is a bit of a tool….. His interpersonal skills in english as well as mandarin leave a lot to to be desired. Through some interviews I’ve seen of him, he likes to pretend to be black. In the latest MTV Movie Awards Asia, where he was the host, I also laughed out very loud when i heard him saying to Kelly Rowland “yo, i think we gonna rock it too girl’ in a lame black guy impersonation. With the lack of new abcs in the music industry, Wang Lee Hom can continue ‘trying to be black’, without the majority of the Chinese population knowing that he is doing a lame job at it.

    However despite these obvious flaws, I find that leehom in many aspects is worthy of respect. His perfect SAT score made him the best student of the year in his respective high school. This is worthy of mention as it is a great accomplishment.

    The fact that he has mastered many languages and musical instruments and has composed and written lyrics for his last ten years of recording is also worthy of mention.

    He does have a music degree and formal music training, he is also learning speech level singing.

    THe fact he is extremely good looking is also a god given bonus. I envy his good looks.

    Now these positives dont answer the question of why he is such a tool. Whether he decided to sell out, etc……

    However it’s obvious that Lee Hom has trouble as a public speaker, he is intraverted and as a result of strict parenting he is very obedient and moral person. I think the fact that he is a try hard has more to do with his individual personality, innocence and innate stupidity rather than anything else.

    Posing and being the spokesperson for cheerios or mcdonalds comes more from the money making side of things; its the logical thing to do and I find nothing wrong with it. In fact I find it funny why people think that it is not normal?

    The fact that most of his revenues will now come from advertising, wouldn’t it be good to be supported by mcdonalds?

    Next if you decide to be the spokesperson and you were good looking, wouldnt you pose?

    So then whats the problem with posing with Ronald?

    The onlything I can find wrong with leehom is the fact that he is handicapped in the area of his head that tells him what is cool and whats not. In greater China, he can pose all he likes and talk as black as he likes without criticism from the media. If he wants to lose himself in a superficial society where looks, easy songs to sing to, an American background is worshipped then he has made the BEST choice. Would you not agree?

  86. As an American from the west, albeit not the coast, I have to agree with Mork. The term “American Born Chinese” is just weird from the point of view of a normal English speaker who hasn’t been hearing the term used by Chinese people for years. When I first moved to Taiwan and heard people say ABC, I honestly thought they meant the alphabet or maybe the TV network.

    Even after being told that it meant “American Born Chinese”, it was still a little confusing. I remember thinking that if they’re born in America, how can they be Chinese? Are they Americans who moved to China and became Chinese citizens, thus becoming “American-Born” Chinese people? Most English speakers just don’t put phrases together like that one, and we certainly don’t use acronyms for them when they clash with other widely-used, well-known acronyms. I always just referred to my so-called “ABC” friends as Americans when I was growing up. One last thing I’d like to say about this term is that maybe making super convenient terms to separate people by their race isn’t such a great thing. Maybe I had a privileged childhood, growing up in a multi-racial group of people (and being multi-racial myself) without ever feeling some huge need to divide everybody into their pidgeon holes, but it’s still what I think.

  87. As for Wang Lihong, he’s a tool. Sure he makes lots of money being a tool, but I can still mock him for it. I mean it’s not like Bill Gates’ fortune has made him immune to mocking, so how is Wang Lihong’s level of success going to deter me?

  88. Da Xiangchang Says: June 23, 2006 at 8:03 am

    Now, everybody knows a white guy trying to act black is a wigger, but what do you call a Chinese guy–a chigger? Haha.

    Yes, there’s nothing as funny as a chigger, but I wonder what other route Wang Lihong can go. I mean, if he’s “represent[s] his American culture a little better,” how would he act? What indeed is “his” American culture? If it’s Chinese-American culture, then that’s a no-win situation cuz modern Chinese-American culture is DEAD DEAD DEAD. Truly, there’s nothing interesting about it (and I don’t mean modern CHINESE CULTURE, which is different). I mean, the Latins have a vibrant culture, black Americans a truly impressive culture, then you have modern Chinese-American culture. What the hell is that–fixing up Honda Civics and taking computer classes at a UC? So, in a way, Wang Lihong HAS to appropriate another culture, and it might as well be black American culture. Of course, he can go mainstream, but wouldn’t a white guy like Dashan be better at showing that than Lihong–and let’s face it, Canada is a part of America. So, to succeed in China, Lihong has to LOOK Chinese, SPEAK Chinese, but not ACT Chinese–which is, once you get down to it, what Chinese people want in their pop stars anyway.

  89. Wang Lee Hom got a 1600 on his SATs, and was a national merit finalist (top 99.5% on the PSATs), and he wrote some 100-page musical for his thesis. And he did have to relearn Chinese. I mean, writing Chinese lyrics is really hard even for Chinese people who came to the States when they were 12.

    So yeah, he needs respect for what he’s accomplished. You can’t say he accomplished nothing, but I do agree he acts and looks like a tool though.

  90. hubba hubba Says: March 12, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    die rich or die trying

  91. wang lee hom, has a perfect SAT score of 1600.. he got offers from yales and other Ivy league to study medicine but he chose to pursue his love for music.. (he didn’t see this in his future when he took up a recording job in Taiwan when he was 18. it was seen as just a summer job..) he wrote a musical that was over 500++ pages called a bite that burns which was is graduating thesis.. he graduated with honors and is a master degree holder jazz music from berklee college of music.. he has won numerous awards both academically and musically.. he is also very talented in his musical instruments, he has mastered more than 10 musical instruments one of them including the er-hu, a traditional 2 string musical instrument. in addition, he is a linguist.. he can speak up to 5 language fluently. Oh and he has a perfect pitch.

    it is only a bonus that he is a pretty boy.. you can’t condemn the fact that his music has very strong elements of the west as that was is birth place. he is very influence by the west as he grew up listening to those music. growing up in NY too plays a big part in his music. i cannot deny the fact that a lot ppl these days are suckers for people or pop stars like leehom here just because they are Americanized or have some western roots, but i have to say that this fellow here is extremely talented. There isn’t any wrong in hopping on the bandwagon. there isn’t any wrong in using his looks to gain more money, after all that is his job. yet, he is able to produce wonderful music. so isn’t it a win-win situation for him?

    the fact that he is more popular in Asia comparing to the states is because of his heritage. would you be able to accept him singing english songs? or would be able to make money singing in the states? i would say the chances are very slim. He is making use of his heritage to break into the Asia market, and it is working for him. i would not try to say it is totally a gimmick, but it’s sad to say that it is very relevant.

    but of you think it’s pretty oxymoron or paradox? no matter how hard he tries or not to, he is still being label as a try hard? i find really ironic. why can’t people just accept the fact that he is what he is, or maybe he is just a puppet of Sony BMG? but we still can’t deny the fact that he is talented and extremely educated. Being influence by the west and mixing it into traditional chinese music is no easy feat. and he is able to produce it with such creativity. If you were to say that he is just mimicking the west or just plain copying, it would be extremely bias.

    taking or using or referring to an older or unused piece of work/music has been done by so many people before him, even way back into the Elizabethan era. mind you even William Shakespeare did so, and it was due to it that in the Elizabethan era when the library was found. so why condemn him for referring or mimicking western music? it is after all in hs blood as he was brought up in the west and he is a chinese. i would just call it recycling. why throw away good music? there are so many musicians if you like to call them singing “one hit wonders”. why don’t you condemn them? bands like westlife, aren’t they a rip-off too? or you can’t comment on them just because they are British? we just have to accept the fact that there isn’t anymore pure musician around in this era anymore.

    only a few odd people like leehom and a few other artists are worth calling them musicians. they are the few ones that actually write, produce, arrange and compose their whole album. how many artistes these days actually do take part in producing their album? (as in the whole process, not just one) i would say very few, and leehom happens to be one of the few. Doesn’t that prove that he is a talented musician, who appears to actually take charge and pays his dues as a musician? Doesn’t he at least deserve some honours or credits? I dare say that his music has more feel and sould comparing to certain musicians from the states. And I find it extremely unjust that you are just attacking those singers from the pop genre (whether mando or canto).. leehom sings wonderful ballads and writes fantastic, soul touching lyrics..

    as for him being ABC.. he is a chinese, born and bred in the states. so, it makes him a westerner. but it still makes him a second class citizen(?)? i have no comments on it, but like i have said, we can’t condemn him on his heritage, he is chinese no matter what. he is yellow skin and black hair-ed no matter what. you and he can’t erase it.. and he accepts that, so should everyone. heck! he’s a musician, and in music nothing is more important the music and it’s substance. Not the person singing it or producing it! so even it was a white singing a black song, who cares? Are we to condemn Michael Jackson? He is trying very hard to be white.

    as i have said, we can’t just condemn him. but, being an artist they have to accept both critics and honors. after all, not all music suits everyone. but we do have to give credits for being where he is now and what he has accomplished thus far. and the cheerios thing, just forget it! it’s already in the past. and you already ate and spent the money. no point harboring on it, admit that you have fallen for their gimmick and it wasn’t leehom’s fault. however, give a thought that if it was some celeb to have liked on that cheerios cover, you would felt ripped off still??

    i’m just being opinionated.. not directing at anyone

  92. blah blah Says: March 29, 2007 at 10:11 am

    You shallow people. Wang Leehom is an extremely talented musician who deserves his fame and fortune.
    You’re probably a back street boy fan…pretty boy…

  93. Anonymous Cow Says: May 6, 2007 at 5:55 am

    Back to the issue at hand, I just wanted to point out that in contrast to the United States where a negative connotation is placed on celebrities who endorse commercial products (“selling out”), in Asia, acquiring endorsement contracts with major brands are positive testaments of star-status. Hence with regards to John statement that Lee Hom himself chose to go down this route when the opportunity arrived..well yeah..he probably did. However he certainly did not “take on an image in China that no American guy would want in order to sell his albums”. It was the other way round. He sold a large number of albums, proved the level of influence he was able to impact on the youths, and then secured the endorsements. Though I can’t disagree that the combination of the two will lead to more exposure for him as an artiste, it will be more objective to note the sequence in which they were ordered. In short, apart from helping to pay the bills, these endorsements served to further affirm his celebrity status in Asia.

    If you ask me, this can certainly be categorized as one of those cultural differences which, if everyone was wise enough to appreciate, would lead to a lot less conflict. You know how they say the world outside of the western sphere pans the arrogance of western citizens in being culturally insensitive? I kind of felt it here. Not so much insensitivity, but really, a large dose of ignorance. Though what really surprised me was that you have been living in China for 6.7 years. Have you been imposing your US-breed sentiments on your China companions as well? Ask them then, if you will, on how they feel about Lee Hom or Jay Chou or Stefanie Sun ‘selling out’. I’m sure you’re familiar with these big names, and I have a strong suspicion you’ll only get frowned brows for replies.

    To sum it up, with regards to your statement: “To blindly accept all that a new culture has to offer, making it one’s own, amounts to selling out.” I’m sure most of us will agree with the first part of your statement that accepting a new culture without critically weighing it against one’s personal moral values and principles is indeed, to a certain extend, rather shallow in thinking. However, to immediately judge those who do that as being ‘sell-outs’ does not reflect much depth, either. I’m sure while being immersed in a new culture yourself, there have been instances, when, faced with different situations and after undergoing certain experiences, you might have come to embrace or accept certain aspects of the new culture, which you had previously found unacceptable. This brings me to my point that we should not only look at the end result, ie: your acceptance of these new cultural aspects, but also, the process of how you came to accept them. For instance, I wouldn’t call you a ‘sell out’ if, during the tenure of your study in China, you stopped spouting F**K in every sentence(yes, I am stereotyping here) and occasionally forgo sandwiches for staple food like rice.

  94. Anonymous Cow Says: May 6, 2007 at 6:17 am

    John: Re: “all Asian pop stars are dorks,” I fully understand your sentiment. However, Wang Lihong is an ABC! I expect more from an ABC.

    Seems like your China companions haven’t been up to standards if you ask me.

    John: Plus, if he represented his American culture a little better, he would probably be even more popular in China. Zhou Jielun (Jay) is not even an ABC, and he’s got a way cooler image than Wang Lihong. The only strike he has against him is being too popular at the moment.

    The fact that you mentioned Jay as being more popular in China is a glaring contradiction to this point of yours. If Jay’s not an ABC, and Jay is popular in China, why would Lee Hom be more popular if he represented his American culture a little better? Seems wiser to abandon it.

  95. servedchilled Says: May 7, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Check this out.

  96. passy by Says: August 3, 2007 at 4:51 am

    he is cute. that answers all the questions. after all he is talented. that chinese cereal box made me smile.

  97. Ji Xianzu Says: August 6, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    What about this other guy call Dao Lang? Heard of him anyone? He’s quite popular a few years back…

  98. The dude peddles McDonalds to children. What more can be said?

    Oh and Dao Lang rocks! Or at least his 2002 song does…

  99. Ji Xianzu Says: August 15, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    2002 Nian De Di Yi Chang Xue

  100. Jeanne Wang Says: November 22, 2007 at 12:42 am

    I never listen to Asian pop music….thought it was all crap but one day I decided to broaden my musical horizon and explore Asian music. I randomly listen to Asian pop music I found on youtube….listened to Jolin, S.H.E., Rainie Wang….couldn’t stand them. The only music I liked was by Wang Lee Hom and Jay Chou. BTW, Wang Lee Hom is an ABT….American born Taiwanese and Jay Chou is Taiwanese as well.

  101. wtf john, i expect a lot more from someone as educated and privileged as you seem to be. i’m a 21 year old “ABC” about to graduate university, having grown up here in the states all my life, of course. why the fuck is going to asia for your career selling out? do you really think an asian male can make it in the music industry here, in america?? no fucking way. and you know why. jesus christ. it makes total sense for someone as musically talented as leehom wang seems to be to go perform where he’s appreciated.

    so giving up what you call his “americanness” is selling out? i’m sorry, that sounds so anglo-centric to me. so because he grew up in america, he should just be “american,” and act like, what, you? a white boy? there are plenty of people in america who are probably more diverse and different than anything you’ve encountered. just because he likes taiwanese culture doesn’t mean he’s selling out. oh, boo hoo, you’re miffed ’cause he’s giving up american culture. wtf is american culture anyway? hot dogs and hamburgers? capitalism and commercially exploiting the rest of the world?

    jesus christ, some of us appreciate our ethnic heritage. don’t get me wrong; there’s a ton i appreciate about western culture and philosophy. i’m a fucking english and mass media double major. that doesn’t mean that us liking that other part of us – our parents’ HOME and heritage and culture – is a betrayal, in ANY sense of the word. it just makes you sound so racist…i dont get it at all.

    all this macho, pretty boy talk, i don’t get it. you sound so judgmental and misogynistic or homophobic, i don’t even know. usually, americans who live in other countries gain more of an open mind, a better, more accepting world view. i dont know what the hell happened to you.

    just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it should automatically repulse you. THAT, is mindless. THAT, is what someone has taught you to do. think a little harder about the subtleties and complexities that underlie each situation, and do it critically, rather than just automatically reacting and responding however you like impulsively.

  102. Anthony,

    Calm down, man. I don’t like the guy, and that’s all there is to it. I don’t know him, so all I have to go on is his image.

  103. You should probably do your homework before posting such a critical and judgmental blog. There is certainly nothing wrong with being pretty.

    Despite his rather angry rant, I have to agree with Anthony. He chose a good market for his talents, which he does have. Wang Li Hong is a talented musician. Last time I checked, he could play 10 different instruments and could have a decent conversation in about 5 languages. If that’s not enough for talent, he also changed the music industry with his new brand of Chinese style music to replace most of the Westernized, template music going around China.

    As for money grubbing, I’m sure he has enough as he gave 1 million to help Earthquake victims in May.

    As for no American imprint, he goes to New York just to record his albums, advertises for McDonald’s (what could be more American)and does interviews with CNN. What exactly did you expect from him? To give up a Chinese career for your peace of mind? He is after all, Taiwanese. It’s part of his background.

    I am sorry he “conspired” to rip you off though. Silly Cheerios.

  104. Sorry, I should have read the rest of the comments before posting. Seems people have already told you about his accomplishments. I just want to know, once and for all, what exactly makes him a sell-out? Why does (did) he make you so angry?

    Also:
    Shame on you for encouraging a bully like Carl.

    Western Culture is over represented in Chinese music as it is. America doesn’t need another cheerleader.

    Jay Chou? Please let me know if you can find a picture for me in which he does not look like a gorilla or a video where he is not mumbling his songs. TYVM.

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