xi's moments
Home | Society

New rules needed to stop scalpers and help fans see their heroes

By Wang Xu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-28 08:58

Wang Xu

Like many people, I love live music shows, where the electrifying energy of the crowd meets the raw talent of the artists on stage. There is an undeniable magic that transcends the ordinary.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, I found solace in streaming concerts and virtual performances, but it was a bittersweet substitute for the real thing because nothing compares with the exhilaration of being in the same physical space as your favorite artists, surrounded by fellow fans and feeling the music come alive in every fiber of your being.

The thrill of being swept away by the music, singing along with thousands of fellow fans and creating unforgettable memories is an experience like no other.

However, as various performances and live shows have resumed in China since the start of the year, an unfortunate shadow has loomed large amid this exciting atmosphere: the disheartening reality of ticket scalping.

I'm no stranger to the battle to grab a ticket online, but the experience of getting a ticket for Jay Chou's concert in Hong Kong this year, when all 140,000 tickets for the seven shows sold out in just 1 second, left me shocked.

To get a ticket, I turned to scalpers. They said they were not bothered at all by "real-name registration" — an anti-scalping regulation that requires tickets to carry the attendee's name and ID number.

Most of them told me: "ID cards are not necessary; the requirement for ID cards is just a rumor. Even tickets without real names can be used, but there are certain rules that need to be followed."

One scalper even assured me not to worry too much as "everyone conducts business with integrity".

To dig deeper, I contacted a business insider. They told me that after concert tickets are released, they generally flow to several places: the concert team; the organizers; local fan clubs; official websites; and scalpers.

According to my source, scalpers often acquire tickets from the organizers because the regulatory authorities impose certain restrictions on ticket prices, and by selling through scalpers, the responsibility for high prices can be shifted to them.

Ticket scalping is illegal, but enforcement is always challenging as scalpers often find ways to bypass regulations or operate in a gray area, making it difficult to crack down on their activities effectively.

However, if there is collusion between organizers and scalpers, then stricter laws and regulations are needed, along with more resources for enforcement, including some serious ways of monitoring ticket sales platforms, investigating scalping activities and imposing penalties on those who break the rules.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349