A report on Friday claimed that Samsung paid 500 people in China to pretend they were fans during a press conference and show excitement about the Galaxy S6 launch in the region. However, Samsung decided to set the record straight on this alleged fanboy-for-pay operation that has received plenty of attention from the press.
According to Want China Times, which cites Chinese publication Paper, recruiters acting on behalf of Samsung paid nearly half of the 1,000 people gathered at the event to be there. The Galaxy device maker allegedly wanted only people under 30 years of age, who would look like students, and paid each person 30 yuan ($4.80) to stay more than an hour at the event. The recruiter received 20 yuan ($3.20) for each person he recruited.
The publication also said that recruiters told the people to act like Samsung fans, and tell the press they were interested in the new Galaxy S6 phones. Ironically, the report said “over half of the people taking photos of Samsung’s latest model the S6 and the S6 Edge were using iPhones,” according to WCT.
Following the report, Samsung came out with a strong denial on its official blog, denying that it hired anyone to pretend they were fans.
The company said that it has investigated these reports in the media, finding them to be “totally groundless and bogus.” The company also wants people to know there were more than 1,100 attendees at the Galaxy S6 launch event in Shanghai, China, including consumers and industry officials.
Following Samsung’s denial, the media outlet that broke the story corroborated Samsung’s findings and retracted its story.
The full statement on the matter from Samsung follows below.
Samsung investigated a media report on April 3 that claimed people were temporarily hired and paid to attend the Galaxy S6 launching event in Shanghai, China and later found that the story was totally groundless and bogus.
The news article contended that part-timers, acting as “fanboys”of Samsung smartphones, participated in the launching event. However, our findings have indicated that under no circumstances has anyone been hired or given money to attend the event. In fact, the more than 1,100 attendees, including consumers and industry officials, have all been formally invited to the Shanghai Culture Square where the event took place.
In the wake of the investigation, the media outlet that broke the story corroborated our findings and soon retracted the erroneous story. Separately, we are seriously considering whether to request the media outlet to take further action in the matter by issuing a correction. We will also continue our efforts to find out how this story came to be.