Taiwan star Jay Chou impersonators’ tour – 1 charges US$830 a ticket, other sells pancakes

Two mainland impersonators of Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou have embarked on tours across China, with one charging as much as 6,000 yuan (US$830) per ticket.

One performer, Hei Lun which means “Black Jay”, is known for covering the star’s songs on Douyin, where he has amassed about a million followers.

The other, Zhou Binglun – a play on Jay Chou’s Chinese name which translates into “porridge and pancake Jay” – is a food vendor who gained fame after fans noticed his striking resemblance to the singer when he was on his stall making pancakes.

Both recently launched separate tours across China.

While Zhou Binglun hosts “national pancake tours,” selling pancakes in cities, Hei Lun has taken a more commercial route.

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The national tours of Jay Chou impersonators, Hei Lun, left, and “pancake Jay”, right, have angered fans of the original. Photo: Baidu

Promoting himself as the “No 1 Jay Chou Impersonator in Mainland China”, Hei Lun had his tour organised by an entertainment company in collaboration with a chain of pubs.

Ticket prices for his performances have soared to as high as 6,000 yuan (US$830), sparking outrage among Jay Chou’s fans and prompting calls for boycotts.

According to promotional posters, Hei Lun’s tour spans multiple cities across China on so many weekend dates that people online joked he seems busier than Jay Chou himself.

During his shows, Hei Lun belts out all the star’s hits, and promotional videos show him mimicking some of Chou’s classic catchphrases, such as Ai you, bu cuo you? which means “Not bad, eh?”

The controversy over the 6,000-yuan ticket price arose from his performance in a pub in Hangzhou on June 15.

An insider, called Chen, claimed the cost was not the ticket price but the minimum spend required for a VIP booth.

“Customers can order beer, wine, fruit platters and snacks to meet this minimum spend – and any unfinished alcohol can be stored for up to 30 days,” he told Chongqing Daily News Group.

Notably, the price for booths on the day of Hei Lun’s performance range from 1,280 yuan (US$180) to 6,000 yuan, which is three times the usual weekend price in the same pub.

“Because Hei Lun not only resembles Jay Chou in appearance but also in voice, sales were good, boosting consumption,” the insider said.

On June 21, Hei Lun and Zhou Binglun performed together onstage in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, northern China.

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The second impersonator, Zhou Binglun, bills his nationwide venture as a “national pancake tour”. Photo: Baidu

An online video captured the moment someone requested the hit song Step Aside, to which Zhou Binglun responded: “I cannot sing it, but Hei Lun can.”

However, the legal issue of profiting from singing Jay Chou’s songs has sparked discussions on mainland social media.

“I don’t understand. If he sings Jay Chou’s songs, does he pay for the copyright? If so, I doubt the ticket sales could cover the royalties,” one person said.

“It’s all because Jay Chou is too kind. So many impersonators profit by singing his songs, yet he has not sued any of them,” said another.

“I see no issue with the pancake seller. He has not made money from singing Jay’s songs. What’s wrong with a national pancake tour?” someone else wrote.

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