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Chinese prefer Real Thing to Olympic Lip-Syncher

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on August 15, 2008

Here’s an update on the lip-synching controversy surrounding the Olympic opening ceremony, suggesting that it’s not just we foreign media who are stirring things up. Here’s some interesting evidence that it has sparked a lively debate within China, and if you click here, you can follow the online survey asking readers who is their favorite Olympic Lady. Even if you don’t read Chinese, the results from this poll are pretty easy to read. The row gives results for Yang Peiyi, the girl whose voice was actually broadcast during the ceremony. The second row shows votes for Lin Miaoke, the 9-year-old who won the hearts of millions—at least before they found out she was lip-synching Yang’s voice. As I write this blog [the survey is live, so by the time you click for yourselves, the figures will have changed] of the nearly 20,000 respondents, more than 13,000 representing more than 70% of the sample voted for Yang. Lin trailed with only 24%. Looks like the Chinese realize that inner beauty accounts for more. As far as I know, the Chinese media has yet to give any coverage to the admission by ceremony organizers that Lin’s voice was faked.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting blog I came across a couple of days ago. It describes how Beijing is hiring “cheerleaders” to fill empty seats at many of the less popular events, which is frustrating news for people who were unable to buy tickets for themselves. My colleague Bruce Einhorn tells me that a lot of those seats were actually paid for by corporate sponsors. Problem is, because many of their would-be guests from hedge funds, customers and clients are constrained by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act from accepting the freebie tickets —-although I don’t see why they don’t just reimburse the likes of Coke, McDonalds and Visa for the tickets. That’s the policy we follow here at BusinessWeek. Still, it does throw into question the return that these corporate sponsors are getting for the tens of millions they spent on the Olympics. For more on this please see the story I wrote with Reena Jana.

Reader Comments


August 18, 2008 11:33 PM

Frederik Balfour, let me tell you one more thing that may give you some clue for another China-bashing article.
The 3000 Confucius students in the show were not real too. The printing blocks were fake. Do you believe Li Ning could fly? No, that's fake. He could not fly.
BW had several articles mentioned the "poor air" in beijing. I am happy to tell you, those air may be wonderful for athlets to break records. Some many records were broken in Beijing this time. You western media simply misled this poor guy. he feels very regret for not knowing the air in Beijing is so good.


August 19, 2008 4:36 PM

Here the result of the American Cyclists who were wearing mask on the Beijing Airport. It was fashion statement about the pollution in Beijing or in China in general. Guess what? They lose miserably and I am not surprised that they might need those mask to cover their face in shame!!


August 28, 2008 5:52 PM

Well, it does not pay to be honest in this world. China explicitly state that it was two girls for this presentation. It was not a secret or anything and how was China rewarded by being ridiculed!
Look what happened during the Opening ceremony in for the Sydney Olympic game.
I hope that Frederick Balfour apology in his blog but I would not hold my breath!

Orchestra admits 'miming' at Sydney Olympics in 2000

Thu Aug 28, 11:44 AM ET

SYDNEY (AFP) - Eight years after it hosted an Olympics that were famously hailed as the "best games ever," Sydney has had to confess that it faked one of the key musical performances at the opening ceremony in 2000.

The revelation came after it emerged that nine-year-old Lin Miaoke was just lip-synching when she "sang" a patriotic song before 91,000 people and a global television audience during the August 8 opening ceremony at the Beijing Games.

Orchestra bosses have admitted that the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) mimed its entire performance at the ceremony, and that some of the real music was in fact recorded by rival musicians in Melbourne.

"It was all pre-recorded and the MSO (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) did record a minority of the music that was performed," SSO managing director Libby Christie told Australia's Fairfax newspapers earlier this week.

"It's correct that we were basically miming to a pre-recording," she said.

The respected orchestra gave the fake performance because Olympics organisers "wanted to leave nothing to chance" and a second orchestra was found to record the backing tape because of a "mountainous workload" in Sydney, Christie said.

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