Date
23 May 2017
The armchair from QuMei Home Furnishings Group on which the woman is perched in the video (left) has become a hot item among netizens in mainland China. Photo: internet
The armchair from QuMei Home Furnishings Group on which the woman is perched in the video (left) has become a hot item among netizens in mainland China. Photo: internet

Stocks, lies and videotape

Perhaps mainland China’s stock markets were looking for uplift after a boring May in which prices drooped.

QuMei Home Furnishings Group Co. Ltd. (603818.SZ) arose as an unlikely market hero this week after a hot video featuring a signature product went viral.

Topping the posts on Weibo was a short clip titled “Shanghai Lujiazui 29-second video”, which showed a couple having sex on an armchair at the high-end Four Seasons Hotel overlooking the landmark Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district.

Netizens rushed to their search engines to find the full version of the video, but the links were quickly removed.

Some said the couple will become network celebrities if they are brave enough to come out and face the music.

Still the damage was done.

The excitement was followed by an extensive online investigation that revealed the woman in the video was a senior manager at a Shanghai brokerage house.

Mainland financial publications went into a frenzy digging up more related information, and the video became the talk of the financial district.

Only a few of them carried the woman’s denial that she was the one in the hot video.

Some sharp-eyed netizens recognised the unique piece of furniture that facilitated the couple’s position as being one of QuMei’s products.

So on Thursday, a quiet and dull trading day, QuMei shares went up almost 10 per cent to close at 14.54 yuan and held their gains well, with only a slight dip Friday.

In case anyone asks if the video was made by Qumei as a form of guerrilla advertising involving sexy product placement, the company denied such rumours and said the chair in question was not, in fact, one of its products.

Hot videos often bring unwanted publicity to big brands.

In July, last year, a video showing a couple having sex in a Uniqlo fitting room in Sanlitun, Beijing, also went viral.

It brought many curious tourists to the retail outlet, as well as much embarrassment to Uniqlo.

Uniqlo Beijing swiftly laid down a rule prohibiting two people – whether of opposite or the same sex – from occupying a fitting room.

In the case of QuMei’s stock, the unexpected publicity turns out to have been a dose of Viagra. 

The old advertising adage “sex sells” still applies in the era of online video, at least when it comes to shares.

Fitting-room sex video was no marketing stunt: Uniqlo (Jul 16, 2015)

– Contact us at [email protected]

BK/JP/FL

EJ Insight writer

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe