China’s parliamentary sessions are known as the annual gathering of the country’s millionaire club. The April 7 birthday celebrations of Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan are widely regarded as another such gathering.
Hundreds of A-list film celebrities, mainland billionaires and K-pop stars showed up in the marathon celebration of the actor’s 60th birthday last week.
The five day party kicked off on April 6 with a charity concert in Beijing, which featured performances by Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, Wang Lee-hom and Korean actress Kim Hee-sun.
The concert was eclipsed by a charity auction on the night of April 7 which attracted over a hundred celebrities, including award-winning director Feng Xiaogang, anchor-turned-producer Yang Lan and Jackie Ma Yun, chairman of Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce company.
“It was more star-studded than the Spring Festival Gala,” state-owned China News Service quoted one of the guests present at the auction as saying.
The prizes of the auction, including a painting by Feng, calligraphy by comedian Zhao Benshan and a customized Louis Vuitton suicase featured in director Jiang Wen’s new film, were all sold to guests for over 70 million yuan, Guangdong-based magazine Southern Metropolis Entertainment Weekly reported. All of the sales were donated to the China Film Association.
The celebration in Hong Kong, a private event at Shaw’s Studio at Clearwater Bay that attracted over 100 local celebrities, marked the end of the 5-day party.
The local catering firm that served the 120-guest event declined to give out details on the costs of the “Italian-style dinner”.
“It was a customized menu,” said Mark Dineley, the managing director of Shamrock Catering. “For private dining, it is not unrealistic to charge over a thousand [Hong Kong dollars] per head.”
Chan’s birthday generosity went beyond his close friends to benefit a thousand of his fans from 52 countries. These fans were invited to a series of events including the concert, a tour of scenic attractions in Beijing and a visit to the newly opened Jackie Chan museum in Shanghai.
Their travel and accommodation expenses, which added up to over 30 million yuan, were all covered by Chan’s entertainment company JCGroup, Southern Metropolis Entertainment Weekly reported.
“My wife came up with the idea of the charity concert. My fans have been so supportive, she told me, that I ought to spend millions on a concert in turn,” Chengdu Business Daily quoted Chan as saying.
Chan and his company JCGroup could not be reached for comment.
Chan held a press conference publicising his upcoming birthday celebration in mid March. During the conference he was bombarded with questions about the Weibo controversy triggered by photos of him snuggling cheek to cheek with renowned singer Song Zuying at a culture group meeting during the annual Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
“It’s a lot of fuss over nothing,” Chan told the reporters during the press conference.
Song was not present at Chan's five day birthday party.