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Police arrested two fans of Chinese actor Wang Yibo after being tipped off by other fans that the pair had installed a tracking device on a car he was using. Photo: Handout

Chinese actor Wang Yibo stalked by obsessed fans who placed tracking device on his car, Beijing police say after arrests

  • Two fans of actor and singer Wang Yibo have been arrested after boasting online about placing a tracker on his car
  • Wang has been followed using a tracking device before, he revealed in 2020

Police in China have arrested two fans who stalked a famous actor by placing a tracking device on a rented car he was using, Beijing police revealed on Saturday.

Two fans of Chinese actor Wang Yibo used the illegal tracking device to follow him around Beijing and monitor his daily itinerary.

The pair, identified by their surnames Li and Zhang, also sold information about the actor’s movements and locations to other obsessed fans.

It was also fans of the 23-year-old actor who reported the stalkers to police after they bragged about their activities in social media posts, reported the Global Times.

As Wang’s fame has grown, so has the intensity of some of his hardcore fans. Photo: Handout

Wang first found fame as a member of the Chinese boy band Uniq, before embarking on a solo singing career and branching into acting. He is best known for his work on the television shows Gank Your Heart, The Untamed, and Legend of Fei.

While South Korea has long had issues with celebrity fans taking things too far, it is a more recent phenomenon in China as Chinese cinema and television shows have become more popular, and the people involved more famous.

Many have called on authorities to crack down on obsessive celebrity stalkers, who are often called “sasaeng” in China, a Korean word for fans who take their adulation too far.

“This is not something that a fan should do to their idols. This is definitely a criminal act that should be prevented by police,” said one commenter on Weibo.

Wang Yibo has previously spoken out publicly about stalker fans. Photo: Handout

“They are stalkers instead of true fans of Wang Yibo. I think they’re more anxious for the profits from selling Wang’s private information than for simply appreciating him,” said another.

This is not the first time Wang has been the target of fans using tracking devices. In May last year, Wang spoke publicly about being harassed by infatuated fans and condemned the rise of obsessive stalking culture around celebrities in China.

“For a long time now, I will have strangers come and knock on my hotel room door. Someone even placed a location tracker in my car. No matter where I go, there is always someone following me,” he said on his Weibo account.

When erotic fan fiction about Sean Xiao Zhan (right) and Wang Yibo (left), who starred in The Untamed together, emerged online, possessive fans were infuriated. Photo: Handout

Wang’s management agency Yue Hua Entertainment also issued a warning statement to fans at the time.

“Please do not follow our cars, chase after our cars or follow us onto planes. Do not gather and mob [our clients] in public places like airports, hotels and shooting locations. Do not sell information about schedules, locations and photos of film shoots that are not meant to be released to the public,” the company said.

Fans have also proved fiercely protective of their idols reputations. In 2020, enraged fans attacked an online fan fiction that suggested a gay romantic relationship between Wang and fellow Untamed co-star Xiao Zhan.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Fans arrested after stalking heartthrob