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               It is hard for virtual idols to reach

             diverse groups of people because it is

                  essentially a kind of subculture


        So I thought virtual singer was a good   “But there is still a long way to go
        choice,” he says.                   for virtual idols to replace real idols.
           Tan bought three virtual sing-   It is hard for virtual idols to reach di-
        ers’ vocal databases, each at a price  verse groups of people because it is
        of around RMB ¥500 (US $79). He  essentially a kind of subculture,” Fung
        composed 36 songs and released five  adds.
        albums. All songs were sung by virtual
        singers.                                        Edited by Eve Lee
           “I  think virtual  singers  can over-  Sub-edited by Lynne Rao
        come the limitations of real singers.
        Virtual  singers  never  get  tired,  and
        they can reach a very high pitch,” Tan
           “A virtual  singer  can sing  thou-
        sands of songs in a month because its
        vocal database is accessible to anyone
        who pays. But it may take months for
        a real singer to release one song,” he

               Still a Long Way to Go
           Anthony Fung  Ying-him,  profes-
        sor of the School of Journalism and
        Communication at the Chinese Uni-
        versity of Hong Kong, thinks virtual
        idols in China have a bright future.
           “The Qinglang Campaign influ-
        ences real stars by measures such as
        shutting  down  accounts  and crack-
        ing down on fan activities, but it will
        not affect virtual idols and their fans.
        This helps the virtual idol industry to
        grow,” he says.
           Fung points out that the core at-
        traction of virtual idols is the interac-
        tion between fans and idols. “Virtual
        idol  fans  can chat,  play  games  with,
        and produce content for their idols. It
        is almost impossible for real idol fans
        to approach  their idols,” he says.
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