Searches for Malaysia's Melaka surge on China's Weibo following Fan Bingbing visit

By Hoang Phong    June 21, 2024 | 03:40 pm PT
Searches for Malaysia's Melaka surge on China's Weibo following Fan Bingbing visit
Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing inside a luxury hotel in Malaysia's Melaka. Photo courtesy of Fan Bingbing's Instagram
Malaysia's Melaka has become one of the most searched keywords on Weibo, China's largest social media platform, fueled by Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing's recent trip to the state.

"Melaka" saw more than 320 million searches in two days between June 14 and 15, becoming the second most-searched topic after "Fan Bingbing" with nearly 800 million, The Straits Times reported citing statistics from China's WeChat.

Fan, who has 63 million followers on Weibo, arrived in Melaka on June 14 to start her role as the tourism ambassador.

She attracted the crowd by wearing a pink embroidered Nyonya kebaya, traditional women's costume in Malaysia, paired with a teal batik skirt, explored luxury hotels, and enjoyed local cuisine.

Malaysian authorities expected her social media influence to help attract 1 million Chinese tourists to the state.

Melaka attracted 8.63 million tourists last year, marking a more than 42% increase compared to 2022 when there were 204,000 Chinese tourists.

Over 116,000 Chinese people visited the state between January to April this year, according to authorities.

From 2013 to 2017, Fan was named the highest-paid celebrity in the Forbes China Celebrity list.

In 2014, she joined the Barbie global celebrity Hall of Fame and became China's First Barbie Doll while she also appeared on Vanity Fair's 'Best Dressed' list in 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, Fan was listed by Time Magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential individuals, though she has kept a lower profile since 2018 when she was fined over $100 million by the Chinese authorities for tax evasion.

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