Chinese American dancing group Jasmine Flower and coach Wei Dongsheng (third from left, back row) pose a photo at the back stage of America's Got Talent, where they performed to compete against other 11 contestants on Tuesday night. The result will be determined by American audiences' votes and announced on Wednesday. Li Ang for China Daily
Many children compete in various kinds of commercial talent competitions on the internet, and their parents will often use WeChat, the most popular mobile social media platform in China, to canvass votes for them. China Youth Daily comments:
An investigative report by Beijing News on Monday is an eyeopener for parents who enter their children in such contests. There is a profit chain behind the booming business, which takes advantage of some parents' eagerness to show off their children's talents.
To tap into parents' desire to increase the number of votes for their own children, some contest organizers, as well as the voting service providers, sell "gifts" that are counted as votes.
The competitions that were designed to be decided by a popular vote among friends and family members have instead evolved into competitions of wealth. Children from poorer families, who may deserve the top honor on merit, lose out to those contestants whose parents have deeper pockets.
More and more children's talent competitions are now designed especially to extract money from enthusiastic parents, even though the parents know wining such competitions is meaningless.
The social media platform owners, the internet administrative and public security departments are obliged to look into these problematic competitions as they have drifted too far from what they were originally designed for.