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Samsung gets found out paying for Galaxy S6 fans

People running political campaigns are apparently not the only ones hiring people to be their fans at various gatherings.

If we are to believe Want China Times, South Korean smartphone giant Samsung paid people to pretend to be its fans at a recent press conference for the new Galaxy S6 smartphone.

The event was attended by a total of 1,000 people, and it’s believed that almost half of those were paid for.

A person specialising in recruiting these "fans" said he brought over 100 people to the event. They and the other groups of people brought by other recruiters reached 400 to 500 in total.

The recruiter said Samsung asked for people younger than 30, looking like students. They were paid 30 yuan ($3.20) if they stayed for an hour at the conference, while the recruiters earned 20 yuan ($2.14) for every person recruited.

But it seems as Samsung didn’t stop there. It also recruited people to be their professional fans online, paying them to register their name and phone number, post their picture and like the fan page of Samsung Galaxy on Baidu's online forum Baidu Tieba.

And all of this was fairly transparent, as one of these ‘fans’, a woman surnamed Huang, said she had found a recruitment ad in a group chat on popular messaging app WeChat.

Samsung has been struggling lately to regain its former glory as the number one smartphone maker, as it was pushed aside by the like of Apple and Xiaomi. The company hopes it will turn things around with the new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6.

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.