Fri, Aug 13, 2010 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By David Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

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The boss might be a funny guy, but the employees aren’t laughing. Comedian and TV entertainer Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) has been watching his business woes spill onto the gossip and entertainment pages this week.

Wu is under fire as the chief investor and CEO at Alpha Photonitek Corporation (阿爾發光子科技), which has been having trouble paying workers’ salaries, according to reports across Chinese-language media.

Alpha Photonitek manufactures LED lights, but those bright, energy-efficient and long-lasting bulbs are already losing their luster for the comedian.

His company has seen the staff decrease from 40 to 10 persons since forming in 2008. Over the past few months, employees have been complaining that their paychecks were arriving late, and so far this month, they have only received half of their salary, according to the Apple Daily. Workplace morale took yet another hit after one employee went for a doctor’s visit only to find that the company had not paid its health insurance fees.

Wu denied that the company was in “financial crisis,” saying it was in the process of reorganizing, which was the reason employees have had to wait on their salaries.

But Wu might have his eggs in too many baskets. He is known for taking the millions of NT dollars he rakes in from hosting his popular TV variety show programs and then investing in an assortment of business ventures, which include restaurants, a record company and a 3D animation studio.

His track record as a corporate executive doesn’t exactly shine. Last year, he resigned as CEO of H&T Electronics (翔昇電子) after just a few months because the company was NT$600 million in debt.

Wu attributed the hold-ups to personal debt, saying, “I myself am short on money. Don’t forget I pay taxes and have enormous expenses.”

According to the Apple Daily, Wu currently makes NT$4.16 million a month as the host of three television programs.

Another star feeling a bit of pressure is pop singer Aska Yang (楊宗緯). Yang is featuring in a stadium concert next month in Taipei along with 14 other fellow former contestants from the TV reality show One Million Star (超級星光大道).

The concert has been met with a lukewarm response, at least in terms of ticket sales. So far less than 2,000 of the 9,000 available seats have been taken, according to the Apple Daily.

Yang, a fan favorite from the first season of One Million Star, acknowledged the show’s popularity has waned, but was quoted by the United Daily News as saying “we just have to do what we do well.”

With his sights set on mega-pop stardom, Yang better hope ticket sales turn around come next month. He is planning to hand over his business affairs to Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) manager, Ko Fu-hung (葛福鴻), and has a new album and a self-produced fan magazine in the works. And then there’s his big screen aspirations: Yang is rumored to be in talks to star in a directorial debut by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Justin Chou (周守訓).

The wedding bells are starting to ring louder for Selina Jen (任家萱) of the popular girl group S.H.E and her fiance Richard Chang (張承中), who proposed to her on stage during a concert at Taipei Arena (台北小巨蛋) back in May. The Apple Daily reports the two are planning to hold their wedding ceremony in April or May next year.

The lovebirds were spotted last week at a restaurant at Taipei 101, where they were attending Jen’s father’s 60th birthday.

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